Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 22 (Monday): My Princess Completed

I think I finished this one. But I know I will give some finishing touches tomorrow.

Okay, I have to find a theme. And start to work around it.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Day 21 (Friday): My Princess Pastel Portrait

This is what you call an educated attempt. Something you do after deliberately making a mistake to prove that exception only proves the rule!

After the two previous ones, there were a couple of things that got reinforced:

  1. Practice & experiment is still the best way to conquer the fear of making mistakes. If it taught you something, its called lesson.
  2. Surround yourself with the positive people, they enrich you.
  3. Shoot for the brightest colors; nothing cheers up a piece of art like intense, pure colors
  4. Trust. If there is hesitation, verify! In this order.

I have got some books. Will read. Till then!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Day 19 & 20(Wed/ Thursday): Pastel Portrait

I have the urge to work on larger pieces. The biggest that I have is paper base of 18 x 24. Being non canva, it can't take oil. But it can handle pastel. Good enough - I had a compromise. Use pastel until  I find, (read buy), a bigger or similar working surface. I think oil pastels could have worked, but I just have a very limited sticks to offer the wide range I need for the portrait.

As a beginner I would have laughed if someone mentioned the necessity of green or purple for the face, and funny it may seem now, I cannot do much without these two colors!

Green, specially, yellow green is such a cheer spreader. I think everything is color anemic until this touches the surface. Just a thought!

Okay, so, I finished the second portrait and cleaned it up on Thursday.Hard pastels are somewhat less intense but very forgiving. I like to use it.

More tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Day 17 (Monday): Mask finished

I think, by now, I should have the necessary courage to lay down my work out for others to see and hopefully, enjoy.

We will talk more about that. Today I finished previous week's Mask. During the work, I have come to appreciate some other artists' work and generosity. I hope his makes me look at my own work in different light.

For tomorrow. Portrait with limited strokes.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Day 16 (Friday): Mask continues...

So. I crossed that half mark! 14 more days before I have this new habit.

Lately I thought a lot about what one of the smart bloggers shared about their passion towards their work and how they get what they dreamt of. Its quite interesting, intriguing, and inspiring. You start with Yes, yes, yes. That's what I believe in too, but you said it better! And end up with some happy fuzzy feeling of approval and encouraged to deliver even better & more delightful.

I would like to be like that. To encourage others and keep learning along the way.

Happy weekend!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Day 15 (Thursday) : Oil Painting - Mask

To play around with the colors, you have to, well, play with the colors.

Bold juxtaposed against pale create the necessary drama, giving character to both ends of the spectrum. This one is more or less on these lines.

And I read. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Day 13 and 14 (Tuesday and Wednesday): Portrait Study

There is not much to report really.

Practiced on the 18 x 24 sketch pad. Just like old times, I say! Love the way it liberates our creativity to draw with your entire arm, not just fingers or wrist.

And well, these ideas...I literally had trouble sleeping with so many of those coming at me at once. All for good!

Looking forward to the new day!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Day 12 (Monday): Plum Tree on Hillside Finished

I started a new charcoal sketch study. There was not much time available, but some progress can be registered nonetheless.

  • Bigger canvas is better 
  • Try to have things ready so that the studio time can be focused on the real work
  • Plan ahead. I cannot stress the importance of this bullet-point enough!
  • A discovery - Alizarine crimson is maroon!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Day 11 (Friday): Oil Painting - Plum Tree on Hillside

I worked on a landscape.

Its actually a preparation for those real ones that I had been planning all along. In this attempt, I made a glass palette, which is rather makeshift, but seemed to work just as well! I used my first brush washer. Experimented with the color mixing and value shifts.

I also made a cutout wheel to go with the Munsell wheel. Can't wait to put it to use in a project.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Day 9 and Day 10: Charcoal Portrait Practice

Day 9:

I could not resist giving finishing touches to the one I started. A few turned into quite a lot. I mean, I felt like spending more time on this one before calling it finished.

Day 10:

I repeated another one that I practiced a little while back. Some changes, smoothing rough edges, applying what I learnt. Finished a self portrait.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 8: Charcoal Portrait

Sometimes you need to follow the rules, but mostly, you should let your inner artist take the lead. Its the real you!

It helps you see what you love about your subject. A human face in this context. Is it the nose? Or eyes? Or smile - which is rare when your model is posing for you, but from picture, sure. If you can capture that special something that you appreciate, your work reflects it - effortlessly.

Today I made a mistake. I didn't have the work planned ahead of time. So, at the work hours, I was hard pressed to select and execute. I entered the studio with vague ideas and when I settled down, I wasn't sure if I wanted to open a sketch book, paint box, palette, or set up the easel! 'Disaster!' I thought aloud. This is what I promised to myself, to plan next day's work and here I was with blank as clear as my white gessoed canvas!

Have no time to waste and work on something that is necessary, I told myself. What if I had gone to an arts class knowing nothing about what the instructor would ask us to draw? Well, it wasn't all that hypothetical to imagine. I mostly encountered this in the arts class. Going in there with no clue about the subject of the class. "It will be drapery today!", The instructor would say and set up a green chenille sheet inside out with lots of enhanced folds to draw.

I had to gather all my senses to understand where should I start from!

So, today was kind of like that. Bingo! That immediately started to straighten the mental clutter. Be that person and dictate! Choose something as your assignment of the day. Anything! And that person chose portrait!

Okay then! Portrait it was. Luckily, I had a reference photo and to save the day! I stared and finished within 3 hours.I am glad to report that it did come out well.

What started as an ill-planned work day, ended on a happy note. But I hope not to make it a practice. No sir!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Day 7: Landscape from Picture

Garden Scene from picture is finished and is sent out of the studio.

It presented a good number of learning opportunities. Here is a summary:

  • To create a backyard garden scene, I planned to use a limited palette. To my amazement, that still didn't limit the spectrum of hues. Who would have thought that! There are atleast a dozen different shades of green in between the few steps of value gradation. :-)
  • All you need is a few strokes. The more you drag, the less impact it makes.
  • I finally understood what it means to see your painting before you bring your brush to the canvas. 
  •  I need more paint and bigger canvases. 

There is a thought on the timing. Sometimes all you need is, a push. Just a teeny tiny one. And you set out like a car on auto-drive. But how about the times when you need little more than that to keep your momentum. Well, we will see.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Day 6: Landscape for value study

I began the study of values,  using oils.

For this, I chose a canvas that bore the reminiscent of an earlier incomplete plein-air painting. I remembered a classmate from art class who reused canvases. He had come from China to study here to earn a name in west. I am sure, he was trying to keep his ways frugal. His work is brilliant and copying his habit, more environment friendly than artistic - made me feel somewhat more of a serious beginner!

There was no need to cover the backdrop as the first layer was already laid. Squeezing most of the work in the available time seemed hard and I have this half done work here. Hopefully, it will be finished tomorrow.

Day 5 - Oil Portrait

Not sure if I like it. Yet. But let's call it a work in progress. A baby step in the right direction.

It was worth the time spent. I had come to realize:

  • Putting down all the colors is first step, blending is next. No exceptions.
  • Cool shadow is different than warm shadow. Purple vs. orange, remember?
  • Just the right number of strokes, no less, no more. Period.
  • Try your best but also, learn to be kind when your work doesn't measure up.