Friday, March 25, 2011

Distracted Gourds

"Distracted Gourds." 12"x20"in, Oil on Linen.
Hello everyone here is the newest addition to my up coming solo show at the Royal Gallery this April. Funny enough I bought these Gourds back in November 2010 during Thanksgiving. I knew at the time I wouldn't be able to paint them right away but I also didn't want to miss the season and not paint them till next year. When these guys came home with me the where mostly green with spots of orange. Their original color patterns where the thing that attracted me to them. Well, I forgot about these poor guys in a pile of still life objects waiting for their time to shine. When I eventually found them again they had aged into their perfect state. Mold had started to overtake a couple and I figure I didn't have much more time to wait. I had to start and finish this painting before they where to rot and cave in on themselves.

The Cartoon Pencil on Paper
There was a lot of interesting angels and shapes in these Gourds so I wanted to nail them down the best I could. I have always been able to draw much faster and more accurately with a pencil. Starting my painting on paper first allows me to figure out the proper size and placement of the still life on my surface. I have always found it a pain to cut, resize and then re-stretch a finished painting onto new stretchers. The Cartoon stage has been the easiest way for me to by-pass this annoying bump in the process.  

Still Life set-up and First-Painting Stage.
In this photo above I have already made an oil transfer and went straight into the first painting stage of this still life. Typically I like to use a raw umber tonal wash to establish more of the drawing and tones before I get into the color. With this painting I felt confident with what the tones and colors where going to be. An added advantage to finding the correct tones and color was the linen was toned to the same color and value as my palette.

First Painting the Gourds
Here Is my first guess at the colors in the gourds. My first attempt is always to find a middle of the road color I can paint into with littler and darker values. I tend to break up the drawing between the shadows and the lights. In the lights I like to limit my range of value by just focusing on the lightest light, middle tone and half-tone. Fine detail or unique broken color I leave to the last layers of paint.
Completed First-Painting Stage
I have now completed the base in which I will paint over in later stages. Now I have enough information in front of me to work off of and take everything to a finish piece by piece. Notice that I haven't touched the background and left it the tone of the linen. Because it was so close to the tone of the actual background there was no need to waste anymore time over one value shift.

The Starting of Second-Painting 

Close up
In Second painting I start painting the larger forms and gradually work towards smaller and smaller forms until I am working on the tiny little details. 

The Finished Painting
You may notice that in this final stage I have added the mold. I waited for the painting to dry and then  
scumbled a light blue/gray color over the parts where I wanted the mold. If I where to have painted it wet into wet I would have risked mixing the two colors too much. There is a certain quality of scumbling that  better suits the painting of the mold. Often it appears dryer and dragged so that bits of the orange can show through. The background was finished by weaving broken colors of warm, cold and neutral grays.
Finally in working on the wood I focused of the most interesting parts that made up its character. I was faced with the question of painting every single grain, notch and crack or generalizing to not pull attention away from the gourds.  The best bet seemed to focus on the major stains and cracks and let the distractions remain in life.


Opening Reception Is April 14th
From 5:00pm to

The Royal Gallery
298 Atwells Ave
Providence, RI 02903 (401) 831-8831

Created By

More Info
Hey everyone the official dates are out. After much work and sleepless nights my solo show of 2011 is going up next week. April 14th will be the opening reception where we will enjoy Drinks, Food and over 30 pieces of Art. I invite you are and all of your friends to join us for a great and exciting night!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

From and For My Love

From and For My Love, Oil on Linen, 16" x 14" in.

Hello all!!! For this painting I wanted to try something that I'm not too accustom to doing. Lately I have been seeing a lot of artist who inspire work in a similar manner. Basically one starts the painting and works on it piece by piece until it is eventually finished. This working method takes much concentration and discipline not to rush and push ahead. Matching Color and Tone is done by comparing the adjacent hue and value. This technique also benefits from color studies and an accurate drawing.

So I started this painting as I commonly do with still life, with a pencil drawing on paper. This stage gives me a clearer understanding of the composition and relationship of the objects in it. I think of it as a confidence building stage. The more time I spend on this stage the easier the painting will be. Lately I have found myself in this stage longer making sure all of my articulation is well represented. 

Pencil drawing on paper

After my drawing has enough information to work off of I transfer it to my linen. The linen I painted on was a fine weave #13 triple oil primed Linen. I then toned the linen with a light neutral value using Lead White, Raw Umber and Cobalt Blue. 
Raw Umber Tonal Wash
Once the drawing is transferred I rub on some of the tone in a general way with Raw Umber. I like to leave this wash to dry for a day or two so that the under color doesn't mix with the colors I place over them. 
Still Life Set-up
For no rhyme or reason I stared with the orange. 
Coloring the Orange


Building the Background to Assist the Foreground
So far in one day I only managed to knockout the orange and a bit of the blue fabric. 
Establishing the Shadows on the Copper Pot

Rendering the Form of the Copper Pot

Base Platform Rendering
Rendering the copper pot took quite a bit of time and the photo above shows the end of my second day of the color applications. I'd like to mention now that I am very cognizant of my edges and how one is painted into the other. My biggest pet-peeve is to see one edge bumping up against the other or God forbid a halo of raw canvas between two colors. 

Adding the Shadow Color to the Blue Fabric 

Laying in the Blue Fabric

Rapid Application of the Wood

Further Modeling of the Wood

Finishing Up the Copper Pot

In the photo above I'd like to point out the chalkiness of the background in the darks of the upper left hand corner. This is called sinking in. Sinking in is a common occurrence when oil dries and is absorbed from the under layers but much more noticeable in the darker pigments. I have been using a mixture lately of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber in place of Ivory Black. I find It dries much faster and will not lift like Ivory Black does while Oiling Out the sunken in areas. If I really need a value as dark as Ivory Black I can use in during my last pass over the panting.

The Linen is Covered with Color 
The linen is covered with color but is it correct? I must now wait for the painting to dry and Oil it Out to check for any areas that my need touch ups or repainting.  After Oiling out I saw many areas that need to be reworked. The major area that needed the most work was the blue fabric. I had noticed some edge and tonal problems. I remedied these areas by totally repainting the background in once shoot making sure everything was painted wet into wet. Other than the background fabric I just fiddled around adding details and highlights until I arrived to the end of this piece.
The Finished Painting
Thank you for viewing.