I couldn’t stand looking at that bad start, so I resumed my little 6” x 6” self-portrait today. After a couple more hours work, it’s better. It’s getting closer to a likeness, and it’s no longer bad, lol. I will work on it again on the next rainy day.
I didn’t have much time for today’s daily painting, so this is a goofy start of a tiny self-portrait. I’ll work on it a bit tomorrow, which will be another busy day for me. Normally I wouldn’t post something this bad, but part of the point of the daily painting movement is to keep a daily journal. So, look and giggle!
I wanted to practice painting cars today, so I parked myself at the local supermarket. I was counting on shoppers taking 45 minutes to get groceries. Instead, most cars stayed for 10 minutes, or so it seemed! The result is an unfinished painting, unfortunately. Plus I took a terrible photo!
Next time I’ll try sketching in the shape of the entire mass of cars, then moving to individual cars, rather than the other way around. I’m still not sure whether to work from back to front or vice-versa.
My daughter is home from college, and she and I painted together today — a rare treat! It was a glorious 70-degree day, with bright sunshine and clear skies. I thought I’d share both our paintings. First, here’s mine:
And here’s my daughter’s impression, with a more zoomed-in point of view:
I did this little sketch in an hour or so; wish I’d spent more time with it. Not a bad start, though.
I had intended a simple sketch of this interior, but a skylight cast a strangely-shaped light over the scene, and I couldn’t resist trying to depict it. I didn’t entirely succeed, but it’s an interesting effort.
Today’s life class featured a man wearing a turban and billowing pants, and brandishing a blade. A very fun pose to paint!
I did yet another scene from my neighborhood, as I’m limiting my driving as my back heals. (It felt a lot better today.) It was a gorgeous day, but I had trouble seeing my panel because I was standing in shade looking toward a very bright light source. Perhaps not coincidentally, the painting is less daring than my best pictures. I’ll have to think about better ways to keep light off my canvas.
Also, this is not a wonderful photo. In the actual painting, for example, the background is more green. I might re-photograph and re-post it later.
I painted this little scene from my kitchen, looking into my darkened dining room, with warm light in a window beyond.
I started this study in the early evening. My idea here was to focus attention on the cars, and I had some success depicting a couple of them. But they all were moved in the hour or so I was standing there, so I didn’t finish any of them. On top of that, I didn’t make clear that the building on the right is a repair shop, and the sun went down so fast that I didn’t have time to fix it. So the title of the painting is all too apt: it’s waiting for repairs!
It rained all day, and my back hurt, so I opted for a simple little still life.
Laura is a new model at my life class, and today she sat for the second session of a two-session pose. I didn’t finish polishing and smoothing out the colors in her face, but I like a lot about it. The likeness is pretty good, and the picture has some character.
It was a lovely afternoon to paint — until a squall unleashed a torrent of rain. Still, it made for a nice wet street to paint. I went for a semi-abstract vibe.
Our azaleas won’t be in bloom much longer, so I’ve got to paint them while I can!
It was an overcast, blustery, almost misty sort of day. I found myself at Concord-St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Bethesda, Maryland, and I decided to paint a side area, which encloses a garden. I wanted to convey some of the gray, cool, raw, misty, slightly breezy weather I was feeling, especially as I didn’t dress warmly enough for it.
I also wanted to experiment with ways to paint less literally. I cut out trees and asphalt, and I deliberately de-constructed the roof and other edges, to convey a more painterly feel. I like how it turned out.
I spent a balmy afternoon painting the outdoor seating area of a local Five Guys restaurant. I wiped it out twice, as I learned the hard way that people don’t stay at a Five Guys for very long! My models kept leaving. So the painting is just okay — sort of indecisive. Also, I now see that I should’ve moved (or removed) the tall straight tree on the left, as it confuses the well-drawn potted plant in front of it. . Oh well. I still learned from the painting, and it was fun.
It was a glorious day, and my back felt great, so I got outdoors for three hours of plein air painting! I think it turned out nicely. I was going for a placid, springtime feel.
Not every “daily painting” is going to be a masterpiece, and today’s unfinished effort demonstrates that! I was planning to focus on rain falling in puddles behind the car, but I never got to the puddles, lol. My back started really hurting after about 45 minutes of painting the car, and I called it quits. Hey, at least the car was on the right track. (So to speak.)
Art marketers sometimes say one should never post failures on one’s website. “Only show your best work!,” they say. I think that’s good advice for an art show. But for my blog, I prefer to have an honest conversation with my readers, to talk about what happens when paintings fail, to keep a record of my progress, and to think about how to improve.
Today I painted a new model, Laura, in life class. This was the first of a two-week pose, but I think it’s off to a decent start. She holds her head nicely, and her features are strong, so she’s fun to paint. Next week I’ll refine her features, balance the lights and shadows better, model her head in a more 3D way, and work on her hair. All in two hours, natch!
May the 4th be with you! It’s Star Wars Day, so I pulled out my trusty bust of Darth Vader, put him on top of a garbage can in my driveway, and painted his portrait. He’s a pretty good model: he sits still and he doesn’t take breaks.
That said, I think the artist should err on the side of a flattering likeness. I hope Vader doesn’t notice that I sneaked in a little Rebel Alliance orange at the top of the picture, to contrast with all those cool, dark Imperial colors. Also, he seems to be staring at my signature. A bit worrisome. “Apology accepted, Mr. Watson.”
(Disclaimer: Star Wars and Darth Vader are the intellectual property of Disney, and I do not intend to sell this painting.)
Anyway, happy Star Wars Day!