I attended an "open studio" life-drawing and life-painting session tonight. No instructor; just a monitor. We did an hour's worth of short poses, then a two-hour long pose. I had a lot of fun with this one.
It’s been a very busy September at work, and I hadn’t touched a paint brush for two weeks until today, so I felt a bit rusty. Still, this two-hour figure study, painted in life class, turned out better than I expected.
I should have a bit more time to paint in the coming weeks, so I hope to post a bit more frequently!
I stood on my back porch and painted my neighbor’s house, painting for a couple hours on both Saturday and Sunday. I was going after the glowing afternoon light that sporadically lit the house in warm colors.
To mark my 100th straight day of daily painting, I thought I’d show you where I do a lot of my work — my little studio, in my basement. When I paint a still life, I often use my easel light, a spotlight on the subject — and no other lights. So it’s bit dark, especially in the evening. I tried to convey that here. I was going for a sort of medieval atelier ambiance.
I’m going to take a break from daily painting now, as I have some longer-term art projects (I haven’t forgotten you, Tup!), plus the start of school in a couple weeks. But I’ll still be posting here, as I have plenty of stuff I haven’t gotten around to showing you all yet. Thanks for reading!
One peach got eaten and the other went bad, so no more peaches. So instead I painted some S’well water bottles. (Water has been a theme this month: several glasses of water, and now some water bottles.) I didn’t finish this, but it’s a decent start. Not sure whether I’ll continue it or start something new tomorrow.
I love painting peaches, but I’ve always had trouble with them: they aren’t shiny, so they’re harder to model than, say, apples or grapes. True to form, I struggled with these peaches today. (I like the water glass in the background better!) I may paint more peaches tomorrow, just for the practice.
I spent more time with my glass of water, trying to improve the drawing, edges, and lighting. I think it’s better, but I will step away from it for a few days to think on it. I’m certainly getting good practice with foreshortened drawing!
It was a beautiful day out, but I still felt like painting glass and water, so I stayed inside and set up yet another little still life. I spent only an hour on this, but I think it’s an interesting start. The drawing needs a bit of work, but I like the light.
I made some progress, but this challenging scene still needs work. I’m going to put it aside and come back with fresh eyes next week. If the weather is nice tomorrow, I think I’ll go outside to paint!
I kept my little scene intact, but I stood up to paint it from a different — and more challenging — vantage point. Nothing is harder than painting extremely foreshortened objects! But I wanted the practice. This is an okay start, but things are kind of vaguely-defined still. I’ll work on it more tomorrow.
It sure is fun painting all these shiny surfaces! I’ve finished a “first draft” of this little still life, and I like what I have here, but I might like to take it further. I’ll let it dry for a few days while I think on it. I have some fun ideas for a new still life tomorrow. (Incidentally, I llightly Photoshopped the background of this image to eliminate glare.)
I painted this exact scene two years ago, but I did not look at that painting again before stepping up to the easel and trying again. I didn’t want to be influenced by the earlier picture. One thing that changed was my canvas: I chose a wide surface this time. Another difference is that this time I painted it all in one go, in about two hours; last time I worked on the painting for three full afternoons! So the “old” one is somewhat more detailed and refined, but the “new” one has its merits too. Here’s today’s effort:
And here’s the painting from two years ago. I blogged about it, briefly, here: https://www.geoffwatsonart.com/blog/2017/8/2/boat-on-the-rehoboth-lewes-canal?rq=Lewes
A great watercolorist, Charles Reid, enjoyed painting still lifes that captured what people left lying around, rather than still lifes carefully composed by the artist. He suggests just pointing your brush at stuff and painting it. So I did that today. I painted my brush at stuff lying on the kitchen table.
I finished this piece, at least for now. I will let it rest for a while and return to it with a fresh eye later. On to new things tomorrow!
Modern ateliers — art schools that focus on practical skills — often require students to draw plaster casts for days or weeks before attempting to draw a live model. I agree that it’s great practice, so I have 3 or 4 casts lying around. The trouble is, the cast I’m using now is tiny; it’s head is about 2 or 3 inches tall. That means my little 6” x 6” painting is larger than life size, which makes things a lot harder.
Also, I forgot to mark where I was painting yesterday; I inadvertently shifted positions and ended up redoing the entire thing! I’ll give it one more day, then on to other things. Sorry about the glare on the photo.
I found a little plaster cast in my basement and decided to paint it. I didn’t get all that far, as I haven’t been feeling great today, but it’s a start. One question with a white cast is whether to invent colors. I probably will!
I hadn’t planned to paint another roof, but this turret beckoned me, so I had to paint it.
I hadn’t planned to paint outdoors today, but the clouds suddenly parted in the afternoon, and I rushed outside. I stood on Butler Road in Bethesda and saw this rooftop overlooking nearby River Road. I was most interested in the late-afternoon light on the walls of the buildings.
We have a few sweet potatoes in our fridge, so why not paint one? We also had this cool container, so why not paint it? And one never needs a reason to paint an apple. But I forgot to finish the apple! I didn’t gradate its color much, and (worse) I forgot its highlight! The shame of it. I’ll fix it tomorrow.
Here’s the little pochade box I used for all my little paintings while visiting New York. It fits 6” x 8” panels, and it’s made by Guerilla Painter. As you can see, it’s pretty small and basic, but the design is clever. The palette slides away to reveal storage space for paint tubes and such.
Using that box, I did this quick sketch of Red Caps at Penn Station while waiting for my train. Again, I had only the three primary colors to work with. The painting is not the greatest thing ever, but not bad for a quick thing from life. I did touch it up some on the train and at home, but most of the work was done on location, in about half an hour.