Collective expressions

I was honored to be included in Collective Expressions, a juried group show of Northern Westchester Arts Guild Members at the Art and Sound Gallery in Greenwich, Ct.  The show will be running for the next six weeks throughout September 2016 and I believe early October.

judy

 

Mischtechnik 2016 A Loving Portrait

Who doesn’t want to live forever?  I thought it was time, before my delightful hubby and I get too wrinkled to attempt a portrait of ourselves.  I love Lucian Freud’s work and think he was incredibly skilled but I didn’t want to wait until we are like this self-portrait he did that can be seen in Vienna.  I of course then had to watch a video about him and his art, and found he was a great fan of Cremnitz White, which I have on order.  This is a lead based white paint, so don’t eat in your studio while using it.   The video I watched on Lucian Freud can be found on YouTube here: A Painted Life   I love the emotion he conveys although he obviously was a haunted and tortured individual who didn’t play well with others.

lucian freud self portrait

Back to my painting.  My husband and I went out to our favorite French restaurant and dressed up for an anniversary one of the staff took a fabulous photo of us.    I decided to use that as my reference photo, along with peeking over my wine glass at dinner, an assessing, did dear hubby have a few little crows feet, how did the cleft of his chin look in profile?

A book I referred to was

This year, I used a marble based gesso to cover my boards.  The white is so white it hurts your eyes. If you are just tuning in you might want to read my post on Mischtechnik.IMG_0339 (Copy)

Next I spent a fair bit of time looking and reading about the anatomy of the face and neck.  And then spent a couple of weeks on an initial sketch.

JandDsketch (Copy)

And here is the initial glaze, I used iron oxide red.  It was still wet in this photo.

janddglaze1ironoxidered (Copy)

Meanwhile, as I wait for this to dry, I’m reading another book and learning even more about portrait painting.  It has an excellent section on blending colors for the skin.  I’m only half-way through, but I’m sure this will be a better painting because of it.

Portrait Painting Atelier: Old Master Techniques and Contemporary Applications

by Suzanne Brooker

The next step, after it was fully dried, was to work on the highlights creating more tones, with the egg tempera.  I freely thinned the egg tempera with a little cold pressed linseed oil, so I could have different shades of white.  Some I used undiluted and some thinned.

portrait iron oxide with tempera (Copy)

And of course wait.  I usually keep a second painting going and work on that while I’m waiting.  This year its a semi-abstract in acrylic paint that has lots of free movement and invention and dries fast.  The antithesis of this.

Another glaze, this time I used transparent yellow ochre.  In the past I used a bright primary transparent yellow, but I like the warmer tones of the earth reds and yellows.

portrait transparent yellow oche (Copy)

Ah, finally we are starting to see some of those magic mid-tones arise out of nowhere.  I had on a top that was covered in black sparkles and I want to show that, but I’m not sure whether I have a handle on it.  I have a few points of light on it, but I’m not sure if they work yet.

Here is the white tempera on the highlights after this glaze.

good white over ochre (Copy)

Now the blue glaze.

blue glaze good (Copy)

Technically I should do another layer of the white highlights, but I like where I am.  I am going to start glazing local colors as soon as this dries.  Oops…I forgot to take photos of a couple of glazes.  Don’t worry you didn’t miss much, just the first coat on the walls, shirt and shawl.

work-in-progress-skin-white

work-in-progress-pink-tones

Keep checking back!  More to come.

Art Around Town 2016

I had a wonderful time showing some of my work at Art Around Town in Chappaqua, New York.   My paintings will be up at Noelle Marie Photography at 140 King Street until the end of June.   There are more than 30 other artists of the Northern Westchester Artists’ Guild showing at merchants about the town..  Do stop by and see our work.

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Protected: Nature themed works

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Gwyn!

A portrait of my energetic English Shepherd Gwyn!

Gwyn in oil

Nuts and Bolts-Photographing a Textured Painting

Have you ever finished a painting, loved it and couldn’t wait to photograph it to share on social media?  But after you photographed it, it had shadows, glare and all sorts of blips and blobs highlighted that made it look awful and nothing like what it looked in life?   Recently I finished a painting that was textured and had a number of layers of glazes that gave me that problem.

I want my photographs of my art to look like the painting, not better, not worse.  If I were to sell a painting online or submit it to a show and the painting looked substantially different than the photograph, it might cause disappointment or even (horrors) the thought I was trying to put something over on them or hide a flaw.

There are a couple of quick fixes for photographing a textured painting that has a glaze on it or a varnish.  The easiest is to take the painting outside and photograph it in natural light.  Try to light your painting at an angle and visually adjust for glare.

OK, so you tried taking outside and playing with that angle and this angle and it still didn’t work.   Then do the following:

Use two lights at a 45 degree angle to the painting and try some filters.

I paint using artificial light.  Specifically, I  use 2- 2200 K lights on stands with diffusing umbrellas, in studio with the walls painted white.  Which gives me a nice soft daylight.  The benefit of this, is as the sun rises and gets stronger or as it sets in the afternoon, my light doesn’t change, so I don’t change my pigments in intensity because they look different under different lights.

A good link talking about lighting, color and temperature, can be found here.

The next thing is to orient your light at 45 degree angles to the painting.  But there is still a lot of light bouncing around.  You then need to add polarizing filters on your light, or camera or both as done in this article on documenting art.

Take a moment to look at your setup as if you were the camera.  Is there light bouncing off an area causing a highly visible glare?  Play with your lights.  I use a liner polarizing filter and manually adjust the focus on my camera.  If you plan to use auto focus use a circular polarizing filter.  I am not, at this point, using additional filters on my lights.  A circular polarizing filter may bend the edges of your painting a bit.

This is the first time I’ve used a filter.  The one on the left is filtered and on the right is unfiltered.  I felt I lost a little of the line definition on the filtered.   But I lost the glare and the tones show up better.  But once again, a photograph never quite looks the same as the painting viewed by the eye.  So I leave it up to you, to filter or not.  My goal is to make the photograph look as much like the original painting as I can.  I also manually focused as a linear polarizing filter works better that way.

crows filtered and not

You may be one of those people who buys a fancy camera with all sorts of bells and whistles fully intending to learn how to use each and every one, but after a brief time with it you find leaving it on auto and auto-focus suits you just fine.   And you go to buy a filter for it and search for  “polarizing filter for my brand of camera”.  And you can’t find a single one, only packages with prices you can see might be a bit of a rip-off.  Look on your lens, take off the lens cap and look at the area directly around your lens.  Somewhere there will say what mm the lens is.  My Cannon 60D is a 67 mm lens.  So when I went and searched for 67 mm polarizing filter I found a much larger array of choices.  I know, “duh”, why include this?  I figure if I wasted time doing it, someone else might and I could save them some time.

Another alternative, is to scan your art.  If it is just for your own records and the work is small you can probably use your in-home or in-office scanner.  If it is a larger work, you plan to make and sell prints, you may wish to take it to a facility that has large format scanners and experience in scanning work of your type.

Happy Painting!

 

 

 

Sunset in the Garden

That magical moment of the last light, after which night falls, taking with it all of the details of the day.


Sunset in the Garden-002

The Ice Pond in Winter

Lately we have been driving past a reservoir that is completely frozen and have been watching people ice fish on it. It was such a calm and peaceful scene I had to paint it. So here is my rendition: The Ice Pond in Winter.

The Ice Pond in Winter-002

The Power of Nature

This is another larger one at 36 X 48 inches in size.  I wanted to capture some of the aspects of nature without making it relative to size.  At the bottom I have painted some pollen grains that I think have a wonderful abstract quality.   This painting is bright, without being overwhelming.  If you look carefully you’ll find a tiny homage to the first video game I played and also a pair of my tired eyes after painting the many very tiny details this painting holds.

The Power of Nature

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest-

…Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest–
…Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!”

Because sometimes you just have to paint pirates.   For your enjoyment “Pirate Bay.”

blog pirate bay