I am getting burnt out on these drawings! I decided to take a few days off and will pick up again tomorrow. Since I have committed to 30, I only 6 more to go by 4/17. I think I can handle that!
Cannon Beach, Oregon. Figure is too big, some foot prints too dark and too big in the distance.
Initially I had drawn this shack so that the beach and waves in the distance were parallel to the edge of the paper. After scanning it, I realized it looked better with a bit of an angle to it. Interestingly, a comment said it made no sense because the ocean is out there, straight ahead. Obviously, too realistic of a person, or someone who hasn’t taken a photo. Really, to me, a very interesting and odd comment and viewpoint!
Here is a scene of looking down onto a beach. The distant cliffs look okay, but the descent to the shore in the midground is definitely confusing.
During last Saturday’s zoom meeting, Ian talked about cross hatching. I use it a lot in ink drawing, but not in pencil since the idea for a lot of this 30-day challenge is to limit marks to horizontal and vertical. The idea is to create value studies, not finished drawings. Interesting lines do not make for good value studies of light, medium, dark. However, a simple use of lines, cross hatching, vertical, diagonal, horizontal, helps delineate shapes, such as curves. I based this drawing off a study of 3 pears by Cezanne.
These studies are making more sense and getting easier to execute so that shapes have shape, even if not always understandable.
I think I am getting some of the points of this course and the usage of pencil to create value studies. First, I changed simply to an HB pencil and a smooth paper with a tiny bit of tooth. The bristol was too smooth a paper and the 2B and 4B pencils just smudged too easily despite my best efforts.
The teacher, Roberts, speaks of structure, rather than subject or detail, as the purpose of these drawings. This means masses of value, not picky details. The details can come in the painting, more so as it becomes larger. The value studies help sort out directing the eye to the point of interest.
The white cliff across the water is the focal point of the drawing, and, ostensibly, the painting. To lead the eye there I vignetted as one does in photography, but this time with graphite. The corners of the drawing are deliberately darker. A sort-of cloud or fog bank is light against the sky in the distance. I tried to use the pale reflection of the cliff in the water to draw the eye as well. Finally, I reworked the piles of sea weed and flotsam to aim the viewer toward the cliffs. The same can be said of the vegetation on the land above the cliffs.
I am beginning to get more comfortable with this approach to painting using a value study. 30 days of value studies is changing my eye and thought processes. Hopefully it will pay off in the future.
Another attempt at acrylic painting. This time I used a sheet from a Fredrix linen pad. I gessoed it and then used, initially, the Open medium with the paints, but I didn’t like the way it was working, and so switched to regular matte medium to dilute the paints. I tried to use the paints fairly straight out of the tube, blending with white and matte medium. The result was a fairly thick paint that behaved well.
The Carpinteria Bluffs are located in the southernmost section of Santa Barbara County, just above the border of Ventura County, where I currently live. Carpinteria was home for many years and always enjoy returning, especially in summer when the light shifts and everything has a glow of its own. Eucalyptus trees and other plant life make for a wonderful walk along the cliffs above the Pacific, and across the Santa Barbara Channel are the various islands that make up the Channel Island National Park. This might be San Miguel Island, but I can never remember which one is which!
I’ve been in a foggy mood lately – could it be matching my aggravation with the coronavirus and all the social restrictions it is placing on us? I have been rather out of it for the past several days, so today I decided that, no matter what I felt I had to do, a painting with a cheerful theme would be the day’s beginning! Nothing like a beautiful day at the seaside with a good wind and a brilliant sun to cast away those doldrums.
The last version of “The Slough, II” – at least for now! This is in watercolor, and it was actually fairly easy to render as I have now painted the same image 3 times, 6 if you consider the first series. Perspective is okay, but rendering of distance along the beach across the water is a bit problematic. Rather than using a pencil to create the drawing, I used a dagger brush and Quinacridone Gold to outline the shapes. I left the cliffs totally white and then added crevasses and such with varying colors.
Doing a whole series, in different media, of the same subject has been so much fun! I expect I will continue to do so. Daily painting – pastels, gouache, and watercolor – is becoming the central focus of most of my days, unless I am sewing masks or just need a change of pace. Too much of one thing doesn’t sit well with me – that’s why I use so many different media! I get bored easily and the monkey mind screams out . . .
A second rendition of “The Slough, II”, this time in pastels on Mi Teintes 9×12 paper. Perspective is fixed, and I like this version so much better!
The original “The Slough, II” was done in gouache a few days ago – you can see it in my earlier post. That version was totally wackadoodle in the world of real perspective – the only part that worked out was the front curve of sand, whereas the midground and background didn’t work. Fraggy (another blogger!) had some good insights about the issues.
In thinking about Fraggy’s comments as well as reviewing what I did, I really have no excuse. I just did a very, very poor drawing on the paper, sort of sketching things in without checking their relationships. So, today, I worked on the drawing a bit, and the result is much better. I considered vanishing points and straight lines, et cetera, et cetera.
I really feel so at home with pastels. My only complaint is that the end product is easily smeared, even with the use of “final” fixatives. I need to research that a bit . . .
A different view of The Slough, gouache, and some perspective problems, both atmospheric and size. Sigh.
Still, I will say parts of it I really like. One thing I enjoy about gouache is the colors are so cheery if you don’t turn them into mud. Mixing is such a challenge with this medium – you need a lot of white to make light colors unless they come like that out of the tube.
This scan has a really greenish cast for some reason – or maybe I just used a lot of green without realizing it. Anyway, given the fact that yesterday’s painting looked like it was sliding uphill into the ocean (art can do that, even if reality can’t), I worked on it again, this time using gouache. Here, the sand works a lot better – at least it seems to be doing the right sandy thing!
Maybe some watercolor tomorrow of the same subject?
The California coastline varies from top to bottom. Some areas have wide, flat sandy beaches, and others are at the base of rugged cliffs, sometimes accessible, sometimes not. State law says the beaches are for everyone, and must be accessible. People in Malibu and some areas south of San Francisco have rich people who won’t grant access, and lawsuits have been fought long and hard. There is even an app for your phone that tells you where you can access beaches in Malibu, in spite of the fake “No Beach Access” signs put out by land owners on the coast. Funny, but not funny.
Hendry’s Beach (often called “Henry’s Beach”) is a long-time favorite and a popular one in Santa Barbara. At low tide, you can walk a long distance, but if you are not careful about the tides, you could get caught! The ocean is sometimes out enough that a lagoon is formed, and then disappears when the tide comes in.