Tag: people

Things I Never Paint

After spending 7 hours yesterday sorting through books I hope to sell or donate, I was bushed. Dusty and dirty, too. It’s amazing how much of a mess your life can become when you aren’t paying attention! Painting definitely has its attraction as opposed to drudgery, but lately I feel like pushing myself into areas I don’t ordinarily venture. Cleaning and discarding shakes things up, and it seems to be carrying over into artwork.

Charles Reid, besides being great at landscapes, is also fascinating for me as his watercolor portraits are so loose and wonderful. I read a bit in one of his books about how he does skin tones. Colors for pale skin can be yellow ochre, alizarin, and cerulean – these are the ones I used to paint the figure on the left. For the one on the right I threw in some ultramarine and Hooker’s green at Reid’s suggestion. I worked to make the highlights warm and the shadows cool – more yellow in the light areas, more blue in the shadow areas.

Here are some gardeners laboring away. The color palette was pretty simple – ultramarine, orange, and a bit of ochre and green. I tried to create a sense of dimension in each pose, working with complementary colors to create shadows.

I then thought that after doing people, I should do an animal. I found a wonderful picture on Pixabay of an elephant striding along. I was rather teary when I thought about how we are losing so many wonderful creatures, large and small, because human beings are not the best. Of course, I’m not starving, so my perspective is very different. I was caught by the beauty of this elephant and think I will probably draw and paint creatures more. I have never painted or drawn an elephant before and enjoyed this one a lot.

Finally, a building, specifically Dunguaire Castle. It’s from the 16th century and has been restored. I think it would be a wonderful place to visit as it is right on Galway Bay in western Ireland.

Altogether, this afternoon’s romp in the paint was satisfying and challenging. Figures, animals, buildings – all of these really pulled me out of my comfort zone. I kept my palette simple and worked to create a 3D element with shading as well as contrasts of warm and cool. Initially I used rather cheap paper, but in reality, it sucked, so I pulled out my Arches 140# CP and was much happier with the results.

Girl on a Bed

I have a fear of painting people.  I cannot even imagine doing a portrait.  For the past several days I have been debating on deliberately focusing on people or buildings and perspective.  Guess what won?

As with many of my paintings, this is from an image on Pixabay.  A girl is lying face down on white sheets; she wears a grey T-shirt and her face is not visible.  It would be easy to try to put in facial features and overwork a picture, and this is why I chose such an anonymous person.

At this point, I am simply looking at proportion, light, dark, shadows.  In general, this worked out okay – the right hand is a bit off, but that is not what I was aiming for.  I worked to keep everything simple, as well as use up paint on my muddy palette.  I added zinc white, of which I am using a ton, as that has been missing from the muddy palette for weeks!