Friday, April 20, 2012

Rooster Gets Feathers

Rooster prior to adding his feathers.

Rooster with feathers. Very fun to do using my new 
funky pallet knife purchased at Utrecht in Detroit.

A selection of pallet knives. Aren't they beautiful? 
So much fun to paint with.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Margaret's Hair

Mustard Yellow or Yellow Oxide? 
Going with the top one.

Are you familiar with painter Robert Genn?
He talks about preparation in his post 
called "Rebellious Student". I urge you
 to read the post.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Never Cut a Tree Down in the Wintertime

"Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come."

I really like this quote by Robert H. Shuller the American Televangelist... you'll know him when you see him.

Anywhooo, after a chat with my very creative husband, I've made an important decision. I've decided to continue painting, but I will not be submitting this canvas to Nancy John's 40" x 40" Gallery show. I feel as if I'm starting to make creative decisions based on the submission deadline and I don't like how that feels. I am thinking too much about product and it's spoiling the play and discovery of process. 

So I hope you will follow along and see where this painting takes me. Some very unusual ideas are coming to mind and I am JUST GOING TO GO with them and see where they take me!

Trees painted in my sketchbook. 

Strips of paper I used to determine location and colours 
would be assigned to each tree.

I tried a variety of things to outline the trees 
including black oil pastel, pearl black chalk pastel and 
black india ink. Not sure which one I've decided on.

Trees going onto the canvas.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Under Paintings

Started the underpainting for the rooster 
and all of his wobbly bits.

Margaret's face under painted with white gesso. 
This makes a more smooth area in which 
to apply skin tone and shading.

They look like floating heads... hopefully 
they will soon have bodies. 
Submission deadline is looming!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Trees on the Flatlands

There aren't many trees on the flat lands. The ones on Margaret's land are in a small cluster in the east corner of the property

I'm doing a quick study to see how the colours I've chosen work in the composition. I transferred the images into my sketch book in order to do some paint tests. Can't wait to see how it turns out. 
Transferring the trees onto the Cobalt Teal 
background in my sketchbook. 

The colour of trees on the flatlands...Light Green Permanent, 
Cobalt Teal, Green Oxide and Turquoise

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Good Day in the Studio

Good day in the studio. Painted another layer of land and sky. Also transferred all of the imagery onto the canvas. Tried on Margaret's clothing, did a few more colour studies and began to paint the rooster. All is going very well. 

The submission deadline for the painting is this coming weekend and I'm feeling very positive. Still considering names for the painting. If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Time to transfer all of the images onto the canvas. 
First the trees...

Using the graphite method, the trees come 
up on the canvas perfectly in position.

Margaret awaits her turn to be transferred 
onto the canvas. She's hanging out by the bookshelf.

Margaret is finally transferred and stands 
on her land with her rooster.

Time for a break, lunch!  

Tomatoes, beef and mushrooms topped with 
cottage cheese. Salad with black olives, blue 
cheese and Renee's Greek dressing. YUM.

Okay, I am back to work... more photos tomorrow. 
Thanks for popping by.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dress Maker

Margaret's dress all cut out and ready for her to wear.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Flat Land Big Sky

I love flat land. When I lived in Vancouver in the early 1980's I was surrounded by mountains, I felt like I was in a box. A box with very, high sides. A box where you couldn't see possibilities, the future, the way, or the horizon. 

In 1988 I moved for a short time to the prairies of Canada. I loved the flat, expansive terrain. As they say in Saskatchewan, "You can stand on a chair and watch your dog leave home for 3 days." I want this painting to have the feeling of the big sky of the prairies. I wonder if I can make that happen? 

Tonight I worked on the foreground, creating layers of glazes with a matt gel and a beautiful mustard paint. Also I did some more colour testing in my sketch book. When I pencil Margaret onto the canvas I will need to gesso her face in white over top of the blue sky. This will allow a neutral colour base for me to paint her features and skin tones. The white gesso test covered nicely in my sketch book.

With all of these books laying about, you might think I keep a messy studio. In actuality the studio is pretty neat and organized. The books are stacked as weights, pressing flat Margaret's clothing which I cut out earlier this evening. But you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see her pretty dress.

Thanks for stopping by the studio for a visit.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blank Canvas No More

Look very closely... you can see a horizon line I've drawn with pencil on the canvas.

My first layers of paint. YAY! The Big Ass Blank Canvas is no more!

Time for a celebratory dram of the good stuff, don't ya think?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Margaret Gets Her Chicken... errr Rooster

The last 4 days have been great. I've explored colour palettes, texture-techniques like layering and glazing. I've experimented with various paints, gels and other mediums too. I've enjoyed having the time to play, but it's back to the full time gig tomorrow. So today I had a few things I wanted to accomplish. The FIRST THING I needed to do -- was to put Margaret together. 

In my original 11'' x 17'' drawing, Margaret was only drawn to the armpits... sans torso. For Margaret to work in the square composition I needed to add to her body and draw her down to her hips. So I went about scanning, enlarging and then printing her out using a large format printer. This way I could see how she would fit on the 40'' x 40'' Big Ass Blank Canvas.  

Utilizing tracing paper, I traced the large print of Margaret. I added sheets of tracing paper, as I added to her body. Tracing paper is translucent allowing you to see through to what's underneath. It also allows you to draw various renditions of components before committing to a final drawing. For instance, if I wanted to try two different body styles on Margaret, I could draw them on two separate pieces of tracing paper. Then easily I could try each one to see which one worked best.

The SECOND THING I wanted to accomplish was to draw a chicken. What can I say, Margaret wants to have a chicken. On a separate piece of tracing paper I began to draw the chicken, until unceremoniously it turned into a rooster. So a rooster it will be.

There still a few more tweaks that I need to do. Once I am completely satisfied with the drawing, I'll use the graphite method to transfer Margaret to the canvas. 

Margaret in her original proportions... drawn to the armpits.
I have added sheets of tracing paper as I begin to draw more of her.

The chicken who unceremoniously turned into a rooster.
I have since shortened his beak.

Margaret holding her rooster... finally.

Margaret's head is on a separate piece 
of tracing paper.

Her upper torso, the rooster, her skirts, as well 
as the right horizon line and the left horizon 
line with trees (horizon lines not shown in this photo) 
are all on separate pieces of tracing paper.

Here is how Margaret fits onto the canvas. 
Now for the paint!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Building Margaret a Home

Building Margaret a new home, here on the flat lands.

These are some of the sample colours and the composition I will be using in the painting.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Textures... Meet Colours

Having fun introducing my colour palette to some of the texture techniques.

I have recorded the process underneath each swatch and all info about this painting will be kept in this sketch pad.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Face to Face

Had fun doing this quick little face. Not finished it yet (obviously she's bald and has one eye bigger than the other), but you get the idea. Some of these techniques I may apply to Margaret's face on the Big Ass Blank Canvas

I enjoyed watching Tam Laport's Willowing video on how she paints faces. I even ordered her Fabulous Faces Art Workshop on video. I really enjoy many of the things she has to say... AND WOW can she sing.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Colour Palette

Have the colour pallet nailed down. Core colours on the left from top to bottom are: Cadmium Red Light, Raw Umber, Mustard, Turquoise now changed to Teal Cobalt, Light Green Permanent, and Green Oxide. On the right are those colours mixed with Titanium White. 

Off to do some colour mockups...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Textures From the Past

Thrilled that I have 5 entire days to work on the Big Ass Blank Canvas. I don't get a lot of time in blocks to concentrate on painting or the important preparation process that goes with it. I love the creative process as much as I love painting. 

I pulled out some texture experiments I did a while back. Checking out some of the techniques to see if they might be applied to this painting. Going to do try the techniques with my chosen colour palette and see how it looks. 

Incidentally, in this project I was using the letter forms from the font Cartier. Graphic Design, just can't get away from it.