Sunday, September 13, 2015

Grand Evening Joy

Grand Evening Joy
10 x 19.5
Pastel on Sennelier LeCarte

Continuing in the theme of different, I haven't done a landscape in months, many months. The resource photo for this painting was taken by my sister in law when she and my brother were visiting the Grand Canyon this year. The image had such a quiet feeling, a serenity. It has been calling me for a very long time. I think the land is calling me. I need a trip to West Texas, Arizona, or New Mexico - soon.

Today was a beautiful day in Texas - mild and clear, so I knew this was the work to be done today. I cropped the image so the painting would be more about the water and reflection vs having the land right at the horizontal center. I used Sennelier LaCarte paper. I think I would like to revisit this painting I'd like to be in this environment in reality.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Poppy Pair

Poppy Pair
9 x 6
Pastel on UArt 500 Sanded Paper
Just a little doodle today. I'm needed some color. I've been doing so many cacti and birds, I needed a diversion. I'm exploring poppies. I did a series of poppies about this time last year after a visit to New Mexico in the early summer (see the blog post here). I'm exploring the colors of red in light and shadow, and other color harmonies. These are actually a painting of some silk flowers since poppies aren't blooming right now. I changed the colors based on the memory of poppies my mom used to plant and an experience I had of a field of wild poppies so many years ago, and so far away. I did another red flower earlier this year that I saw in Central Market, but I don't think it was a poppy afterall. I'll have to change the name of my painting Poppy Pulchritude. That post of Poppy Pulchritude also included a pic of me in that poppy field in that long ago and far away place. So, that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Breakfast: Over Easy - I'm so Over it!

Breakfast: Over Easy
18 x 12
Pastel on Uart 500 Sanded Paper
Here's the Gila Woodpecker having his breakfast.  He looked all cute and stuff in his picture. Deceiving little bugger. The reason I chose him in this posture was because his little yellow underside was showing - sunny yellow like a little egg yolk. I considered "Sunny Side Up", but I just named a painting Saguaro Side up - so that wouldn't do. So, I reconsidered and decided the painting should be named "Easy Over" because he's kind of hanging there looking like he's about almost upside down. 

I've been struggling with this painting for weeks - since early August. I'm still struggling. I'm beginning to think I'm about over this not so easy painting! Ugh. I think it's just a failed composition. First of all, it's a composition of several images. The original image had alot of business, so I took the bird and flower and left the rest. I pulled the saguaro and flowers from other images. It went through alot of iterations. I finally took midpoint photos to my tablet and edited there. Here's the individual pieces of the composition and my editing. The painting midway through is on the right, my electronically edited version on the left, extra flowers for balance drawn in. So, I made some changes.

After the chanages were made, I decided I didn't like the flower on the upper left. Too pointy and distracting. So, I eradicated the offensive flower and replaced it with a flower bud. In the end, I still don't like this painting. Mostly, I think it's the composition. The woodpecker is in Saguaro jail - too crowded. Too many distractions. Maybe, he's just too big and goofy looking.

This may be one for "the cropper". Here's a cropped shots. In the end, there are aspects I do like - the saguaro texture, the thorns, the flower he's chosen. 

I'm definitely going to have to sit with this one longer.....or hide it in the shitake drawer.

Cropped 9 x 12 (Landscape)
Cropped 12 x 9 (Portrait)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Daybreak Dining 2

Daybreak Dining 2
9 x 12
Pastel on UArt 500 Sanded Paper
Here's another pass at Daybreak Dining. This one is different from the first because I went with the original background of trees from the resource photo. I also did this one with a watercolor underpainting. This is another study of a painting I plan to do much larger as the center piece for "The Desert Breakfast Club" series.

Version 1 (left) Version 2 (right)
Here's the side by side on version 1 and version 2. I like the "open" feeling of version 1 and the environment seems to have more depth into the distance because of the open sky. The bird also has more of the focal point because of the simple background. However, the values are too much the same betwen the sky and the yucca spikes. Version 2 gives me a more early morning feel and feels more intimate as if walking through a shaded treelined area. I kind of see Version 2 as the initial early morning walk into the garden. The rest of the "club" arrives as the morning presses on the rest of the birds come out as the sun starts coming up. What are your thoughts?