Friday, May 27, 2016

Paint Along with Me - Orange Slices - Day One

Another paint along with me - this time orange slices. I cut an orange into various pieces. This time I'm photographing them with my cell phone and natural light.

 Here's the side view of the oranges on the kitchen table.

 With the image on my computer display, I hold a cropping tool in front of the screen to better see possible compositions.
In Photoshop, I crop the image to a pleasing composition then resize to a 5 x 7 format. If you are super observant, you'll notice that I used the clone tool to make the far left orange slice larger to avoid the awkward position against the next slice.

I could take the cropped image to the easel and adjust the color "manually" by imagining how I want the finished painting to look. Instead, to eliminate many color decisions, I adjust the color using Photoshop to make a reference photo that looks the way I want my finished painting to look. Students note for upcoming Studio workshops with me: If possible, please color adjust your reference photos that you will be bringing to class so we can both visualize your painting goal. If you aren't already doing this in your everyday studio work, try it. It will simplify your life.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Paint Along with Me - Day Five

There comes a point in every painting demo that I quit talking...simply because I get so involved in the work that I quit talking and taking photos. I guess this is called "being in the zone." Whatever it is called, I begin working on intuition.  This is the last photo I took to show you how I lift pastel off the painting with a stiff brush. Remember, the ground was toned with yellow ochre. 

Apple on Glass Plate, pastel, 5 x 7 inches

Now, after spending hours on a little painting, you will know the subject very well and the pastel sticks you used are all out in front of you. So...get out another piece of paper, same size but maybe a different color and paint the same subject again but this time, paint it in 15 minutes!
Apple II on Glass Plate, pastel, 5 x 7 inches

Paint Along with Me - Day Four

With a very light yellow, I indicate lightest areas of the painting. This is to help me determine my value range. How dark do I want to go based on my lightest value? Note: this isn't stark white.

I begin to work the background choosing various colors. This is the time when, if you were actually here, that we would talk about color choices. 

I'm working more intuitively now and focusing on the glass plate. 

My colored pencil work of the past is well known for sparkling glass. In pastel, I want to handle my impression of glass much less precisely. 

The reflections cast onto the table: With a light color, I lay in a pattern of reflections. Then, with a gloved finger, I drag across the whole area to soften it. Sscroll back to the reference photo to see how the reflections soften as the plate gets father away from the surface it is sitting on. At the base of the plate they are sharper in shape and lighter in value than at the rim of the plate where they are less defined and darker because the distance of the rim of the plate in relation to the table top is increased. 

to be continued...


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Paint Along with Me - Day Three

Three strokes shown here:
1. Place the side of the NuPastel on the painting surface and drag down. This stroke gives a textured look with the yellow ochre ground showing through.
2. Use the end of the NuPastel to fill in a heavy applicaton of color.
3. "Stroke" of my gloves fingers dragging over blue pastel for a hazy application of color.

In this photo you can see the three red hues I'm using: warm red (leans toward yellow), cool red (leans toward blue) and pink. I'll continue with these three pastel sticks using the strokes shown above.

To be continued...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Paint Along with Me - Day Two

To continue this session of Paint Along with Me, print the color adjusted image on glossy paper then change the mode to gray and print another copy on regular copy paper. Or, make a b/w copy of the color image in your copier.

Draw an "X" from corner to corner on the gray scale image. This is X will help you transfer the composition to your painting ground.

I'm working on Wallis paper toned with Yellow Ochre Gesso. I use a light colored pastel pencil to draw an "X" on my ground and then indicate placement of the apple using light lines.

With a blue pastel pencil I refine the line drawing. 

NuPastel 405-P is a fairly dark blue/green. I use it to lay in darkest areas everywhere except in the apple. With gloved fingers, I drag color from dark areas over all except not on the apple.
No number on this NuPastel stick. It is lighter in value and brighter in intensity. Based on my reference photo, I add it for a bright spot of background behind the apple and where the light hits the edge of the scalloped glass plate. 

To be continued...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Paint Along with Me

A few days ago I received an email from B.S. asking when I would begin posting more fruit series paintings for sale on DailyPaintworks. Also, I've received many nice responses to my Studio Workshops from students who live too far away to come for only one day. So, I'm combining these two communications into posts on this blog showing how I paint a fruit painting from beginning to end. You can paint along with me! When the painting is complete, it will go to my Daily Paintworks Gallery and to Etsy for purchase.

To begin, I need a reference photo of my subject - 
this time an apple.

I take many photos!

This is the first photo I shot. 
Next, I'll adjust it in Photoshop.

I adjust the image to a more pleasing (and inspiring) hue.
1. Using PhotoShop Elements, I resize the image (uncheck "constrain image") to the same dimensions that I will paint, in this case, 5x7 inches.

2.  In Levels mode, I adjust the RGB colors.

3. In Hue and Saturation I make further adjustments.

Next, I'll print the image in 5x7 format on glossy photo paper. I'll use this as my reference photo when I go to the easel.

If you grab your smartphone or camera, a piece of fruit, a knife and a strong light you can take your own photos now to paint along with me. See you tomorrow...

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A couple things...

Meadow Lights, pastel, 6 x 6 inches
A little more info about yesterday's post. Here is the final image you saw taped to my new painting station. This niche in my studio is about 8-1/2 feet wide. I mounted 3/8" Gatorbord to the wall with 3M Velcro fasteners. Now I can tape my pastel paper to the Gatorbord for painting. If you need another work station and have a little spare wall, this is an easy solution instead of setting up another easel.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Update for students

Just when I should be retiring, I'm coming back to teaching. Painting with others at the local community center has motivated me to provide a more structured environment for sharing what I know. However, my new studio is smaller than my previous one so I've considered offering mentoring online as well as private lessons in my studio. For now, I've decided to teach four workshops in my studio this summer. I'm adding two new painting spaces for students. Track lighting will arrive in a few days. I'll post progress photos as it is completed.

Four one-day Studio Workshops, July 2016

Still Life - Thursday, July 14, 2016  FULL
Still Life - Friday, July 22, 2016 

Landscape - Friday, July 15, 2016
Landscape - Thursday, July 21, 2016

Medium: Pastel, all skill levels welcome
Class Size: FOUR students each day
Location: My Studio at Mill Pond Cottage, Lake Sawyer, Black Diamond, WA
Time: 9 AM - 4 PM with an hour break for lunch by the lake
Cost: $100 per day
More details and supply lists will be available soon but if you are ready to paint with me, contact me to make a deposit on a spot in the three remaining workshops.

Note: I will teach a THREE DAY workshop for the Northwest Pastel Society Friday, Saturday, Sunday, September 30 - October 2, 2016. Contact Northwest Pastel Society, Workshop Coordinator, Deb Cepeda. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Focusing on Workshops

My big art project is done and most of the garden is planted so I can begin to focus on upcoming one-day workshops in my Studio in July and a three-day workshop nearby (with visits to the Studio) at the end of September.
Garden: Looking East through the misty rain toward the lake. The Clematis is happy!

Garden: Turn around to face West, the Delphiniums are happy along the walk to the house. The Studio courtyard garden and patio are to the right just out of this picture frame. 

My big spring project was eight new paintings. Right now they are being photographed. I'll be able to tell you more about this project in a few months.

Workshops: Here is a link to the info I posted previously. Email me if you would like to confirm your interest (I have a list of names) or if you would like more info. By the end of May, I'll have the outline and supply lists for the Studio workshops. Email barbara newton at comcast dot net. I'd make a link a for you but I don't want all the spam it would generate.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A new way of working?

At a recent Critique Group meeting we discussed the differences in the way we work. Some artists work many pieces at once and others of us MUST complete one painting at a time before we can move on. That is me. The exception to this is when I am working in more than one medium. That's one of the reasons I have two work stations set up in my studio: one for pastel and the other for wet media.

However, for the past few weeks I have a project going that requires working in pastel on eight paintings simultaneously and they are in sets of two. I'm having a little trouble keeping my pastel sticks organized so I can find the colors for each painting set. Other than that, I find this very interesting and perhaps I've stumbled upon a permanent new way of working. Each morning I work on one set for about 2 hours. By then, I'm tired and it is when I get tired that I start making bad decisions. So, I take a lunch/laundry/walk around the garden (which inevitably leads to weeding) break. Later in the afternoon I paint on another set for a couple hours. This seems to be working because the next morning when I enter the studio I am pleased with the results of the day before.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Paint it again, Sam. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Here's the companion piece to Dappled Path #3. I'm working from a reference photo of the original painting, "Born to the Season" for a new version, 18 x 18 inches. This is a work-in-progress shot of the painting at about 60% done. I'm working on Canson Mi-Teintes TOUCH in my favorite color, Twilight. I'm finding this "paint it again" process very fulfilling. My strokes and color nuances have matured since 2010 when I first painted this scene.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A fun request

Early this year I painted a 6x4 inch study (#3) for Dappled Path. I posted it on DailyPaintworks and my collector, K.B., purchased it.

I have been requested to paint it again, larger and this time in a square format. I took the image of Study #3 into Photoshop and changed the format to square and printed it out to use as my reference photo for the new painting. What a fun exercise - not only enlarging the size but also changing from a vertical to square format. I think it is about 95% complete now...the final 5% is the challenge. Play up the nuances but don't get too detailed or cute. Keep the freshness.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Spring Cleaning

Suddenly it's Spring on the lake! The transition into this new season is a blur, first it was taxes, then spring cleaning of my art data base that holds data back to 1992 (big job). Then a couple great opportunities came along. I'll be able to talk about them later. One is complete, the other I'll be busy with until June. And of course, there is spring cleaning of the studio and review of my art inventory.

I am offering three of the little oils from my still life oil series - the last ones painted in my old studio - on Daily Paintworks and Etsy.

Vintage Iron with Pansy, oil, 6 x 6 inches
Red Pear, oil, 6 x 6 inches
Two Bells, oil, 6 x 6 inches

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Winter Walk

Winter Walk, pastel, 5 x 7 inches
This might be my last Friday afternoon session painting for a while because it is Spring and I have a huge pile of dirt waiting to be spread on the Studio courtyard flower garden. See three steps below.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Follow Up

This is a follow up to my March 10 post.

In that post I began work on two paintings done from one reference photo. The painting on the left is my impression of the photo. The sky is blue, the grass is green, etc.

The painting on the right shows what might happen if you take liberties with a reference photo. I changed the colors and the composition while keeping what is was that drew me to the scene in the first place.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Collection of the Artist Sale

If you are like me, over the years you have created paintings that become personal favorites and end up in your Collection of the Artist.

I love my collection and enjoy them daily in all rooms of our home including my studio. However, I am creating two wall-work-stations for students I will be teaching in my studio this summer and I need to free up a wall. How about a Collection of the Artist Sale? Here are the first two offerings from my collection: Northwest Meadow (award winner in the Randy Higbee 6x6 inch show several years ago) and Twilight (memories of our dog park and Annie as a puppy). They are going to my Etsy Shop: BBNewtonArt

Thursday, March 10, 2016

on the easel today

On the easel today at about 50% complete: Two 5x7 studies of a simple country scene. On the left, the sky is blue, the grass is green... I've painted many of these sticking pretty close to the reference photo (shown below).
Reference photo for the scene above
But, one of my favorite painting challenges is taking liberties with the landscape. A pink sky in the middle of the day? Blue grass? That's my goal for the painting on the right.

I'll be teaching two one-day workshops on this subject in July. To write the syllabus for the workshop, I'm working two paintings at once to document exactly what liberties I take. Color is the most obvious one but what else? hmm...

By the way, I'm posting paintings for sale again on the Etsy Shop I opened almost exactly three years ago. I'll be adding more work soon. Returning Beginners Luck, I sold two today. Yay! BBNewtonArt

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Lemon #5

Lemon #5, pastel, 5 x 7 inches sold

Another little painting of color, texture and light.  Once again, on Pastelmat but this time I wanted to contrast the smooth plate with the texture of the lemon so more soft pastels were used for additional pigment to move around. Usually, a firmer pastel is the best choice for me to get spontaneous strokes on this surface. See a couple steps below.