Friday, June 24, 2016

Back at the Friday Painting Group

Third week back at my Friday painting group at the local community center. It is a discipline I enjoy. My Soltek easel is set up by the window but under fluorescent lights, a limited number of pastels in the Pastel Porter and my reference photo. This little painting is on Pastelmat and is available for the next three days at auction on Daily Paintworks.

Autumn Creek, pastel, 4.375 x 7 inches

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lola's brother, J.T.

I don't know why I thought J.T. would be easier to paint than his sister Lola. He wasn't but I am finally pleased with him - especially his left arm and hand, his hair and his lips. I am getting better acquainted with acrylics and have managed to let go of some of my bad attitude about this medium.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Sun Ribbons

Sun Ribbons, pastel, 4.375 x 7.5 inches
A little painting from today's Friday afternoon painting group. Love the ribbons of light coming through the trees. This one will go to auction on Daily Paintworks. Sold

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Lola to date

Voila! My impression of Lola in acrylic. For many days I was hung up on making this LOOK LIKE LOLA. It was torture and I'm tired of talking to myself about her eyes, her mouth, her little teeth. Finally I decided to give up and try to capture the essence of the day. Sunshine and the happiness of a cold Popsicle. All of a sudden Lola was there and I can quit fussing over her.

I am forming some opinions about acrylic which I'll keep to myself for now. I'm glad I'm persevering with this medium but I'm not sure about our long-term relationship because I still don't enjoy the actual application of the medium. Working on my attitude.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Coming - NWPS Member Show and Workshop

I am honored to be named the Awards Judge for the Northwest Pastel Society 2016 Members' Exhibition. I will also be teaching a three day workshop, Pastel - Loose Not Labored for the NWPS September 30 - October 2, 2016. Limited to 10 students. For more information, go to the NWPS website. I am happy to be able to give back to this great organization. 
Edge of Winter, Best of Show NWPS 2012 Members' Show

Heartbreak Morning, Best of Show NWPS 2012 26th Annual International Exhibition

Providence, Best of Show NWPS 2009 23rd Annual International Exhibition

Saturday, June 11, 2016

A worthless reference photo?

How many times have you taken what looked like a great reference photo (especially when hanging out the window of the car) only to realize, 'I guess you had to be there."? One evening last week we were invited to tour the lake by boat. Just at sunset I snapped the photo on left. When I saw how dark the photo was and the bow of the boat in the foreground, I adjusted it in Photoshop to the lighter version shown at right.

Millpond Sunset, pastel, 7x5 inches

It was a challenge to keep the evening mood but to add enough detail to appreciate the scene. For a while, the highlights and reflection in the water were brighter but I dropped the value to move further into evening. I started this at the Friday local community club paint session and finished it in the studio. Click on the image to enlarge. It is available at my Etsy shop, BBNewtonART.

Friday, June 10, 2016

ACRYLICS - aargh but making progress

My history with acrylic is long and mostly torturous. I've had acrylics forever and somehow my collection keeps growing.  Finally, I'm taking online instruction from Chantel Barber who has a technique to eliminate HARD EDGES. Below are progress photos of my challenge. By the way, I still have two spots in my July 21st Studio Workshop - Still Life in Pastel.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Are you a slave to your reference photo? Part II

This post is actually about two things: adjusting your reference photo and my UArt trial.

As a reminder, here is the reference photo I started with before adjusting it in Photoshop. I adjusted the color and painted a little pastel (See previous post). Then, I tweaked the color again in Photoshop and began another painting with the reference photo shown below.

Today I tried UArt 600 grit paper for the first time. I used archival spray adhesive to mount it on archival 4-ply rag mat. Then, applied NuPastel and dissolved the pigment and moved it around with a brush dipped in alcohol. Let it dry and start painting.

Wooded Trail, pastel, 7x5 inches

Friday, June 3, 2016

Are you a slave to your reference photo?

I was emailing with an accomplished pastel artist the other day who remarked that he has trouble distancing himself from what he sees in his reference photo.  I suggested changing the reference photo with Photoshop Elements to reflect the vision of the scene he sees in his mind. My example here is a photo my husband took for me while walking the dog.
Left, original. Middle, composition adjustment, Right, color adjustment. 

Playing with the clone tool.

Dog Walk, pastel, 7 x 5 inches

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Paint Along with Me - Orange Slices Completion

Orange Slices, pastel, 5 x 7 inches
In my workshops, I encourage students to "paint from the heart." That means, after a period of time following the reference photo, we put the photo away and begin making judgements based on our own intuition about how the painting feels to us.

Painting from the heart, using any and all colors. After the tonal check (took a photo with my iPhone, changed it to tonal) I decided to delete the chunk of orange at the far in the composition.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Paint Along with Me - Orange Slices - Day Three

A couple quick notes. In a round about way, I found a post from the first time I worked on Pastelmat (the same paper I've RECENTLY fallen in love with).  It was seven years ago. Here's the link.

I'm trying to use only the colors in the NuPastel set of 24. It is difficult to get them OUT of the packaging. While the work is in progress, I leave each one I use tipped up for easy access.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Paint Along with Me - Orange Slices - Day Two

I'm working at the new wall-station in my studio. Love being right up close to the painting. I haven't figured out a pastel dust-catcher yet so I haven't looked down! But, I'm working on Pastelmat Maize color with a new set of 24 NuPastels. They're hard, so there isn't much dust.

This is the kind of work and the paper and pastels we'll be using in my Friday, July 22 Still Life Workshop. I need four students to join me, beginners welcome. A deposit will hold your spot with the Buy Now button. Scroll down to see more steps on this painting.

Let there be light!

Yay! Additional track lighting was installed today in my Studio. This makes two more work stations for students in my July workshops. Below is a photo of the bulb that I love.

Thursday, July 14, 2016 - Still Life FULL
Friday, July 15, 2016 - Landscape  FULL

Thursday, July 21, 2016 - Landscape 3 places left
Friday, July 22, 2016 - Still Life 4 places left

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