Friday, March 29, 2013

trilogy posted to studio sales

It's the first of a new month (almost) and time for another Studio Sale posting.

This month, watercolor painting, Trilogy is looking for a loving home. Select the Studio Sales link in the sidebar to the right or, click on the title of the drawing.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

spring forward steps

A bright spot on our dog-walk is a Forsythia bush now in full bloom. I wanted to paint it as one of the first colorful signs of spring.

Step 1: I have several 7x5 inch Ampersand Pastelbord panels with abstract oil-wash foundations. Using my reference photo in grayscale as well as in color, I laid in a black acrylic map of the darkest area for a little pastel painting called "Spring Forward." 

Step 2: The image on the left has the addition of blue pastel in the sky and water.

Step3: All colors except the yellow of the Forsythia have been added to the image on right.

"Spring Forward"
7x5 pastel

Monday, March 25, 2013

reverie progress report

Progress Report or, Questions I am asking myself:

1.  Do I want to lighten the water to better match the 6x6 value study? YES, but not that bright, this is a different mood or time of day.

2.  Do I want to become more literal in the grasses under the water in the foreground and, if I do that, will it be too much contrast in technique to the way the background was handled.

3. Do I want to add more details (those tempting peekholes) to the tree mass in the background?

4. Do I need to resolve the background shoreline vs the landmass in upper right? YES, done.

5. Do I want to add more clumps of grasses in lower right that would lighten the values in that corner?

6. Do I want to make the grasses curve around on the right upper? YES, done.

7. Do I know when to walk away? And, while I am away, I will use PhotoShop to make all the adjustments I have questions about to see if they work.

Notice that none of these questions is about color. I'm good with that because this painting is about creating mood with a very limited palette.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

reverie foundation

I love to paint the foundations of oil paintings. This 24x24 oil is called Reverie and I'm working from the 6x6 oil study of the same name. I'm thinking of leaving both of these in the foundation stage rather than taking them into full color.

Friday, March 22, 2013

the path of least resistance

Yesterday was the first day of spring, today we had snow in Washington. At the change of seasons, I find myself in a reflective mood. Winter is over - what were the events of my winter that are memorable? What do I want to make of Spring 2013? One thing, paint bigger. This is a 24x24 inch oil from the Nisqually Refuge series. Water filling nooks and crannies as grasses define its path of least resistance.

What is my painting-path of least resistance?

1. Establishing the composition using values only. I covered most of the painting surface with a medium value sepia tone then brushed or wiped away paint for the lightest areas and added full color paint for the darkest areas.

2. Using a color palette already familiar to me, I am using the notes from a previous painting to begin adding color.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

a bright tomorrow framed

A Bright Tomorrow
5x7 inches

sun slide, over and over

Smaller does not mean faster! I spent most of yesterday on this 5x7 pastel called "Sun Slide ." It could have been called brain slide. Or, maybe I was thinking too much.

I was very happy with the black acrylic foundation work on an Ampersand Pastelbord panel shown above but it was downhill (no pun intended) after that. Put pastel on, wipe it off, repeat, repeat. I finally ended up with a different painting than I had in mind so I left it, ate a big plate of my comfort food (spaghetti) and went to bed. By this morning I was over what I expected it to look like and now appreciate it for it's delicate color (click to enlarge).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

big surprise workshop

I'm going to teach a very small pastel workshop, Landscape Impressions, at my Studio in Renton, WA July 22-23, 2013.

No one is more surprised at this turn of events than me! I was a long-time instructor at Frye Art Museum in Seattle and at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology in OR. I finally quit teaching to concentrate on my own work. Now, I find myself wanting to share my thoughts and painting process again, in-person with other artists.

I need one more student. If you are interested in painting plein air with me and the above dates and location work for you, send me an email  barbaranewton (at) comcast (dot) net and I'll send you additional information. Note: sometimes it rains on July 22-23 in Washington state. If that happens, we'll paint in my studio from your reference photos and mine. That is the reason I have to keep the class size very small.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

four demos

I came across these four demos in my flat file and will post them for purchase on Etsy. Clockwise from upper left:  Pear Demo for pastel workshop at Frye Art Museum, Two Cherries, watercolor with colored pencil, Lilies and Lace - this appeared in a national magazine as a step x step colored pencil demo, Glass Reflections in colored pencil on gray paper. My shop at Etsy is called BBNewton Art.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

true love in two mediums

Yesterday I finished the 18x18 inch oil painting based on my 5x7 inch pastel color study. Similar scene, different format - square instead of rectangular, different mood - changed the direction of the light source, different medium. And of course, a different painting experience with each medium.

Monday, March 11, 2013

using the color study

This is 'Spring Light, Winter Shade,' pastel, 14.5 x 20 inches.

I used the 5x7 color study as my guide to apply the oil wash foundation to Wallis paper last night. This morning, with the color study beside me, I began adding pastel, went for a dog-walk, ran some errands and finished the painting in the afternoon. Another painting, my first full-size pastel, under my new studio lights.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

it's about the light

For this little color study, the first from the reference photos taken at the Nisqually Refuge, it's about the light. When we started our mile walk, it was winter but the sun came out for the last 15 minutes.

'It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade'   Charles Dickens

It's also about the new lights in my studio. I seem to be seeing/thinking/painting lighter and perhaps with more punch (range of value, contrast).

true love framed

Color Study for True Love
5x7 pastel

Saturday, March 9, 2013

119 reference photos

The BEST photo shoot yesterday! 119 photos of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. You know how much I love marshy scenes. This estuary was wonderful!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

mix oil to match pastel

A couple days ago I posted the pastel study for an 18 x 18 inch oil painting. Here is what I did to mix the colors for the oil painting and insure that I got the same color palette as my study:

1. I sampled pastels I used in the color study by applying a swatch on a Viva paper towel. Then, I referred to my Richard Schmid color charts.

2. I mixed oil paint on my palette until I felt it matched the color used in the pastel. In this case, the Schmincke yellow matches the color on the chart made of Cadmium Yellow Light, Cad Red and White.

I could have used trial and error to mix the yellow but this is the reason I spent days making the color charts. Very helpful!

simple pleasures framed

I like to post my DPW gallery paintings here in a frame for their official portrait. Most of the time I forget to do it but here is "Simple Pleasures ."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

ahhh pastel...

Today I worked in pastel for the first time under my new Studio lights. This 5x7 is a study for the oil painting I'm working on (tentatively titled "When All is Said and Done").  I love this little study - I'm calling it "True Love" and if I can get the same feeling on the oil, it will have that title too.

By the way, my new lights are warm in temperature so I also turn on my Ott Easel Lite and the combination of both lights makes the temperature and the color very good.