Listen to the road

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Home made easel/desk

Tuesday I stopped by a thrift store and this had just been donated.

I'd been looking at easels and none of them are in my budget. This was...six bucks.

It even has storage inside. From the words scratched and written over the top
 I guess it was made for a young person in the hospital for a bed desk. I like that it still carries these words, its own secret history. That hinge is alligator jaw strong. 
Some days I get lucky at the thrift store.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Priming and ground color for oils

I find that I read/watch what artists have learned, apply it and see results. 
An inching forward then pausing to learn. Here's Hershey, a real dog at Animal Aid.

I found a couple of good books at our library. This first one is packed with
information. I learned about primers (the surface you prepare before applying
oil paint) and coloring grounds (covering the white surface so you can better judge tones 
and values). I took this chunk of info and applied it to my painting this weekend.

I had been painting on illustration board primed with gesso. The surface was
gritty and too absorbent, pulling paint right off of the brush. Stiff application=stiff results.

I switched to priming with airbrush (acrylic) medium...

recommended on a youtube video (I'll link it here later).
After fixing my preliminary sketches with workable fixative spray, I chose four
thinned down colors for several primed boards. I tried to match the ground color
to the mid tones in each dog's coat.

I made a note of the color on the back and added it to my palette. 
In this case, thinned Gamblin Chromatic Black.

I was able to skip a layer of painting by starting with a colored ground.
This will need about 2 more painting sessions. The surface is smooth doesn't
pull the paint off the brush. A much better surface for me.

Also trying to work on backgrounds which work with the dog's colors.
 I see a big difference here. Put away that Portland Cool Gray.
This week I'm working on brushwork and this book covers it better than any I
could find. Also looking at Impressionist brushwork. Amazing. This is my
next challenge, to make the marks more interesting and powerful.
Speaking of marks, look at the result of steaming the buttercup tamales for
one hour. Mother nature is always the best artist. Hope you had a lovely Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Life is good

 This lovely painting arrived and I'll frame it tonight. 
The artist is Lisa Graham, a talented person I follow online.
Check out her art blog.
Lisa's generous in sharing her knowledge of mixed media
and a very cool person, very kind.

 The front yard is turning green fast. Tomatoes and herbs planted. 
Birdsong is constant. I love the light right before dusk.

This is Traveler, a new Animal Aid pup. 
Several paintings sold this past week!
I need to paint other things but am following this
preoccupation with dogs for now.

The feeders near my desk are busy all day.
No snow in sight-all is well.