Thursday’s here and I have to say it’s a darn good feeling to finally see the sun peeking through and temps reaching into the 80′s – nothing like it.
Drawing is very satisfying to me, I find it relaxing and allows me time to think about life and what’s going on. But progress on Sorrow was slow today, definitely not as much as I would have liked. I had to slow down and take time to examine the statue’s back, the flow of fabric, the lights/darks that are normal aspects to fabric folds, and finally the patina – nature’s wear and tear on this beautiful structure.
The drawing (12×9) is being done on Strathmore paper using graphite pencils: 4H, 2H, HB, B, 2B and a bit of 6B. Finally I began to draw in some of the prominent patina that gives the statue character, guess I wanted to get a feel for it, so if you look closely on the right-hand side you’ll start to see the stains of rain. Next week I plan to finish her back and where much of the fabric gathers at her knee, that will leave me in a good place to begin drawing her headdress.
Have a great weekend, don’t forget to smell the roses ~
Spring always inspires, right? So I thought why not do one last floral to celebrate the arrival of Spring.
My friend, Nicola of pmp (a wonderful artist and photographer) recently took a photograph of a vase filled with daffodils. Immediately I saw the painting – by adding a window and billowing curtain, a tabletop and table leg, and texturing the back wall it came together in a nice way.
Freshness of Spring is an oil pastel (14×11) that was painted on a gesso prepared hardboard with mostly Sennelier and Holbeins oil pastels – love them both and were perfect for this piece. A great learning piece with many first time painting experiences: a table leg, window and billowing curtain. The daffodils were a little difficult to paint as they were 95% varying shades of yellow and Senneliers are a bit messy, so I decided to do this piece with a more painterly feel.
I hope you have a wonderful Spring as we say goodbye to “Ole Man Winter!”
As I worked steadily on Thursday’s Drawing, I was amazed to realize that this week is almost over. The floral painting that I’ve been working on, well I don’t know if it will ever see the light of day ~ yep, it’s been that interesting.
Today the portion of the fabric that’s wrapped around her upper body was started. This is an interesting part of the fabric because it’s draped side-ways, but the fabric fibers flow downward ~ so the foundation was drawn and then when the back and side are worked on the flow of fabric and fibers will become more clear.
I think of the heaviness of the fabric as it hangs off her body and wonder how she manages the burden of the load - it becomes a part of her. She doesn’t notice as she hangs her head in sorrow.
A few more still life paintings to complete and then I’ll be moving on to my favorite subject, landscapes.
I was in the mood to paint a bright scene that mimics a bit of the rough Tex Mex’s we have in Texas – where the establishments might look a bit worn, but the food is the best! This oil pastel (8×6) was a combination of elements in three photographs and my imagination, the rough textured back wall resembles walls that are often found in old Tex Mex restaurants. It was painted on textured cardstock paper. Sorry my hand shock some when taking the photograph, the painting is a bit crisper than what’s showing here.
Hope you are having a great day – I’m going out to tend to the gardens today, things have been a bit neglected because of the cold temps we’ve had this winter and I can’t put off cleaning the beds.
My first charcoal landscape drawing that was done for a monthly challenge. The theme was to illustrate dramatic light.
This 8×10 drawing was done with charcoal (HB, B, 3B) and white charcoal on Strathmore paper. As I assess the finished drawing, I learned a big lesson – before applying the charcoal be sure each position of subjects (can’t erase it) I should have stood back to check the sketched scene as a first step. So what caught my eye? The swan should have been about 3/4″ higher into the water as oppose to being in line with the vegetation – would have given the scene better balance.
Have a great weekend, hope to catch up on everyone’s posts later today.
How is it that time moves so quickly? My half-hour came and went today in a flash, but was able to make good progress and am ready for stage 2.
Today’s drawing (12×9, Strathmore Vellum Paper) time saw the entire bottom foreground portion of the fabric completed using 4H, 2H, HB, B, 2B and 3B, at least for now as touchups will happen throughout.
I was really feeling the ebb n’ flow of the heavy fabric, silky-smooth and the wear n’ tear by weather elements – so it is we’ll keep the raw and naturally produced patina covering her cement skin. The patina adds to her character, as many have stated. Oh the emotion – the position, tears and hands, each keep her in prayer – how deeply she must feel.
My latest painting provided one of those experiences that I’ve written about earlier – what I call the “Endorphin Rush,” http://oilpastelsbymary.com/2013/01/31/ever-feel-runners-high-when-youre-creating/. It hit while I was painting the first flower petal in this piece – can explain it, but I was definitely in the zone. I know you guys know what I mean.
Lily in the Dark, an oil pastel (12×9) was painted on Mi-Teintes black tinted pastel paper giving the piece underlying dark tones that I love with still life paintings and suited this painting perfectly. An objective I had with this piece was to use edges to define the piece.
Viacheslav, a photographer from pmp, provided an image used as a reference. The image was reversed, overall colors changed and dead leaves were added.
Thursday, my drawing day for 1/2 hour, had me continuing on with Sorrow.
Today I made an important decision on how to move forward with this piece. Sorrow, for those that don’t know, is a drawing of a statue that shows all the characteristics of someone’s deep pain as they bow their face in pain and prayer. The statute is outside and exhibits signs of being exposed to all kinds of weather. There were two directions I could go with this drawing, 1) I imagined the statute as sandblasted (years of grit and grim that has accumulated wash away) and drawn as gleaming white, or 2) leave what I call “elements of character,” the marks of what she has endured over her lifetime.
The decision – draw the essence (to a point) that shows her fight with what life has thrown her way: sun, rain, snow and ice. But really though, don’t you agree that these marks show her strength and tells her story. Isn’t that the way life is for us, we wear the marks of our life – they define us and at times tell our story.
Sorrow will be showing her markings, characters of life – after all they are what brings us to feel the depth of her pain and sorrow. Today I used graphite pencils 4H, 2H, HB, B and 2B.
First time for everything right? My latest oil pastel painting Lemon Gathering has a few firsts for me – 1st time painting lemons and a glass bowl.
Lemon Gathering (8×8) was painted on Mi-Teintes cream tinted pastel paper using Sennelier oil pastels and several Holbeins. Look at a lemon long enough and a variety of colors begin to show themselves, so while the foundation of the lemons are yellow I decided to dramatize this piece a bit and intensify the colors. Brighter than what I normally paint, but it fit the vision I had for the painting.
A wonderful photographer and artist, Lillian Bell from pmp, provided a beautiful photograph as the reference image for this painting – although used as inspiration, much was changed from the original source.
Pears are interesting subjects to paint, so when I have an opportunity I try not to pass it up. This painting was composed from several images from pmp that I thought would make for an interesting combination.
This oil pastel painting Trio Pears (5×7) was painted on Mi-Teintes black tinted pastel paper using mostly Senneliers and Holbein oil pastels. Once again black paper was choosen as the surface giving the piece a wonderful dark undertone allowing the rich and vibrant oil pastel colors to standout.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend, we were at 82 degrees on Saturday and today 26 degree with snow, sleet and ice – my beautifully opened daffodils are sleeping on the ground (so sad, they just opened late Saturday afternoon).