Cow’s Skull

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This was another one of my paintings from my college course. This painting took two sections, which was roughly 6 hours. I didn’t completely finish the painting, but I am very happy with the end result. My professor’s only critique was to change the color of the background. He felt it was too bright for the painting’s mood. I thought this was a dark subject and I wanted something to lighten the mood. I am very drawn to the color blue; it makes me feel happy.

I had a hard time with the flowers; I wanted to add details before I was done outlining the rest of the painting. My professor cautioned against this, explaining that by doing that I would disproportion my painting and would spend a lot of time fixing mistakes. He suggested moving around the canvas, outlining, filling raw shapes, building color, and then adding details, till it was finished. I worked in that progression until I started laying colors in the skull.

The skull was coming along so perfectly that I couldn’t stop. I thought the skull would be a challenge, but it wasn’t. I really enjoyed painting it. It became my favorite part of the painting. I spent so much time on it, I didn’t get to finish the flowers, but I felt comfortable with the trade.

When Finales came we made individual times with the teacher to review our work, receive grades, and finale comments. He asked me what’s your favorite thing about the painting, I said hands down the skull, and he agreed that I killed it. He asked me how I felt about the flowers and I told him I felt they were incomplete and explained I had spent too much time on the skull, but I was comfortable with the choice that I made. He told me that even with the raw color of the flowers he accepted the painting as complete and would give me an A. He said that his one complaint was that he couldn’t stand the background and still suggested that I change it.

I really liked the background, so I have left it. The skull is still my favorite part, and I even though I don’t love the flowers, I don’t hate them; it was a trade off. If I were to do this painting over I would still make the same choice. What I liked most about this painting was the confidence it built in me, because I didn’t think I was capable of doing that skull at all.

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Line Drawing of electrical items

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This is one of the drawings from my Drawing 101 class. The first thing we learned was how to draw lines. Honestly, I hadn’t done to well with the previous projects and when I saw the display on the table, I wanted to tell the instructor I was sick and needed to go home. However, I knew that wasn’t an option. I did my usual setup and then I sat there. I sat there and blankly looked out at the curved edges of almost every item on the table and I thought about how much I screwed up the other drawings. I thought about how I wanted to draw something else, that wasn’t just empty lines, and that maybe everyone was right and I shouldn’t have taken this class. Finally people started to take breaks from their work, get snacks and drinks from the vending machine, and talk in the hall. My phone buzzed and it was a friend sending me a smiley face and telling me he hoped I was having fun. Then I remember why I took the class; It wasn’t to get an A it was my down time. It was the place where I didn’t have to think about the dysfunction and drama in my life; it was a place for me to grow. My problems ended at the door on Monday nights for three hours I had peace, that’s what this class was about. I put my ear buds in and blasted Elton John as I drew my picture. My teacher tapped me on the shoulder and with a big smile and said, “ Not sure what changed, but you nailed this project, you have an A.” After that I always took ear buds with me to draw. I had a lot of fun drawing this, because I let loose. I just let go of the world around me and got lost in the moment. I get so lost in time when I am creating things and I think that’s a wonderful thing, when you love something so much and you don’t even feel time passing as you do it.

Flower

Watercolor flower

I wanted to try some abstract painting with watercolors. I like art that challenges our thought process. With a lot of my art you really have to stand back and look at it to see what the object actually is. It just doesn’t take form being close. I also like to focus on odd angles of whatever object is my inspiration. I taped off parts of the paper so that the painting didn’t cover the entire page. This painting didn’t turn out as well as I wanted. when I was finished I really liked how the petals had turned out, and I wished at that point that I hadn’t taped anything off, but rather let it run off the paper. However, someone brought up an excellent point that I may have really disliked the painting had I done that, maybe the distance between the sections is what brought the petals out so well. I guess we will never know!

Fabric in Charcole

In a previous post I talked how much I love incorporating fabric into my art, or making it the subject matter. I am not sure why I love it so much, perhaps because it’s a classic subject, it gives the piece a rich feel, or because it’s so versatile. The first fabric piece I did was one of the most challenging things I have ever drawn. I wasted three sheets of paper on the project, because I was lost before I even began. Maybe I will rewrite the post on my drawing 101-fabric piece and show you all the failed attempts! However, that piece created a love of this subject matter that will last a lifetime. This piece is my sheets. I was getting ready to make my bed and I liked how it looked. So, being the “focused” person I am, I drew the sheets and forgot to make the bed. 🙂

Steel and glass still-life

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This is another piece from painting 101. I told you in fruits and bottles, that I didn’t get it. How to create the feel of a physical reality in a painting, understanding how the colors worked, and correct color to give the painting the proper feel. This painting came right after fruits and bottles. As I said in my fruit and bottle blog at the end it clicked for me and you can see that here. It’s not perfect, but the progress I made was tremendous. This photo really doesn’t give some of the colors and hues justice. I ran out of time painting this, and I never finished it, because it’s not canvas, but maybe one day I will make the proper adjustments and finish it. What I would need to finish would be the fruit and the bottom fold of fabric. I am very happy with rest of this painting, I would also level some of the vases, however this wasn’t an error in the portrait, they were tilted on a fold in the fabric, but it doesn’t look or feel right. I am very happy with the green bottle; I was pleased with the coloring, shading, and detail. This bottle was a shiny green glass bottle; I do wish I had been able to express that, however at that point I didn’t have the skill yet. It took me a while to figure out the glass cup, but I was told to do it last as a magnification of what was already on the canvas. I was and still am very pleased with the result. I had a hard time with the steel. It’s very reflective and I struggled with keeping the original cool feel while still adding the warm reflections, but after I figured the pot out I felt more confident. The vase presented it’s own challenge, because it reflected the bottle and cup, but the cup was transparent and projected some of the fruit and other things around it on to the vase. I think I did an amazing job at capturing all the reflections for being a beginner. The blue vase wasn’t quite that blue, but I really loved that color, and it was much easier to paint it that way. I did a really good job in adjusting the reflections to complement the pot and vase. I love the fabric folds in the drapery. The color I choose presents a very real presence for me in the painting. Although, this painting is a vast improvement from fruits and bottles, it could still use some more work. This painting is larger then fruits and bottles. It’s about 4x the size and at this point it was the largest painting I had done. It took several weeks to complete, and although it’s not really complete I am still happy with it.

Clavicle

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This is a charcoal drawing of my partner’s clavicle, long before he became my significant other. Up until this point I had only done outline sketching with the exception of one quick attempt during my art class and a few self-portraits. When I originally met my partner, we clearly defined ourselves as friends. However, I did notice several attributes about him I found highly appealing, okay a lot of attributes, but some more than others. One of them being his clavicle; I have always had a thing for that particular part of the human body, but his perfect and I really wanted to draw it. After several months of knowing him I asked if I could have a picture and explained why, he agreed and I began this drawing. Like most of my drawings, I start off by filling in the entire background; once I have covered my paper I smooth my medium in with felt (this creates a smooth and well blended surface). Then I add the dark and light values to dictate where my harder values and defined lines should be placed. I find that when I draw like this I have a well-proportioned subject. As I have mentioned in other posts, allowing my subject to run off the paper has become a targeted style for me. I feel it gives my art a freedom not confining it to the boundaries of the paper.