I have paintings for sale on my website

and at:

Art Connections Gallery
908 Main Street, Bastrop Texas
512 657-4275

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sketches, What Else?

On Wednesday I finished up Scavenger Hunt 378 which I was hosting.  I used a Micron 05 pen in the large sketchbook.

 Number 5, view in or out of a doorway - this is from my studio to the living room.

Number 6, red - a folding chair
Number 7, is down below in the sketches for Hunt 379 as it was on the same page.

Number 8, zebra or zipper - I subbed Zentangle, then realized it is not from life it is imagination so doesn't really qualify.  I received the book from Sue, my Michigan painting buddy, this summer and finally did the first lesson of lines and circles.  Looks like I will learn some new designs, I usually use the same old shapes like in the right hand lower corner.

Today my sketches were done quickly out on the porch.  These are for Scavenger Hunt 379. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1363111   I sketched in the large sketchbook with a Micron 05 pen.  In other words, my usual sketching utensils.

Number 7, from Hunt 378 - Old Fashioned - a Dutch oven that I got from Jennie.  You never think of receiving hand-me-downs from your child!  We have silverware, the Dutch oven and a couple of other things she gave me after the fire.  All four of our children came up with things for us.

Hunt 379, Number 1 - comfortable shoes - Gene's canvas slip-ons
Number 2, yellow - there were actually 3 yellow items on the porch:  this electric fly swatter (batteries), the yellow bungie cord and a can that had a yellow label.  I skipped the can.  I usually have to really go hunting to find something yellow.
Number 3 - Anything lit by a single light source from a window - I substituted the porch shelf for a window and sketched some cups and a little vase.

Note for Texas artists, have you entered the Hunting Art Prize?  Will you be taking home $50,000?  You can't win if you don't enter.  http://www.huntingartprize.com/  The deadline is November 30.  It is for paintings and drawings.  The final is in Houston so not too far for our area.

I have been painting, finishing up a pastel painting of cactus blooms to put at Art Connections. http://artconnectionsgallerybastrop.com/ I will post about it a bit later after it "cures".  For me that means to let it sit and see if it is finished.  It is pastel, so doesn't need to dry or anything like that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pastel Values Class Review

The pastel class was good for me yesterday even though it was small, a one on one experience.  I always learn when I teach.

Still life painting gives you a good foundation for all painting.  You can "see" more when you paint from life.  It is very much like painting outside (plein air).  Photographs hide or distort light, especially in shadows.

Egg 'N More
Pastel on Pastelbord, 12 x 9 inches

If you don't usually paint still life, this is a good practice lesson.

To give a realistic look to your items you can start off with the five value system:

5 values:
  • Body color or mass color
  • Body shadow
  • Highlight
  • Reflection
  • Cast Shadow
You might see the different values easier in black and white.  Check the egg.

The easiest way to start a still life is to look at your subjects and decide how much of the surface you want them to fill.  If you start drawing without a "frame" you might run off the edge of the paper with your drawing.  I recommend a toned paper or an underpainting.  White paper is daunting!

Make your drawing including the shapes of the highlighted and shadow areas.

Then with your colors fill in the body mass, the body shadow and the cast shadows.  The highlights and the reflections are added near the end of the painting.  The side of the painting where the light comes from is the darkest with the area where the light is going or hitting is the lightest.  It is a good idea to have the corners each different and darker than the table to keep the eyes from wandering out of the painting.

This was my demo which I worked on about an hour.  (Everything leaning to the left, hopefully that comes from standing to the side while talking and painting so people can see what I am doing.  I would not finish a painting with the drawing so "off".)  I used the rough side of the Canson paper, so you see the light color of the paper coming through as well.

You can see the five values in this crop a little better.

Then after an hour we did another painting just for fun and practice.  I did not work on a background or the table top in this one.   I recommend you do practice paintings using just use a few items.  I don't use glass or shiny metal for this practice because the shine is a bit different to paint.   This is on Canson Mi-Teintes paper as well, but the smoother side.  It won't take many layers of pastel which makes me plan the strokes.  Both paintings are about  9 x 13 inches.

 Can you pick out the five values easier in black and white?

You can pick a day and do some quick paintings.  Try a still life, plein air or from photos.  Try a new underpainting or technique.  Watch a video and do the lesson.  Maybe get together with a painting buddy.  It is a mini workshop for a minimal cost.  Don't make your practice work too precious as Richard McKinley http://www.artistsnetwork.com/category/art-blogs/pastel-pointers-blog  will tell you. McKinley's blog is filled with instruction and hints.  Check it out.

You can use good paper or Pastelbord and then just wipe it off when done and reuse the surface.  It will have a tone or underpainting to start a new piece of art.  Using smooth paper will not give satisfactory results.   A brown paper bag will give you a couple of layers.

Most of all have fun!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pastel Class, Rainy Day and Sketches

Don't forget the pastel class tomorrow, 10:00 a.m - 12 noon, October 14 at the Fine Arts Guild Gallery in Bastrop.  Space available for walk ins.  Info at http://www.jocastilloart.com/jodemo.html

It is a weird morning.  We got up and it was 77 degrees and beautiful clouds.  At 9:40 it is very overcast and drizzling.

This was about 7:00 a.m. and now it is very dark with sprinkles.

The UT Baseball team is having an orange and white game at 6:00 p.m.  We are hoping that it will clear this evening and we can go get a look at the new recruits and the "old" guys.  Hook 'em Horns!

Yesterday I sketched for Scavenger Hunt 378 http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1362368 which I am hosting.  Come on over  and sketch with us!

Number 2, pill bottle or pills - Substitute a pill box.
Number 3, comfortable - Gene's feet propped on his little stool.
Number 4, night stand or table - one of the glass topped nesting table on the porch

It took about 30 minutes to sketch these in the large sketchbook with a new Micron 05 pen.  Pretty quickly, but I am impatient you know.

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About Me

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Bastrop, Texas, United States
I Grew up in a small town , Magdalena, New Mexico. I enjoy art and the pleasure other people get from my work. I always donate some of my sales and art to charities, especially for children. That started in Bolivia with Para los Niños. (Link on sidebar) "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." -- Winston Churchill