Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 28

Well it was bound to happen at some point.  I came home, exhausted from fighting full moon madness in a preschool classroom and was so tired not only did I not know what to create, I really had no desire to.  Many thanks to my wonderful sister who sat there and threw ideas at me until I gave in to one.  So I present you with my first photographic entry.

 A small doll on a my little pony.  Specifically, a Fairyland Puki Puki Sugar (Gracie) and a custom tribal belly dance My Little Pony made by my sister.  It took a while to get the lighting right and I screwed it up a few times.  I also had a white backdrop at first.  You couldn't really see the pony and it just looked weird.  On to March!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February 27

Not my best work.  I honestly just sat there and stared at the page for a while.  Then once the sky and grass was it I still didn't know what to do with it.  So now there's clouds and a tree.  Hopefully inspiration will be a bit better tomorrow when I'm not so tired.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

February 26

Tonight I tried just sitting down and painting without planning first.  Usually, I figure out what I'm going to paint/draw/whatever, and then I go to it.  This time I just sat down and this is what came out.  I'm not sure what to think, or what to call it.  I kind of like it though.

February 25

This not pretty.  Nor is it intended to be.  I watched a YouTube tutorial the other day that involved using turpentine to blend oil pastels.  I never would have thought of that.  This is my experimentation with that technique.  There's a big difference in what the effect is depending on how heavy you put on the oil pastel.  Now to find something to draw with oil pastels and try it in context.  I think I need to get more q-tips though.  I used a cotton ball and I can tell I will need more of the control that a smaller applicator would offer.  Also, the smell of turpentine REALLY lingers.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

February 24

This is the painting I was trying to make back on the 19th.  This is a bit better.  The sky and blending still need a bit of work.  Overall I'm much happier with this one.  I must be.  I was so unhappy with the first one I painted over it almost immediately. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

February 23

 I had the day free from class today.  Did I sit around and relax?  Of course not!  I went out and wove for four hours.  The Chicago Weaving School is near my house and I've gone there once before.  The owner Natalie was great and set me loose on a two treadle loom.

I started simply, just going back and forth.  It took a while to get my edges clean; they were very loose.  After I wove for a while, Natalie showed me this:

It's a Leno (lee-no) lace weave.  It involves a bit of hand weaving to twist the warp.  It required a lot of focus to find all the strands of the warp, but it makes a really cool design.  I started twisting four strands.  later I tried twisting twelve.  While bolder, the twelve strands seemed a little harder to control in the weaving.

After four hours, I had my scarf.  Here are some close ups of the different weaves.

Now I have to decide what to do with it.  It's toss up between strutting around in it, and framing sections of it.  Many thanks to Natalie at the Chicago Weaving School.  She's an awesome teacher and the school is a great place to learn.

February 22

Time to pick up the pencil again.  Sadly, I have a lot of homework to get done so this had to be a quick sketch.  Overall I think this is ok.  It's weird.  The more I paint, the less confident I seem to feel about sketching.  And that's saying something because I wasn't hugely confident in sketching to begin with.

Friday, February 22, 2013

February 21

Got out the oil pastels tonight.  I used a photo for reference.  The background is a little more solidly green than I would have liked.  But overall, I don't think it's too bad.  It was interesting blending the colors in the leaves.  I wish I had had some gray to work with as that was the color of the tree itself, but I had to make do with the browns.  Pretty happy overall.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

February 20

After my idea failure yesterday I realized I needed to learn a bit more about blending and gradation.  After a few YouTube videos I decided that today I would focus on practice.  I need to keep practicing, but I don't think this is bad for a first attempt.I did a bit better with the white gradation than the greens or red, but it was interesting to play around with the paint until I got the hang of it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February 19

Under this painting is a painting that worked in my head and absolutely did not come close to remotely working on the page.  I was so bad that I couldn't let it live.  So I smothered it in white paint and smeared in other bright colors.  Apparently I can handle and abstract mess a lot better than a failed concept.  By the time I finished there was so much paint that taking a photo was really difficult because the shine off the paint refused to cooperate.  This is why you shouldn't paint after an 10.5 hour day.

Monday, February 18, 2013

February 18

Today's offering.  I like the sky, the really like the grass, the clouds aren't bad, the flowers...i really wish they didn't look like amorphous blobs.  I'm having a hard time with understanding brush control with flowers.  It is so much more precise.  Time ti return to YouTube.  There has to be a tutorial on flowers and fields out there.  To the interwebs!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

February 17

My first attempt at a flower.  I'm happy with the water, the lily pads aren't horrible, the flower is a work in progress.  The shading kind of gave me a headache.  I think I need to study more pictures to see the actual shades of colors that come about in shadows.

February 16

I admit it.  I am hooked on acrylic.  I wish that the snowy trees in the background had come out a bit better.  But I do like how the sky came out.  I find that when I'm painting I have an enormous amount of focus that doesn't exist any other time in my life.

February 15

I've started collecting photos from the internet for inspiration for pieces.  Thank goodness for Google image search.  I was really skeptical about this one as I was doing it.  I didn't like how the sky was coming together at all.  There's still some aspects I'm not entirely happy with, but once the trees went it I actually kind of liked it.  I need to work with pastels more, I see a lot of potential in the medium.  And hey, all the tree practice finally yielded nice tree silhouettes!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

February 14

I apparently took this photo at an odd angle.  It's an old kerosene lamp that sits in my dining room.It took a while to plot out the lines.  Overall I think it's good, simple, but good.  I admit I didn't try to do any kind of specific shading on the hurricane portion.  There is a lot of shading variation due to varying thickness of the glass.

February 13

My trusty camera.  With out it documenting this adventure would be a but more difficult.  I wish the circles of the lens had turned out more circular and less, well, not.  This was another fast sketch, but I didn't rush exactly.  I refused to erase anything that didn't go down the way I wanted.  If I had I would never have finished.  I would still be sitting here erasing the lens and trying to draw a perfect circle over and over again.  I did notice that in the last two sketches I completely forgot about any shadows.  I'm not quite sure why my brain is forgetting those.

February 12

Manicure anyone?  The polish bottle was sitting on my table from painting my nails, or rather the intent top paint my nails.  I still haven't actually gotten to painting them yet.  I can't wait for this week to be over.  Too much to do and never enough time to get it all done.  I feel like the base of the bottle isn't quite right.  It should round up at the second edge.

February 11

This is bad and I know it.  This what happens when you rush.  I didn't want to leave sketching til the night, but I had a lot of homework and work work to do.  I rushed through this because all I could think about was all the other work I needed to do.  It didn't feel good to draw in that context and it shows in the product.

February 10

Sorry for the delay in posting.  To call this week insane would be an understatement.  However, I'm proud to say that despite not posting I've still been creating.  Over the next couple days I'll be getting the blog updated.  I want to be sure I take the time to think about the pieces before I write about them.

I finished the I.  It came out pretty well I think.  I was worried the reverse fill wouldn't play out the way I saw it in my head.  Can't believe how much I've finished on this.  I figured if I finished it by December I'd be good.  I don't think it'll take that long.  Hmmmm...what will I embroider next?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 9

Field and Farm.  That's what I put into google's image search.  I found a picture of a farm and field somewhere in England.  Here's the original photo for reference.

This is the first time I've tried to paint any kind of structure.  It's also the first time I went looking for a photo to base something off of.  I was a little worried at first.  I thought that there was no way that it would look at all like the reference picture.  I'm pretty pleased with it.  At first the could were far too uniform, then there was a point where there were too many harsh lines of shading.  I continued fussing with them and somewhere in all the fussing they took shape.  It probably sounds funny, but I am actually most proud of the fence.  It took very precise controlled strokes to get it to come out right.  Actually, I take it back.  I like the whole thing.

February 8

This is my first attempt at a snow scene.  Overall, I'm happy.  However, I really need to learn how to mix white paint.  I used almost an entire tube of white on this and there was a lot left over.  I also wish I hadn't made such a big color different between the snow under the trees and what I put over the base of the trees.  I feel it's a little too dark.  Also, you can't see it in the photo, but I messed up and took the shadows of the two trees on the left a little too far into the background.  They actually touched the skyline at first.  Then in my attempts to quickly fix the area, I didn't get the paint color matched to the base color of the snow.  It's a case of quicksand.  The harder I struggled to get out of the mistake, the worse I made it.  Next time I leave it as is and comment on it as a for next time note.  For next time, I will work to be way more conscious of the entire area around where I am painting, and not just on the specific subject in isolation.

Friday, February 8, 2013

February 7

 Fun with fruit!  Bosc pears to be precise.  It's so unevenly shaped that the outline alone was tricky.  I'm happy with some aspects of the shading, but I don't feel like I conveyed the shape well.  It doesn't give the illusion of roundness to me.  At the same point I can't think how it should have been shaded instead.  Time to ponder...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

February 6

Too much to do and not enough time to do it in.  There's a lot going on at work this week in terms of multiple due dates looming.  All I had time for today was embroidery.  I do enjoy embroidering, but I wanted to paint.  No time.  Hopefully after this week I'll have more time for variety and choice in my creations.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February 5

Crappy day was crappy.  Pretty much everything that could go wrong did in some manner.  I honestly didn't feel like doing anything when I got home despite my new paints arriving.  But I suppose that's when you have to push through.  This is what came out.  Mostly I was just playing with different brushes and fast strokes.  I'm going to bed and hoping for a pleasant tomorrow.

February 4

I hate Mondays.  Especially long hour-ed Mondays.  When I got home I did not want to leave the couch.  So I picked up the embroidery again.  I managed to get the entire I outlined.  My plan is to fill in around the I leaving the I white and the background solid purple.  No much else to say.  Hopefully, my new paints will arrive tomorrow and I'll get to do some more painting.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

February 3

Higher quality watercolors definitely make a difference.  I had to take a break from acrylics as I've used up some very key colors.  Varying shades is a lot harder without white.  Until I get new ones, it's time to move on to other mediums.  Unfortunately, that also means learning the key shades you're missing from the new set you bought.  In this case, my watercolor set has no black or gray shades.  I wanted gray mountains.  I was able to make a bluish grayish color for the sky, but I was not successful with the mountains.  I think I like it.  I have a lot more to learn about watercolors though.  To youtube!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February 2

I have such a hard time taking good photos of the paintings I do.  The light always reflects off the paint.  So this is the first time I've intentionally painted a foreground, a mid-ground, and a background.  The trees are layered.  The first trees are a grey with a very dark green, the mid are a grayish brown with a slightly lighter shade of green, and finally the most detailed trees in the foreground.  I chose to use a very light grey for the "sky" as I was trying to convey more of a diffused light rather than direct sunlight.

February 1

Not my best work.  Admittedly I was rushing.  It was late. I had to get up for class the next morning; so I put in exactly 30 minutes, and not a second more.  It annoys me that I didn't have more time.  It almost feels like I half-assed it instead of breathing taking it slow and doing it justice.  The rim of the glass has a lot of problems with the shape, the same can be said for the surface of the liquid.  Grrrr...tomorrow better.