Saturday, July 23, 2011

More of the Cute Girls...

As you can see, I've started filling in the background.  I'm adjusting lights and shadows on the girls as more colors are introduced with the flowers.
This is where I am starting today!

I have received a couple of emails asking about time spent on a portrait.  It depends on so many things: size, number of subjects, amount of detail.  On this particular pastel, what you see above is 20 hours.  I estimate at least another 10 before I'm ready for the client to view.  Although ~ my clients are welcome to see the work at any time during the process.

I work in 30 minute "pomodoro" (my timer) segments.  Actually, it's 25 min. then I back off for 5 minutes.  This works well for me, because with pastels I stand at my easel, and when my timer goes off, I can move around a bit, mark my time, and wash the pastel off my hands.  I find that this allows me to really focus on what I'm doing and it relieves me from the parental tendency to watch the clock.  Also, my kids know that if the timer is a-tickin' ~ unless it's a 911 situation ~ don't interrupt!

Okay, time to set that timer!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Those Cute Girls continued...

Today, I'm working on the older sister.
I've added more layers to her face, hair and dress and I've started on the lace trim.
That's it for today. The lace is in, it needs a touch here and there. I've started putting some of the flowers in the background.  I see that my Ottlite has cast a shadow across the board. I'll be more careful on the next round of photos.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In progress ~

I've started a new portrait of 2 lovely girls.  I toned a sheet of Wallis sanded paper with Prismacolor olive green, brushed out with Gamblin odorless mineral spirits. It's a bit more even than what you see in this photo. Once it was dry, I used blue/violet to sketch the girls and a kneaded eraser to remove some pigment from areas that I want to keep light.
I used mostly Rembrandt pastels here. With pastels, I usually work from top to bottom, left to right, to minimize loose pastel falling on finished areas. Once the older girl is in, I'll start working in circles around the paper, adjusting, shading, and highlighting.
I didn't have much time in this sitting.  Still using Rembrandt pastels.
Yesterdays work.

I see a few things I need to adjust before moving on.

These girls are so cute, I find myself smiling through the entire painting time!

Monday, July 4, 2011

"Bands of Freedom"

My son named this painting.  His 20th birthday was yesterday and I didn't think the title "The Day After Jay's Birthday" would be appropriate.  Cat and I took over 100 photos of American flags in different locations around our fair town. Although many were great photos, they weren't what I was looking for to paint.  When Karen Werner posted "Old Glory 2", and then Dana Cooper posted "Stars and Stripes", I decided to follow their lead.  I took the flag from our porch and leaned it against the wall in my studio and there was my painting!

Have a fun and safe Independence Day!  Remember those that have served and those that are currently serving our country to secure and maintain our freedom!

6" x 6" oil on gessoed fiberboard

Friday, July 1, 2011

"That Dog"

This is Sarah.  Her real name is Sera, short for Seraph, the single form of Seraphim.   We adopted Sera, and Rubi (R.I.P.), short for Cherub, the single form of Cherubim, about 11 years ago. We chose those names as they imply the high ranking class of celestial beings that surround the throne of God.  Seraphim, according to Christian angelic hierarchy, are the direct caretakers of God's throne, and sing "Holy, Holy, Holy..." 24/7 !  Cheribum, are described as "almighty and fearsome winged beasts and guardians of Eden."  NOT the innocent childlike being that Renaissance artists would have you believe them to be. The sisters, Sera and Rubi, although not always "angels," have many crazy stories about their life with the family ~ Frazier.  Sera is now retired (right Carol?), and enjoying her days as guardian of the ranch where my SIL keeps her horse.  She is old, as you can see by her graying face, but seems to have endless energy. She is loved!

6" x 6" oil on gessoed fiberboard