Saturday, December 31, 2016

Its Almost Here

The new January 30 x 30 run by Leslie Seata is HERE. I like to post as early as possible, usually the eve before. or the next morning.  Her site goes live at 10: AM so that when I like to link up. It's my habit. Maybe I should change my habit

This challenge will be completely new for me because I will be trying to draw/paint from within without using an outside influence and I find myself in a "frozen " state.  I have chosen my format; paper either white or brown, small sizes, chosen mediums; mostly dry pencils, crayons pastels, with maybe paint and collage. Hey, what's the problem? I have done some preliminary "scribbles" and tried to see, feel where they were taking me, but to me they were meaningless scribbles, not telling me anything.

I don't mind, usually, to post not perfect work but there is some sort of line there.. or is there? Hoping that this ranting will help me over the hump and continue a few that I drew over with my favorite black eraser.

Recently Dotty Seiter's latest post brought back nostalgia.  She and her friend discuss books together across 1000 miles, how cool is that. That reminded me that I took part in a similar project maybe 10 years ago when I was on My Janee's forum and a group of us decided to read through 2 of Katrin Eismann books on Photoshop; Photoshop Restoration and Retouching, and Photoshop Masking and Compositing, two fabulous books. We went through chapter by chapter, showing our work and helping each other in the process. We were a diverse group from Finland, Israel, US etc.  I really miss the "forum" as a way of connecting and not the current FB, Instagram, Pinterest etc, which I find a bit cold.

Well, these thoughts brought me back to the general forum as well and all the tutorials that Janee had on the site. It was here I first learned PS using Elements II. I was first introduced to Elements by my late brother that used it to make fantastic composites. Janee would have Monthly challenges and we would post our entries anonymously and vote. Janee would give trophies to the winners. That was so much fun, I was so proud to get one. My Username was caroled so see some of mine. These were my first steps back into my creative activities, so thank you Janee, with all my heart.

So here is one I found on an old CD, that luckily still opens of Jan 2005 challenge. The award page is down, but I think the challenge was about pets. I think I posted a digital drawing of my late dog Johnny.

Digital Painting\
We had to post our acceptance image which includes the trophy.

Johnny Won a Trophy

Acceptance statement
WOW!!!!! Look!!!! Johnny found a trophy!!!!
Thanks all who chose my Johnny....
Thanks to Janee for making this all possible.
Johnny was a stray that my husband brought home 6-7 yrs ago from the hospital grounds. He was about 6-7 months old and probably was mistreated because he wouldn't come into the house under any condition.  He has a huge yard to run and chase cats and crows[my other entry].
I don't know how many times I tried to "paint" him from lots of photos taken, without much success.  Last semester I took my first LVS course in digital art, thanks again to Janee, and it helped me get off to a better start.
Congratulations to All.... we are all WINNERS...
Ending this with my digital crow painting.from the same challenge.

Black Hooded Crow
Digital painting
Now back to my current challenge... enough procrastination!!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Red Abstract #4

Here is #4. Actually, Heleni said that it was done at #3 but I felt I could push it a little since I wasn't satisfied with the red and yellow areas. So added a bit brighter red, alizarin crimson, from the tube.

Still not exactly what I want...

Abstract #4
Click to enlarge

Just looked at Dotty's #9 and decided maybe marks with crayons or oil pastels may make the change I need. Thanks, Dotty!!! The paint is dry so I hope the marks will work and not work as a scratch tool!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Red Abstract #3

 Sorry for the mistake of reposting #2 instead of #3. Here is the correct post. I had looked at both images side by side in PS I noticed a big difference in tones. I also sometimes photograph with my phone and sometimes with my Canon G11 which made the difference. Fixed it somewhat but then kinda got mixed up and forgot I posted #2 already. Senior moments!!!

So here is #3 in which I added some yellows to the reds and a different blue to the blue-gray area. When I went to class, Heleni said that it was working but I didn't like the red area so worked in that area which I feel is a mess.

Maybe I should have veiled the whole area and then gone back to reveal areas.

Red Abstract #3
Click to enlarge 


Monday, December 19, 2016

Apple Pie Anyone

These were finished a while ago. Two small apple studies on wrapped canvas 30 x 25 cm. Oils done with a palette knife.  Actually I don't know if these are really finished. I stopped mainly because Heleni said they were done. Since I often ruin good starts, this may have been her reason. This is something I have to overcome, the fear of continuing. Working on it in another gender,

Oils on Wrapped Canvas
30 x 25 cm

Oils on Wrapped Canvas
30 x 25 cm

May just make a pie and move on!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Red Abstract #2

I can't say for sure that I am really comfortable with this process. But I will continue until I really think that the piece is really working.  Looking at it now I see I have kept the main color palette, just moved the shapes and relationships.  I did try a new color but wiped it off real fast. Guess I am still a coward?  Previous post.

Second Phase
37 x 28 Cardboard
Oils and Cold Wax
click to enlarge

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Trying Transformation WIP #1

Looking through my closet where I store some of my paintings, I found 3 that should be either thrown away or be transformed.  I am following Dotty Seiter and her transformations and I am absolutely spellbound, Easily said than done. First, since they were photographed I put them into photoshop to play around with. Bad idea so dropped that option. I have to somehow overcome my fear. It's only a "bad " painting on cardboard and some more paint so what's the big deal!!!!

Decided on using oils with cold wax because the wax makes the oils creamy and allows taking off, scratching extra. So mixed my favorite black paint, ultramarine plus raw umber.

So I dug in spreading the paint with a palette knife. Then scratching away and applying more paint. Feeling very lost and indecisive. I finally a shape caught my eye and developed into more shapes. The paint which isn't quite dry can be manipulated and also painted over,

Enough spiel!

37 x 28 cardboard
Starting Point

First Pass
click to enlarge images

Gray clips showing on the top .... not marks Don't know what to think, well I do but won't say! We'll see what tomorrow brings...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hooded Crow Collage

I am really ashamed of myself. I have finished several oil pieces, thanks to my weekly class, have photographed and haven't pushed myself to post. Well here I am ready to go to class but before that, I promised myself to post.

This another from one of the 30 x 30 sketches I made. This time I used collage for the bird and oils on the background.  Link to sketch.

Had fun doing this. tearing pieces of newsprint, and happy how it came out. Might do another of the palm tree head!!!

22 x 30 cm
Oils and collage on cut canvas
click to enlarge

Here is my reference photo... Think it was molting season!!!

Click to enlarge

Friday, November 18, 2016

Extreme Compositions Color Fields 1

Lesson 3

Texture with color

Experiment with different techniques using layering,printing, with different values of various hues to create color interest and texture. It is supposed to be monochromatic in nature, which in some of my cases went a  bit astray. Will have to do this exercise again, but wanted to post the first group. I made a montage of the samples. Click to enlarge.


Reds and oranges

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Extreme Compositions Shape Arrangements 3

Lesson 2

Part 3

In this exercise we are to make compositions using 2 or more shapes plus a line. These can be on a colored background and differ from one another.

Since I am still having difficulties with acrylics I used a simple limited pallete trying various techniques, brayer, credit card, wetting paper. For my shapes and lines used dry media, Caran d'Ache neocolor I wax/oil crayons. All done on 5 x 7 " bristle paper
Background was brayed left over paint that made interesting shapes
Added shapes with crayons
Line think white.. gel pen

Colored background 
Crayon shapes
White gel pen

Gray background with white shape and ochre line acrylic
Square shape crayon
Fine permanent pen 

Acrylic yellow background
Gray circles printed from cap shape
Crayon square
Lines ball point pen

Background acrylic using stencil and print
Circle crayons 
Lines ball point pen

Observations: Feel I still need more practice with these small compositions. Found adding the lines sometimes difficult. have to stop thinking too much. 
Have a few more starts to play with 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Extreme Compositions Shape Arrangements 2

Lesson 2

Part 2 

Arrangements of one shape, black, gray, and white, circles. I really tried to work one these more intuitively and take risks. Some were done on backgrounds of black acrylic paint done with a brayer. Left over paints from the previous series. Used mostly dry media, ink intense pencils, watercolor crayons, oil pastels, plus water in some cases blotted with tissue.  All were done on 5 x 7" white bristle. 

Brayed acrylic background
Right oval stenciled with alcohol
watercolor crayons with blotted water

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Extreme Composition Shape Arrangments I

Lesson 2

Part 2  a

Arrangements of simple shapes using the vocabulary learned in the first part of the lesson.
Restrictions were to use one shape and only gray,black and white.
Did these in acrylic using stamps,printing, masks, and collage on 5 x 7 " white bristle paper.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Just the Horsha

Another painting in the "Horsha" Series. Started out with a specific sketch but paintings sometimes have a will of their own and it came out quite different. 

Horsha, Hebrew for a small wooded area. Quite happy with this one, playing with the lights and shadows.

30 x 22 cm
Oils on cut canvas

Playing with Shapes Extreme Composition

Lesson II 

Part 1

Fall is at last in the air!!! A very short season here. We even had 10 minutes or less of rain. IT still warms up during the day but cooler evenings and we are now off Daylight Savings,, so will get dark earlier. 

Last week went by so fast that aside from working at my weekly workshop, I didn't get to my online course  Extreme Composition 

Explore different techniques for creating simple shapes. Try to find different techniques than those shown in the video.  This is just a page filled at random of various techniques, don't know if I found any really different on but as I go along I probably will.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Veil of Gray

This was done several months ago on a piece of masonite. Used a piece of netting. Bringing it into class I was told that it was much too busy. It was left aside for a few months and then decided to cover it in gray with a brayer and lift off with  paper, a veiling technique I learned from Dotty Seiter. I had often scraped, sanded,and rubbed with baby wipes but never tried a plain piece of paper. The piece has a lot of texture made by use of a palette knife. The sky looks lighter in real life.

I scraped areas to let some of the color come through, But now looking at the WIP I think I can bring some more color back in,  Another project for another day! Will keep it ins eye view. Appreciate any thoughts or advice.

40 x 30 cm
Oils on Masonite board

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Extreme Composition 3

Jane Davies Extreme Composition

Lesson  1  Series Backgrounds and Line Drawing

Jane strongly believes in making limitations when making a series. So with this last exercise in lesson 1 we are to choose the colors, format size, and drawing tools to make a series of backgrounds and dancing lines. Not all colors and drawing tool have to be used in each painting but the series should have a consistent  feeling.

All painted on white bristle paper, 9.5 x 9.5 " Th colors used were 2 grays, 2 oranges one quite neon that did not photograph true, 2 dulled gray-greens, and white. I mixed the grays using ultramarine blue and raw umber and then adding white.  The greens were mixed using the grays plus yellow.
Line drawings were made with black watercolor pencil brushed with water, white oil pastel, gray crayon, green crayon, and orange crayon

I made 10 backgrounds but used only seven for the final line drawings. In a few, I used a brayer to make some softer transitions.

 My Observations
First I need much more practice in handling acrylic paint.
I think for my first series I should have made a smaller format.
I am pretty happy with my gray-green mixes.
Line drawing is quite bold and similar maybe
I should have done more variation.
Feel I succeeded in making a consistent series,

Click on images to view larger in lightbox

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Playing with Acrylics

Well I finally jumped in to investigate some rather cheap acrylics that I bought some time ago and never opened. First I opened them to see what colors I have compared to my oil paints

Wanted to see which were opaque and which more transparent.  Also played around with a bit of mixing, especially interested in mixing my grays, which surprisingly was quite pleased, without black. I am still not used how fast the paints dry, and how to make soft edges.

 Did one on brown paper, bottom, which didn't come out so great so I will quad it. I now know which colors I may want to add to my collection.

I can now do Part 3 of lesson 1 of  Extreme  Compositions.   and choose what colors, format, and which drawing mediums I will use for my lines. 

Click to Enlarge

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Extreme Composition 2

Lesson 1 Part 2 Dancing Lines on Colored Backgrounds

We were to paint colored backgrounds with soft transitions and low contrast on which to draw lines.
I worked on heavy 23 x 30 cm, brown paper mainly with watercolor crayons and water medium, one was done with OP and turps. I know that with paints the backgrounds would be much different. I will have to take that jump and learn how to handle acrylic paints.

Click on Images to enlarge

Background Watercolor Crayons with Water
White Oil Pastel
Black Graphite Stick
Pink Crayon

Background Oil Pastels
Black Oil Pastel
Ball Point Pen
White Marker
The colors in the photo are way off
Orange should be light pink !!!!

Background Watercolor Crayons with Water
Medium Marker
Sepia Stick

Background Watercolor Crayons with Water
Fine Marker
White Marker

 I find it still difficult to free myself with all the concepts of painting and just really be free to explore. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

New Directions Extreme Composition 1

During the 30 x 30 challenge this past September I was impressed by the work of one artist, Dotty Seiter that caught my eye at first because she was working in  B&W. I also was working mainly in charcoal and gray and white pastels. I was impressed with the works she was doing following an online course by Jane Davies,  She was doing the 100 drawings on the bottom of the page.
Following Dotty each day and seeing how her work was developing I decided that I should try one of the courses. This is my new direction. October is a month of holidays and we will only have 2 workshops so I decided to JUMP in.

Lesson 1 Lines and Dancing Lines

These are all just experiments!!!! I am really mainly posting for myself to see my own development in this course.

Did a test sheet of various lines with pencils,markers, pens, charcoal, and crayons to see their marks.
Then we were to do exercises with what Jane calls the wandering line. Letting the line go where it wants, rather intuitively.  Then add another line to compliment or go along with the first, Jane calls this a dancing line.  I many but wasn't getting really what I wanted. Need much more practice
I have a large 11 x 14 " sketchbook with fairly good quality paper. 

click to enlarge

Black oil pastel and lt brown conte stick.  My observation is that it's much too busy. 

click to enlarge

This was done first with a watercolor graphite pencil and then the conte stick... photo came out too faint, but you can get the idea.  The stains are from a work on the next page. This page probably was wet when I closed the book. I like this one much better. 

click to enlarge

We were to make backgrounds with low contrast colors and do the dancing lines on them.
Background oil/wax crayons with some medium. The lines were charcoal stick and 2B graphite pencil.

 Jane works in acrylic paints. I mainly work in oils so I did experiments with my wax/oil crayons and watercolor crayons with medium and without. Not good on plain paper so did a few on heavy brown paper and pieces of cut canvas, 

click to enlarge

Top strip is watercolor crayons with water added on heavy brown paper.
Bottom strip  using my oil/wax neocolor I crayons by Caran D'Ache. with added medium of  linseed oil and turps. Like the watercolor crayons best. I have cut sheets and will do some more. 
The cut canvas trials did not work out too well. I hope to open my paints and do them again,

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Horsha Painting # 3

This painting was based on sketch # 5.  In the Horsha there is a long wall that borders the area. Behind it a home. I sketch many of the patterns of light that showed up in the late afternoon. This is the end corner of the wall with suggestion of a building.

Although I am basically using a limited palette of grays I am adding hues for variation. Started this at workshop and finished at home. When I returned, Heleni said finished. I am usually a good camper so I stopped.

Oils on cut canvas
30 x 22 cm
Palette Knife

Reference Photo
Probably cropped the left side

Monday, October 3, 2016

Horsha Painting # 2

This painting was based on Sketch # 2 of Leslie's 30 x 30 challenge this past September. I will be doing a series of paintings from my little gray sketch book.

Oils on Cut Canvas
30 x 22 cm
Palette Knife

I did photograph some of the stages, Looking back the first stage was doing OK until I messed it up making the blotches way too dark. I then opened them up by adding a new layer of varying grays. I don't seem to have saved the reference which wasn't of the Horsha near my home,

Stage 1

Stage 2

What works in one medium doesn't automatically work in another! 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September 30 x 30 Collage

This month flew by. Time to show off with the collage and tell a little about the experience and what I have gained. First I have gained a whole month of productivity.  This summer has been a difficult time for various medical problems, nothing serious, but still restrictive. This creativity greatly improved my mood and confidence in myself.

I chose to focus the challenge using a small gray-papered sketchbook using charcoal and pastels in monochromatic sketches.  My references were my own photos taken in a small wooded area near my home. I used PS to edit the images into B&W. I also used topaz filters.

Click to Enlarge

One more very important thing that I learned during this challenge was to use my smartphone more efficiently. I use the app "opencamera", which allowed me to take the photo, crop, resize, rename and paste it into a blog post. This took about 5 minutes. In the computer, I added text,tags etc. My photos are automatically backed up in google photos so I could then download them to my computer. Now how COOL is that!!!

Friday, September 30, 2016

September 30 x 30 Day 30

Final day of the challenge. This month has really flown by. I really enjoyed my exploration of using charcoal and pastels in a fairly dark gray sketch book. This is another sketch of the wall with all its light patterns and foliage behind. Foliage and shadows mixing in together. At first it eluded me and luckily with a rag wiped down to an almost clean slate, but in the end I am fairly happy with the result. 

Click to enlarge
Charcoal and pastels
6 x 8"

Thursday, September 29, 2016

September 30 x 30 Day 29

Late afternoon the trees made some arch like shadows on the wall.

Click to enlarge
Charcoal and Pastels
6 x 8"