Busy Beaver (or other suitable critter)

I was pretty sick the end of last week which happened to coincide with some freakishly nice weather here (especially for this late in the year). So I was pretty bummed about the amount of time I had spent sleeping and not working at all.

By Sunday I felt good enough to make it out of the house for a few hours for our AYU Art Group get together. Between the weather and my lack of properly notifying people (relied solely on Facebook this time) we had a pretty small turnout. Which worked out great for me. Worked some more on the baby in a jar that I started last week. I was happy to have the time to paint and be out of the house while football was on.

 I think that I am going to leave it sit for a little while. There are some things that I would like to change and some things that I am happy with. With time I think which is which will become a bit clearer. Not sure what I am going to do with this one – not really something I can hang in the living room (or at work). Work in Progress Acrylic Baby in Jar
That was about all the energy that I had for one day. But bright and early (at least early to me) I went back to painting class. The first thing Steve did was draw on my painting with charcoal. It’s really funny how much I have changed over the years. It used to be that when a teacher did that to me I wanted to crawl away and hide (or cry). I was always so hurt about how they didn’t like what I had done. Now I am so excited to be learning and don’t have the emotional attachment to the learning projects – that I can enjoy the entire process. So here is my dry painting from last week with Steve’s charcoal notes. Oil underpainting   First I went into the background and filled that in more – then worked on the scarf. Work in Progress Oil painting and all of that went pretty well until I tried to fill in the head. I had a horrible time as soon as I tried to add the opaque colors in. I kept noodling and fidgeting with it – knowing full well the color balance was way off – but not being able to mix something that was a nice neutral warm without going to green or yellow. So I kept trying to put too much paint on to adjust…. Steve came along and took it away from me. Said that we are going to let it dry and put some glazes on it to correct the color. It killed me to walk away from it in this state, but since I am working on following directions I did it anyhow. Work in progress oil painting

Last week Steve suggested that I work on another painting simultaneously so I can let things dry when they need to (and probably walk away when I am getting noodley and obsessive as well). In hindsight, I should have grabbed one of the three prepped canvases that I had brought with me and waited for him to be able to assist before I dove so deep into the cool whites…. but we all know what they say about hindsight.

Anyhow, in prepping and bringing new canvases with me I ran into two problems. One: I do not have a big enough light table at home to work on to transfer the drawings to the canvas in the way Steve showed me. Two: I am lazy. If I could possible avoid drawing the charcoal drawing completely twice I was going to give it a try.

So for the first one I blew up the reference photo to the right size for the canvas. Then got a piece of tracing paper and traced out just the outline shapes. Then I printed the reference photo smaller but reversed… turned the tracing paper over and drew the shadows in with charcoal.  Then I taped that on the canvas and transferred it. While this should have worked in theory – the tracing paper does not have enough tooth to grab the charcoal – so as a result the transfer to the canvas was way too light.  and here with the first washes of color applied. work in progress oil painting of hand

For the next one I printed out the reference photo full size, layered a transfer paper underneath it and scribbled over it with a ball point pen. This method was even lighter and did not allow for proper representation of tones at all. What resulted was pretty much a line drawing such as we would use for a stencil with a tattoo. After I applied the wash of color to it, the lines were almost completely gone already (despite having been sprayed thoroughly with fixatif).

Wok in Progress oil painting goat

So for the last one I gave up printing the reference to size – just printed it out reversed and drew it with charcoal full size in reverse on newsprint. This transferred really nicely to the canvas and seemed to be the best solution to both problems. It was far clearer before the color washes (but of course I didn’t take a photo then).

charcoal drawing (in reverse) seal washes for base of oil painting seal

Also yesterday evening I was able to return to figure drawing class. Still having a really hard time working with the charcoal but determined to keep working through it.

gesture drawings charcoalgesture drawings charcoalhelpful catgesture drawings charcaolfigure drawing charcoalfigure drawing charcoalfigure drawing charcoalfigure drawing charcoal

Today is going to be mostly consumed with trying to get caught up on everything I wasn’t able to do last week – so hopefully I will get back to making drawings, paintings and tattoos very soon!

~ by justteejay on October 11, 2011.

4 Responses to “Busy Beaver (or other suitable critter)”

  1. Very Awesome, I like seeing the development of the head and scarf painting, it looks to be turning out nicely.

  2. I have just looked through your work and you have an amazing talent. All your work is brilliant but the baby in the jar has to be a slight favourite. I admire those who can control paints as I struggle (I can just about manage acrylic). I have been given oil paints and pastels but am still yet to use them… I don’t know where to start. Watercolours seem to hate me, but I’m persistent(ly bad)

    Well done on all your pieces. I have subscribed and will look forward to seeing more 🙂 again; great art work!

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