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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Fritz the Schnoodle

Day 1: 20x16, oil on panel (photo taken with iPad under florescent lighting)
I am working diligently to be more aware of paint quality. By that I mean having the brushstrokes be visible. I have always tended to paint smooth when in the studio. I can be very expressive outside painting but that does not necessarily come inside with me. I thought my dog, Fritz, would be a good subject to practice "paint quality" on. He just lends himself to it. I got him pretty well blocked in on the first day, shown above. There are definitely things that need to be corrected and finished, but his personality is already coming through.
Day 2: photo taken with iPad under florescent lighting
Not as much progress as I had expected was made on day two. I did get the whole canvas covered finally. I moved his left eye over a bit but I am not sure it doesn't need to moved closer in. I worked on his face, chest and front legs but they are still not quite finished. The background and rugs got more detail and refinement as I worked my way around the composition trying not to stay too long in any one place. The box in the background is coming to far forward and I hope it is just reflecting glare from wet paint. It was one of the last things I did, but if it is not the wet paint, it has to be toned way down to be pushed into the dark recesses of our kitchen.
Day 3: 20x16, Fritz, oil on panel
Day three has Fritz looking like the sassy boots he is. I did move the eye on the left further to the right; I did work on pushing the background further back as well as the depth of the rug he is standing on as it recedes and finally, some fine tuning on Fritz including adding his tags and melding some of his fur a bit better. I also had to bring his front paws over the threshold as it just wasn't reading correctly with them stuck below that level.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

River Fog again or In the Name of Blue

I took this painting to work AFTER I posted it. As is usually the case when I hang a piece in a different environment, I saw some things that needed to be rectified. It only required some minor fixing to give the piece more of a sense of the fog and how it plays with depth perception but I thought it worth another look see. What I did is to push the tree without any leaves more into the fog. I also gave the bush which is right behind that tree softer edges so it was not so pronounced.The wall in the very back I shaved off the top 3/8 of an inch or so. I realized it was too tall and so I think now the perspective is a bit better going down the road. The sky/fog is reading too light so I still need to bring that value down. Part of the lightness is from the photography and how the light is hitting the brush strokes but not all of it. The value in the painting is reading as it should when compared to the photo reference but there are times you just have to do what works best for the painting and I think darkening the sky/fog might be what is needed. I will "sit on it" a bit longer before making a decision.

One of my readers came up with the name In The Name of Blue.  If you Feel French about it, Au Nom de Bleu (which echoes Au Nom de Dieu, which is how I got there in the first place.) If anyone has any thoughts on that please let me know. I am never sure how well received French names will be but sometimes they just work!