March 24, 2015

Getting somewhere

My painting received its name this week, which I will share a bit later once I get photos of its new setting. It's amazing - my paintings hang in Peru.

I started a painted version of The Engineeress picture that I blogged about earlier this month. It's moving at a slow pace, hence the lack of blog posts. The painting is only half-finished, after several sessions.

So many challenges that I'm not equal to. For example, what is the best colour to put under flesh colour? Skin looks quite good if it has a few colours in it, I know that much, and especially if you put one colour under the surface colours. So I underpainted the hands with a brown, and then wanted to add another colour. Which one would be best, considering my lighting and the overall mood of this story?

International Artist arrives at my door every couple of months, so I flipped through some back issues looking for answers. What a resource these magazines are! I decided to cataloge them with post-it notes. "Portrait painting process." "Explanation of eye level." "Arranging figures." Writing out one sticky made me pretty happy - "Flesh colour underpainting" (!!).

Of course along the way I'm growing familiar with contemporary artists. I've really enjoyed learning about Julio Reyes, Kevin Grass, and and Warren Chang, who make heavier pieces, as fits my personality. But the magazine is a faithful lover of everything, from flowers to still lives, to landscapes and abstracts (though the last one doesn't get much play, really.)

After a few hours of this, I figured I ought to consult my books, since I was floundering around so much. Only to discover, I don't have any books on painting. I have one book called The New Acrylics, and another called The Materials of the Artist, but not how-to stuff. And I further realised, I've not studied painting much. I took Blair Paul's landscape course three times. Valuable stuff, but in effect, I've taken exactly one painting course and read no books. In fairness, I was a visual arts major in high school, but that was long ago (sniff), and the teachers knew better than to waste their time cramming a lot of technique and theory into a red-blooded teenager like me who just wanted to be left alone to Create My Art (sorry, yes, I was that teenager).

So no wonder I don't know what I'm doing!

I'm fine with "self-taught." As long as it's not code for, "not getting anywhere."

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