Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Staying Busy!

This has been a productive time for me, despite the Christmas rush and madness. I’ve finished my elephant painting and am very happy with the general feel and mood.

I’ve also finished my lion portrait. Wow! If I do say so myself, WOW! This painting was a breakthrough for me; it just seemed to flow. I really enjoyed working on the dark background. I’ve learned that this creates a dramatic feel to any painting. I used a mix of colors to create the black background. This makes the painting have depth and a velvety “feel” that a straight black would have lacked.

I used primarily raw umber, alizarin crimson, and ivory black. Once the painting was finished I touched up the background with a glaze of alizarin crimson and ivory black and brushed the edges of the lion’s mane to blend it into the background. I have an idea to do another portrait of the same lion with a lioness below him.

Ideas are abundant, I’ve started two small bird paintings. The background and branches that the birds will perch on are complete.

I’ve done some work on my three rams picture; finally figuring out a plan on how to proceed. At first I was overwhelmed with all the detail of the ram’s heads. So now I’ve decided to finish their bodies first and work intermittently on the detail of their heads and horns. I’ve also planned out how to attack the painting of a charging elephant (30x40 in.).

Once upon a time I would have just thrown paint on the canvas, but thanks to the sweet diligence of my teacher, Jim Strong, I’ve learned to do small, quick studies of my ideas. I wanted to make this painting dramatic and had the idea to use strong red and ocher colors in the background to denote an angry feel; but the study just didn’t work.

So instead, I’ve decided to use a strong contrast of warm and cool colors to really make the elephant appear to jump out of the canvas. This promises to be an exciting painting. I have some worries though, simply because I know I’ll have no problems detailing the elephant but rather will probably fuss with the soft, impressionistic background. I’ll try to keep it simple (stupid!); which if you remember from earlier posts is hard for me! Silly me.

Sooooooo, exciting times! 2010 promises wonderful things for me and mine and I hope and pray the same for you. God Bless.

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