Thursday, November 14, 2013

Value to Color

Some of you might agree that one of the most stressful things
 about moving is finding a new hairdresser.
It can be a nightmare that comes back to haunt you
like my bad perm back in the day.
When she asked me to stand up and then only cut one side of my hair I knew I was in trouble.
The good news is that my roots aren't gray anymore:)
They're black, or dark brown.  I should say 'they were' because I've already gone elsewhere
to fix the problem.
You KNOW it's bad when your husband notices!!!
It was one of those things that got lost in translation....

So what does it have to do with painting?
It really highlighted (no pun intended) just how important value, hue and temperature are.
Value being the very most important thing even if it's not as exciting as color.
When I'm having trouble with a painting it is usually with the value.
It's not quite as easy to spot on a canvas as it is on your head,
but a piece of red plexiglass to view the painting through
can work wonders to help you figure out the problem.

This is how a few of these value studies turned out in color:

Thanks for viewing my paintings.  I welcome and appreciate your comments and questions.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Do Breaks Help?

My painting I bought from Dreama:)

Some of you know I had a whirlwind summer with back to back workshops with Ovanes Berberian and Dreama Tolle Perry. (Both fabulous artists and teachers). It was a heady mix of extreme color boot camp overlade with brushstroke abandon.

Afterward I continued to twirl my way across a rainbow palette like a giddy grade school-er on ice skates for the first time, dancing to disco. It was euphoric but a little like eating all the icing and forgetting about the cake.

To fully learn something, I believe it's best to go all in, (you might have noticed).The more you immerse yourself the more you'll get in return. The method of my madness is to practice a new skill until you can naturally incorporate it into your work more effortlessly. For example, I always try to break up my canvas into unequal areas. I feel it creates more interesting shapes, it appeals to me more and is a basic principle for creating a good composition. Now I don't consciously think about that when I paint, it's almost like second nature.

Did I say too much icing on my cake? Hard to imagine I know. But now I'm evaluating just how much I want to add to my creative diet and evaluating what direction to head next. Every small break, whether it's a weekend or moving, is an opportunity to start over again and for me getting back to basics is a great way to do that.

I really love the drawing process and decided to begin with 3 or 4 thumbnail sketches of each scene followed by a value painting. Most of the problem solving is done in this phase and then I'm free to jump into the painting more intuitively. I especially like working from a black and white reference and allow the color harmony to develop on the palette.

The learning continues and the color adventure is a life long project fueled by personal preferences. The opportunities for improving painting skills are endless and it's my feeling we should do this as often as we can. Workshops, breaks, changing locations, seeing things with beginner's eyes, making a fresh start are all helpful in developing a rich and unique creative life. More cake anyone?

How I've been working things out:

Thanks for hanging in there with this extra long post. I appreciate your time, your comments and welcome
your questions.