Monday, January 31, 2011

"Kristen in Blue" part 2

I decided to correct a few things about this painting that were bothering me, and here is the final result. This was a good learning experience for me and I feel much better prepared to tackle additional large portraits.

This painting was juried into the STAAA "Portrait and Figure" show in St. Augustine which runs through February.

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Kristen in Blue"

pastel, 18x22

This is the largest portrait I have painted yet, and I've found that it truly is easier (and more fun) to paint large with pastels.  I started by photographing Kristen positioned near a strong light to create very definite light/shadow areas on her face, and I used this photo as the reference.  I "made up" the clothing and background, and this is where I'm uncertain if I'm finished with the painting. It is very, very blue.  In some ways, I really like this intensity of color, but at the same time, I'm wondering if I need to adjust it, tie in some other colors, or just darken the value of the background... I've decided to let the painting "sit" on the easel for a day or two and come back at it with fresh eyes.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

"Christmas Past" Christmas card painting

This was my second year of creating a painting specifically to use for Christmas cards, and although it adds a bit to the "must get done" list of pre-Christmas stress, I thoroughly enjoy creating my own cards and plan to continue with it each year.  I had wanted to paint a scene from St Augustine because I love how that city lights up in December, but I wasn't too happy with any of the photos I took (and I always paint from my own photos or from life). I decided instead to paint my 2 older children from a time when they were much younger and very excited about Santa Clause and the magic of Christmas. This may be the first time I painted in a square format, which presented a few challenges, but I loved this glance back in time.


Ok, I really need to do a better job of posting more than once every other month!  This is a painting I finished in November of "Penny"--a sweet german shepherd mix (part belgian malinois). Reference photos are definitely needed in painting pets as they don't like to pose for very long, and I had a difficult time in getting a "good" reference photo.  Every time I'd call her name to look up at me, she'd come running over! I finally settled on a reference that was less than perfect, in which she was completely backlit with the very strong late afternoon Florida sunshine. Even so, this was fun to paint with the play of light and shadows. Overall I am pleased with this one and I feel I've captured her sweet personality.