Saturday, February 26, 2011

"They're Papayas"

6x6", oil on canvas board

In my last post I mentioned painting two papayas. This is that painting. I liked the texture in the skin. At first I fought the fluorescent green, then I decided I really liked the effect, especially near the purple and red. This is one of the benefits of these little paintings: You can go nuts with the color. If you want.

Friday, February 25, 2011

"Papaya Value Study"

8x6", oil on canvas board

So, I had two papayas. And I'd already done a painting of them (I'll post it later), then decided to do another, but vary something. One way I do that is to change the colors but not the values. This is because of the truism in representational painting that says that it doesn't matter what color something is, as long as the value is correct.

However, I have notices a couple of things:
  • Thing 1: It helps to have a good amount of the actual color of the object. So, in this case the orange color kind of grounds it.
  • Thing 2: In the pale areas, you often end up with pastel colors. Yep. If you lighten red, it turns pink. Pale versions of blue, green, purple, all look pastel. 
  • Thing 3: Painting this way might be a sneaky method to hide a bad composition scheme. Now, if the painting is still interesting and attractive, it might not matter.
  • Thing 4: Use the B&W setting on your digital camera, and keep low standards for exactness of values.
Oh yes. My other possible name for this piece was Psychedelic Papayas. Heehee.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Not available.

36x24x1.5", acrylic and mixed media on stretched canvas

This one is darker and more dramatic than most of my work. It was built on a painting that I couldn't bring home (finish successfully), so there's some depth to it. The big black shape is fabric (T-shirt) that I glued to the canvas and around the edge. I put a second, smaller piece in the upper right. And those drip shapes along the middle are kind of interesting. In a previous incarnation of this painting, I had played with water-soluble oil pastels. They ended up repelling water in the next layer. I might have to play with this.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


10x30x1.5", mixed media on stretched canvas

A friend sent me some gauze, and I decided to use it in a painting. I took it to my textured abstract class, along with a canvas that I had basecoated black. The teacher Stella Zhang, kept me from going haywire with colors. This is my tendency. I like Hawaiian shirts, and, as my husband likes to say, my favorite color is loud.

So I put white glue on the canvas and draped the gauze, and Stella made me stop there. Well, we did a little bit of black dry brushing around the edge. Back at home I tried things: tore up little bits of colored paper and stuck them in the gauze, and it really didn't want much. So I stopped.

I think it would have lost a lot of texture if I had gone in with too much color. Good eye, Stella.