Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Shadow Puppets"

6x6", oil on canvas board 

This is the next in my series of figs that I used to learn to paint in neutrals. When I use neutrals, they seem to come out dark. I might have to think about that. There's a bit of palette knife work here, too, as with the prior one.

I've been thinking about neutrals, and the most neutral color is grey. But a warm grey is brown, so grey and brown might be just cool and warm versions of the same neutral. Strangely, while the best-known color palette (there are many) divides colors into three primaries, there seem to be only two neutrals. I think it's because the three primaries contain one cool (blue) and two warms (red and yellow). It you neutralize blue, it goes cool grey, of course. But if you neutralize red and yellow, they both go brown. Now, they're a little different, but much more similar to each other than they are to neutral blue. (I haven't run into this in any books. So maybe I don't read enough, or this is whacked.)

Friday, October 19, 2012

"One Left"

6x6", oil on canvas board 

I did a series of figs as a part of learning to paint in neutrals, so I also needed to find some bowls around the house that had the neutral coloring I wanted. One of the hardest things about figs is getting that blush on them. It's surprisingly blue! But the hardest part of this painting was getting the near edge of the bowl right. It kept wanting to look like really thick ceramic. There's some mild palette knife work here, too, and I like it. I'll have to do more.

Monday, October 15, 2012

"Going Solo" Redux

6x6", oil on canvas board 

I decided I needed to focus more on neutral colors. So I started redoing a few recent paintings that had too much of a kind of baby room look. (Nothing against baby rooms. I just want to paint a variety of styles.) Above is the redone painting. Below is the original (which appeared earlier on this blog). I redid not only the background, but I also brightened up the flower petals. The flower does glow a lot more.

Strangely, this points to one of my painting idiosyncracies. I like mud. (Well, I also like bright colors.) But mud makes a great supporting player. It really highlights the main character, which, in this case, is the flower.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


18x24x.75", oil on stretched canvas

I did this awhile ago, following the suggestions in Steve Aimone's amazing book, Expressive Drawing. You can find another painting that I did earlier in my blog, where I described the system. Like that, this is another funny little painting where I like it but I'm not sure why. I think I like the pure energy of the thang.