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  #136   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-05-2012, 11:43 AM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Zenhorse, I am not big on reworking a painting until it is perfect but if you can make it better without overworking it, I say get back in there and work on it. So my comments could be for the next one or to perfect this one. You have a good grasp of the basics as far as value color and drawing but work at becoming more sensitive in those areas.

Fixing misplaced strokes: First I think of painting as laying down notes of color. Not filling in an empty area with color (that is how you paint the side of a barn). But if you need to fix something you can paint over it or wipe it off. But that can be done different ways. Part of painting is becoming more aware all the time of how the paint goes on and how it comes off. It is a sensitivity to the paint, brushes and surface. That is why I paint on the same kind of surface with the same kind of brushes and the same kind of paint. Sometimes I cam remove paint by just wiping with a clean brush or dip the brush on OMS blot the brush with a rag and wipe out the color. Sometimes you can slide an adjacent color over a little to correct and at the same time give it a softer edge. So be sensitive and paint a hundred paintings is the short of it.

There are a lot of approaches and I'm sure some much more academic than my answer. I have no set way but I usually follow these steps. I paint on a oil primed board the is tinted to a neutral peach or fleshy color. I would do some sort of wash if working on stark white surface. Some sort of rough drawing in pencil or thinned oil paint to get a drawing of the main masses and composition of the subject. Then block in the largest masses first and the masses of shadow even if they are not the largest. As a general rule paint what you know for sure. Like the darkest area or the easiest color to identify. In a sense it is like a puzzle. Get the parts you know and the other parts will become more clear. The sooner you get paint on most of the surface the sooner you can see the relationships of those colors and masses. It is all about how the colors on the canvas relate to one another.

Once I get a good idea of where things are at with 90% of the canvas covered and am happy with the color, I will complete the center of interest or the most detailed part of the painting. Like the face of a figure. If I go to that first the rest of the painting may not need as much finishing or detail as I think. If the colors and values are right it can be very loose and unfinished but your mind puts it together as complete. I always have a frame near by to see how it looks framed. If it looks complete without a frame I think it is overpainted. The frame should in a sense contains the chaos of my brush strokes.

Barry, thank you for your excellent and expert thoughts on value ranges for painting. Those paintings are beautiful examples of what you said.

I would just add that if a person if just learning to paint, you need to keep it simple in the sense that you want to paint from life and learn to see shapes, values, color and edges and then mix color and paint. That training process will do the most good and more complex approaches will be easier to unterstand.

Donna, That looks like a great tool. I am a believer in any tool that helps you learn and observe more accurately.
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Last edited by jim56 : 03-05-2012 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:51 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Jim, thanks for your feedback.

I know what you're saying about reworking things, my painting does tend to look a bit sloppy. I have a fear of reworking things because I usually just end up pushing the paint around and turning it too mud.

Here is my still life set up. I’m not totally happy with it as I think I got caught up in trying to make them look three dimensional rather than just trusting what I was seeing.

In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have chosen the vase with the glossy glaze because it confused me a bit.

I also softened some of the edges but I’m not sure how successful that is.

Oils on 5x7 canvas panel.


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Old 03-07-2012, 09:41 AM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenhorse
I have a fear of reworking things because I usually just end up pushing the paint around and turning it too mud.

Here is my still life set up. I’m not totally happy with it as I think I got caught up in trying to make them look three dimensional rather than just trusting what I was seeing.

In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have chosen the vase with the glossy glaze because it confused me a bit.

There seems to be a fine line between reworking and overworking. If something is wrong and I can go in with bold fresh strokes to make it right, then that is progress. If I am just sliding the paint around because it is a tad off then I may be just destroying the freshness and beauty that makes the painting appealing.

The choice of the vase probably stretched you a bit but that can be a good thing. The only difficult things to paint are the things we have difficulty seeing.

As far as your painting the one thing that sticks out to me is that light ring at the bottom of the blue vase looks too light in areas. And like you said trust what you see instead of how you think it should look (the dark blue of the vase). Over all a great job. From your comments I can tell you are learning from the process.
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:00 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Thanks Jim, there is certainly a lot to learn. I appreciate your feedback.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:52 AM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Jim,

What about cleaning brushes? What are your recommendations? I've tried several things, and I'm looking for a better (easier) way.

Thanks,
Donald
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:31 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Ok, I finally was able to set up my own still life and paint it. If I remember correctly, Jim, you said to keep it as close to your reference photo as possible. Here is what I came up with. An apple and a pear on a paper towel, setting on my art desk with a single light source and something to reflect color back onto the subjects. Here is the photo of my still life...



And here is the basic composition I painted...



And my painting. It's 8x10 in size.



Seeing this on the screen, it appears that I've over-emphasized the highlights of the apple. The apple I am working with is very shiny, and really reflects the paper towel. That doesn't show up as much in the photo of the still life set. The hardest part of the whole painting for me was that violet highlight on the right side of the apple. Well, I did the best I could.

Thanks for helping, Jim. Looking forward to hearing what you think.
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:17 AM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Jenna,

I'm so glad I read your post. I was thinking we could setup our own still life of anything we wanted. I was trying to work out a composition of a .45 Kentucky Long rifle, powder horn, and possibles bag, or maybe boots and a Steson hat I've got, or colored blocks.

Now my biggest problem is, what to do with the pear after I've painted it? LOL

Later,
Donald
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:53 AM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Sorry for not being around much. I have been prepping for a presentation and have lots of work.

Donald, I am not the brush care expert. My mongoose brushes last about a year if they are the sizes I use a lot. However, I use the Silicoil brush cleaning jar and solution products. At the end of a painting session, I get the paint out washing in OMS then with the Silicoil solution and dry with a paper towel.

Jenna, Way to go. Just doing the project and painting from life is half of the goal. You did a great job on the drawing and getting good colors. As far as the light being reflected back off the napkin into the shadow area, that is where squinting is needed the most. Without lots of squinting they usually come out lighter than they should. Light being reflected back into an object can never be as light as the light hitting the object directly. This is often the hardest part and other than that, you got the rest figured out. I hope that helps.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:40 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Thanks Jim! I had been swishing my brushes in OMS, then using Jack's Linseed Soap to clean my brushes. It workes pretty good. I ran out of Jack's, and I'm using Pink Soap now. I think it actually works a little better. I've been known to use Goop hand cleaner to clean my brushes with, and it works good too.

Donald
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:44 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Thank you very much, Jim! I'll make a note and try to remember the importance of squinting. As I squint at this photo and my painting, I can see a big difference in the highlights. Thanks for the input and the help! Looking forward to learning what comes next.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:01 AM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Hi,

Here is my setup, composition, and painting for the still life project. Ya just got to LOVE cameras. When I took the photo of my painting, the blue reflected light on the apple just really POPPED out at you. It's not near that bright in person, it's much closer to the actual reflections I see in person, but not perfect.

Please ignore the clutter in my studio. It doubles as an airplane hangar for my radio controlled airplanes. I'm starting to sell some RC stuff because I don't fly much any more, so why keep it?

Later,
Don
PS: Bring on the C&Cs! I've got my rhino skin on.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:28 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

OH! FWIW, I was thinking about buying a tube of Indian Yellow since I don't own one. I like Shiva paints, and they have Indian Yellow at Dick Blick's. I checked the pigment and it is Hansa Yellow. I have a tube of Hansa Yellow Medium, so I used it in the painting above instead of the Lemon I've been using.

Donald.
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:53 PM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Great work, Donald! I like your set up, and the painting looks great! I really struggled with the reflected light and color when I did the still life. It looked much brighter in real life than in the photo I took of the still life. You did a really nice job with the painting. Love the pear!
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:02 AM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Thanks Jenna! I've not worked with Hansa Yellow before. I normally use Cad, or Lemon, and I don't really like the lemon, it's too pale for my tastes. I do like the Hansa Yellow Medium though. It's darker than a regular yellow, but a little white and it turns into a nice yellow.

Oh Great Wise and All Knowing Jim.... What's the next assignment? It's been a great class so far. I'm looking forward to the rest of it.

Donald
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:31 AM
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Re: Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101

Jim, I have a few questions for you. Been working on the project and have a set up just like yours (except my board on the right reflects green.).. How.. How in the world you do know when to stop? There are colors everywhere! Pinks, blues, greens, yellows, and browns all through the shadows. The reflections are full of color too, and they reflect into the shadows creating spots of light and color. My first attempt turned to mud trying to paint all the colors (and the pear got mushy.) I have one going now that is not very defined, because I thought I would just paint the color and ignore perfect shape and that might work. better.. But since each color relies on the one next to it, just how does one paint this? I see no way that I can put it all on the canvas. Can one?
Also.. I see no gray.. or true gray in the shadows, is this so? I would imagine that grays and blacks would appear if the subject was gray or black. Is this true for everything one paints? If that is the case then there is no such thing as being devoid of color when light is present?? Is this why artists say you don't need black (unless you have a man made black?) Does this tie into how a prism works and our eyes see things, (since there is no black or gray in the spectrum?)

Jim.. I know there are more than a few questions.. Sorry.. I'm a tad bit frustrated.. And wanting to start on the fourth attempt.. So how do you approach this?
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