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Old 09-20-2017, 02:03 AM
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DMArtist7 DMArtist7 is online now
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

t1, that touch of purple must have helped indeed and the fact you added the glow/halo effect to it enhanced it too. Excellent balance of values also added up. I just love it! Don't be sorry, I haven't been into plein air lately as well, I know what you mean by having to follow where mind wants to do with paintings. I got the same thing! Your charcoal sketch is coming along very well. I think what Annie said about the movement is on the spot. Concentrate on that. It made me think of gesture drawing where you have to practice drawing figures fast in certain amount of time so you get a sense of the flow. Maybe look into that? I think it'll help out a lot. I really should try self portrait painting, it seems like fun and challenging! I like that!

AnnieA, Lovely piece! Love how vibrant the orange carrots are! It's such a shame that you missed the deadline like that. I so know what you mean with the art store not telling you the whole truth that way. I got a light bulb thinking that is what I wanted after having a phone call with the store only to turn out that it was NOT the brand they told me it would be. Oh well, doesn't matter, it was included with the art studio floor lamp so it was not like I can send it back, just if I knew that I would have ordered other light bulb to go with it so the shipping fee would be cheaper that way. But my problem isn't as bad as yours. I hope you will get an opportunity to have another solo show later on though! Your artworks speak volume and definitely deserves a show!

Geoff, wow that definitely has ethereal feeling to it. Nice going! Good shape and shading. You got solid sense of forms and volume. I'm kinda curious of the colored version too... might be able to give you some tips on how to keep that ethereal feeling for next time that way? Just a suggestion. Love it!

I wanted to paint something today but I don't know what. I still have to add gesso to my canvas panels before I can paint- they're pre-primed yes but from my experience it was hard to use paint on it for some reason. Didn't like it plus I like the random texture gesso can add with my brushstrokes. Just that it needs 12 hours to fully cure. Oh well. I do 2 at a time and planned to do that yesterday so I could paint today but got lazy.
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:57 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

Geoff, wow .. it's really good! What a softness.
t1, excellent drawing beginning. I like it! Your still life (earlier post) is very, very good!
Annie, lovely! Refreshing and very good subject.
Karen, lovely work. Lots of light in your still life.
DM, good work! You have an Old Master's touch in your hand and brush!
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:54 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

Karen: I just wanted to comment on your Pinch Pot and Peppers. I think it is looking good and you are on the right track. I have a little bit of C&C though (I'm sorry! I hope it will be useful for you!) I think it would help you to have a more defined form shadow on your objects, it would really make them look much more dimensional. Also, I noticed that you used a lot of sharp edges, that are all somewhere around the same level of sharpness. Painting is all about the relationships, I think it would help if some of your edges were softened a bit, especially where the background meets the table, if you softened that edge it would recede quite a bit. I like the painting though and I hope that this helps you in some way!

P.S. : as for how to soften edges, I have encountered two schools of thought. Some people like to "lick" the paint with the brush, and just kind of blend the paint around. This can work sometimes, but if you do it too often and all throughout the painting, it can kill the paint's vitality and make it look lifeless. The other school of thought, is quite the opposite, and it is to never soften any edges at all! But to obtain the illusion of a softer edge, you use brushstrokes, with similar values of paint, laid down next to each other. Doing this, you are not softening or "licking" the paint anywhere, but when two similar values of paint are laid down next to each other, it optically creates a softer edge. I hope this makes sense. Edges are tough, but when you keep them in mind, they can really give some life to your paintings.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:25 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

One of my instructors suggests softening edges by using a clean smallish brush and making a single stroke along the edge to blur. Maybe that's the lick method you describe, T1?
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:55 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

"Front Porch" - 8x12" oil on panel

Finally got outside today for some plein air! Wooohoooo!!!
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:58 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

DMA: Thanks for your comments on my portrait. I'm hoping I'll get to finish the painting of Lily with the model. The half-colored version I have now doesn't do her justice, in part because I tried to work on it from memory after class, and I worsened the drawing. Was it Degas who said we should be required to keep our easel upstairs from the model so that we have to rely mostly on memory? If so, I need more practice. ;-)

T1: you nailed the drawing of that house. Every time I paint plein air I debate whether I want to spend the time it will take me to draw a man-made object correctly! Evidently that didn't hamper you here.

I also got outside today. I had on bug spray, but even so I was assaulted by a combined-arms force of stink bugs, both dive-bombers and infantry. I managed to escape with a decent image. "Potomac Reflections," oil on panel, 8" x 10."

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Old 09-21-2017, 12:56 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

T1 nice painting of the front porch. I especially like the red tree.
Geoff love your reflections. Nice painting.
T1. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know about the edges. You are right. I tend to paint with hard edges. I'm so focused on shapes I forget to vary edges. I tried to go back a soften some but since the paint was already touch dry it was difficult without redoing everything.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:30 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

Looking great Karen! Love your new painting, "Potomac Reflections" Geoff. Here is an update to my charcoal sketch. I really did take Annie's advice into consideration about movement and the position of my body, but my mind seems to be locked into this pose for some reason. I think this is as far as I'm going to take the sketch. Time to bring out the paint I don't plan on tracing or anything, I'm just going to eye this to transfer onto canvas with paint. I just wanted to do some sketching with charcoal to get a feel for this composition. Also, the passage in the viewer's lower right where my shirt is lit, I am going to put in shadow because I can already tell its attracting my eye to it, where I don't want it to go.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:27 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

I don't know why but this is always the most satisfying part of a painting for me. Loose sketch with burnt sienna and OMS. Can just be loose and free and feel my way around the canvas. I'm really just taking my time on this one and hoping I can get a believable look. I'm painting on a pre made stretched canvas I got from Jo Ann's Fabrics, but I prepared it with Rustoleum so it is very non absorbent and I can easily wipe out any marks I put down.
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:08 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

Karen, I like those edges better too. I used to paint everything with hard edges. I thought it was a requirement, lol. Then I took a painting class and I learned that soft edges are often the default. Certainly in plein air they are for me! Soft edges allow me to direct attention and focus to the few hard edges in the painting. (*cough* Translation: soft edges let me fudge the drawing and get on with the good stuff!)

Looking good so far, T1. I enjoy the two-color stage too. As I mentioned, "Lily" looked better at this stage than later. My instructor explains that as we add more info, it gets harder to maintain the likeness. I really have to practice that transition from nice underpainting to fully-realized color portrait. I hope you can pull it off here. Interesting that you're doing most of the figure too.

I did a fun painting today (a cityscape of sorts) but stayed out so late it was too dark to photograph! Will post it tomorrow.
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