The computer has not been playing nicely with me of late! I, of course, think it is because I missed a night or two of writing entries so it paid me back by not letting me do anything at all. It was D-who-knows-little-about-computers-and-always-yells-for-me-when-something-goes-wrong who told me how to correct the problem!
Now that I am back I want to share what I have been doing with my painting rather than diving back into Tourist University. It takes a lot of time to weed through the many photos I take in order to come up with ones that I think are worthy of sharing. The last time I worked at that job, I thought of all the many pictures I take that are nice but don't merit a serious painting (serious = spending days on a work and usually framing it when finished). All those enticing pictures that I like but do nothing with.
So I decided to paint a few of those teasers that nip at my fingers and tangle my hair as I scroll through those that possibly merit hanging on the wall. What I thought would be a Good Plan was to relegate the curiously intriguing subjects to my sketchbook. That way I could get the photo out of my system while at the same time getting some much needed practice. Then I had to determine what I thought needed (or what I was will to) practice and settled on working loosely (limiting the amount of fussy detail).
My sketchbook has been used primarily for en plein air (painting outdoors) which I don't do very often (usually only on vacations). That's why I started with a painting of our garden rather than one of a photograph.
Even though I thought I was finished after one sitting, I found the next day that there were a few details I wanted to add without going overboard. I resisted the temptation to fix the birdbath , make the flowers more distinct, or clarify the background. Not doing any of that allowed me to call this "Morning Mist".
The next subject came from the photos taken in Japan. One in particular intrigued me even as I took it, and when I saw the resulting photo, the urge to paint it was very strong. I loved the composition, the colors, and the subject, but you can see why this isn't necessarily frame-worthy. We had visited a bonsai nursery in the countryside where there were many rice paddies. When we saw this, at first I thought it was another rice paddy, but eventually realized the man was fishing in a marina. There were boats visible - just not in this photo.
I loved the composition, the colors, and the subject, but you can see why this isn't necessarily frame-worthy. We had visited a bonsai nursery in the countryside where there were many rice paddies. When we saw this, at first I thought it was another rice paddy, but eventually realized the man was fishing in a marina. There were boats visible - just not in this photo. This was also a two day painting because I had to let the washes dry before adding some necessary detail as well as making some shadows darker. This is "Lone Fisherman".
Today I finished the third painting - another 2 day work. This one came from a photograph I took probably 20 - 25 years ago before I took up art again in a serious way. The subject called to me (you'll understand why) and the setting was our much loved Vermont lake.
This exercise has taught me that most of the time, my sketches will take two days. If I had a full day to work on painting only, I could finish one in a single day by painting in the morning, letting the washes dry, and finishing the details (even something as simple as the fisherman had to wait for a dry surface) in the afternoon. Normally I have only a morning or an afternoon for painting instead of a full day. This painter is painting the scene I have in the background and is holding her brushes and rag in her hand as she studies her work. Right now I call it "Painting Day" although that doesn't quite satisfy me yet.
Already I have learned that I am impelled to add some detail but that I have gotten better about restraining my tendency to overpaint. I have a better feel for and understanding of this medium, and I enjoy it more now than when I first started with it.
My goal is to get at least one more "sketch" in my sketchbook before the studio lessons pick up again next week.