Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Final)


This is the oil bar painting I have been working on. This painting is based on a photo that I took back in October at Long Hill Gardens, here in Beverly, Massachusetts. A few months ago, at the end of April, I said that I thought that this painting was finished.  But after a while, I changed my mind, and went back to it.  I was happy with the composition but didn't feel that the color was right.  So I worked on the color, and in the process, made a few adjustments to the composition, and added just a bit more detail.  Today, I added a bit more shadow to the edges of the road, revised the line on the right where foliage meets grass, and added more blue to the roof on both buildings.  Now, for the second time, I am ready to say that I think this painting is finished.  I have been wrong before.  But in any case, it is time to move on. . . .

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Drawing from Memory (Rescued Sketch as of July 26, 2017)


Yesterday I found an unfinished pen-and-ink sketch that I had done of my mother.  It was apparent that i had been working from memory, not observation.  And it looked like I had stopped working on the sketch because of mistakes and problems, the main problem being that the features were asymmetrical.  So yesterday I grabbed a fine-tipped ink pen and drew into the sketch, trying to make the features symmetrical.  While I was working, I realized that the nose was wrong. (The tip was shaped like my nose, not hers.)  I looked at a photo to verify, and then I revised the nose and kept going.  But the result was that the area around the nose was too dark.  I couldn't fix that without off-white ink that matched the paper. So today I opened a photo of the sketch in Painter and fixed it digitally. I used the computer to match the color of the paper and then reworked the nose.  I did this without looking at a reference, but when I was done, I checked a photo of her and saw that the revised nose in the sketch is closer to what her nose looked like.  I made a few other changes, especially to the eyebrows. I think this is getting a bit better.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Drawing from Memory (Rescued Sketch)



I have been cleaning my home studio, which leads to looking in old sketchbooks.  So I came across a pen-and-ink drawing of my mother.  I am pretty sure I was working from memory; the sketch didn't "match" any of the photos I have, and it didn't look like it was drawn from observation.  It looked like I had stopped working on it, probably because there were several mistakes. The main problem was that the features were not symmetrical.  So this afternoon I got out a fine point ink pen and began to draw into the sketch.  I added to the drawing to made the eyes, hair, and hairline more symmetrical. As I worked, I realized that the tip of her nose was wrong.  It was shaped like my nose, not hers!  At that point, I grabbed a picture of her, one of her wedding photos, and then made revisions to the nose. I also modified the shape of her lips and slightly changed the shape of the jaw.  Then I drew into the hair and neck, to balance light and dark.  People who knew my mom can recognize her, so I think I have the likeness. I can still see lots of mistakes, but I am happier with the sketch now.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Surprised by a Path (Digital Woodcut)


A couple of days ago (July 21), I posted a photo that I had taken on a recent neighborhood walk.  That day, I discovered that a wooded area I have occasionally walked past is actually the entry to a trail through a local park.  I loved the inviting look of the path, so I took a picture.  I have been thinking about the image because although I would have  liked the photo to show the path framed by two trees in the foreground, in the original photo, the tree on the left is quite bent and disappears part way up the image.  There was also a slight bend on the tree on the left.  Today I opened the image in Painter and used cut-and-paste and digital pastel to straighten both trees.  Then I applied Painter's woodcut effect. I had lost too much color in the process so the last step was to adjust the color with one of iPhoto's filters. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Revised) as of July 23, 2017


I did some more work on this painting today.  This is an oil bar painting on canvas, based on a photo that I took in October at Long Hill Gardens, here in Beverly, MA. Today I did more work on the road.  First I put a light layer of gray over the road to blend in the purple and blue shadows I put in yesterday.  Then I added shadow and detail to the edges of the road.  I also added more blue to the shadows on the lawn and in the foliage in the foreground.  Just a bit more work, a few corrections, and this will be done.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Revised) as of July 22, 2017


This is the oil bar painting I have been working on. Today I concentrated on the foreground, adding shadows on the road as well as on the lawn.  I used my reference photo as a guide, a picture that I took at Long Hill Gardens back in October.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Surprised by a Path


Yesterday I took a walk through the neighborhood.  On a nearby residential street, the houses give way to a wooded area -- not more than four blocks from my house.  This is not my normal route, but I have walked and driven by there often enough.  But this was the first time that saw small signs posted on two of the trees that announced that this was the opening of a trail into  Sally MIlligan Park. This was a nice little surprise and a reminder to pay attention!  I liked the way the path looked so I took this picture.  Maybe I will paint it sometime.