I recently attended an event at the Peabody Essex Museum (in Salem, MA). The special Thursday nights there usually include several participatory arts and crafts events, and this time it was making fabric flowers. This is my idea of fun, so I made a couple of quick flowers. This one was far from perfect, but I thought it had some possibilities, so I took a photo of it. Today I used Painter to do some digital cleanup: I used cut-and-paste to make the yarn center look neater, and cleaned up the edges with digital pastel. Then I applied a "digital woodcut effect". After that, I did a final crop to get this composition. I had been thinking that this would make a good pattern, so I grabbed the image with "capture pattern" . I was very happy with the way the pattern turned out, and plan to post it here tomorrow.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Sunday, March 29, 2015
This image began with a Polaroid photo of my mom, taken by my dad in 1972. The photo is on the very first page of his album of Polaroid portraits. (Although I knew my father took a lot of pictures with his Polaroid back in the 1970s, I had no idea that this album existed until it arrived in the mail earlier this year.) Today I wanted a nice picture of my mother to publish along with her recipe for apple kugel on our food blog. I remembered this photo which I really liked because my father had captured her expression. But the lighting was a little harsh and I wanted to modify the composition. So I opened the image in Painter and used digital pastel to soften some of the effects of the camera flash. While I was at it, I added more color to the blouse. Then I applied Painter's digital woodcut effect, using trial and error to get the right amount of outline. Finally I did a close crop to get this composition. It was great to feel like I was collaborating with my father in creating this image, and I like to think that my camera-shy mom would have liked the result. (To see this picture, along with my mom's recipe and the illustration for it, go to https://seasoningforeverypalate.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/moms-passover-apple-kugel/)
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Today I used colored conte crayon to finish up this drawing. This is an illustration of a recipe for apple kugel, a dessert that my mother sometimes made on Passover. Tomorrow, I plan to post the recipe and this illustration on our food blog, seasoningforeverypalate.wordpress.com.
Friday, March 27, 2015
I worked on this drawing this morning. This is soon to be an illustration for a recipe on our food blog (seasoningforeverypalate.wordpress.com). The recipe is for an apple kugel that my mother sometimes made for Passover. This morning, I continued to work out the color scheme, using colored pencils. But after about an hour, I decided that I needed to change course. I wasn't getting the kind of contrast that I needed, and more important, I was losing the outlines of the still life. So I tried adding colored conte crayon to the colored pencil, and that immediately solved the problems of color and contrast. Then I used dark blue fine-line marker to go over the outlines that I had drawn in with dark blue colored pencil. I was happy with that, too, especially the whimsical look of the outlined objects. It's a little risky to make that kind of change, but I have had good luck with the combination of marker and conte crayon in some other drawings. Suddenly everything seemed easier, and my recipe illustration was back on track. So now this is going to be a mixed media drawing. This is still a work in progress; I want to add more color and do some cleanup. But I am happy about this drawing and things should go faster now.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
My current project is this drawing, which is going to serve as an illustration for a recipe on our food blog (seasoningforeverypalate.wordpress.com). This is a recipe for an apple kugel that my mother sometimes made for Passover. The biggest change I made today was to transform the can of pecans into a glass jar. I think that will improve the composition. And I had fun drawing the pecans. I also added detail to the product labels and am still trying to work out the color scheme.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
This morning I worked for a while on this drawing. This is going to be an illustration for a recipe for our food blog (seasoningforeverypalate.wordpress.com). The recipe is an apple kugel that my mother sometimes made at passover. This morning, I re-drew the apples, changing the placement. Then I made some changes to the lines and lettering. At this point, I am pretty happy with the composition, so I decided to use colored pencil to start figuring out the color scheme, beginning with objects whose color is predetermined (lemons, apples, metal objects, and the kugel itself.)
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
I am working on a illustration for a recipe on our food blog (seasoningforeverypalate.wordpress.com). This is going to be for my mother's recipe for a Passover apple kugel. Yesterday I sketched out the idea in ballpoint pen on typing paper. Today I started the illustration, sketching it out in pencil on paper. I made adjustments in placement, but am going to use a similar composition.
Monday, March 23, 2015
I am working on another recipe for our food blog (which is Seasoningforeverypalate.wordpress.com) .This time the recipe is going to be an apple kugel that my mother made for Passover. This morning I read over the recipe, and then quickly sketched out some ideas for an illustration. I am going to go with this one, though I will probably modify the composition.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
This is the photo that I first took at Appleton Farms, the first look at the tree and hillside, and it inspired the painting that I recently finished (see post from March 20). It was late October and we were on a tour of Appleton Farms, to see how cheese is made. There were other people on the tour, it was cold and windy, and the tour guide was moving us along to the dairy barn. But I liked the look of that tree and hillside, so I took a quick picture. I only had time to capture the idea, but didn't have a chance to really set up the shot. So just to make this into a presentable photo (which later became one of my reference photos), I had to crop out the pile of big black tires just beyond the fence. You can also see a bit of a baby carriage (belonging to another tour participant) in the lower left, which also had to be cropped out. Then I adjusted the composition to make it more pleasing, and I had the photo I wanted. Then to get from the reference photo to the painting, I made other changes that went beyond what is possible with photo editing. I adjusted the composition again because to show more of the top of the tree (which I actually had to invent). I adjusted the whole composition for a square format. And I modified the line of trees in the background. To emphasize the main tree, I eliminated a second tree (on the left) and straightened some of the lines of the fence. This is what it means to create a pleasing photo (art) from a quick snapshot of an event, and what it means to create a painting inspired by (but not a copy of) a photo.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Yesterday I finished up this painting, an oil bar landscape. It is based on photos that I took in October at Appleton Farms (Ipswich, MA); my reference photos are posted here on January 2nd and 3rd. This detail shows one of the areas I worked on yesterday, the row of trees in the distance.
Friday, March 20, 2015
I finished this painting today. This oil bar landscape was inspired by photos that I took in October at Appleton Farms, in Ipswich, MA. (My reference photos are posted here on January 2nd and 3rd.) This morning, painted in the row of trees in the distance, then cleaned up the lines of the hillside and brightened the sky, and added a few more leaves on the tree. Then I hung the painting up on the studio wall and over the course of the day, made a lot of tiny corrections. If I discover anything else that needs to be corrected, I will take care of it when I will seal the edged of the canvas (starting tomorrow). So now I am ready to say that this is painting is finished. Not perfect, just finished.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
I meant to post this a few days ago. This is a detail of my oil bar painting as it looked on March 15, 2015. I have been painting a scene at Appleton Farms (Ipswich, MA) from photos that I took there in late October. (My reference photos are posted here, on January 2nd and 3rd.) On March 15, I was working mainly on the area shown here, trying to create a subtle suggestion of the wires in the fence.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
This is a much better photo of the image I posted yesterday. This is a painting that I did a few years ago. My friend asked me to paint this scene of the Ring of Kerry, in County Kerry, Ireland, as a gift for his wife, whose name is Kerry. Yesterday I discovered that the only photo that I had of this painting was very small, so after failed attempts to enlarge the image, I resorted to a screen shot. Meanwhile, I asked my friend back in Colorado to take a better photo for me, and he did -- so here it is.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
This is a watercolor of a scene in County Kerry, Ireland. Several years ago, a friend of mine asked me to paint this scene for his wife, Kerry. I worked from a postcard that my friend sent me and used it to create this stylized version of the scene. This painting now hangs in their home in Colorado. I decided to post this today for Saint Patrick's Day. But I discovered that the jpeg image that I have of it is too small (not enough pixels). I tried to fix the problem in Painter, but couldn't find a good solution. Finally, I decided to enlarge the image on the screen. I adjusted the brightness and focus, and then took a picture with my iPhone. This is far from a perfect solution because you can see some artifacts from the screen shot, but the image is sharp enough to see and still true to the colors. At some point, I hope I will be able to get a better photo from my friends, but until then, this will have to do.
Monday, March 16, 2015
Here is my oil bar painting as it looked yesterday after my painting session. This landscape is based on photos that I took at Appleton Farms of Ipswich, MA, back in October. (My reference photos are posted on this site, on January 2nd and 3rd). Yesterday I continued to work on the fence, and added suggestions of wire. I also did a little work on the green field. There are just a few more things to do. . . .
Sunday, March 15, 2015
It's been a very snowy winter here north of Boston, over 100 inches, I think. And like everyone else, I have had more than enough of the inconvenience, snow-covered cars, non-existent sidewalks, nowhere to park, and great heaps of snow in every parking lot. Despite a general rise in temperatures, it snowed again today, possibly more than was expected. It was a quiet and stead snowfall. And I looked out the window and had to admit that despite everything, the snow is still beautiful. So I took a picture with my iPhone, and this is it, right out of the camera.
Saturday, March 14, 2015
I am still working on my oil bar painting of a scene at Appleton Farms, based on photos that I took there back in October. (My reference photos are posted on this site, January 2nd and 3rd.) I didn't paint today, so here is a closeup of the painting as it looked yesterday. I added some more burnt orange leaves on the path and on the grass, and adjusted some of the shadows in the foreground. I think I am approaching the finish line on this one, but there are still a few things to do.
Friday, March 13, 2015
I finally had a chance to work on this painting late this afternoon. I am using oil bars to paint this scene, working from photos that I took in October when I visited Appleton Farm in Ipswich, MA. (My reference photos are posted here, on January 2nd and 3rd.) Today I made some adjustments to the lines of the path. I also added more fallen leaves on the ground, and added grass to the center line of the path.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
I didn't have a chance to paint today, but here is a detail of the painting I am working on, as it looked yesterday. This is an oil bar landscape based on photos that I took in October at Appleton Farms, in nearby Ipswich, MA. What I worked on yesterday was trying to suggest fallen leaves on the path, using color and shape. I am using the direction of the brush strokes to reinforce the perspective of the path. This is not easy. . . .
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Here is my oil bar painting as of today. This is an oil bar landscape based on photos that I took in October at Appleton Farm (Ipswich, MA). My reference photos are posted here on January 2nd and 3rd. I didn't get a chance to paint until late afternoon, and I didn't have much time. But I kept going with the fallen leaves on the path. I am trying to add the suggestion of the leaves without interfering with the perspective of the path.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
This is the painting I have been working on. I am using oil bars to paint this scene, working from photos that I took in October at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA. (My reference photos can be seen on this site, posted on January 2nd and 3rd.) I didn't have a lot of time to work on this today, but I used my reference photos to determine where the fallen leaves should be on this path. Then I began to work out how I would go about indicating leaves on the path.
Monday, March 09, 2015
This is a closeup of the oil bar painting I am working on as it looked after yesterday's painting session. (I am painting from photos that I took at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA in October; I posted my reference photos here on January 2nd and 3rd.) Yesterday I spent a lot of time on this area, adjusting the perspective of the fence. Getting there, I think. . . .
Sunday, March 08, 2015
This morning I worked on my oil bar painting of a scene at Appleton Farms (in Ipswich, MA), from by photos that I took there in October. (My reference photos are posted here on January 2nd and 3rd.) I worked on the road and fence again today. This is tedious, but has to be done. I realized that one of the fence posts in the painting wasn't standing straight up. It was leaning over in the photos as well, but I decided to straighten it out so see if that would help with my perspective problems, and it did. I also reworked the horizontal rails of the fence, which also helped a lot. Then also tried to straighten out some problems with the lines of the path. At this point, I am painting in corrections in red so I can see what I am doing. I think I am almost finished fussing with the perspective, and will be able to get on with the rest of the painting. This part is frustrating and not exciting, but It's worth the time it takes to get this right.
Saturday, March 07, 2015
A few days ago (March 4), I posted a digital drawing of hamentashen (triangular filled cookie eaten on Purim, a Jewish holiday). I made the drawing using Painter's kaleidoscope grid which allows you to draw six multiple images at once. Since then, I have been wondering what this would look like as a pattern, so I finally decided to try. I used Painter's "capture pattern" to make a pattern from my drawing, and then used the "paint bucket" tool to fill a new image with the pattern. Maybe I will use on Zazzle.com to make Purim cards and gifts for next year.
Friday, March 06, 2015
Two days ago, I took this closeup photo of the painting I am working on. (I am using oil bars to paint a scene that I photographed at Appleton Farms last October.) This shows the part I have been concentrating on for the past few days: the perspective of the road and the perspective of the fence.
Thursday, March 05, 2015
This is my painting as it looked when I last worked on it, which was yesterday morning. I am using oil bars to paint this landscape, basing it on photos that I took in October at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA. My reference photos are posted on this site, January 2nd and 3rd. Yesterday's task was mostly continued work on the path and fence, trying to get the perspective right. In this painting as in the reference photos, there are going to be fallen leaves on the path. Of course, that will soften the lines of the path, but still I want the lines of the path to be convincing before I add the leaves.
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
Today I used Painter's kaleidoscope tool to create this image. Hamentoshen are triangular filled cookies eaten on Purim, a Jewish holiday that starts tonight at sundown. I am sending this image out to say "Happy Purim" to those celebrating.
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
This afternoon I worked on this painting. I am using oil bars for this landscape, which is loosely based on photos that I took in October at Appleton Farms (in Ipswich, MA). My reference photos are posted on this site, January 2nd and 3rd. Today I concentrated mostly on perspective. First I worked on the path, struggling to get the lines to behave. Although I think it looks better, I still need to make some more adjustments to get the perspective right. I also worked on the lines of the fence and fence posts.
Monday, March 02, 2015
I returned to this painting this morning, an oil bar landscape based on a scene that I photographed in October at Appleton Farms (Ipswich, MA). I started this painting two months ago, and my reference photos are posted here on January 2nd and 3rd. This morning, I started by adding yellow to the tree, both as local color and to show where light is hitting the leaves. I also added some yellow to indicate leaves on the ground. I also used yellow to indicate light hitting the tops of the backlit trees in the distance. I started to photograph the painting but realized that I needed to straighten out the lines of the path, so I worked on that for awhile. There is more to do on that task, and I left red lines to indicate where I need to make corrections.
Sunday, March 01, 2015
If you look closely, you can see the top left corner of a chain-link gate, which leads to the back yard along a path behind the garage. This is one of the photos I have been taking of extreme snow scenes from the Big Snow of 2015. I liked the combination of shapes and textures, so today I edited it in iPhoto and cropped it to get this composition. This was taken February 26, 2015.