Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Oil Bar Painting as of April 28, 2017)


Here is  my oil bar painting as it looked on Friday (April 28th).  This is an oil bar painting on canvas,  20 inches by 20 inches. I am working from one of my photos (posted here April 23.) Most of my work on Friday was adding light to the tree on the left. and creating shapes for the branches. Trees are always complicated, but I didn't want to get too caught up in the detail.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Oil Bar Painting as of April 27, 2017)


Here is the oil bar painting I have been working on, as it looked on April 27th. That day, I continued work on the trees and brush in the foreground, adding dark areas. I continued to use my photo as a reference (see post for April 23rd).

Friday, April 28, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (As of April 26, 2017)


Here is the oil bar painting I have been working on, as it looked on April 26th.  I added some dark purple to the trees in the background, but spent most of my time working on the trees in the foreground.  I tried to identify light and shadow but without putting in too much detail.  Of course I also made another adjustment to the curve of the road.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Blue Ridge (Delivery for Art Auction in Marblehead)


This morning, I drove to Marblehead  to delivery this painting for the "small works" portion of the art auction (to be held this weekend.)  This is to benefit Marblehead Festival of the Arts. This is one of my acrylic watermedia "mountain daydreams," 9 x 12 inches (11 x 14 inches with frame.)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Oil Bar Painting as of April 25, 2017)


This is the painting I have been working on.  I am using oil bars on a square canvas (20 x 20 inches), and am using one of my photos as a reference.  (It is posted here April 23, 2017, but I took the picture back in October, and Long Hill Gardens, here in Beverly, MA.)  Work on this painting on the 25th included obsessing about and modifying the curve of the road, and filling in green colors for the lawn and the tree in the foreground. To be continued. . . .

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Oil Bar Painting as of April 24, 2017


Here is the oil bar painting I have been working on.  This is roughly based on a photo that took back in October at Long Hill Gardens. (My reference photo is posted here on April 22, 2017.) This is how my painting looked when I finished working on it yesterday.  I spent some time adjusting the composition, especially the position and shape of the road.  Now I have the road where I want it, but may need to adjust the curve.  Then I used purple to add some dark areas.  To be continued. . . 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Oil Bar Painting as of April 23, 2017)


Yesterday I got a new oil bar painting started.  I am using one of my photos as a reference (posted here yesterday).  I used just red, green, and gray to get this far.  At this point, my goal is to work out the composition. The hardest part will be getting the curve in the road just right.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Posterized Photo)


I am starting another oil bar painting.  I began this morning by preparing my reference photo.  This is a picture that I took at Long Hill Gardens last fall. (The original is posted here  back on October 20, 2016).  Long Hill, also known as Sedgwick Gardens, was once a private estate but the houses on  the property and the gardens themselves are now owned by the Trustees of the Reservation, and are open to the public.  I liked photo of the road leading to the main house, and the carriage house on the left.  I am going to use this photo as the basis of my composition, though I plan to make a few changes.  So today, I opened the image in Painter and did some cropping to get a square format. I also used digital pastel to paint over a car visible through the trees. Then I did some posterizing, especially trying to bring out orange tones in the tree on the right.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sketch for Cecelia (Inked as of Apr. 22, 2017)


This is a "life-size" working sketch for a decorated wooden codfish cutout that I am making, to be auctioned off for the  Marblehead Festival of the Arts. Some 50 local artists have been asked to participate in this project. This year I am will decorate my codfish with musical scales -- C scales, to be specific, which is why I named my fish Cecelia.  Yesterday I posted this pencil sketch, inked in silver, gold, and turquoise sharpie pens. Today I went over the fold and silver with fancy metallic gold and silver ink pens and they really do make a difference.  (Metallic sharpie gold tends to read as brown and the silver tends to read as gray). These pens are harder to control than Sharpies, but it will be worth it for the added brightness.  This is a working sketch, and it has been helpful to do this "dress rehearsal" because I have identified some things that I want to improve for the final version. if you want to get an idea of I am going with this,  follow this link to see "Bella Bacalhau," last year's entry: https://www.flickr.com/photos/randiart/26803421380/

Friday, April 21, 2017

Sketch for Cecelia (Inked as of Apr. 21, 2017)


This is the pencil sketch I posted yesterday, but inked with silver, gold, and turquoise sharpie pens. This is a "life-size" working sketch for a decorated wooden codfish cutout that I am making, to be auctioned off for the  Marblehead Festival of the Arts. Some 50 area artists are participating in this project. This year I am going to to decorate my codfish with musical scales -- C scales, to be specific, which is why I named my fish Cecelia. The sketch started to come alive as I added the colors. Today I used sharpie pens, but I have some fancy metallic gold and silver ink pens that I will use later and they will be a bit brighter (but harder to control). Also, I plan to use an iridescent pearl background. I am almost ready to get to work on the actual wooden fish. This preparation takes time, but I won't be able to start over on the real thing.  if you want to get an idea of where this is headed,  follow this link to see "Bella Bacalhau," last year's entry: https://www.flickr.com/photos/randiart/26803421380/

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sketch for Cecelia (Pencil)


This is a pencil sketch for my current project. Along with 50 area  artists, I am decorating a wooden codfish for the Marblehead Festival of the Arts. The decorated codfish will be on display in Marblehead and then auctioned off to benefit Marblehead Festival of the Arts.  I am going to to decorate my codfish with musical scales -- C scales, to be specific, which is why I named my fish Cecelia. I am working out my design on paper "life size", before actually working on the wooden cutout. As of yesterday, I figured out the color scheme: iridescent pearl, silver and gold ink, with a little turquoise. Today I worked hard to finish the pencil sketch because the next step is to add color to the sketch. All of this preparation is time-consuming, but still better than trying to do "overs" on a wooden cutout of a fish!  if you want a better idea of where this is going,  follow this link to see "Bella Bacalhau," last year's entry: https://www.flickr.com/photos/randiart/26803421380/

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Color Scheme for Cecelia (Codfish Project)


After about a dozen attempts, I have come up with the color scheme for my next project. Along with about 50 other local artists, I am decorating a wooden codfish for the Marblehead Festival of the Arts. The decorated codfish will be on display in Marblehead and then auctioned off to benefit Marblehead Festival of the Arts. This year, I am going to to decorate my codfish with musical scales -- C scales, to be specific, which is why I named my fish Cecelia. I have been trying out color schemes, but didn't really find what I wanted till I visited the local art store and found an irridescent acrylic paint. The color is called "pearl" (appropriate for the ocean) and seems to land between white, off-white, and very pale silver. I bought a couple of tubes and came home and tried out as the background color on a piece of paper. Both silver and gold ink show up just fine. I also tried out some touches of turquoise blue, which I am thinking of using as well. So now I have my color scheme. The next step is to finish my "life-size sketch" on paper, and then get to work on the wooden cutout. if you want a better idea of where this is headed, follow this link to see "Bella Bacalhau," last year's entry: www.flickr.com/photos/randiart/26803421380/

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Forsythia at Long Hill Gardens


It has been a hectic week, but yesterday we took a walk at Long Hill Gardens.  Everything was in bloom and I took a lot of pictures.  Here's one of my favorites, one of the very first spring blooms.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Closeup of Tree and Hillside (Revised)


Yesterday I posted the revised version of an oil bar painting that I started in 2015, working from a photo that I took at Appleton Farms, in Ipswich, MA.  Yesterday I reworked  the leaves, and this closeup shows what I did. For a long time, I have been thinking of making the foliage look a bit looser, less precise.  So yesterday, I revised the foliage, adding more red, yellow, and orange to create more connections among the leaves. What I wanted was to call more attention to the tree as a whole, and less attention to the individual leaves.  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Tree and Hillside (Oil Bar Painting Revised)


This is a project with a long history, and today, for the second time, I finished it.   In October 2014, I took some photos during a walk at Appleton Farm, in Ipswich, MA. I edited one of the photos to use  as a reference for this painting (posted here Jan. 2 and 3 of 2015). Then I began painting and pronounced the painting finished on Mar. 20 of 2015.  At the time, I said that the painting was finished, "not perfect, just finished".  I hung it up in my studio at home.  Since then, I have often thought about taking the painting up to Porter Mill, but never did, thinking that I wanted to do more with it.  I never did seal the edges. Well, this week I decided it was finally time to deal with this painting.  Over time, I had realized that what I wanted to see was a slightly more impressionistic approach to the foliage. But I wasn't sure, so a couple of days ago, I took a quick photo of the painting, imported it into Procreate on my iPhone, and played around with some brushes to get a little preview of the changes I wanted to make.  That gave me enough courage to get the painting down from the wall this morning and dive in. I used some oil bars in red and yellow and small brushes to paint into the foliage, adding brighter color and making some of the leaves blend together a bit more. The painting was true to the photo in showing the individual leaves, but I wanted to emphasize the tree as a whole. This morning  I didn't look at the original photo, but just went by what I wanted to see on the canvas. I tried to be careful not to do too much.  I also added some more bright leaves to the ground under the tree.  I think the painting is better now, and I may submit it to an upcoming show.  In any case, it is time to do more oil bar landscapes. so it is time to say (for the second time) that this is finally, finally done.  As I said before, not perfect, just finished.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sketching Cecelia (As of April 15, 2017)


Today, I did some more work on this drawing. This is a working sketch for the wooden codfish I am decorating for the Marblehead Festival of the Arts. This is my third year participating in this auction. Some 50 local artists will each decorate a wooden codfish, to be displayed in Marblehead and then auctioned off to benefit Marblehead Festival of the Arts. My idea this year is to create a codfish covered in scales: musical scales. Because I plan to use C scales, I decided to name this fish Cecelia.  Instead of starting work right on the wooden cutout, I traced the shape of the cutout onto a big piece of paper so I could plan my design. I didn't have a lot of time today, but I drew in lines on the fins and tail, trying to keep the same distance apart as the lines of musical staff.  So far I am happy with the design, though the sketch is a bit rough.  If you want to get an idea of where this is going, follow this link to see "Bella Bacalhau," last year's entry: https://www.flickr.com/photos/randiart/26803421380/

Friday, April 14, 2017

More Notes for a Color Scheme for Cecelia


Along with about 50 other local artists, I am decorating a wooden codfish for the Marblehead Festival of the Arts. These codfish will be displayed in Marblehead and then auctioned off to benefit Marblehead Festival of the Arts. This year, I plan to decorate my codfish with musical scales -- C scales, to be specific, which is why I named my fish Cecelia. Before starting work on the wooden cutout, I traced the fish shape on a big piece of paper and began laying out the design.  But I am still trying to sort out the color schemes.  Yesterday I posted 10 possibilities.  This morning, I came up with two more, both on a silver background. I am still trying to decide. Meanwhile, if you want to get an idea of all this is going, follow this link to see "Bella Bacalhau," last year's entry: https://www.flickr.com/photos/randiart/26803421380/

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Notes for a Color Scheme for Ceclia


Yesterday I posted a sketch, still in progress, a design for the wooden codfish I am decorating for the Marblehead Festival of the Arts. This will be the third time I have participated. Some 50 local artists will each decorate a wooden codfish. In the spring, the codfish will be displayed in Marblehead and then auctioned off to benefit Marblehead Festival of the Arts. My idea for this year is to paint a fish covered in scales: musical scales -- C scales, to be specific, which is why I decided to name this fish Cecelia. Before starting work on the wooden cutout, I traced the fish shape on a big piece of paper and began laying out the design.  Although there is certainly more work to be done on the sketch, I have been thinking about the color scheme, so I decided to try out some options.  Here are 10 possibilities, but I think there will be more to come.  The issues: to get enough contrast between the lines, the notes, and the background, especially since I am going to extend the lines onto the fins and tail. One idea that I haven't tried out yet: a silver background, blue lines, and gold notes.  We will see.  Anyway, it was good practice to draw the musical notes. If you want to get an idea of all this is going, follow this link to see "Bella Bacalhau," last year's entry: https://www.flickr.com/photos/randiart/26803421380/

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sketching Cecelia (As of Apr. 8, 2017)


This is a sketch for the wooden codfish I am decorating for the Marblehead Festival of the Arts. This is my third year participating. About 50 local artists will each decorate a wooden codfish, to be displayed in Marblehead and then auctioned off to benefit Marblehead Festival of the Arts. This year, my idea is to create a codfish covered in scales: musical scales. I decided to name this fish Cecelia because I plan to use C scales. Instead of starting work right on the wooden cutout, I am planning out my design on paper.  I did a lot of measuring and fiddling around with strips of paper to get this far.  And the sketch is still rough, but I think the idea will work.  If you want to get an idea of where this is going, follow this link to see "Bella Bacalhau," last year's entry: https://www.flickr.com/photos/randiart/26803421380/

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pansies for Passover (with Prisma filter)


Yesterday's post was a photo of some pansies that my daughter recently bought for me.  I thought it would make a nice greeting for the first night of Passover. Tonight I am posting the same photo, but with a Prisma filter.  More pansies for the second night of Passover.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pansies for Passover


Last night my daughter brought me a planter of pansies.  Today I took some pictures of them, and decided to post these pansies to celebrate spring (finally!) and Passover.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Wooden Cut-Out for Cecelia (Apr. 8, 2017)


I am starting to work on this project, a decorated wooden codfish.  For the third year, I was asked to join a group of local artists who will each decorate a wooden codfish, to be displayed in Marblehead and then auctioned off to benefit Marblehead Festival of the Arts. This year, my idea is to create a codfish covered in scales: musical scales. (To see more about this idea, see my sketch posted here March 29.) I decided to name this fish Cecelia because I plan to use C scales. This photo shows the wooden cutout that I was given, and I am tracing the outline of the cutout onto a piece of paper so I can work out my design.  If you want to get an idea of where this is going, follow this link to see "Bella Bacalhau," last year's entry: https://www.flickr.com/photos/randiart/26803421380/

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Spring Flowers (Drawing Animation)

video

Yesterday I did a drawing on my iPad, using the Procreate app.  I got this app to replace my beloved Brushes app, which was becoming glitchy and was no longer supported.  Unlike Brushes, Procreate lets you use a stylus, which is new. I did this drawing with Procreate's digital "oil pastel" which is so much like the real thing that it is annoying, smudges and all. Like the Brushes app, Procreate captures a stroke-by-stroke video as you draw.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to get the hang of the canvas rotation toggle in Procreate, so I ended up with part of the video upside-down, but I was able to fix the problem in iMovie.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Spring Flowers (Digital Drawing)


This is a little digital drawing that I did today on my iPad, using Procreate's digital "oil pastel".  It even smudges like the real thing.  I used the stylus, which makes it possible to get more detail.  Like my old Brushes app, Procreate captures a stroke-by-stroke video as you draw.  I hope to post that tomorrow. (I am still having trouble with the screen rotation functions (resulting in a video with several frames upside-down). But that can be fixed in iMovie.)

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Swan at Kelleher Pond (with Prisma filter)


Yesterday's post was a photo of a swan. This was one of a set of pictures and videos that I took during a walk around our neighborhood pond.  I used the Prisma app on my phone to add a filter to the original photo.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Swan at Kelleher Pond


Day before yesterday, we took a walk around nearby Kelleher Pond.  I expected to see some ducks, but I was surprised to see two big swans.  I took some pictures of this one, who came close to the shore.  I also made a second version of this image with the  Prisma filter, and I plan to post it here tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Chapter I - Courtship (Posterized Photo)


Today would have been my parents' wedding anniversary; they were married on April 4, 1943. This afternoon I was looking for a picture of them in my mom's album. My mother kept an photo album that begins when she first met my dad,  through their wedding a few months later, their honeymoon trip to NYC, and then photos that my dad sent back while he was overseas during WWII and photos of my mom's life in Pueblo until he returned.  She kept all the photos in order, with captions and information written longhand in white ink on the black album paper.  Today I found a snapshot right on the first page, the first picture of them when they began to date. My mother wrote, "Chapter I - Courtship: I met Private Hy Zagon at a USO Dance Thursday eve, January 21, 1943. We dated Friday & Saturday and it was on Sunday that these pictures were taken." On this page are eight photos, some she identifies as taken at Pueblo's City Park Zoo, and the rest taken at her house, "the Katz house," the house in which I grew up.  So this picture was taken on January 24, 1943.  They were married just a few months later. The original snapshot itself is black and white, about 3 x 4 inches (if that). I started by retouching to remove some scratches, then opened the image in Painter and added color overlays and selective posterizing till I got what I wanted.  It was fun to spend time working on this, thinking about young love, familiar faces, and the street where I grew up. 

Monday, April 03, 2017

Leni (Digitally Modified Photo)


This is an illustration for a book that I recently edited, about the late Leni Ohlbrecht, seen in the photo. The book, written by her mother-in-law Elaine Ohlbrecht, is about the experience of having breast cancer. It is based on Elaine's interviews with Leni and her family and friends, but above all the book is Elaine's tribute to  her daughter-in-law. The image posted here began with a photo taken by Leni's husband Tyler Ohlbrecht. Tyler's photo showed Leni waving in the midst of a cure cancer fundraiser. In the image sent to me, filtering had already been applied so that the image was black and white with pink tones. It was already a great picture ! But because Leni was surrounded by other people, clearly identifiable but unknown to Elaine, it wouldn't be possible to seek out permission to publish their images. So I said I would see what I could do. I opened Tyler's photo in Painter and began by softening the focus on the other faces with motion blur and some posterizing, but leaving Leni's face in clear focus. Then, where possible, I used some brush strokes in pink tones,  taken from the photograph, to paint over some details. And then I used copy-and-paste to create additional balloons, positioning them to hide some of the other faces. This also highlighted Leni in the image, and reflects her positive spirit, so I was pleased with that.  Finally, I cropped the image to get the composition shown here. It was an honor to collaborate with Tyler on this picture of Leni.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Flowers for Fran (with Prisma filter)


Yesterday's post was a photo of a bouquet.  (This was a centerpiece from a dinner in Boston, and it was given to me to take home.)  I thought the image would look good with a Prisma filter.  After trying a few filters, I chose this one, then brought it down to about 80%. 

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Flowers for Fran


On Thursday, we drove into Boston to attend a lecture at Northeastern University, followed by an amazing dinner.  This annual event honors the memory of two cousins, Fran and Michael. After dessert, as people were getting ready to leave, I was given this lovely centerpiece to take home.  Of  course I took a picture, and tonight I cropped it to get this composition.  I also created a second 'filtered' version with the Prisma app, and I plan to post it here tomorrow.