Positive Step!

Started this one yesterday, finished tonight…well, I might still work on the background, but I think the face is done. And I am pleased with the step toward looseness it represents in my experimentation!

I had a color experiment in mind too; I saw in a color mixing book the wonderful neutral greens that result from mixing ultramarine blue and yellow ochre, so started with them. I don’t usually like or use greens, so this was a good learning experience for me in that regard too.

In the slideshow below, the first one (the one that’s different from all the rest) is actually a completely different painting. I was struggling to get a likeness, painting out and re-painting various features, when I realized I wasn’t having fun. So I set it aside and started over using bolder color, less deliberation, and choppier strokes with almost no blending. Definitely more fun! Adjusting position/size etc of features was much easier as the entire image was freer, looser, more fluid.

It’s hard to quantify how well I did on the likeness…but for such an impressionistic rendition I’m OK with it.

I don’t like the background, may work on it some more later…or not…also want to keep moving forward to see what comes out next!

I scrounged some bicycle cartons today from a bike shop near my studio, so I have plenty of “canvasses” to work on. I’m motivated to make as many paintings as I can before April 1 when I open my studio for First Friday Artwalk. I don’t expect a big crowd, but it’s a nice motivation nonetheless.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My thanks to Bill Wadman at http://www.365portraits.com/ for permission to use his photo as practice reference.

Keep clicking through several screens on the above image to zoom in close to see the brush strokes (the final click should show a magnifying glass cursor).

9 thoughts on “Positive Step!”

  1. Jim Talt

    Love this girl portrait. I immediately thought of the fauvist. Beautiful work.

  2. Lisa Cofer

    OH WOW!! This is exactly what I want to do….living in the middle of nowhere and time on my hands…getting my work room together….cant afford canvases to work with….and MY stupid self…burned ALL my previous paintings that were on canvas….just because I saw someone elses work that I deemed to be better than mine…..I am looking forward to any more information I can get on painting…..IF you can do this…..I can too…..THANKS!!

  3. thanks for your comment, lisa — you’re very fortunate to have time on your hands to paint! take full advantage of it! you never know what life may throw at you.

    i think most artists suffer from comparison syndrome…exacerbated by instant access to images from the world’s best artists. for me, this is where my rational self comes in handy, calmly reminding me that it’s a learning *curve,* not an instantaneous state change from point A to point B. every painting i make helps me improve. i also try to remember to enjoy the *process* regardless of the product.

    …but i admit i sometimes do fall into the comparison trap and mercilessly deride myself. it just seems to be part of the artistic package for many artists. the useful part of this derision is that shame is a powerful motivator! i get inspired to TRY HARDER!

    wishing you the best with your artistic journey!

  4. The eyes are especially striking. No, no, no, forget comparisons. YOURS is superb, alone and altogether.

  5. Andrea Robin

    I have wanted to do things with my hands ….paint make candles, handmade soaps, sew anything but, I feel I’m not good enough to do any of it. Your work is beautiful. If I could to just a little of what you do I would have confidence in myself. I have the want to so bad and at my age I feel it’s too late. I get much info from people like you. Again I enjoy your art keep it up. Thank you.

    Andrea Jordan Robin

  6. Think of it like this: You have a close friend trapped inside your brain. She wants to express herself, and to communicate with you! If you let her use your hands, you will have a wonderful new companion and confidante for life. Don’t waste any more time! Do something today — order candlemaking supplies — then light your first candle in a private ceremony where you welcome your new creative friend into your life. Expand into your yearnings! Thanks for commenting, and good luck!

  7. Andrea Jordan Robin

    Did you take art classes during school or later?

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