Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A little bit of photoshop goes a long way.

Sacred Heart version 1
acrylic and beeswax on canvas

This was originally my favorite painting I had been working on. I love the background, it has an antique sort of look to it that I really like, all those subdued layers of color. It has a lot of depth to it. In my zeal I over painted bits of her face, and now her left eye is a little wonky, maybe I will fix it, maybe I won't.

Sacred Heart version 2
digital rendering over original acrylic and beeswax on canvas

Instead of fixing an over painting problem with more paint, I fiddled about with the image in Photoshop, and I love the halo effect I got. Now it looks reminiscent of an old master's painting. I have a thing for the imagery of sacred hearts, but I didn't paint this with the intention of it being any specific person or saint. I want my next tattoo to be of a sacred heart, almost like a milagro in ink.

Peonies (on Face Study)
Acrylic beeswax mica on canvas

I've been working on a painting for quite some time now, I dutifully scan every bit of the progress of it. This painting has lived with me for at least a year now without ever being finished. I constantly paint and paint on it, constantly changing my mind, constantly changing styles. This painting has seen the worst of it. I had completed most of the details after doing this Face Study, and decided that I had a direction and a final vision for the piece. (yay!) While varnishing the finished canvas, something happened with the napthol crimson in the underpainting, it bled through all the layers of paint; every little struggle, every little change, every mark I made and every decision with a brush stroke is now ruined. I almost had a giant hissy fit. With a heavy sigh, I put the painting away, maybe for another year, maybe forever.
Then I picked up a brush and added random swirls to this Face Study I had on my table, soon they were roses, and then I added more peachypinkyred and highlighted with white, and then just a bit of yellow... pretty soon they were impressionistic peonies. In the process of painting I just got over the loss I felt with the ruined painting. Sometimes they aren't meant to go on a wall, sometimes I am just meant to learn with the process of painting.
Sometimes I have to let go of my art.

But I will be more careful with that napthol crimson.

Lady Godiva
Acrylics and beeswax on illustration board

This was originally a painting of a mermaid. I default to mermaids when I paint if I'm blocked because even if you can't think of something to draw or paint it is always good to just start with something. Anyhow, the waves and water I was painting turned into hair, and there is no tail in sight. I think it just sort of morphed into Lady Godiva. Can I even begin to say how happy I am with her face? The scanner didn't pick up the colors (common complaint, I know) but I'm still okay with the way it looks. Her face! The subtle painterly shading and form, the almost-realistic quality... I'm pretty sure this is my favorite painting so far. All these face studies and paintings I've been doing have been successful, even if it was a bit difficult for me to get through it all, I think I've decided on this style for the future of my girls.
A little personal landmark in the painting process right here. It is difficult to see the end when I am in the thick of it, when there are ten or so unfinished girls scattered about and paint on the carpet (oops) and no cohesive look to any of the ten, but I think I'm starting to 'get' it. (Beware, patting yourself on the back too much. Next post will be whining about how you are specifically Not Getting It.)

Wow, thank you to everyone who is actually reading what I say and looking at my work. I was very truly surprised anyone was following what I write/do. I decided to start blogging with the intent of keeping a record of my painting progress and ramblings on life because I am absolute crap at keeping a journal... I'm not quite sure if anything I say is really that interesting, but thats okay with me. ( I didn't notice I even had comments until a couple minutes ago! Oops!) I really appreciate the kind comments about my work, they brought a bit of unexpected happiness to my day.

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