Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Barton Springs Pool Sketches

Today I met a friend for some sketching at one of our lovely spring fed pools. We are so lucky in Austin to have two large spring fed swimming pools. The more well-known one is Barton Springs Pool. And it was so much fun to sit on the bank and watch people enjoying the brisk 68 degree water. Its going to have to get a whole lot hotter (94 today) for me to get in that water!

My first sketch was just a woman sitting on the concrete sidewalk above the pool. I made the water bluer than it is really.

I'm pretty pleased with my second sketch. This is very accurate to the water color in the shallow end. The water created such a distortion that their legs were pretty much invisible, though the water is crystal clear.
I might finish out these pieces with a little more detail and clean up some things... like the broken hand on my sunbather. Then I will post them again on here or ETSY.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Photography 101

I'm in a slump. I have been going through literally thousands of photos for ideas to work from, but nothing is inspiring me. Its made me realize something that the photos do and do not do for me. When I take photos for art work reference, I am often sketching the scene, and I am smelling the hot coffee or exhaust, hearing the birds chirp or the ocean waves rolling and its the responses of all my senses that contribute to creation and form an idea in my head.
When capture something digitally, I can work from those images with very fresh memories of the location. But once those memories fade, the photos are useless to me. So I've realized I need to get out and about more - I've been too much in my house. I've gone sketching more this past week, and that has generated an idea for a new project - more on that later.

The other thing I wanted to mention about photography for painting reference is that its different from photography as art or as documenting family vacations, etc. I went to France and Italy over a decade ago and I don't have a single photo I can use as reference. I took them all as a tourist not as an artist interpreting for painting. I look for unusual cropping, light and shadow, layers, energy and movement for painting reference. I see the painting in my head and record it digitally. I literally shoot from the hip sometimes because even if the shot isn't good, it will bring to mind that image that made me click the shutter and then I can paint what is in my head.

I suggest to beginners that they don't try to paint from magazine photos or pretty calendar pictures. Those images are already art and the photographer looks for something that won't translate into paintings.

Another issue is the alterations the camera lens makes to the images our eyes see. Charles Sovek is a favorite of mine and he has some interesting lessons on his site - one about painting from photos here. Amazon has several pages of books about painting from photos and I have this one very good one, How Photography Can Make You A Better Painter by Michael Weymouth that discusses the technical aspects of HOW TO photograph specifically for painting reference. Scott Burdick also did a video lesson on using Photoshop to enhance pictures for painting. All very good resource materials.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Moses Botkin Monthly Challenge

I'm a day late. My apologies to my challenge partners. I've just been kind of avoiding the studio lately. First it was intentional. And now its been a slump of epic proportions. Even the challenge didn't get me motivated. It was the first one I missed though and I felt badly. So I wanted to share the others work at the very least. I'm warming up again finally and enjoyed trying a little watercolor sketch. I felt I owed it to my camera too. I'd be lost without it and I like the idea of paying homage to this wonderful artist's tool.

watercolor pencil on paper
©2011 Robin Cheers

Photo Play
6x6 oil on canvas
©2011 Ruth Andre

5x7 oil on hardboard
©2011 Diana Moses Botkin

Bite Me!
8x10 oil on canvas
©2011 Vicki Ross

The Camera
20x16 oil on canvas
©2011 Suzanne Berry

Sure Shot
5x7 oil on canvas
©2011 Sharman Owings

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Studio Notes

I've completed updating the gallery pages on here now so you can see my available paintings at each gallery and contact them from there if you like. Not only will this hopefully help other people find my work and see what is out there but it will help me keep track! It was kind of fun to go through my lists and visit the work again. I think I'm always working on the next painting and forget about previous work. Good memories there.

Next I'm considering a FAQ page. But since the questions I get generally are about specific paintings or about live event work, I'm not sure what I will put there.

Speaking of the live event painting - I am not taking on any more events. I am scheduled to do two this year and one early next year which will complete a family set. Now if only I can delete all search results that bring my name up I could save myself some of those FAQs. :-)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A Good Look

10x8 oil on panel (each)

Ask Edward Montgomery Fine Art about these paintings.

A pair of paintings to share today. I just loved how both women were leaning in and curved - almost echoing the contemporary figures they are studying. I painted these right next to one another so that the background colors match as if they are one painting. But I meant for them to be framed and hung separately.

Here they are framed in the wonderful handmade and hand-finished Glaser frames. They are my preferred frames for my work.
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