Monday, December 29, 2008
Today I finally got back to work on "Sloth." I've added another layer to the legs, but they still aren't close to where I want them hue and value-wise, and also darkened the shadow behind the figure. It will be a slow week for this painting, too, since the holidays really aren't yet over!
I've done a couple more little sketches in my sketch book, and will hopefully do more on the days I am not able to make it into the studio. If I don't post again in 2008... cheers and have a great New Year!
Monday, December 22, 2008
You can see my varnished painting drying on the table all the way at the right. Against the wall behind it are a desk and a blank canvas leaning against the wall. Then you see "Sloth" and my painting cart with the faux walls and chair set up from the weekend's class. Now in the left-hand corner is my canvas/painting storage thing, and then a couple of carpet-covered panels to use as model-stands. I didn't draw what was on the other side of the fence on the left because I ran out of time. Tomorrow I will have more time and will come up with a plan for the painting tonight so I am ready to go in the morning.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Painting From LifeDiscover the tricks of the trade when it comes to painting from life (a live model)! While, to many, the human form is a difficult object to tackle, Lacey will help to calm all your uncertainties. In the first class, students will focus on composing the figure from a live model and building value. During the second class, students will learn how to prepare a flesh toned palette, in order to quickly block in the figure. For the final two classes, the model will stay in the same pose in order for the students to achieve finer details.
Thursdays, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
CLASS DATES: JAN 8, JAN 15, JAN 22 and JAN 29
All levels of experience are welcome.
All art supplies are provided by ARTichokes & this cost is included in the enrollment fee.
Instructor: Lacey Lewis
Mid-week my apprentice and I also had the model for this painting come in so we could work, but the light was quickly fading so we only really got another hour in. The next day I did something I really never do: I worked on it with no reference at all, just my memory. Considering that I never do that I think it came out pretty well! I really didn't touch the hands and feet because I don't remember those details, and the legs aren't as solid as I'd like, but this has turned out to be a pretty good little study. The face is a real challenge because it is so small, so it's not a very good likeness. The picture above at full size is about the same size as the painting in real life, 12" x 6". That makes the head less than 1.25".
Today I am off to my weekly figure painting class and then will be at the studio all day tomorrow. I'll update on my progress in a couple days.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, I continued working on the above painting from life during the weekly figure painting class I've been holding in my studio. Unfortunately, I'm a slow, slow painter, but it looks like I might get the model to come back again this week.
Finally, I thought I'd repost this painting since the color on the previous picture of it was way off. It's still not the best piece ever, but it was fun and I look forward to breaking out the knives again some time soon.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I just started it up last Friday, and already we have almost three dozen members, as many messages, and several files, databases, and even a poll! There are opportunities listed for getting involved with non-profits, business workshops for artists, and several meetings and gatherings. There's a lot more happening here than I realized!
You need not be an artist, be directly involved in the arts, or live or work in KCK in order to join the group. You need only to be interested in what's happening. Check it out and sign up!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
This is where the canvas stood yesterday before I left the studio, with my composition lines and cartoon sketched in charcoal. When I arrived this morning, I made a couple changes to Woe and Joy (wait, did I say that was finished?) spent an hour cleaning my palette and then got started with the big ol' brushes. I also had a chat with Steve Curtis of S2 Studios, which is in the Kansan building as well, and we have some ideas brewing. More on that later tonight or tomorrow.
The other day I also felt like taking a picture of my desk. For some reason it just made me happy. All the way to the left you can see a teeny painting that was started from life last Saturday. The figure is maybe 9 or 10 inches high. Not an intriguing composition, but I will work on it again this Saturday and hopefully wind up with a good figure study. Just trying out a few ideas with it.
Tomorrow yet more changes with be made at the studio. I am finally getting some curtains put up, and I am also getting some way cool flat files. Then, in the evening, feel free to stop by the open studios from 5-8pm. I'm in the Pressroom Studios at 750 Armstrong in KC, KS. Hope to see you there!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Woe and joy indeed! I am so happy this painting is finally finished. In a couple weeks when it is dry enough, I will varnish it so that the deeper shadows in the hair and flesh tones really blend well with the background.
The name for the painting came from the title of a blog post by the above model when she announced her baby had been born. Originally, I had a more dramatic title and theme for this painting, (face paint was involved, I'll just say that) but after the image and message became more subtle I started trying to think of a new title. As soon as I read the posted announcement on her blog, I knew I had my name! Of course, she is a writer, so what better source for such things?
I finished this painting off today during a seven hour session in my studio. It was awesome. I am not sure I have had a day that long at the studio yet! Not only did I complete this one, but I got started on my next big project and tidied up a bit, too. Good times.
Friday, December 05, 2008
We all started off watching and listening as Bowman explained and demonstrated how he mixes his palette and his thought process behind it. The picture above is my palette mixed up in a similar manner to the way he did his. Certainly different than any way I've worked before!
After that, Richard started a demo of a cloud on his own canvas before we sat down to our own work. I took this picture in the beginning stage of my own cloud. I felt like I was trying to paint with my left hand (I'm right handed) when using the palette knife, which is all we used the whole class. I also used many paper towels wiping off my knife and numerous times got paint on my hands. Don't worry, I didn't panic. At least not on the outside.
The above 'Cloud/Blob' thing is the result of my first go with the knife. I think this may have taken about an hour, and even though it is ultra-blob-like and not so much cloudy, I'm happy with the result because it was so much outside the box for me. Sometime towards the end I started to figure out how to use the knife. It was difficult for me to figure out how to spread the paint without laying down too much paint nor scraping through to the canvas.
Here's my attempt at a sunset done during the 2nd half of the class. I started off at the top intending to do the whole sky in a higher key with lower chroma, but then as I got lower in the painting I got darker and brighter. Now I wish I would've kept it lighter at the bottom or darker at the top, but oh well. I can always grab another canvas and give it another go, right?
Richard Bowman is an energetic teacher, very helpful and has a great sense of humor. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about knife landscape painting and it was a welcome break from my usual grind.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I'm also closing in on this one. I may have finished up the sitting person's hands, and have moved on to her shirt. Our left side of her shirt is almost there, the other side has hardly been touched. Then I started going into the background with another layer of black, and am really trying to lose those edges that are in shadow; the back of the sitting woman's head and everything beyond the lit part of her arm, and letting all detail fade until we hit a lit part of the standing woman. I will do the same all over the canvas, carefully choosing which edges will be completely lost in shadow, which will be softly visible, and which will be more crisp.
Tomorrow, I will not be painting on either of these canvases. I've decided to treat myself to a day long class tomorrow at ARTichokes with an artist I've admired for several years, Rich Bowman. This will be completely outside the box for me. I haven't attempted a landscape since maybe high school, though I have envisioned landscape paintings often. Work in this class will be done exclusively with a palette knife, which is a tool I completely lack experience or comfort with when it comes to painting. Finally, I think we're going to be working from *gasp* our imaginations! As an artist who is, ironically, completely uncreative, this all sounds really intimidating. I really am looking forward to it, though, because I have often thought about including all these elements in my work but just haven't attempted it or really known how to approach it.
Don't forget that I am also teaching two classes at ARTichokes this month! Portrait Drawing on December 11th and Figure Painting on December 18th. See my classes and workshops page for more info.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Regardless, I have still made some progress. Since the last post about this painting, I've completely gone over both bellies, added some warmer, lighter pigments to the sitting woman's face, put another layer on her hands, and started on her clothing. You can see the difference in the white skirt, though I don't know if I will keep that the way it is.
There's still so much to do. I almost want to cry I am so frustrated with the fact that this is taking so long. I wanted it done in November! I have other paintings to paint! Meanwhile, I still need to get curtains up at the studio since the sun this time of year is too direct...
OK, enough of my pity-party! Last Saturday I held a figure painting class in my studio, and we will continue this through December. Today I moved my big canvas/supply holder, which is on the left with a green fabric draped over it, out of the way to hopefully accommodate everyone better. In the above picture, you can see my easel way in the background on the right.
I experimented with using color strings in my painting during this class. I pre-mixed a series of neutral grays, a flesh tone, and an earth red and yellow. There were certainly benefits to working this way, and I plan to actually tube color strings in the near future. I've been getting some of these ideas from a certain group and their application of the Munsell system, which is something I've been spending a lot of time reading about over the past several months. Interesting stuff.
Here's my palette set up, already part way through the painting. The lighting wasn't very good when I took this and I wanted to avoid flash, but I will take a better picture next time I set up my palette this way.
Anyway, I wanted to really just focus on the above as my composition. However, I only had an 11x14 or 5x7 panel to choose from, and I felt stretching that to 11x14 would be too big. So, I did focus on that area, and then at the end of class rushed to sketch in the rest.
Even though I am not totally happy with the paint outside of the cropped area, it was a good session for me. I took a picture to use as reference since this model is *on tour with his band* and thus will not be available to model again soon. Perhaps I will get a chance to bring this one up to a finish.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
THE RAPE OF EUROPA tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich and World War II. In a journey through seven countries, the film takes viewers into the violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed, and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. For twelve long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. But heroic young art historians and curators from America and across Europe fought back with an extraordinary campaign to rescue and return the millions of lost, hidden and stolen treasures. Now, more than sixty years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage, and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of western culture.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Instructor: Lacey Lewis
Class Date: December 11th
Thursday, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Cost for 1 class: $95.00 plus tax
*a light lunch will be provided and all materials are included in the enrollment fee.
In this class we will study the art of portrait drawing in graphite and charcoal. Everything from lighting and posing the model to identifying good reference photos, proportion, creating a pleasing and accurate line drawing, and using value to give your portrait form and solidity will be covered. Work will be done from a combination of life and reference photos that we create ourselves. Students are encouraged to bring their own photos.
Instructor: Lacey Lewis
Class Date: December 18th
Thursday, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Cost for 1 class: $145.00 plus tax
*a light lunch will be provided and all materials are included in the enrollment fee.
Enjoy demonstrations, discussions, and hands-on painting from a live, draped model in this unique oil painting workshop. Students will begin by drawing an accurate drawing and value map in monochromatic oil paint. They will then learn about value and skin tones. Finally, the class will refine their paintings by adding details. Lacey Lewis will guide the class through her creative process of painting the human figure. A light lunch will be provided. Class size is limited so hold your spot today!
Friday was the opening reception of "Favorites" at Strecker-Nelson Gallery. I have several drawings in the show. Jamie came along with me and I was pleased to meet some artists I had been itching to meet for some time, including Dean Kube and Louis Copt. I also had some great chats with Dan Coburn, Diana Dunkley and Ralph Fontenot. After such a busy weekend, I am spending today recovering before getting right back at it in the studio tomorrow.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Included above is an image of the painting in black and white. These values will be adjusted to carry the eye through the painting in a specific pattern. My plan is to lower values on the belly of the standing figure, lower the contrast on the white shirt somewhat, and then lighten the flesh tones overall on the sitting figure. This should help the eye move around the whole painting, to both faces and both bellies, whereas at the moment the flow seems to stick at the sitting figure's face and shirt. Also, note how it doesn't make sense for the belly of the standing figure to receive more light than the belly of the sitting lady, since the sitting lady is closer to the light source. All these things will be corrected after I make the changes listed above.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Last Friday was the Follow the Dotte Art Walk/Holiday Art Sale at the studio. I got to chat up lots of familiar and new people, and it was a good time. I'd also spent the day painting the panels and pillars the same green as the wall, so the place is almost looking spiffy now. The sale went on Saturday as well, but that was my wedding anniversary so I skipped out while Jamie held the place open for me. (Thank you!)
Yesterday (Monday) evening I gave a presentation to the Lawrence Art Guild and had a really great time! I think it went over pretty well and hopefully I made a couple new friends. Also found out about a possible open studios event for several counties in Kansas in the spring.
Today was for errands and a private lesson. Coming up this week I have days with 1/2 each day spent teaching and the other 1/2 day hopefully in the studio. Friday I have an opening out at Strecker-Nelson in Manhattan, KS followed by a painting class on Saturday.
Sunday I am going to sleep in!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Below is my sketch from last Saturday's figure drawing class. If I am lucky, I can get the model back in so I can finish it!
- Pressroom Studios
Kansas City, KS 66101
- Friday 5-8 pm
- Saturday 11 am - 3 pm
Sunday, November 09, 2008
In the picture above, you can see there's now a big wall-thing behind the model. Seamus was kind enough to deliver these large 8' x 4' panels to my studio and he, my husband, and new artist to the Pressroom Studios Ron (pictured on the right) were kind enough to hinge the panels together for me. This week I am going to paint the panels the same color as my wall, with the hope that they will help control all that light bouncing around in the studio. I still *need* to get some curtains up there!
The picture was taken during class on Saturday. In the middle there's my apprentice, Jamie Bone, the aforementioned new artist in the Pressroom, Ron Smith, and Stephen Sweigart of Lawrence. I had my easel set up on the far right. Everyone in this class is an artist and is aimed at making a professional career out of their craft. It's so exciting to be working with such serious artists!
While I didn't get to do a lot of painting done at the studio with everything else going on, I did get to do a quick layer on expecting chick #2's face. I almost even made it to her hair! There's still so much adjusting to be done, but at least the value has been knocked back.
Now the values are falling into place. I feel like it's been so slow-going with this painting, so it's a little tough when I think to myself, "OK, just one more layer over the whole thing!" Maybe this will be the week, though. I have very little in the way of lessons this week, though I do still have other projects, a grant proposal, and a presentation to prepare.
While at home, I did manage to sneak in a quick session on this one morning. This time I was in the zone and ready to cover the whole canvas, but I had something scheduled and had to leave. My plan, right now, is to try and maintain this hectic schedule through the end of the year. Then I will try and take several months in early 2009 to focus primarily on painting.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Perhaps I just need more sleep!
I similarly completed next to nothing on my own painting at my small still lives class that morning. Talk about an off day!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I love, love, love these brushes. Seriously.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Please feel free to contact me with any questions!
Saturdays in November - Portrait and Figure Series
Take one, two, or all classes in this series that focuses on the realistic portrayal of people. The Portrait Drawing class will focus on drawing the head in charcoal by creating an accurate envelope and then massing in values to give form, solidity, and a likeness. Portrait Painting will expand on the Portrait Drawing as we create an initial line drawing in oil paint and then create form using color, value and accurate skin tones. Everything becomes more complex as the focus shifts to the figure, and sight-size will help to create a correct representation of the figure with little confusion, so we can then concentrate on expressing the nuances of anatomy and structure. In the final class in the series, Figure Painting, we will try juggling all accumulated knowledge using sight-size to create our initial line drawing, massing in initial values and missing accurate flesh tones.
Models are provided, and a limited number of easels are available for student use. Please check easel availability when you register. A list of materials needed for the classes available on the Hilliard website and at the gallery.
- Saturdays 12 pm - 3 pm
- Portrait Drawing: November 1st
Figure Drawing: November 8th
Portrait Painting: November 15th
Figure Painting: November 22nd
- Location: Hilliard Gallery
- Cost: $40 per class, or $140 for all four classes
18th and Oak
Kansas City, MO 64108
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
After I got the face at the focal point more or less settled, I quickly scrubbed some color into the remaining blank areas of the canvas. I can't wait to get back to this, though I am not quite sure when that will be since I have a hectic schedule for the rest of the week. (Please excuse the value-finder taped to the canvas; I have a lot of trouble figuring out the right values and light balance once I am home!)
Anyhow, we painted the wall a dark gray-green. It really looks quite a bit darker in real life, until you get close to it. The color is inspired by what has been referred to by some artists as "Whitaker Green," after the artist William Whitaker and the color of his studio walls. The color is a perfect background for skin tones, being complementary to their hue and quite desaturated, which makes even pale skin like mine glow in front of it.
Here's the before picture of what the wall looked like before we painted. Jamie has also primed my sides of the pillars at the front of my space, and we will paint those areas to match.
Next on the list, I am going to create a 3 panel movable wall and paint it the same color as the studio wall. Then, I will be able to control more of that light that is bouncing all over the place and also block nude models from view. I also need to get some curtains up, and we are considering painting the floor in order to lessen the amount of light that bounces off the floor and onto the model. Now that the sun is getting lower in the sky, and these are south-facing windows, direct beams of sun and light reflecting from below are becoming big problems, which is why I have temporarily moved my set-up to the corner.