Monday, April 18, 2011

Portrait Demo by Louis Smith

As I checked out the blog posts that I belong to, I came across a teacher and portrait painter, Louis Smith,  that was noteworthy. Painting in a gray scale is difficult but a valuable exercise in learning about values.   I have been on a quest these past couple of weeks to understand the word halftone and understand how to use it with skill.  After much reading and a reference about John Singer Sargent's paintings having basically two values, I plowed into anything to do with halftones.  I can't say that I totally understand but I know more now than I did before.  I do know that too many values in a painting is, as C.W. Mundy said, like fingernails on a chalkboard.  More than that, too many values make for a weaker painting.  Value studies and notans help in preplanning a painting and to control the values.  Looking at Smith's demonstration, I see at least five different values in the face and hair.  My struggle is in understanding this concept---how should I collapse these values into two or three stronger values?  I am tempted to use all five! Your comments are welcome.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Teaching, Showing, and Painting

The last two months have been very busy including two outdoor art shows--which is always exciting--in addition to my own work and weekly art classes too.  Outdoor art shows are not only great for showing my work and meeting  possible clients, but also to promote my art classes.  The two shows did exactly that plus an added bonus---winning an award at each of the two shows!   It's always nice to get the extra recognition and the money goes along with the award.

Last weekend at the DeLand Outdoor Festival I met a lovely lady who makes quilts.  After talking with her about using one of her pieces in a painting, I found a small table runner with beautiful cool colors of blue teal and lavenders and arrange to purchase the quilt.  To my surprise at the end of the show, she brought it over to me as a gift and asked only that I send her a picture of the painting (which will include her quilt) when finished.   Her quilting business is called Unique Design by Linda K.  I love getting something new and with it the challenge of seeing what I can do with it in a painting.  So here is the still life arrangement I am currently working with.  The multifaceted pitcher along with the luscious colors of the quilt is going to be a challenge but well worth it.

Teaching is going very well and my classes are growing with new students.  Now I am trying to make room for everybody in the studio so we are not tripping over each other. The Saturday class is full and the Tuesday class is filling too;  I am thinking of adding another class day.  In addition, I would like to add a couple of workshops to my teaching schedule during the fall of this year.   So, if your art league or art group would like to schedule me for a workshop please contact me for more information.  

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