2017 was a year of study, practice and experimenting with oils. As such it really wasn’t a year where I had a whole lot to show for it with a couple of exceptions.
The first oil practice piece that I think wasn’t a total disaster. Was just a tiny little 3×5 scrap board
This was what I’d call the first ‘successful’ Oil painting, ‘Gnome Home’. (18″x24″ Oil on canvas)
And a last minute Christmas present to a co-worker of their doggie. (12″x12″ canvas acrylics)
Boy did this year go whizzing by. I’m hoping to finish up the year with one last acrylic painting. It isn’t looking like I’ll hit the 12 Paintings in a year that I hoped for. On the other hand I did blow that goal out of the water if you measure it by surface area. I was originally planning on 18×24 being the default size until I fell for the box 30x40s.
I’m still hoping to do all of next year in oils, but I may delay the start of that until the Jeff Miracola oil videos are launched, that would let me experiment a bit with acrylics before then.
Still having a hard time letting go of the feeling that everything has to be the most complete piece that pushes skills to the limit. I may do a bit of a mini quickndirty Painting challenge.
But for now the end of the year looks to be coming fast and that has all sorts of repercussions to ‘free’ time.
Finished another painting, tremendously happy with parts of it, but I think I need to take a break from these larger pieces for a while. It’s been very exciting to work big and loose but the surface area size and the quick drying time of acrylics are working against me at this point. But on the upside, it really feels like that’s something that’s been hard to get to the point of noticing,until recently. That has to mean that I’m getting to the point of making the mental shift from working to just get paint onto canvas in the right spots to the point of having a feel for the paint itself and having the working time to execute the mental image.
And that, is an improvement artistically.
Added 2 not so new (Nov & Dec 2015) paintings to the gallery.
I’m sure they’ll be replaced fairly soon as I hope to be cranking out newer and better pieces over the year.
The 2nd painting of the year (now almost a month behind schedule) is getting it’s final lines and color comp this week and Hopefully will be done shortly thereafter so I can catch up by the end of March.
First Acrylic painting of the year is DONE!
And I must say I’m pretty happy with it. Would have liked to spend a few more hours on it but that’s the way it goes.
And had another VPA hangout, this time I used Kyles Mega brushes and wow I love them so much.
been doing a lot of these.. Definitely feeling more comfortable doing it.
And to wrap up the second week, updates 9 and 10.
Still working on getting the badges system put into the whole thirtydays.club sit, and defining the suggested ‘rules’ But essentially I’m leaning towards enforcing it to a minimum of 5 updates per 7 day period (ie work days only) so that will allow for weekends off or vacation etc. Also you’ll be able to post images for the current 7 day period all at once, that discourages cheating and encourages returning to the site regularly. Still need to look into scheduled emails, or a 1 click create a calendar entry to import to your ical or google calender, to help keep the user focused on the task.
Looking back to day 1, I can clearly see that the basic 1 minute gestures are feeling much more confident.
Ok after a little breather It’s time to get back to working on things that are fun. Finishing a painting is both exhilarating and exhausting and I find myself having to take a couple days and recoup my creative energy or I’ll find the need to go back and fix, and tweak and tweak irrisistable. But taking a bit of time away lets me just be proud of what I’ve done and let it be.
After a couple days I had a little fun playing with skin rendering and trying to get a sense of translucency. One of the many attempts actually turned out to become this guy, which has a nice tone to it that I like.
Followed by a couple silly monsters following my son’s obsession with pokemon all of a sudden.
And then this thing.. .. this might become a thing.. it’s still rough, but it’s speaking to me. It started out as a perspective homework.. then became an epic skies homework.. and now it might be something else altogether..
On an art related note, I cracked some oil paints open for the first time in 7 years (it was a disaster then) and … holy cow…I’m loving them..
Something about the transparency and the need to go slow really just works for me.. maybe it’s because I’m getting older and not in as much of a hurry. Not sure exactly what it is, but I’m doing some test pieces and maybe finishing/reworking the initial disastrous attempt and who knows maybe they’ll be worthy of showing on the inter-tron some day.
Ok missed a few updates like updates 24-32.. they’re there, just not gotten around to posting them
However on sketch 32 this little guy popped out.
and then I decided he needed a chance to get a world to live in. And by 37 it was looking like this:
Then pulled in some rough textures and and blocked things in a bit more.
By update 40 the trees were looking flat and the overall color was beginning to be a bit washed out.
And that puts us here at update 41, time spent pushing back the stone some and final rendering of the character and more minor details.
Still need to touch up the bear, abird and pants, but we’re 99% there.
So the next homework assignment in the Magic Box is 3 point perspective and basic environment drawing.
Start off with a sketch.
And then go back and really nail down the perspective.
Which I’m in the process of doing …
Still have a long way to go.
I think this is going to be it! Gonna sleep on it but I think this is where this journey ends for this piece. At least for tonight. Barring any last changes I’m looking to get this to a printer this week.
And here’s some details of some of my favorite parts of the painting.
The little path into the forest
The little church and houses on the hill
The turtle.. shell and belt buckle just make me happy.
And my favorite part might just be the little glistens on the water.
Getting really close to getting this beast under control.
Need one more pass on the mid ground trees and then maybe some more balance adjustments but I’ve stared at this for over a month now and it’s almost time to get it sent off to the presses.
Ok a couple weeks of quiet, but not unproductive.
So Month 2 of the awesome yet super challenging Magic Box digital painting course unlocked and the next step is to work on brush skills and economy of brush strokes. So pushing onward, I’ve started rendering out the Lady Gazelle color comp.
And here’s where I’m at.
And here’s the final color comp from month 1, all lasso tool and gradients.
And the original Master’s painting
Man was this hard.
I mean .. seriously hard. I’m a scribbler, and forcing myself to think about EVERY SINGLE STROKE, was at times, frustrating and enlightening on a profound level. But after watching the lesson videos and reading and just examining other peoples work, I’m beginning to ‘get’ it. I couldn’t have even come close to doing something like this 2 months ago, and I already see so many things regarding edges and just stroke economy that I’d never seen before.
More progress on moving along to the color comps portion of the month 1 homework. Next week is looking like not much painting time so I’m going to crunch the rest of this week and see if I can get these guys done.
Turns out… painting is hard.