Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gum Tree and Fence

Oil on Canvas Board
6x8

I copied this painting from a photo from the Wet Canvas Image Resource Library.

Trees and Pond

Oil on Canvas Board
6x8

I copied this painting from a photo from the Wet Canvas Image Resource Library.

Sunflowers and Barn

Oil on Canvas Board
6x8

I copied this painting from a photo from the Wet Canvas Image Resource Library.

Sunflowers

Oil on canvas panel
6x8

This is a field of Sunflowers that I did from a photo I took.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunshine Through the Trees

Oil on Canvas Board
8x10

I tried some new things with this painting.

First, I was trying to keep it “painterly”, by using the palm of the brush instead of the fingertips.

Secondly, I underpainted the mountain and sky area with Yellow Ochre, and I underpainted the ground area with Burnt Sienna. I thought the Yellow Ochre would give the sky and mountains more sparkle as it showed through, but the Burnt Sienna looks good for dirt.

Thirdly, I tried something new with my palette. I saw some pretty paintings last week at a gallery, and the cool colors were so rich and Easter-eggy. I fooled around trying to see how the artist did it, and I think she ONLY used Cerulean and NO Ultramarine Blue. It made a whole new bunch of greens, blues and purples. So I tried that here, but it didn’t work exactly as planned since I had the Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna underpainting. But it was still interesting. I found that it was very hard getting darks since Cerulean is so light.

Lastly, I wanted to try to get the effect of the sun glaring through the trees. I took the photo on purpose for that reason. But the actual photo had more glare on it, so I had to imagine how the branches would come close to the sphere of the sun.

I didn’t get it all right the first time, so I let it dry, then I went back and took another shot at the sky and the pine tree.

I don’t think this is a “gallery” painting, but more of an exercise. But overall, I think I did okay because I did learn what I was trying to learn: How a Yellow Ochre underpainting affects the painting, how Cerulean behaves, and how to make the sun glare. With more practice, I hope to get better at all these things.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Marketing 10 Commandments for Art by Dick Harrison

1. You can't sell it if you don't show it!

2. The most effective way to show and sell your art is almost always in person with the art in hand. If you show and sell your own work, you deserve 100% of the profit. If you ask others to help you sell your art, they must be fairly compensated for their knowledge, time, effort and expenses.

3. Learn how the “art business” really works – who gets how much and why. There are accepted standards and you are not an exception.

4. As a professional artist part of your productive working hours WILL be spent in selling and promoting yourself and your art. Think 50%.

5. Interior Designers, Decorators, Architects, Gallery Personnel, Accessory Buyers, Consultants and Art Reps who help you sell your work are ART PROFESSIONALS, too. They should be treated as such.

6. Never undercut the prices you have established with the sales professionals who help sell your work. “Back door” or “studio sales” to an associate’s client is the worst “sin” an artist can commit.

7. Talent and technical excellence are not the only skills necessary for a successful career in art.

8. Develop a distinctive style, theme or subject matter.

9. Stay aware of art trends, particularly “fashionable” colors and subjects that drive the market.

10. Never stop learning. Listen to the people who buy your art or sell it for you. If you aren’t selling, you aren’t listening - or you are aiming at the wrong audience. Be ready to adapt or change your approach.

Bonus Commandment: The difference between a "wannabe" success and a "gonnabe" success is to become a "busybee."

Friday, December 5, 2008

Painting Insight by Ugo Felici

I was admiring the paintings by Ugo Felici, and I emailed him and asked him how he does it. There is a link to his website under my “Artist Friends and Influences” section. Here is his answer:

“I do not know if it may be your case, but to a lot of people, who approach the oil painting, escapes a fundamental thing: the oil painting is a layered technique. This means that on the first layer of color (draft), new layers are applied later, but each next layer requires that the lower layer is dry. So it is fairly easy to create trees on snow or shadows in a face, if we have an already dry, colourful base.

To ease in, I make a first draft by acrylics colors, which quickly dry, later I finish my paint by oil. I tried to explain, few days ago, my technique in another forum, but not knowing well 'English, I do not know if someone understood me.

I will answer to your questions saying to you that I prefer a highly tactile painting. So, usually, I much worry at first to get an interesting texture by a priming coat, creating irregularities on it. This will allow me later to get some suggestions in colours, due to chance. I do not know, initially, exactly what will happen at last on my board.

So usually I start with a coat of acrylic primer, or as an alternative I use a common wall-paint, mixed with vinavil (glue), then by some scrapers or also some small sponge rolls, I give it an irregular aspect. This mixture according to the amount of added glue, may have a different absorbing power, so it would be better, before, to test it.
I always use wooden boards, in fact it could not be suitable on canvas, that is much elastic, causing in future some cracks.

Then I give by paint-brush a second fast coat using acrylic colours. In this stage I pay no attention in getting the right hue, indeed I try hues that will come in contrast (complementary or cold-warm) with the final hues. This will give depth to my paint.

At last, using some common scrapers and a small knife for particulars, I abrade, I stratify and finish by oil colours my job. However I will never completely cover the first acrylic coat, so those precious spots of the first acrylic coat, trapped below the roughness of the texture, those variegations that will come out here and there, will serve to make more vibrating the definitive colours of my work. it is difficult for me to set straight a complex thing, not well knowing English , I hope that you have anyway understood.”