Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pale Pink Rose

Oil on Canvas Board

I thought this rose would be easier, since it was mostly one color, but I found it to be harder. With more colors in the picture, there are more colors I can put into the shadows and the reflected light. Since this was mostly pink, it was hard finding other (non-pink) colors.

I also thought it would take less time because it had just a few simple shapes, but I think it still took me around 9 hours.

I am glad I transferred the photo to the canvas, because as I was painting the drawing looked wrong. But I stuck with it, and it came out just fine.

The photo does not do it justice. The shadows have darker reds, and the lights have more subtle yellows and blues in them.

The two colors I used the most were Permanent Rose and Cadmium Red light.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Peace Rose

Oil on Canvas Board

I did this the “Susan Sarback” style. I thought if I did a small one, it would not take so long, but this took 9 hours. I found rose from the Wet Canvas Image Resource Library.

I printed the picture the exact size of the canvas, and then transferred it by putting charcoal on the back and tracing it like carbon paper. Then I inked it in, and went over it in white to dull the lines.

I did Step One with a brush. I did all the shadow areas in cool colors and the light areas in warm colors. According to Susan, you MUST do Step One like this, but you can adjust the values. So for the darker yellows in shadow, I did Permanent Green Light, and the lighter areas in shadow, I did pale Cerulean. I did a very dark shadow in purple because I thought it would add interest but I regret that because on that petal, I was just fighting mud the whole time. I should have done it in green like the other dark shadows, and just added purple as I thought necessary.

For Step Two, I put Cadmium Yellow Dark over the green areas, and lightened Cadmium Yellow Light over the Cerulean.

Then I did Steps Three and Four on one petal at a time. I did not move forward until each petal was finished.

Iceland Radio Tower

Oil on Canvas

My son asked me to paint a picture of the antenna that he supervised when he was stationed in Iceland. He sent me a photo of it, and I cropped it for better composition.

I did not initially want to do the Susan Sarback technique on this, because I did not want to get the colors too garish. I wanted to make it realistic.

I started out by blowing up a black and white photo to the exact size of the canvas. I put charcoal on the back and transferred it like carbon paper. Then I inked in the lines and brushed off the charcoal. Then I whitewashed the canvas with one coat of acrylic primer to mute the lines a bit.

I blocked all the shapes in similarly to the Sarback style, but I used muted colors on the land. I let the whole thing dry before continuing.

I did the sky Sarback style. In particular, I did the light cloud with a pale yellow background, and I put a lot of pale cerulean on top of it to make it light and airy. In the photo, these were the shapes of the clouds, but they were pretty dull. The Sarback style really perked it up.

Next I worked on the distant mountain. I worked and worked getting all the subtle colors, but it came out too bright, like the top of a circus tent. I was stumped for a while, but after it dried, I went back and dry brushed it with the faintest hint of sky color, which was pale cerulean. Then it looked perfect to me.

I tried doing the landscape with the traditional style, but I was just making a dull, muddy mess. I scraped it all and went back to the Sarback style, but not with as bright of colors. I had been taking work-in-progress pictures, but since I was not doing well, I stopped. Knifing the landscape in was working better. I would do a bottom layer of yellow ocher + white, then I would add purple for the shadows, and mute them with more yellow ocher. Then I would put cadmium yellow + white for the yellow. I worked on one section of the landscape at each sitting.

For the roads, I used various mixtures Ultramarine Blue + Burnt Sienna + white. I fussed with them a little bit at each sitting until they were just right. I used this same mixture to knife in the foreground rocks.

For the house, I had initially laid in pale purple on the shadow side, and pale yellow on the sunny side. The roof was Cadmium Red dark, with some purple scumbled on top.

I finished the house after the landscape was done. I put some Cadmium Red Light on the roof to stand out against the darker red. I used a brush and did it broken-color style. On the shadow side, I dry brushed on some more sky color and a little pale yellow in the corner so it would look like reflected light in the shadow. On the sunny side, I scumbled on pure white. I put thicker white where I thought the light was hitting the strongest. I wanted the pale yellow to show through imperceptivity to give it a warm umph.

Finally, time for the antenna. I tried using a ruler to get it straight, but that did not work. I tried measuring from the edge, but that did not work. Finally, I drew it from the bottom up, checking for straightness at every quarter inch. I used a Q-tip to wipe out between the stripes.

I am very happy with it, and I learned a LOT.