Jun 7, 2018

The Story of a Painting Part 2 - Painting & Drawing Tips

Who would have believed it?    ME painting machinery!

I love the outdoors.  I am a wildlife artist.  Trees, stumps, rocks, those are my friends.  Since when do I paint rusty metal, springs, and chains.  Well actually I am and the thing I enjoyed the most was those chains and gears.  I can hardly believe it myself.

HITCHING A RIDE - Well underway, Still some big challenges to do!

Every painting has a story and my latest painting on the easel, "Hitching a Ride" has turned into a real surprise for me.  Chains - fun to paint!  Yes.  And my picture is set up and ready for paint. My last post The Story of a Painting outlines all the preparation involved in setting up this painting. 

Let the Painting Begin!

My Paints
My palette: Ultra Marine, Hooker Green, Cobalt Blue, Winsor Blue (Blue shade), Permanent Rose, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Cadmiun Light

The Undercoat - fun to just drop on paint - wet into wet.  

The Undercoat
The colours of the springs, chains and rusty metal are so much part of this picture.  I decided to start with an underpainting using all my colours.  This way they would show through some of my glazes and really add interesting, colourful textures.  It also meant that everything would be cohesive, no stray colours hidden in the rust.

Putting my colours down I tried to make sure the right side was light and the left darker.  I didn’t put much in the top yellow area as I wanted it a more pure yellow.  I also made sure the smaller chains were kept light, close to the value of their lightest value.  That way I could add the darks and they would be done. This was actually on my mind everywhere: colours dark enough to show through some of the glazing but also light enough to be the light value in that area.  It's nice to not have all that white paper staring back at you.

Trying out my colours, getting a feel for how each area will be developed. 

Getting into the Picture
This is what I call my feeling the picture mode.  I tried a few colours in the dark at the left to see how much colour would show through my glazes.  I painted the yellow area on the right so I could see how that would work. It has to be light but still offer a good contrast to my Stellar Jay. I started on the chain to see how that would work.  First focusing just on the darks and then gradually working on the other values.  It was so much fun to see it come to life.  I fell in love with that large chain.  

Really liking what is happening.  My poor little Jay is almost forgotten as I am really loving what is happening with chain and spring!!

Starting to Really Roll
Things are really getting fun now.  I just had to work on that large chain, my favourite spot.  The more I worked on it the more I wanted to move around it and make it shine.  My poor Stellar Jay was forgotten.  I loved mixing up the colours as I glazed and seeing the underpainting come through.  It really made for great ‘rusty bits’.  

Moving out - Getting a real feel how my Stellar Jay is going to work out.  

Time to Move Out
Okay, I admit I kind of got carried away with my chain and it is time to move out and meet my Jay.  I decided to set up his background.  I needed to see how his light side on the left would work with the background and at the same time keep the right side light to work with his dark side.  I want to be able to make the right side the lost edge so I need to paint it first. 
I really enjoyed painting the base for the Stellar Jay.  As you can see the underpainting really shines through with lots of interesting texture. 

Really feeling the finish coming. 
Working hard on glazing and completing each section.  Sometimes I picked out the darks first and then glazed over the rest for the mid tones.  Loved how the Stellar Jay’s base worked out.  It really didn’t need a lot of work, a few glazes to grey it down and then of course those awesome touches of dark.   

Only two challenges left: my Stellar Jay and the lines and hollows in the bottom middle.  

Picture in Colour and Black and White - Both tell you different information.  Study Time is here.

Time for a Value Check
Things are going well but I really felt it was time for a value check.  Looking at the picture in colour really causes me to get lost in the colour mixes:
  • the shadow highlights in the bottom left (aren’t those bits of peachy orange great),
  • the golden yellow beam left of my Jay ( love the texture and colour changes there)
  • and of course my large chain and spring down the left side.  I really like what is happening there. 

When I change the picture to a gray scale all those great colours disappear and I can see what is really happening with my values.

Things I noticed right away:
  • spring on the bottom left and the cavity there are a little flat, possibly another light glaze in the shadow area might give it some depth.  Not too much as this is not the star of my picture. 
  • Shadow of the middle chain is a little too light and blue for my sunlight. 
  • The middle chain might be a little too washed out, possibly darken the darks a little more. 
  • Looks a little to dark by the large chain in the top right side.  Have to think about that for a bit.
  • Need to finish the chain at the far right to see how the balance will work.  Must keep its value close to the surrounding area so it will ‘stay at the back’.
What do you see?

Enter the Study Mode
Have to slow down a bit now.  As I near completion it is time to really study my picture.  With a light glaze I can bring something forward or push it back.  I like to paint, study, paint, study, study . . .  This is probably the slowest stage of my painting. 

Sorry,  picture not complete this week but it will be ready for my Next post: Hitching a Ride - DONE
I realized I only talked generally about my painting techniques, let me know if you want to expand on something in my next post.  

My Etsy Store: WendyMouldsArt  is always open and new things added all the time.  

Try Your Hand at Plein Air Painting: 

Plein Air Painting Festival - August 17-19,  KilbyHistorical Site, Harrison Mills, BC

Great Opportunity to Paint on an Historic Site with costume models, farm animals, farm scenery, old store and more.  Painting Friday and Saturday, & Sunday Morning,  Prizes, Luncheon, and Sales on Sunday Afternoon.  Great Prizes for all levels - Beginners to Advanced Welcome.

$15  Register  events@kilby.ca 604-796-9576 by August 15, 2018.  
This is an awesome event, there are juried prizes and draw prizes so fun for all levels.  Registration gets you on site for all 3 days.  I will be camped at the Kilby Campsite and there all 3 days so be sure and say hi.  

Drop-In & Draw Sessions: Only a few Sessions left till Summer
New people are always welcome.  Beginner to Advanced 

 Monday, June 4 & 18, 10-12pm & 1-3pm.
Expression Art Gallery, Valley Fair Mall, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge,
Choose a morning or afternoon session. Bring your sketchbook or project and come and work.  I will be happy to give you pointers.  $15 Pre-Registration Required.  Contact Wendy Here. 

Artists reading this also find the following valuable: 
How to Find your Sketchbook Friend - here
Is Your Sketchbook  Ready for You - here
How to Find Your Starting Point in a Drawing - here

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Have a great Artful Day,

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