Thursday, June 6, 2013

Day 43--Bottles

Continuing the theme of light color on dark ground. Also the theme of how freaking hard it is to get the perspective right when you're drawing dark on dark. Note to self--sketch in wth white or gray-toned brushstrokes next time.....

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day 41--Coffee

A fraught subject. I love coffee. I love the taste, the smell, and most of all the caffeine. The lovely, lovely caffeine. So naturally it was a bit of a shock to find out a few years ago that instead of having a bunch of allergies to mold, pollen, cats and so forth, I was basically allergic to two things: wheat and coffee. Considering that these were my baseline diet at the time, I took it relatively calmly. Nowadays, I subsist on beans, rice, Korean rice cakes, arepas, kimchi, laab, and strong Assam tea and that's, really. But I still like the smell of coffee, so I like making it for my wife first thing in the morning since she, at least, can drink it.

Anyhow, I love the little clamp-top container she stores it in and have wanted to paint it for a while.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 40--Skull on Brown

OK, I made a mistake and bought a gallon of chocolate-brown exterior latex instead of white. I intended to use it to add some extra primer to the panels I use for my daily paintings, since the texture as they come from the manufacturer is sort of....awful. Upon opening the can and realizing that it was now unreturnable, I briefly considered painting my house brown, but realized that it would be an interesting experiment to paint one or two hundred little paintings on a dark ground. Since I'm drawn to lighter-colored subjects: bones, glass bottles, shells; it's got some interesting potential.

This is a painting of one of my coyote skulls, donr on the brown ground. It was a really interesting change from painting on a white ground--I was much more aware of the relative lightness of things, as opposed to their relative darkness, if that makes any sense. I'm also paying an awful lot of attention to the edges and the colors; perhaps more than before, since I'm having to establish them actively rather than getting the shadows and letting the lights take care of themselves.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Casein Sketch, Krak des Chevaliers

Got inspired by James Gurney's outdoor casein sketch to haul out the caseins again. I'm trying to get used to the color shift again after working in oils for a while, but it's fun. This is from a photo (not mine) of the Krak des Chevaliers, a medieval Crusader castle in Syria. Thinking enviously of Richard Parkes Bonington and his amazing light. Caseins are a great medium for having fun--they dry absolutely matte, so they reproduce really well, and it forces you to consider your colors much more seriously than the glossy mediums like oil and acrylic because it's too easy to let the gloss "enrich" the color for you. I'm hoping these essays into casein are going to help me stay honest, color-wise.

I've taken to making up my own casein medium from powder. It's not hard, and a lot cheaper than the prepared stuff. This batch was made with casein powder soaked in tap water for a while, then mixed with a hot saturated solution of "40 Mule Team" borax. It turns into a honey-like syrup that's fun to smear around. The cool thing is that the borax also keeps the stuff from rotting for quite a while. You can make casein using ammonia or ammonium nitrate as well, but it's really prone to rotting and stinks of ammonia unless you heat it to drive it all off. Basically just making the stink go really bad for a shorter time. I've got a parrot, so I prefer to avoid those sorts of things.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 39, and broccoli

I don't recall having tried to paint broccoli before, which is odd since we always have it around because the parrot loves it. He alternates between liking the florets or the stems, though, and whichever part is his current favorite, the other part becomes anathema to him.

Day 37 and Some More Tomatilloes

Green is such a fun color to paint. Utterly frustrating and infuriating, but fun. And painting on a super-slick surface has its drawbacks, aswell. The paint goes down easy, but comes up just as fast, requiring some tricky brush maneuvering to keep it applying well. Sort of like trying to put down a long roll of fly-paper, or vintage chewing gum.