Category Archives: February 2014

Painting in the Background

With the value sketches done, and a solid plan on how to proceed with this painting, it is time for the next step. I paint in a soft wash for the sky and once that is dry, I will start painting in wet-on-wet red for the strips of the flag.  I am excited to see this painting come together.

Wash of Blue for Background Sky

Wash of Blue for Background Sky

In other news, last week I attended a local painting group and did a short demo on art journaling. While I was living in Puerto Rico, I was doing a lot of journaling.  In fact, I set a

Art Journaling Demo Group

Art Journaling Demo Group

goal to paint a weekly “highlight” in my journal.  Since moving to Pensacola, I have really gotten away from journaling, and doing the demo I realized how much I enjoy and miss art journaling.  It is time to drag out the journal again and get back to it.  The new goal is to do a weekly “Pensacola Highlight” each week.

 

 

The next part of the American Flag painting will be exciting so sign up to get your copy of the Brushstrokes weekly blog post.  It’s simple, just click on the link, fill in your email address and then submit.  Hurry, do it now.



Value Sketches

The Reference Photo I will Use to Create the Flag Painting

The Reference Photo I will Use to Create the Flag Painting

After deciding which flag photo reference I would use for my painting, I then transferred the image from the photo onto drawing paper, which then gets transferred one last time to my watercolor paper.  Lots of steps, I know.  However, in the long run, if I ever decide to do this painting again in the future, the drawing is preserved and ready to go.

For my art style, the labor is all on the front end of the process.  When I finally get to pick up a paintbrush and apply paint, it all goes pretty quickly.  After having transferred the drawing from my drawing paper to the watercolor paper, I now set all of this aside, and begin doing value sketches.  Since I focus on macro-paintings, (close up views of any single object)  I typically will only break down my value sketches into three values, dark, medium and light.   Those values inserted into the background, middle ground and foreground will give me 8 combinations from which to chose on how to proceed with the composition.

Another sheet of plain paper is pulled out, and I create 8 blank squares approximating the size and shape of the parameters of my watercolor paper.  Then, I sketch in only the rough shapes of my composition.  I do not put in any details.  It isn’t a sky, a flag pole and a flag I am drawing in, but rather, a rectangular shape, a long line, and a square.  I do that within each square – again, tracing paper comes in mighty handy at this point.

The rest of my time is spent shading in the different combinations of values within the compositional shapes.

Four of the 8 Value Sketches I did, I have narrowed down to two

Four of the 8 Value Sketches I did, I have narrowed down to two

I am drawn to two of the value sketches, the two on the bottom because I think they are compositionally strong, and provide greatest potential for impact.  The first bottom left sketch  has a dark foreground, medium background and light middle ground.  The sketch next to it  has a medium foreground, a dark background and a light middle ground.   After some contemplation, I have decided to go with the bottom left value sketch: dark value foreground, medium value background and light value middle ground, with the center of interest and focal point going into the light middle ground.

That’s the plan for this painting….but, you know what they say, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.”  Let’s hope that isn’t the case with this painting plan.

Stay tuned for the next step the actual painting process.

 

 

Painting in Pensacola Not in Buenos Aries

My family visit and art vacation to Argentina was supposed to begin on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.  Today, I would be returning satiated on delicious food, wonderful wine, and fabulous art.  Unfortunately, the day before my departure date, Pensacola experienced a rare, fluke ice/snow storm.  After trying many different alternatives, there was no choice but to accept that the trip would be cancelled.  Rest in Peace vacation!

A Fluke Snow Storm Brings Pensacola to a Grinding Halt

A Fluke Snow Storm Brings Pensacola to a Grinding Halt

After spending the rest of the week in mourning over the lost trip, it is now time to start painting and creating art.

In July 2014, I will be exhibiting with three other local artists paintings that highlight Pensacola.   Naturally, the first hurdle to cross is, “what in the world am I going to paint representative of Pensacola?”

After much thought and planning, the first painting is taking form.  In the next several blog posts, I will show the process from beginning to completion of the first art work in the seven (maybe eight) painting collection.

In front of Joe Patti’s Seafood Market is a fantastically, huge American Flag.  When I say huge, I am not kidding.  I believe it is one of the largest flags I have ever seen.  I spent the better part of an afternoon taking photos of the flag.  Once I had about 50 reference photographs it was time to come home and start going through them to find the one photo that spoke to me.  Happily, I was pleased with the majority of the photographs.  In fact, I am thinking after completing the seven paintings for the Pensacola exhibition I may do a series of the flag.

The Reference Photo I will Use to Create the Flag Painting

The Reference Photo I will Use to Create the Flag Painting

 

Pencil Sketch of Flag which Will be Transferred to Watercolor Paper

Pencil Sketch of Flag which Will be Transferred to Watercolor Paper

My creative time today has been spent making a drawing that I then can transfer to my watercolor paper.  Stay tuned…..the next phase of the flag painting is coming.   The next step for this art work is all about composition consideration and planning.