Monday, January 31, 2011

updating again, slowly [LONG POST]

I disappeared from the blog for awhile and it's just been a crazy time these past 3 weeks getting things in gear. I am in a lot of process work and some finishing touches on things are going to happen by this weekend.

So far, I really enjoy Nancy Mitter's Advanced Portraiture class and working with oil paints. I also found out I am allergic (WebMD diagnosis is some dermatitis, possibly pompholyx, also known as hand eczema, not contagious, just painfully itchy) to something in either oil paints or the solvents I was using with them. Perhaps it was the laundry soap I used to clean my brushes (it IS a skin and eye irritant). After 3 weeks, my fingers have peeled most of the dry skin and it is just really tender to use my hands without moisturizer. So now I use gloves and wear sleeve covers my granny made for me years ago. They look like this:
Yes, I am now an old granny. I also have small, stubby kid hands. The look of a real artist!

My 1st in-class oil painting is my 1st oil painting in general. I would say I like oil painting so far. OK, I like it a lot* more than acrylic. But both have their merits.

*picture Chuck in Tech I saying "I like it! I like it a lot!" while you're painting... I guarantee smiles, man! :D

I learned a lot from just diving right into it with a light burnt sienna/burnt umber underpainting (grisaille is the classic term for the underpainting method, and you can do a lot with just a flat or filbert brush and a cloth) and massing/blocking in the colors.
Building up from dark to light, the trick is to add in the fuller colors and subdue them while they are wet (and avoid overblending, where you start getting gray or too muted). Also working with more than just paint thinner is suggested (I did my in-class painting in paint and turpenoid), as you can apply paint over drier paint faster in a painting medium (currently, I am trying Galkyd Lite and Liquin) and lay in opaques over the transparent, "fat over lean".

I'm still trying to get more fatty with my paint application. I tend to do a lot of dry brushing to gain control, thinking that it's like acrylics (oy vey, stupid).
Nancy loves using colors and experimenting with her palette, so my piece is a bit too quiet compared to the color she wants me to explore. I tend to stay more on the value side and don't have any experience with color theory so this is really exciting to go more saturated.
I also enjoy the smell of linseed oil and I do plan to try to paint with it.

Out of class, I'm doing 6 portraits of friends for homework; I've been close to finish with one, have done a pencil drawing for another, and have some studies in the works:
The almost completed one of Ellen Coons is looking sweet (her birthday is coming up, so this is doubles as a gift). I had some fun with painting with a model; from life, coloring is just more vibrant. I have some places to fix here and there but roughly 8 hours in, this is good. You can see how thin I apply paint and it's a learning curve for me to be more liberal with something so expensive.

I have more process work for Illus Tech II, Image Making 1, and some roughs for 3pt perspective currently being done, so I'll post those later (the past 2-3 weeks I've been gathering supplies and getting references for things).

On a side note, living with roommates is fun until most of you get sick around the same time. :(
this past weekend, I was down for the count from Friday night into most of Sunday night with this feverish coughy phlegm thing and couldn't get anything done.
This weekend was sleeping through fevers, hot lemon water with lots of honey, Batman: Gotham Knight & Leaving Las Vegas, these magazine clippings of a cat owner (dreamboat!) and a dog in a top hat and bow.

Did I mention Nicholas Cage is a prickly pear?