Monday, November 17, 2014

In Black and White

Happy Monday everyone!

I'm struggling with being sick. My son came down with a cold/flu thing and I thought it would miss me. I was wrong. I can't decide if the worst part is the coughing or the horrible headaches it gives me. Or a low-grade fever that just makes me want to lay on the ground and stare at the ceiling.

So, I haven't been all that productive. I did finish my black and white piece, however, so here are some progress to finish pictures:

Just starting in on the figures after filing in the back

Sky filled, working on the wolf

All the black and white is done, now it's ready for tiny hints of color. I didn't expect to add a key, I actually thought the dress would be in her hand, but it worked out very differently.

"Forward" 8x10 inches acrylic on canvas panel. Iridescent paint on the moon, key, pendant, and wolf's eyes.

I learned an awful lot doing this painting. I learned that I haven't painted in a monochromatic way since college and doing value studies, and that it's a lot harder than I remember. I think that's probably because you can create so many values with different colors easier than if you are forced to use just one. It was good for me to do this.

I also learned to "lighten up" on fur. Normally, I think I overwork fur and add lots of precise fur-type details. It makes an animal look sharp, sharper than they probably need to. I forced (and I mean that it took some real struggle for me to let go) myself to back the heck off and go "soft" with it. The wolf looks SO much better. He looks like you would want to pet him. You can see on his tail where things are still a bit sharp and see the difference. Letting go was seriously hard for me, but I realize that in order to improve my technique, I need to do this.

So, I'm working on applying the softer fur technique to my holiday cats. This is a painting I sketched out and fully intended to finish LAST year, and here we are a year later. When it comes to art, I feel like the year is just so short! When it comes to other things (like waiting to move or lose weight) it's a thousand years long.

The original sketch on canvas 2013
progress made 2013, fireplace

more progress, 2013, finishing fireplace
And then I under-painted the stockings a little and went through a bit of art ADD, and didn't go back until now. *sigh* I know, I know. But here is this year's progress:

Working on the stockings

mostly done with the stockings, although looking at it now, I'm trying to decide whether to add sticking to the patches on them. I probably will...
And here is where it literally sits this morning. I just snapped the photo. I've decided that both cats are going to be black and white. I think it works best for the painting.

So, while I'm working on the cats, I'm trying very hard to make them soft. That's my mantra. Soft. Make them soft!

In other news, I woke up to a very light snow! I'm feeling very much in the holiday mood! My goal is to only paint fun holiday paintings for a while! Smaller ones than this, that take less time hopefully, so I'll have some to put in my shop! I just want to feel like I'm accomplishing something, I guess. I should have started the holiday paintings much earlier than I did!

I hope you are all doing well!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Queen's Rule

I think we're at a stopping point for taking pictures of the back view... everything is just sort of dead and ugly right now. Once we get a pretty snow, I'll snap a picture of that! Autumn was fun while it lasted!

I finished my queen earlier this week, finally!

"Queen of Hearts" 16x20 inches, acrylic on stretched canvas.

She came out well, even though there were times I worried. It's funny, because I feel like this painting really fought me. I'm not sure why. It certainly took forever, if we look at actual time from the drawing to the completion... but that's mostly because I walked away frequently, frustrated with her.

I'm going to paint a companion piece to her, The White Queen, and I'm actually looking forward to that one! She lives backwards, so I'm working on coming up with things that express that!

I also finished two little pieces:

I named this one Bunk-bed, can you see why? I'm in love with this one because of the tiny mouse. I have this urge to paint all sorts of tiny mice and kittens on tiny canvases!
4x4 inches, acrylic on stretched canvas
This one is now available in my shop

I painted that little mouse, and he's smaller than an earring:

it's a bad picture, late at night off my phone, but you can see how tiny he is.
I realize I need to fins tinier brushes for a lot of the things I want to do. The ones I have, they're simply not small enough!

And then I finished this kitty too:

The moon and leaves are iridescent. I've started adding in jade to the edges of my moons and I just love it! 
3x6 inches, acrylic on stretched canvas
This painting is now up for sale in my shop

And then I didn't get any work done because everything got a bit crazy here between house showings and other things. I'm back to work now, and working on a piece for the Black and White November auction on facebook:

it's messy, I know. My idea is do paint everything in black and white, except for the moon, her, and the wolf/dog's eyes (which will match the moon somehow.) I've forgotten how tricky it is to paint in just black and white. This is funny really, because I used to be afraid of color! Black and white (and all the grays) were so easy! Color was tricky. Now, it's the other way around!

So, I'm a bit uncertain if the piece will turn out. I'm hopeful, though! And Christmas paintings are on the way too. I must get my holiday painting in! And with that, I'm also putting up one of my Christmas trees today. I know it's early, but normally I decorate on November 1st, so technically I'm late. Since we're showing the house, I wasn't going to put anything up until Thanksgiving, but the truth is that I need my twinkle lights!

I hope you all had a wonderful week! Anyone else have holiday decor up yet?