Sunday, October 29, 2017


This is where we left off on the last post.  I decided it needed a unifying tone, so I collaged a single sheet of tan tissue over the entire painting.  The second benefit is that I now have a surface that will take watercolor especially the wax paper with gesso on it.  I wanted to use watercolor for the transparent quality so I wouldn't lose the collage details.   

I added white gesso using a q-tip cotton swab for the highlighted areas. A little lumpy and clumsy but not too bad.

tool using ink.  I decided to try theI started to add color using watercolor sticks and then blending them out with several items.  I started with a makeup sponge but wasn't overly happy.   I saw a video where someone had used a tampon as a non-traditional mark making m out.  They make great blending tools and a way to apply even color over a large area.  What a great discovery!

The hands are very problematic!   The original collage paper is too dark and throwing off the values I need.  Using my finger, I applied more gesso to the hands giving me a better surface to add back color and make some subtle improvements on the drawing .

I thought I was finished but every time I photograph the work something jumps out at me that didn't register before.  Time for fine tuning!  The yellow behind the head on the left too strong and the white on the collar is the brightest spot on the page making it the focal point.  

I toned the entire background with quin it's too yellow.  Neutralized it with the compliment of purple, much better.  This has darkened the background, making the light shape on the right drawing too much attention.  Fixed that problem, toned down the color and called it a day!

Here is the finished painting.  I found it impossible to photograph the color accurately in the studio.  I will have to take it outside to get away from artificial light.  

Just for fun here is the painting after the first start so you can see them side by side.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


This layer is collage, acrylic ink drawing and sponge roller painting.   Still not satisfying.

I added more collage papers including some gesso texture on waxed paper.  I was never sure if I could successfully collage waxed paper but it seems to work out okay.   Looking better.  I think a layer of tan tissue I collected for a dress shop might unify the image, but first I need to get my drawing back.

 I added more ink drawing done with a balsa wood stick.    Tomorrow, after tissue paper,  I will add some acrylic using my fingers.  Bought some thin latex type gloves so my hands won't be a disaster.  Finger painting will be lots of fun!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017



I am excited about creating some new paintings to illustrate my latest workshop: Variatons 2.0.  In the original Variations workshop we changed the image using the Elements ofArt.   In this Variations workshop we are going to change the image by changing other ingredients such as surface, tools, emphasis and format. Any change will result in a new direction so chnaging things up adds exciement and discovery to your work.

For me, the first step is simplification.  I start with a detailed drawing from a photograph.  In this case I used a mechanical #2 lead pencil.  Then I put the photograph away and work from my drawing.   I like to draw with ink, over and over as I become familiar with my subject.  Putting in every detail is easy, a no brainer.  Simplification is difficult.   One has to make decisions and search out the most important aspects of the image that communicate your message to the viewer.


 A quick way to get to the essence of the image is to draw with a mop string dipped in ink.   Fussy details are impossible with this drawing method.  I started out with the full image.  I wanted to hone in on some of the details like the head and hands so I did separate drawings of these elements.

  I found a feather in my collection of drawing materials and decided to see what kind of line I could get with the feather dipped in ink.   Then left handed drawing.  I now appreciate the difficulty of writing if you are left handed.  It seemed I was getting in my own way.  The feather was very interesting.  It will take lots of practice but I think it has promisse as an interesting tool.




  Tried using an eyedropper and then my "Oiler Boiler" needle bottle.  Tried both dominant right hand and awkward non-dominant left hand mostly continuous line drrawing.  I use newsprint sheets because they are large, cheap and I was able to purchase a ream of them.   Along the way, I decided the most important aspects of this image for me are pose, interlocked fingers of the hand, suspenders, eyebrows strong creases by side of nose and mouth and the chin.





A few more simplification drawings down to the bare essence and then I am ready to start a painting!

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