Sunday, 21 August 2011

Surfed too long - completed painting

This session was focussed on finishing up the last few details including the clipboard, shoe and keyboard. Once these areas were dry, I mixed up some white and naples yellow and added highlights all over with a fairly dry brush. Using my finger I blended the newly added paint into the existing picture. To complete, I did the same with a mix of phtalo blue and raw umber for the really deep shadow areas.

All done!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Surfed too long - the skeleton

Today's painting session was dedicated to the skeleton. The first step was to mix a very pale yellow using mostly white and some naples yellow. This went to the light areas of the skeleton and as a base for the darker areas. I left the parts that are in shadow open. Once this was done I mixed a small amount of the pale yellow with some burnt umber until I got a fairly dark colour for the shadow areas like the eye sockets. Next I added some more of the pale yellow colour and using a fairly dry brush worked over the areas to blend the hard lines away and to add some midtones. The last step was to use paynes grey to add low lights to the darkest areas. Later when dry I will add some pure white highlights.

I'm quite pleased with the progress so far, and as you can see the painting is almost complete. I don't think there's much of a need to add more layers of thicker paint but there will be some tidying up to do and adding highlights here and there.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Surfed too long - the blues

It's been a quiet Sunday. The epic LoR soundtrack accompanied me and my mom as we painted all afternoon. She on a portrait of yours truly and me on my silly little skeleton lying bereft of life at the unseeing computer. Well, it's been a rather blue day for painting as I hardly touched any other colour except pthalo blue, naples yellow and white. The first stop was the swivel chair and this is coming along nicely now. The desk was the next area - here I added naples yellow to the lighter areas. I wanted to give the impression of the desk being a bit dirty from dust. It's the first time I've been ok with painting such a dirty, muddy colour.

I had a bit of an accident today with the plastic container that holds my water. It basically split as I pressed my brush down to clean it. All the nasty, cold, paint dirty water flooded all over my legs and the corner of the painting. I had to run to wipe up all the mess but was unable to save the corner of my painting from some dark muddy streaks (left corner). Sigh.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Surfed too long - shirt and monitor

Time has really flown here and I haven't painted much. Every day I look at my painting and think 'I should do some work there' but other things seem to get in the way. Today I decided that it's time so I pulled out the brushes. My mother is also creating a lovely painting so all the brushes and paints are lying around within easy reach (I really have no excuses!).

I started off with the computer monitor. I want to give it a kind of slightly amusing, bulgy blue screen of death look so will add some blue there later on. Then, working on the shirt I added the lovely folds into the material. The focus at this point was to make sure that the shirt had the correct light/dark areas applied to it. The left shoulder is closer to the viewer and the light falls directly in that area, so adding highlights there was critical. I also darkened the shirt on the back and on the right shoulder, making it appear to recede.

I'm quite keen to get started on the skeleton but I have to find the correct brush for this. The ones I have are quite large and not good enough for the delicate work required here. Must go shopping. Apparently it's a great exercise to paint or draw the human skeleton as it gives you a good understanding of what lies under a person's skin when you do portraits or figure studies. Looking forward to it!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Surfed too long - thin layers

I've added the first layer of relatively thin paint over the background, using the lovely rich burnt sienna mixed with some other colours (naples yellow, indian red). I'm finding it quite interesting working on this particular board as I don't think it was primed very well. The paint I apply just gets sucked into the board. In a way, it's good because this first layer won't take long to dry.

Working on the fabric folds has been lovely. I started off with midtones and then added high and low lights in increasing contrast. The final highlights will be added later on. I'll also need to add some blue areas to the trousers (reflections from the desk).

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Surfed too long - the drawing

It's been a while since I painted anything, which is a shame. Being back in South Africa for an indeterminate period of time has left me feeling a bit wary about starting anything new. An oil painting takes so long to dry...and I would rather not leave a freshly painted lovely here when I shoot back to the UK. However, since it now looks like I might be here for at least another 2 months and counting, I decided that I would take on a small project.

Since I've been spending an awful lot of time at my computer and I sometimes feel half dead but unable to drag myself away, I've decided to capture that feeling with a painting of a skeleton at a computer station. Haha.

It's just a 'bit of fun' painting, nothing too heartachy or serious. I want to try and NOT start off the painting with the idea that I can be an expressionist, painting loosely and making each single line cry out with description and meaning. Instead, I'm going to focus on making the painting nice and tight. Clear and neat and bordering on realism...and nicely blended. This is, after all what I always end up doing anyway and it might take some of the angst out of it! I hope that my choice in subject matter allows me to use my wet-on-wet technique although I do fancy painting a little bit more with quite runny paint as this makes lovely neat lines.


Starting here with the outline I jotted down the main lines of the image using a pastel crayon (no pencil for me thank you!) I decided not to use a wash for a change as I want to see what it feels like to paint on that naked white canvas.