Monday, August 30, 2010

Patterns and "Don't Mess with Me!"

I had a very fun day in the studio today after being at the Monster Drawing Rally yesterday.  I wanted to try everything I'd seen done there - using compressed charcoal, oil sticks, house paint, etc., etc.  In the end, I didn't have any compressed charcoal so couldn't use it and didn't think about the house paint, but I did find an oil stick I'd bought long ago and did use it.  I also combined pastels and oil paints with the oil stick on both sanded paper (which I usually use with pastels) and canvas (which I usually only use with oils).  It was fun to experiment.  The picture on the right is called Aapples and a Tomato.  I had a lot of fun creating the pattern in the background.  I love doing these kinds of patterns.  A long time ago, the first time Dylan was in the hospital, so 8 years ago, I'd come home from the night there and do a small watercolor of a piece of fruit and put patterns in the background.  (The pumpkin is an example of one of them.)  I guess I'm coming back around to that now with oils and pastels.  The oil stick really helps because it gives me an easy way to draw the lines.  I have trouble doing them with either pastels (too thick) or a brush (too soft).

After I painted the apples and tomato, I found some small canvases (I think they're 6" square x 1.5" deep) which I painted a couple more pictures on.  First Polka dotted peach then Apple on a Tablecloth.  I left the apple uncropped to make it possible to see how deep the canvas is.

These pictures and the fun I had doing them gave me the courage to finally, finally, finally put a pattern into a portrait as I'm painting it.  I have to admit, I had a really good time doing the pattern.  I don't know why I like them so much, but I certainly know that I do!

Here's the start of the portrait.  The woman is wearing the most beautiful turquoise necklace which is an heirloom from her grandmother.  I had no idea how difficult it would be to paint.  I am aware that the necklace will certainly take longer to paint than anything else!  But it'll be fun and look very cool when it's finished, so I'm looking forward to continuing the challenge.

I love the expression on this woman's face.  It isn't that evident from this photograph, but I call it Don't Mess With Me.  It's a perfect one for me to be doing right now because that's my attitude these days!  Don't mess with me!  I can't wait to get back to it tomorrow, but I'm too tired tonight after 3 hours of painting the necklace and pattern to do anymore.  I was starting to get sloppy so it's time to quit!

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