Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer Days

We have had a wonderful run of lovely summer weather the past couple of weeks. I have been busy getting yard work done and soaking up the sunshine for those long dark winter days ahead in addition to the usual daily chores. I have been working in the studio too but I haven't been spending a lot of time online.
I am still attending life drawing and, after adjusting my expectations and process a bit, have found a way to make it work for me. I just don't want to give up my only source at this time for live models.
In the studio, I am currently trying a new-to-me technique or process. I am using a combination of photo references and oil sketches to paint a more formal beachscape. The photos are those I took when helping to watch over a newborn seal on the beach. The seal still had its umbilical cord attached! It is important to keep a distance from the newborn so that it will have a chance at reuniting with its mother as the tide comes back in. I took pictures with my largest lens attached. I cropped the picture quite a bit to compose the painting. I wanted to convey both the vulnerability of the newborn seal and the incredible strength and resilience these wild creatures have. I printed the photo in black and white and did a few thumbnail sketches in oil before starting on a grisaille. I am glad I did the grisaille before moving to the color as studying the tones also helped in my study of the waves. Here is the grisaille so far:

I still have a tiny bit to adjust and much detail, such as foam patterns and water sparkles, is left out at this stage intentionally. I will make a few corrections tomorrow and then move onto color using my oil sketch as a color reference. The canvas is 9"X12" and was toned with yellow ochre. In addition to taking many pictures, I made an oil sketch when I was helping to watch over the newborn seal. That is the sketch I will be using for my color reference. It was posted on the blog a while ago.
We were there about six hours or so before the tide came in far enough for the seal to swim away. It was a wonderful way to pass the time and quite a magical event for me. I have since signed up for the stranded marine mammal volunteer group that has formed with guidance from the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network . I attended an informational meeting and learned quite a bit about the sea mammals in our area and the people who work to protect them.
I haven't taken the time to research my next featured woman artist but promise I will for my next post. I am getting excited as I have the workshop with Robert Librace coming up at the end of this month. I am looking forward to that with both excitement and a little anxiety. It will be a challenging workshop for me. A bit of time before that takes place though. We have more company coming and events to attend before we go.
Until next week,

1 comment:

Theresa said...

I'm in love with that grisaille! Beautiful work.
And how interesting and fun to be involved with the marine mammals and their protection.

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