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,
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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