Sunday, November 11, 2018

Plein Air Challenges

Plein Air painting at Cape Lookout, Oregon Coast


It has been a busy day and a busy week so I will be keeping this one short. I finally took a break from my anatomy studies and went out painting. I had a particular spot in mind, only, when I got there, the waves and weather were completely different than what I had pictured in my mind to paint! That is the way it works on the coast. I did remember this other spot from an earlier visit and it did not disappoint. The only problem is, it is by the side of a road. It is a back road, but still, I don't paint along roadsides. This view! I couldn't resist so, in spite of my discomfort, I went for it. I only had about an hour and half of decent light before the sun went down and the sky was cloudy. I got a lucky sunbreak and I got as much information as I could. I will work on this in my studio to finish it.

One thing I didn't take into account is that when people drive by and see an artist painting by the side of the road, they will suddenly pull over and take a look, and then they see the view! I had a crowd behind me as I worked as fast as I could to get the painting down. Usually, I am more sociable when I am out painting but I didn't engage much in conversation as I concentrated on getting this view on canvas.

I am making progress on finding a printing service and am ready to order a few test prints of my drawings. I am still organizing and polishing up the small paintings to post for sale, very soon now.

Today I finished the week with a life drawing session, bottling my hard cider, made from apples grown in the community garden, and set up my home grown sourdough to bake tomorrow. It is a good end for a long week.

This week has been full of tragic news and my heart breaks for the families forever changed by the most recent shooting, and for those who are fleeing the fierce fires here in the west.

It has become even more important to add beauty to the world. May everyone find a bit of beauty in the coming week.

-Renee


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Digging In

Polar Bear Awakening, Ink on toned paper, © 2018 R.L. Delight Fine Art
Inktober week is done and I drew 33 ink drawings in total! This is number 32. I originally drew it as a thank you to all those who followed my progress on social media. I am sharing it here as this is Polar Bear Week! So, what is next?

I have participated in month-long daily challenges before and have always benefited from them in terms of my art. Usually, I just picked up where I left off and continued on. This challenge was different in many ways. First, I had never used ink as a drawing medium. Second, I have only just started drawing animals (not counting my teen years spent drawing animals from magazine photos).  I struggled with drawing in ink for the entire month, however, even I could see the improvement in the handling of the medium day by day.  While I am generally satisfied with my progress, I also recognize that I have a ways to go.

What I hadn't anticipated when I first set out to take on this challenge, was that I would fall so deeply in love with drawing animals and all that goes with it. Taking on animal art, I had to break with my practice of not using photo reference and only drawing from life or imagination. I haven't used photo reference in my art because I just don't resonate with photos like I do with my subjects in real life.
I have spent many days this summer sketching animals at the Oregon Zoo which is a one and a half  to two hour drive, one way, over the coastal range from my house. With a few exceptions, I have used my own video footage, live webcams, and my sketches as reference for these drawings. A couple times I used my own photo reference.

So, now it is time to go deeper. I had already begun to learn animal anatomy before I took on the Inktober challenge. Now I am going back and learning with purpose and determination. I need to have the ability to sketch and draw animals from life and imagination. That is going to take a bit time and a lot of work. Thank goodness we have so many resources these days with online classes and tutorials. Nothing beats working hard and drawing everyday as I continue to do.

I am looking at printing services until I can afford my own quality printer and scanner. I will be selling prints and cards of the best sketches I did and of future finished drawings. I will also be posting small paintings for sale this week. I need to clean out my studio, so the paintings will be at sale prices from now until December 30th. A percentage of the proceeds from every sale will go to environmental and animal protection organizations. Some will be local and some will be national and international.

Well, this is a long post but I wanted to share some of the growth and changes that have been happening in my studio. Thanks for reading this far!

Go find the beauty in this week!

-Renee
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