Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Apple Kettle Book and Chain

This is for Feb 2012 Rookie Painter challenge. It's oil on 10x14 canvas panel.

There were two choices for this month's challenge (ref). The one with the blue cloth stood out to me because of the bright color contrast. I also liked the triangular set up of the still life items and the gold chain that broke up the rigidness of the other items. However, I thought the kettle against a light background made the kettle too overpowering compared to the other items. So I made the background to have similar tone and value of the kettle to make it less stand out.

As I had limited time to do this painting, with all the kids and other things I need to attend to, I did this in about four hours. I know there were things I could have tweaked, like the tea kettle handle bar, but I thought the painting as is had already expressed what I was trying to do. So I left it as is: the art of imperfection.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Family at Cavoli Beach

This is my second submission to this month's Virtual Paintout challenge, Elba Italy. It's oil on 10x10 canvas panel.

Not too far from where I found the scene for my first painting, I saw this family standing very close to the Google camera (ref) with good sun light. Since I'd done many landscape paintings recently, and I'd not really painted human bodies before, this was worth trying. It was actually a family of five. I dropped two of the kids just trying to keep a not so simple painting more manageable. I also drop all the crowd, chairs, umbrellas in the background, and painted a simple beach instead.

One difficulty with this painting was that the Google Map picture was not very clear, especially with human faces and also the man on the right, as they were all distorted. So I had to made up the faces, and the body (ok, I actually looked up Calvin Klein ad photos to get some idea since the mom and dad in the photo looked like Calvin Klein models). My palette for skin in this painting included flesh tone, naples yellow, cadmium orange, burnt sienna, olive green, madder, ultramarine violet, burnt umber, violet grey, and white.

A Ride with Talisker

This is a commissioned work. It's oil on 9x12 canvas panel.

Kellie and Paul had asked me to do a painting for their two poodles, Bailey and Talisker. Kellie sent me many photos they took since they moved to LA. This one with Talisker riding in a car catching the wind caught my eyes. It's got such a care free feel to it. I also wanted to do something for the Paws For Charity Art Book Project (ref), so I decided to first do this smaller work, trying to capture this carefree feel.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Couple at Cavoli Beach

This is for Virtual Paintout, February 2012 Elba Italy challenge. It's oil on 10x10 canvas panel.

I've never been to this part of Italy before, the Tuscan Archipelago, so I started my virtual visit by dropping the Google Map yellow man randomly along the south coast of the island. The yellow man took me to a beach somewhere around Cavoli. There were a lot of nice beach scenes, including this one (ref), plus we're still in the middle of winter, and my hands and feet were still ice cold from the cold temperature, so there was great appeal in a painting beach scene (wishful thinking).

This scene caught my eyes because of the strong light contrast. It also reminded me of beach scene paintings by one of our favorite artists, Karin Jurick, whose use of color is so brilliant, and her brush strokes are so precise. I simplified the scene a great deal as the beach was full of people and I really just wanted to paint this couple. The man's balding hair and fuller figure plus the woman's inflatable bed give the painting an unusual twist.