Self portrait #3

Why do I try to make my portraits with life like skin tones? I think they look better when they are very vivid.

Initial block in
Finished portrait

Maybe I’m really not finished… what do you think? I’m realizing I need to touch up the eyebrow on the right…

My next collection

My son and I love the movie, Encanto. He’s requested a painting of a capybara, one of the animals that came to Antonio’s room. This prompted me to make a collection of animals that are native to Colombia. I’ve been sourcing images of some of my favorite animals.

Almost all the canvases are prepared so it was time to prepare my paint palette. Sometimes when painting I do well using colors that I pick instinctively, in the moment. But, most of the time I create a more cohesive and successful painting when I develop my pallete ahead of time.

I learned about this general idea from a few artists that I follow but, Amanda Evanston shared the idea of finding images from advertising that speak to you and pull out the colors. So I rummaged through pages that I’ve turn out of magazines. I decided to use the colors from a blanket that was on a magazine page.

I spend 15-20 minutes mixing colors in my paint box to come up with the colors I wanted. I have written how to mix the colors on page in my watercolor sketchbook from Arteza. I’ll refer to this page over and over until I finish the painting. I may still pick one accent color to add for pizzazz but that remains to be seen.

And we wait again…

Waiting in the ER as I write this post. I will probably be here for several hours as we wait to see if the new antibiotics help my skin infection.

In preparation I have brought my sketchbook and charcoal pencils, my knitting that I restarted, and a stuffy that my son picked out.

I’m still thinking about the self-portrait from yesterday and realized that I made the mouth too wide. When I crop out the bottom part of the painting, I’m pleased with it.

The background needs some work.

I love that I was more daring with incorporating brighter and bolder colors in the face and then added some traditional skin tones. I feel confident that my next attempt will be even better than the first two. I’ve been using unsanded paper but I think I’m going to use sanded paper for this next attempt. I am working on having a light touch with my pastel application but I think I filled the tooth off the Canson Mi Tientes paper that I used yesterday.

Stay tuned – hopefully I’ll be able to share some good news and creations tomorrow!

Self-portrait progress

Well, I’m still working on my self portrait. I decided for my second practice piece I would do if slightly bigger, 12 x 16 inches. I used the grid method to draw my face but I didn’t put in all the details. By details, I mean the markings to indicate the different values.

Ugh… 2nd attempt

The mouth just ruins this whole attempt. It looks scary and it’s not the right shape. I do like the amount of color I got into the painting – and I’m using unsanded paper, so there’s a limit to how much pastel I can apply – but I’m just gutted over how the mouth looks so wrong.

That being said, I am not giving up. I realize I need to make my marks to indicate each value so that I can paint it better. And I know I can do better. And I will do better! Just probably not today.

Working on some art for me!

We have a soon-to-be blank spot on our wall and I decided to paint a beautiful heart painting for our home.

I painted over a painting that failed to inspire me and then added collage hearts. This morning I painted more hearts on it.

When the paint is dry I’ll be adding more hearts with acrylic ink markers and maybe even some soft pastel. I can’t wait to see it vintage and hanging on my wall!

Still resting but check out my art haul

You may recall I went to Jerry’s warehouse in Greensboro a few days ago. Well, I’m happy to share with you the goodies that I bought.

I purchased a couple of the portfolio folders, 5×7 inch and 14×17 inch. I needed somewhere to put my soft pastel paintings that are 12×16 inches. I do have an 11×14 inch portfolio (which is too small) but I can’t seem to find it. I need to clean up a couple corners in my art space to see if I can find it. I also will probably pick up a 9×12 inch one the next time I go because I have a lot of 8×12 inch paper.

I also have been following Sandi Hester lately and she has inspired me to go big with sketches. I already knew I didn’t like small sketchbooks given how many are sitting around with only a few pages used. So, I picked up a couple of 11×14 inch sketchbooks. I have an even larger one I bought from Blicks and I plan on sketching with paint in all three of them. I want at least 3 so I can move on to another ones while paint is drying in the first one.

The last item in this pic is Art Graf. I have the carbon black Art Graf block but decided to pick up the primary set because I’ve think it might be fun to use in my new sketchbooks.

Oil sticks

I can’t remember if I shared that I am starting to learn about oil painting but I knew that I would want some way to make chunky marks on the top later so I got the 24 count set of mini oil sticks from Sennelier. I have only peeled of the coating on a couple sticks but I love the feel of them already. I can’t wait to dive in to oils and really get my hands dirty playing with them.

I hope to get feeling better tomorrow so that I can actually make art again. Until then, hope you have a great day!

Recovery day…

I don’t have a lot to say today. I got chemo and my bone builder yesterday and it always makes me extremely fatigued, borderline sick for a few days. I spend most of the next couple days sleeping and resting in bed.

That being said, I did get my shipment from Ikea. I ordered picture ledges that I plan on mounting to the upper part of my bedroom walls, and maybe more, so that I have more space for finished paintings that have yet to find a home. I have a message out to my handyman, so hopefully he can install them next week!

Unexciting pic of picture ledges in the Ikea box

Practice makes progress

It’s that time of year when I start to think about painting my self-portrait again. This year I’m thinking of painting it in soft pastels and I had sketched it out on some inexpensive unsanded pastel paper.

This morning I started my practice piece. It turned out ok, but I realized that I neglected to include the part of my face that was in the deep shadows. I didn’t notice it until I went in with pastel pencils to add some details. It’s ok. I’ve learned a lot and will be doing this again on a bigger sheet of paper so I can get ask the details using the pastel sticks instead of needing pencils.

Top: my finished practice piece, Botton: my portrait sets of soft pastels

My plans are to sketch on the grid again for the bigger piece but try and remember to erase the grid lines once the sketch is in place. They blended into the background in a bunch of places but not on the face itself.