Wednesday, February 19, 2014

QIANG HUANG's workshop

Painting demo by QIANG HUANG from YouTube:

I was just looking through my notes from QIANG HUANG's (pronounced Chong Wong) workshop I took last October.  Even though I'm a bit late in posting about the workshop, I wanted to recommend it to anyone thinking about taking it.  The workshop was a real treat and I really enjoyed it.  Qiang is an enjoyable, very organized instructor (you can tell he has a technical background), who breaks his instruction down into 5 stages to convey his method of painting in a way that is easy to understand.  It should be noted that while he broke his method down to make it more teachable those stages blend together when he's not teaching.   

It was a still life class and a number of stations were set up around the room.  Qiang brought small floods so each still life had good strong light to enhance the highlights and shadows.  I've been painting from my photographs so long I forgot how much more you see when working from real life.  Because of the workshop, one of my goals in the January 30-30 challenge was to paint still life and it is something I will do more.  

Qiang brushes his canvas or board down with a wee bit of linseed oil mixed with a little Gamsol to make the paint flow better.  Note: Be sure to wipe it down so there is barely any left on the canvas otherwise your paint will run. I started doing that since the workshop and find it does help the flow of the paint.

It was a real treat to watch Qiang's demonstrations and see how intense and beautiful his colors are in his finished paintings, especially since he uses a fairly limited palette: Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Transparent Oxide Red (or Burnt Sienna), Ultramarine Deep, Phthalo Blue, and Titanium White. Qiang noted he sometimes liked to use Naples Yellow to lighten colors because white can make a color chalky.  I hadn't used Naples Yellow in a long time, but have added it back on my own palette since the workshop and really like it.  

Friend and artist Susan Church Grant also attended the October workshop and did a fantastic 2-part write-up of her notes that I recommend you check out if you are thinking about attending one of Qiang's workshops.  

 "Ikebana Doll"
8x10" oil by Qiang Huang

I am delighted to be a proud owner of "Ikebana Doll" I purchased at the workshop


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The art of Comics

I'm always on the lookout for comics about art.  Not only are the artists who create comics talented artists, but they bring a smile.  

Speed Bump captured my painting dilemma perfectly!
Speed Bump by David Coverly
I enjoy many, but Speed Bump is my first stop in the morning comics.  Rarely does fellow Michigander David Coverly not capture something that reminds me of someone I know. 

Rhymes with Orange
Rhymes with Orange created by Hilary Price

 Bound & Gagged      Oh so true!!

Bound & Gagged is created by Dana Summers.  He is also a political cartoonist

Monday, February 17, 2014

Beach Rider

 Beach Rider
10x10" oil on wood panel box

Beach Rider is a gentleman I saw in Hilton Head.  I really liked his bright blue and yellow bike.  The beaches there are hard enough to ride a bike on when the tide goes out and many take advantage of the bikes most rentals keep.  
I have photographed Beach Rider numerous times over the last couple of days in different light and the beach sand is much grayer, but it looks brown in the photos so I give up and you'll have to go see it in person.  

 Torpedo Factory Arts Center Fundraiser

Beach Rider will be one of my donations for March150 fundraiser at the Torpedo Factory Arts Center.  If you live in the WDC area I'm sure you have visited the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria, VA.  (It really was a WWII torpedo factory.)  It has 3 floors of art studios, classrooms and 2 galleries.  

The Target Gallery is teaming up with March of Dimes for a yearly fund raiser.  The Gallery uses the funds for their outreach arts program.  Last year Maria Bennett Hock did a panel and I thought it was a great idea and really enjoyed the show.  It is really interesting to see all the conventional and not so conventional uses of the panels.  Regional artists purchase 10x10" wooden box panels.  I'm told about 200 panels are hung.  Each panel is priced at $150 – but can be purchased for $100 during the Art Party/reception on March 14th.  If you miss the reception, but are visiting Torpedo Factory in March please stop in and see the show. Who knows you might see a panel you just have to have!
March150: 4th Annual Exhibition Fundraiser
Entry Dates: January 29 - February 24
Exhibition Dates: March 8 - 23, 2014
Art Party: Friday, March 14; 7-10pm

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Work In Progress | "Poolside"

Surprisingly, after just one month of daily painting it is strange not to have a finished painting to post everyday.  I have started 2 new paintings.  Something I realize I don't think to do often enough is to snap a few pictures of my paintings as they progress.  Plus, I can see things that need improving better when I look at a photo (similar to looking at your painting in a mirror). 

I took the original photograph of these adorable girls while I was on a cruise recently.  Only kids were brave enough to get into a pool when it was in the 50s outside.

I toned the canvas gray.  After it dried, I drew in the figures with a burnt umber & ultramarine blue mix. I'm kind of liking the dark lines left from the drawing lines that are still showing. Now I have to decide whether or not I will leave them.  

Another couple of layers and this study for a larger painting will be complete.  

Work in Progress
"Poolside" 12x12" oil

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Artist Richard Robinson - Painting Lesson: Perspective Drawing

Richard Robinson is an internationally known artist from New Zealand and has a regular column critiquing art work in International Art Magazine (one of my favorite art magazines).  He is also a teacher who is amazingly generous sharing his knowledge via the internet.   

I saw an notice on ArtistsNetwork that I could sign up for free short art videos lessons by Richard.  The videos have all been good (you can find them on his website or YouTube), but this one stuck a note because so many people struggle with perspective.  I thought this short video was excellent.  He makes it simple and easy to understand.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  

From his email:

Happy Painting,

Blog & Painter's Group:

"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Leslie Saeta January 2014 Challenge is Done

I didn't have time to really get to know the website Picmonkey (who thinks of these names!?) when I made to collage below the other day.  I went back to experimented (played) and found it is a lot of fun!                    

It is so hard to believe that it is time to say au revoir to January!  Yesterday was the end of  Leslie Saeta’s 2014 January 30 paintings in 30 day challenge.  I’m proud that even being gone for a week I finished 24 paintings.   
At the beginning of the year a group of artist friends decided we’d each write a list of art endeavors we hope to accomplish in 2014 and share them when we met.   My list consisted of 20 things I plan to try to do and the challenge was one them.  I also promised myself I'd practice still life painting so those are two things I can already check off and the year is young.
What I learned about myself in this experience:
  • It isn’t a bad thing to paint just for the experience and practice. 
  • I need to let myself play (practice) more.
  • It was liberating not to worry about every painting being good enough to sell.  
  • When I spent too much time figuring out what to paint I procrastinated.
  • If I ever do another daily challenge I will plan ahead what to paint. 
  • It would be a good idea to pick one subject or just a couple and really get to know that subject.
  • I can paint faster!!
  • I enjoyed the challenge, but it was more stressful than I thought it would be.
  • Daily painting does become a habit (I was shocked I felt bad (well just a little) about not painting everyday on our cruise)
  • I now have an inventory of small works
  • I’m not a daily painter.  I now know I need a second day to go back to a painting.  Not to tweak, but my mind needs that break so I see the painting with fresh eyes.   
Thank you to Leslie and everyone who has given me so much encouragement this month and to all the wonderful artists who participated in the challenge.  

Thursday, January 30, 2014

# 24 - Loved His Hat

January 2014 Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

Loved His Hat  6x6" oil

I saw this Swiss gentleman on a recent trip.  He looked so distinguished I took a photo.  There is just something about an older gentleman wearing a dress hat and a suit.   

I don't normally paint people.  I took a workshop from Karin Jurick in late 2013.  After the workshop many in the class did a weekly challenge painting a 4x4" 'mug shot' of a class member. If you haven't seen them, Karin actually paints from criminal mug shots.   That challenge gave me a more confidence to tackle painting faces.  It helps that I don't try to paint a portrait, but shoot for a resemblance, which takes the pressure off.  In fact, I think this gentleman might be pleased I've made him look about 20 years younger! 

The most interesting thing I learned doing this painting was I could actually do a small "portrait" in one sitting (using a photo). I also learned using a 6x6" canvas is so much easier than on a 4x4" painting.   Hats off to all you miniaturists. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

#23 - Fire Truck

January 2014 Leslie Saeta's painting challenge

Fire Truck
 6x6" oil

Turn the knob on the top and it takes off.   

I can't believe I woke up at 6:00am and started painting!  Who knew how hard it would be to paint an oddly shaped wooden toy.   The wheels made me crazy.  I finally had to make myself put the brush down.  You'd think I was trying to paint a masterpiece with all the "just one more stroke" I did!  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

#22 - Dad's Car

January 2014 Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

Dad's Car
6x6" oil

I was looking for something to paint and found a wooden car my Dad made.  He and a friend have been making a 1000 of these great little cars for kids every Christmas for a number of years.  This painting is a tribute to all their wonderful work.  

Painting a plain wooden object was very interesting.  The challenge is how do you make a single color look dimensional?