Sunday, February 03, 2008

Day #2: "Froggie Serenade" -- oil on canvas -- 36x36" -- Margie Guyot
I started on this still life on February 1st. This is my second day working on this painting. I'm working from life, using a #8 flat brush and turpentine as my only medium. I'm still working on refining my drawing and work from dark to night. I've found it helpful when painting fabric with folds and wrinkles to try to paint in the shapes of the shadows (a.k.a. dark areas) first. This makes it somewhat easier to come back and paint in the printed pattern on the folds. Otherwise, I've found that if I start out painting the pattern shapes, I forget where the heck the folds are going to be and it's a big nightmare.

I like to hit the darkest areas first. After that, I try to stick to the medium tones. If I have a certain color/tone on my brush and I see more places it can be used, I go ahead and hit those. I've seen where some painters will start painting in the upper left corner & just work down from there, completing each section before moving on. That would drive me absolutely nuts! People always say they're surprised at how fast I paint. It's probably because when I find the right color (or shade or value), I stick it everywhere that I know it belongs. So I don't have to re-invent the wheel all the time.

Actually, this painting session was interrupted by about 3 hours mid-day. Otherwise I would have gotten further. They asked me to attend a start-up meeting for a social club whose main goal is to get their own liquor license so they can drink cheap beer. Ha! Hell, if I want a beer, I go to the grocery store, buy a 6 pack and take it home and open one. I don't have the time or desire to drive to a bar and sit around. One thing that apparently I'm still learning is how to say NO. One of the most valuable phrases a friend told me (that I should use more often!) is "I wish I could help you!" And then just shut up. Oh well -- tomorrow is a new day!