Sunday, February 10, 2008

Day #2: "White Duck" -- 30x40" -- Margie Guyot
This is the 2nd day's work on my newest piece. It was back to the typical overcast weather, which I'm finding I like. At least it's consistent up here in NW Michigan. I wanted to try to tackle working on the subtle whites of the ceramic duck and the white doily and white paper wrapping around the chinese lanterns. They are all different whites. The duck is a warm ivory-type white. The doily is almost a hint of blue-ish. And the wrapping paper is another shade.

As usual, I'll look at something and initially think it will be easy to paint. But quickly discover how difficult it all is! This happens all the time. With the ceramic duck, not only is the color tricky, but it's also challenging to convey the quality of the smoothness and reflection shapes.

Painting fabric is always a trial. I want to show the folds and ripples -- and make them believable. Make it look like it's really the heavy cotton that it is, and not satin. And there is orange embroidery on the doily. How to handle that? I had the thought to thinly block in the orange shape and later hatch in some thin streaks of the white, giving the effect of orange stitching. Maybe it'll work; maybe not. But it's worth trying.

And wow -- the crinkly, wrinkled paper! Is that ever fun! I want it to show the crispness of the folds and wrinkles, which are quite different from the folds of the doily. Lots of the paper is in shadow and some of that shadow is picking up the orange reflected light from the chinese lanterns.

Found myself playing around, painting in some of the chinese lanterns. That would be something I should leave for later, but it's like taking a taste of the frosting when decorating a cake. Kind of irresitable sometimes.

Just got my saxophone back from the repair shop a day ago and occasionally I am taking little breaks from painting (to clear my head) and doing a little playing. I hadn't played in about 30 years and want to get my chops back so I can play in the Charlevoix Community Band this spring. It's good to step away from one's painting anyway, to get a fresh eye.

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