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March 14, 2014

Studying Under the Masters - Hopper 1

I am a self-taught watercolor artist  I tried some watercolor painting in 2003-2005 with student grade pan watercolors.  In 2005, I bought Winsor Newton artist grade watercolors in primary colors (warm and cool), and changed my very occasional painting habit into a quick daily sketch/painting in a 6 X 8" watercolor journal - at the same time that I partially retired. 

I follow some wonderful watercolor artists on their blogs, and try to learn from copying Masters.  By transforming oil paintings into watercolor paintings for each of the 8 Masters in this Studying Under the Masters Course, I have learned so much that I realize that my learning style is definitely one of working things out on my own. 

For years I needed to increase the value range in my paintings and I knew it.  And I desperately  needed to learn how to paint deep shadows and bright sunlight.  This week I specifically chose this Edward Hopper painting (Rooms By the Sea)   to copy because it forced me to work out how to achieve that.  Last night I asked Stephanie Lee - our apprentice for Hopper - whether she thought I should use the white paper, or white gouache for the bright light.  She recommended that I start by leaving the paper white, and then adding gouache if needed.

This is the painting with the pure white paper showing the areas of sunlight and I'm pleased.  Hopper's shadows looked like they were even one shade darker than mine when the watercolor dried,   I painted over one of my unerased grid marks on the floor - and it will be there forever - YIKES!

 

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Photos Taken During Painting: 

I remembered to take some photos of "work in progress" and here are a few of them.  They are taken with my cell phone camera - and the final painting, shown above was scanned.

 

I did an under painting for the areas that would have deep shadows.  Here you can see the detailed drawing and the first under painting with Yellow Ochre and French Ultramarine Blue...

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 Then I built up layers of color using the same paint mixtures.

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I tested the light and shadow in the far room, leaving the paper white, and making the shadow with Payne's Gray. 

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The big shadows on the wall and floor in the Final Painting were painted with Payne's Gray (Wall) and Yellow Ochre + Payne's Gray (floor). 

 

Thanks Stephanie for choosing Edward Hopper as your Master.  now I need to look at Reference Photos I've taken to work on a painting inspired by Hopper before Monday. 

 

 

 

 

March 10, 2014

Studying Under the Masters - De Felice 2

I just painted my "inspired by Francoise De Felice" painting.  For my composition I chose two of my figure drawings and transferred them to the Arches 10 X 14" 140 lb watercolor paper.

The first drawing was from a 20 minute pose of a pregnant model from 2010 at Figure Drawing at the Society of Illustrators in New York City.  I love this series of drawings and have even transferred some of them to Fabric. 

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The second figure was from a 10 minute pose done in 2013 at the Battery Park Conservancy outdoor figure drawing session (the middle drawing).

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 I transferred only the upper bodies of each figure.

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Then I added a watercolor underpainting for much of the surface using Winsor-Newton watercolors. 

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After the first layer dried, I painted very loosely mixing  alizarin crimson, French ultramarine blue, Winsor blue, Payne's gray, Van Dyke Brown, Yellow Ochre Pale, Quinacridone Gold, and Titanium White Gouache.

Here is my finished painting - which I probably will still work on a little because I am still not happy with the skin tones.   But it is time to move on to our week with apprentice Stephanie Lee and Master Artist Edward Hopper.

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March 7, 2014

Studying Under the Masters - De Felice 1

Kate Thompson, apprentice for Week 8 of this course, selected living artist Francoise DeFelice as her Master Artist.  DeFelice was born in Paris, lived in Sicily, and may now live in Britain if her information is up to date.  She paints figures using a very ethereal, yet colorful and impressionistic style

I selected a painting called Fleur de Poivoine to copy - one of the few watercolor paintings on her website.  Here is the print with a grid that I drew over it, to transfer the drawing to my paper. 

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 I used Winsor-Newton watercolors and white Titanium gouache - on 10 X 14" Arches 140 lb cold press paper for my copy. 

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My paper is much too big for my scanner, and since I never work this large, I haven't mastered the technique of scanning without shadows around the edges!  

Now I need to create an original composition using some of my figures drawings and techniques that I learned from copying her. 

Next Week we will study Edward Hopper - and I have lots that I can learn from him about bright lights and shadows! 

 

 

 

 

March 4, 2014

Inspired by Pinterest - for Documented Life

Before I knew how many projects I was going to have this winter, I signed up for a year-long series of prompts called Documented Life.  I'm keeping track of the prompts, and will eventually catch up.  I actually did week 7 this week (they are on week 10) - in which I was supposed to look at Pinterest for inspiration for a journal page.

Full participants used Moleskine planners to make their journals.  I made folios of sketchbook paper and will fill them as signatures and then bind them into one book at the end of the year http://www.paperandthreads.com/2014/01/beginning_of_a_new_year.php.

I wanted to document my continual attendance at ballet class - 28 weeks since I restarted dance during the summer!  And I found a lovely photograph by Philip Rood that inspired my watercolor. 

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This photo "pin" was attributed to Philip Rood on Flickr.  The quote was on another pin with no attribution. 

February 28, 2014

Catching Up

There is a break this week in our lessons in the Studying Under the Masters course, so I decided to post information about my other Winter activities.

1.  Our grandchildren:  We took 8 year old Robbie and 4 year old Zach to the Museum of Modern Art last week to listen to the Children's audioguide.  The museum has short, interesting commentaries for about 15 of their major art works in the permanent collection.  Here they are listening to the commentary about Matisse's painting The Piano Lesson.  All of our grandchildren love to do this.

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2.  Surface Design:  This semester I'm taking a surface design class at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) - fifteen 4 hour lab sessions using dye to paint on silk.  I have some experience with these techniques, but thought it would be fun to study with an artist from FIT. 

Here is a watercolor painting of one of 6 butterflies that I "drew" with gutta and water soluble resists on silk and painted with Sennelier dyes.   I also painted it as a watercolor so I would have an entry in my daily art journal. 

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3.  Family Research:   I signed up for Family History Writing Month in February and decided to write a story  (at least 250 words per day) about my Great-great-great-great grandmother Christina Wampler.  She was kidnapped by the Delaware Indians in Lancaster Co. PA in 1757, during the French-Indian War, and was returned with 206 captives to Carlisle PA in 1764.  The British took 1500 soldiers to the Ohio Valley to force the Delaware, Shawnee, and Mingo Indians to sign a peace treaty and return their captives.  Her kidnapping and return were both reported in the PA Gazette (Benjamin Franklin, editor) and here is part of the handwritten captive list that I obtained from the Clements Rare Manuscript Library at the University of Michigan.

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She is #40 on this scanned portion of the list and was returned with one shirt, 1 legging, 1 shoe pack and 1 blanket.  I don't know her age when she was kidnapped, but the fact that she was able to tell soldiers her full name after living with the Indians for 7 years and speaking their language, makes me assume that she was probably older than 4-5 years.  Notice a captive named Flat Nose right below her - this is obviously a name given by the Indians.  There are also captives listed with only their first names.  She married Peter Graybeal, had a large family, lived in Ashe Co, NC and died in Jackson Co. Ohio.

I'm hoping that someone with more information about her may find this entry in a Google Search.  I exchange information with other Graybeal descendants, but there is so much more to learn.