Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Finally I’ve finished another painting! This winter has been brutal in every way imaginable. Because of this I’ve taken to painting dreamy summer scenes all season to console my shivering skins.

Last summer I took a trip to P-Town Mass, early in the season before the crowds arrived.  The town was just waking up from its long winter slumber; the people and their possessions were slowly and lazily stirring with anticipation for the coming tourist season. Things weren’t ready yet–boats had to be hosed off, patios needed to be set-up. Everything was being taken outside and given a good shake. Provincetown is a very beautiful place, but it’s a tourist town and beautiful places are hard to appreciate when you can’t see the scenery through masses of human bodies in colorful hats and cheap backpacks. It was nice to get a glimpse of the famous local when it’s most mundane, where the most exciting thing happening is that the library is being dusted and the sidewalks refinished. It really is a cute little town.

This painting was done in watercolors and pen on cold-press watercolor paper. I’m most proud of how that tree turned out.

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I’ve finished a new painting! in an effort to hold onto the summer sun for as long as possible, I decided to paint, just for fun, a picture of this beach beauty. It’s not often that I paint a picture for no reason other than my own entertainment, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to paint a pretty lady in bright colors.

This is a mixed-media piece of watercolors and colored pencil. It was not easy to mix that perfectly tanned skin tone without making her look sunburned or too toasty brown. Tanned skin is a very complicated mix of reds, oranges, yellows, purples, and blues–kind of like normal skin I suppose but with a lot more saturation! I tackled the skin by laying yellow washes first. Then I marked my shadows with some light blue and purple washes, and then really built up the color with thick layers of reds and orange. In some places I’m really laying the red on much thicker than you would expect, and even then I still needed the colored pencil to give it that extra blast of color. The skin was easily the most difficult part.

The easiest part of the painting? The Hair. I love to paint masses of linear things and there are few organic structures more linear than hair. Hair is easy not to overwork, and easy to stylize while still meshing with other very detailed and realistic elements of the painting.

One of my personal goals with this painting was not to overwork the surface. It’s easy to belabor a work, scouring every inch to make sure every single little detail is flushed out. Sure, that creates a really crisp image, but it takes an absurd amount of time and is not always necessary.  This painting was an exorcise in simplifying my process without sacrificing detail.

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Whoa! November just flew by, didn’t it!? I haven’t posted in forever, and for that I apologize; it has been such a busy month. Finally, I have a new painting ready to show.

This illustration was done as a special project in our illustration department at school. Every year, the school administration asks the illustrators to design a cover for the summer term course booklet. This will be my submission. They want a cover with bright colors and really generic content relating to school and summer. So, I have some kids on the grass reading. I decided to depict a tablet in this illustration to advertise the school’s interest in current technology. The top half of the illustration is left pretty blank because that is where the masthead will go.

The winner of this contest will receive a purchase prize, and their illustration will be published by the school. Four runners-up will also have their work featured on the back of the course booklet and will receive smaller prizes.

Other than this painting, I have been working on a whole bunch of on-going projects this semester. After the week-long-black-out put us all behind schedule, I have been working to catch up in my three studios and two academic independent studies. Right now I have all of my final projects underway and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. In just over three-weeks this semester will be finished! Then I have to start coming up with some ideas for my senior project, which will require some intense self reflection.

On top of my intense school work, I received a large commission at the beginning of this month with a very quick deadline. I’ve also been doing more album art for my brother at the same time. Ah! After this week things should quiet down and I will be able to post to my blog and website more frequently again.

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Last week was my first time ever at “Look What I made,” the functional, dishwasher safe version of “Plaster Fun Time.” At “Look What I Made” children and their guardians (or babysitters) can walk in anytime, select a ceramic piece to paint by hand, and a week later, pick it up to actually use at home. All the ceramic pieces come out of the kiln food, microwave, and dishwasher safe. That’s pretty cool. Most of the items that “Look What I Made Offers” are kitchenwares, which makes sense, since the whole point is that you can actually eat out of your creations, unlike plaster fun time.

The selection of items was pretty nice; they had several shapes of plates, cups, mugs, and bowls. As well as planters, piggy-banks, candle dishes, coasters, tiles, and figurines. They had character items as well for any Disney fans out there. Though the selection was good, I found the items to be a little pricey. Their website says items range from $5-$70, but anything a decent size was at least $15. My cup was $16, and the children I was with got pieces for $24, and $26 (a character cup and a bowl with cat feet).  The place was also really hard to find because their sign is almost invisible from the street. I found the address: I was literally in the shopping complex where the shop was located saying to myself, “This is 4 Lowell St. so where is the store!?” It was…right over there (relative to my car at the time), but it took me a few minutes to actually SEE it because their sign was small, had small font, and was a solid dark green like the roof of the strip mall. It didn’t stand out at all. I was expecting something a little bigger or with color. My recommendation is to use a GPS.

Price and poor sign aside, the shop was really nice. Not to big, and wasn’t crowded, but also not empty. There was a nice selection of paint brushes and glazes to pick from, with examples of each glaze fired above each set of containers. The glaze will also wash out of your clothes! Mother’s, rejoice!

The glaze does take patience to apply because for the best results you need to apply three coats of each color. Though the glaze does dry quickly between each coat, three is still a lot for a young child if they want to do any sort of detail. The glazes are also a different color after fired than they are when you put them on the bisque-fired ceramic piece, which can throw younger kids off. You have to rely on the example provided, and basically remember what the color will look like, and not pay attention to the color you actually see. This can be challenging for anyone. Because of these challenges, I think that “Look What I Made” is better suited for children 7+. However, if you do bring little-ones along, the shop does have a toy-chest and some books for when one kid is bored, and the others are still painting contently.

“Look What I Made” is not a quick trip out; it takes time to paint something of quality, and for the money your paying for some of the pieces, you want to make sure that it comes out nice! But with the right amount of patience, you can produce some pretty cool stuff. I am really quite happy with how my owl came out. There are a few spots that I think it someone touched the wet glaze too soon (certainly not me, customers leave the pieces on the table when finished and the shop workers move them to the kiln) and there are a few tiny spots of color out of place, but all-in-all I think it came out very cute. The glossy finish is also really satisfying to hold. I can’t wait to drink tea out of my blue, sun-flower-owl’s head!!!

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