Thursday, January 19, 2012

An Oriole Visits Me!

Sadly, the oriole is only visiting me on my drawing paper.  I wish one would come by in real life!

Here's the beginning stage of a little experiment I'm trying.  I was thinking of going to a class late this month at the Desert Museum in Tuscon.  The class is called "Dynamic Duo" and it's about pairing graphite drawing with soft bodied acrylic washes.  The effect the instructor achieved in her example is of a beautiful drawing carefully hand colored.

I know I would enjoy the class as well as benefit from it, but when I added up all the costs - tuition, plane, lodging, etc. - I just couldn't justify it right now.  So I'm trying to capture that look on my own.

I began with a graphite drawing of an oriole on a branch.  The Stonehenge drawing paper is stuck to a piece of Crescent Perfect Mount board so that it will stand up to the paint.  My next step was to mask the bird and branch with the same masking fluid I use for watercolors, then I laid in some background washes with thinned Liquitex Soft Body Acrylics.  So here's where I am so far, and so far, I like the look.

The Whole Pack

Here are all nine of the dogs together, hanging in their group at the show.  Mine is one of eighteen collections that our club members are showing, and most reported that they had a very positive experience doing a series.  I've done three now, one series of 25 8"x8" paintings, and two of 9 8"x8" paintings.  It's something I've enjoyed every time.  It really provides an opportunity to immerse one's self in a medium and subject.  So far, each time I have tried something slightly new to me in media, and I seem to gravitate to various mixtures.

These little guys are up for sale, but I almost wish that none would sell.  They all feel like my own dogs!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Nine Dogs

I'm starting 2012 in a particularly pleasant way, with little 8"x8" "paintings" of nine dogs.  They'll hang in a group at our art club's 3D and 3X3 show which starts tomorrow.  This little big-eyed guy is the one I can't part with, so I'll buy it back - in effect giving a donation of 30% of the price to the art club. 

My theme is "a dog's love is steadfast," and each painting is scripted with "a dog's love is steadfast..." - "in the exuberance of youth," "in the twilight years," "even at bath time," "even on a bad hair day," "even when dinner's late," "even when the toys are put away," "even when you bring home a new cat," "through thick and thin," and "always."
My medium is mixed, but based on graphite drawing.  After I protected the drawing with a spray of workable fixatif, I tinted the drawings with thinned soft body acrylic.  I took these photos at that point, but I finished the pieces with colored pencil around the edges.

I'm enjoying working more with drawing, and will be doing lots more, trying many different combinations of media to see what effects I can come up with.