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I've worked on the newt underpainting for two class sessions now. The rest of the time it has been living in my car. (That's why this is such a weird photo.) Kinda like it with the crazy blue. Hope I still like it when the blue starts turning other colors.
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What Pen and Anna have been waiting for!

This is my inspiration pic:

It is a photo of a red eft by Michael Righi. It's been my favorite newt picture since I started looking for newtly inspiration in July. I've been staring at it off and on for quite a while, trying to figure out how I want to orient and crop it onto a canvas.

I particularly liked how, if I turned it on it's side, some of the marks in the rock reminded me of a ladder. Also really liked how there's some spots (look like water marks) on the fungus that are similar to the newt's spots.

Here's another photo from Michael Righi's photostream:


Here I'm pondering my prints of this again. I want to play up the "ladder" and, Anna will know what I'm talking about here, I'm thinking about Celestial Navigation.


Several layers of tracing paper, so I can manipulate parts of the composition independently.


I'm thinking I really like this one.


Then having second thoughts. Maybe I want a square canvas. I could make a newty sort of mandala...


No. Maybe I'll save that idea for another time.

I've started drawing my composition on a 16" X 20" canvas. Giant newt!
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The colors in this painting are getting wilder. It's even more violet in person (the lighting in that room is yellowy). I wasn't too sure about this technique for adding texture when I was working on it in class, but I think it's another example of my liking the painting better when I've taken several steps away from the easel.

Wonder if I can get this done by Halloween...
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A couple of those white lines are chalk, not paint. All that is left is to wait another day or so until I'm certain the whisker paint is dry, then brush away the chalk.

Dude.

I painted! \o/
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The workshop I really wanted to go to on Saturday was canceled because I was the only person who signed up for it. :(

Talked with my painting teacher, though, and she's going to talk a bit in tonight's class about the style covered in the workshop. And perhaps that will get some others interested and next month's workshop on the same topic will have more people.

With the cancellation, I sewed instead of painting. On Friday, I bought a pattern/tutorial for making fabric bins from Nestings. I made thirteen bins this weekend. For friends at work: two with pumpkins, two with leaves. For my mother: two with snails. For me: seven in yellow linen. I'll be making a bunch more for me. (The seven for me hold 47 volumes of Naruto.)



I also cut two pairs of curtains from IKEA down and re-hemmed them. They're very cute. I'd post a picture, but unfortunately, they fell down already. I need to figure out how to span a five-feet-wide window with them--without a center brace--and make it strong enough that a kitty sneaking through the curtains isn't enough to pull the whole thing down. Using a tension-mount shower curtain rod did not do the trick.
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I missed this Monday's class.

I was out from work for the day, too. I was building shelves this weekend and maybe using the wrong tools for the job, so I ended up aching all over and really blistering up my hands. Sunday and Monday I couldn't really hold anything without pain. (I've still got some twinges now and holding the steering wheel isn't all that fun, but my hands are much, much better.) Felt really rotten for missing the class, and also sad that it's been about a week now since I've painted. I really want it to be an every day thing.

I've signed up for a three-hour workshop this Saturday called "Two Paintings in Three Hours." It's from the same instructor, but it's alla prima style, which I'm really interested in trying.

I'm also pondering another class offered for the Saturdays in October. It's with a different instructor. I think getting instruction from various sources at this stage would be a very good thing, but I wonder if it would be overkill? There'd be several weeks there where I'd have two classes a week and I'd really need to be painting on the off days, too.

I'm really enjoying painting. Think it's bringing a lot of really positive, creative energy into my life. But will it be inspiring or will it be burn out? (Also, I'm thinking of cramming in an extra class or workshop now because I know what a total wimp I am about winter driving. Once the snow starts flying, I'm not taking classes.)
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Inspiration photo


The Chickie underpainting as last we saw it, several weeks ago.


After Monday night's class... (taken Tuesday afternoon, you can see in the close-up that a good chunk of her hind leg is still wet)


After about an hour and a half Tuesday evening. I'm being pretty sloppy at this point. Still trying to get a feel for what I want to do with the color and texture.
(This photo was taken this morning. I made no changes to the color of Checotah herself last night--nor to the big, big rocks in the back ground. The differences in color there between this and the last pic is the difference between afternoon light and morning light in my apartment.)
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More people joined the class since I called the Center on Friday. There are five students. Marion, from last time, decided to join. There is also Dean, Eliane, and Margaret. (Please note that I am so proud of myself for catching everyone's name this time 'round.)

As this session is the color theory/mixing class, I mostly did my own thing. It was interesting to see what was done differently this time, though. The sample pictures were different and I really enjoyed looking at those.

I brought my Checotah painting in. Haven't touched it in several weeks. Before everyone else arrived, Deb and I discussed it and what my plan of attack would be for the session. Then I spent the session adding color (in a rather haphazard fashion). I didn't do much with color in the last class. The Mermer painting is basically black & white with a bit of earth tones. So, I was feeling a bit at sea while mixing up my colors. And I've gotten used to painting with adding medium to the mix. Going back to simply paint thinned with a bit of solvent meant my color application was a bit too wet and thin.

No photos for now. Haven't had a chance to look at it under good light yet. It was fun, just surprisingly more challenging than I expected. (And you know what's really weird? Cadmium Red Light and Ultramarine make a really good Chickie-dog color.)
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Well, my first ever oil painting class--and the first art class I've taken in nineteen years!--has come to an end. And I'm way behind in documenting my progess with this painting.

It's still not done, but it's really close now. And Deb, my teacher, gave me some input yesterday that's already made huge improvements in the part of this painting that's been bugging me all along: the orange side of Mer's face.

(Also, Deb showed us a painting that she's been working on as a value study to show to another of her classes--guess they're having problems understanding values. OMG. It looked amazing. Just shirts hanging in a closet, but they looked so crisp and like linen, like I could just reach in and feel the cool smoothness of the fabric.)

(And if anyone's keeping track, the topic of discussion for Class 5 was adding details and the discussion for Class 6 was varnishing. I plan to sign up for this class again tomorrow.)

I think I'll wait until she's finished before doing a post that really documents the progress of the details. For right now...

Last time you saw her on the left, now on the right.



(Once again, I was having some difficulty with my lighting. She's prettier in person.)
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A little over two hours more work on Mermer's painting last night.

I've been unhappy with the orange side of her face. And now that I know more about glazing, I understand that this base color doesn't have to be the exact right color. If I can get the shapes to the point where I'm happy with them, then I can fine tune the color with countless glazes (if need be).

I worked on simplifying the orange shapes and making there be less little things going on over there. Also worked on darkening some of the black that I applied in class on Tuesday. (Note: It's a lot easier to get it right the first time. It takes multiple layers of black to look black if it's been put on top of orange.)

I also added an all-over glaze of brown-black to the background. (It looks really solidly black in the photos, though.)

cut for large pics )

And for fun, here's my main means of taking painting supplies to class:


Yes, it's an empty bucket from 35 pounds of cat litter.


Here it is with canvas glued onto it. (I took it to class for two weeks before actually covering the "Tidy Cat.") I ran out of the glue I was using for this. Not sure if I'll bother to get more just to cover the two corners where plastic still shows.


Inside the bucket, it's also all about recycling. (Maybe because I feel guilty about all the paper towel use.) Salsa jars are for solvent. The big clear plastic "cup" with the palette knives in it was the cover for a spindle of 50 CDs. My tall cup of brushes (not pictured) fits inside it nicely with room for the palette knives to circle round it. That cup is a Starbucks travel mug that had been sitting unused in my cupboard for over a year. Big square tea tin holds paint tubes. Small round tea tin is for painting mediums.

Haven't quite decided what to paint on the canvas. But it will be bright and cheery. :)
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