I continued to work on the scratchboard. This is a picture and doesn't really get all the detail but it is too late tonight to get a better one. I added the sea waves and I have been working on the patrol boat. I I done with the moon and clouds.
I have been busy at work and this scratchboard is not a fast medium. Scratchboard is a piece of wood covered with white clay then covered with a layer of black paint. You can then scratch with different tools to remove the black ink and expose the white clay. It is slow and I have worked on this for a while. I have not been happy with the results so it has dragged while I think about it. This is for a commission and I will post the other part of this tomorrow. I need to finish the clouds on the right and finish the lower part which I have not shown you yet.
Since we have had a rainy cool day, I worked on a few things but this one is the best. I feel comfortable with this one now. I added small tweaks to the foliage and I worked on the Monarch's head and antlers. They are small changes but they made sense to me and I am mostly happy with this now and will consider it done.
I started this blog about four years ago after the death of my stepson, James. It was and a is a way to honor him and to remind me to seize each day and to do something with each one. I don't always post each day but I come pretty close. This is a scratchboard moon. Scratchboard is a white clay applied to a board and then covered with a black paint/layer. You scratch the surface and expose the white clay. This is part of a bigger project which I will be showing in the days to come. Some of my James art is below.
I blocked in this portrait study. This is not an original but it is a way to practice on painting faces and heads. This is the start and then I will go in and add the half tones and the rest of the facial structure.
Happy Friday, i worked on another black and white study, this time of the ear. It is okay, but hey that is the point, keep practicing and practicing until you get it right and can do it easily and with mastery.
I worked on this one this evening. I added some foliage and worked the elk trying to make it better. The foliage on the right is probably good. I want to dry brush with just a little pigment on the elk to get better shapes and face definition. The background foliage and the grass needs a few adjustments to get it were it needs to be for a complete painting.
I worked on this study of a Bull Elk. This is a combo study. I wanted to relook at how I was doing the Autumn Monarch Painting and I needed to do a birthday card for my brother-in-law. This was all done with lead pencils.
If you ride the Cumbres And Toltec railroad you spend lunch at Oslier. This is where I took a photo of Engine 487. I did this pencil sketch to start planning out the painting of this engine. It is a small one but it is easier to figure out what you want to do with it small.
I have worked on this for the past couple of night, sort of intermittently. This is a pencil sketch I have been working on to figure out if I want to do the bigger painting of later. the jury is still out on this one, but it is fun practice for me and I enjoy it.
I had done this 10 years ago but I had never liked it. I only just figured out what to do to it. I changed the background and I will change the body color on the Male Red Winged Blackbird. It is ironically too black right now which makes it to dull and flat. I will redo the black with different "black" color. I will use a mix of Alizarin Crimson, UltraMarine Blue, and Viridian, to make a more realistic black.
I worked in the Autumn Monarch adding the basic body position and further refining the foliage. I will complete the body and the antlers. I also think I need to add more of the bright yellow foliage and change the shape of it to make a better composition.
This is a pencil sketch of a Yukon & White Pass Narrow Gauge Diesel engine. This is a rail line built to access the gold fields of the Yukon Gold Rush. The line then was part of the World War 2 effort. We rode the line in 2013 and it is well worth the ride with unique engines and spectacular scenery in Skagway, Alaska and Canada.
Sunset Oak tree. I went back to actually painting. I had worked on the sky and the sun for a bit and I was not happy with it. Eventually I liked how it was set and then started the tree. I will probably leave ths alone and consider it finished, but I am undecided.
This is Kerri, my middle daughter. A few years back we went to Belize and did some snorkeling and scuba diving. I took a photo of Kerri coming up at the end of a dive and I always thought it would make a good piece of art. I sketched this in pencil and will probably do it larger and in oil later. So this is the start.
I have been gone with work and a Wife Birthday trip, so no posts. I did work on this pre-paint sketch done in pencil. I probably won't use this exact sketch, but I want figure out the best possible set-up for the Bull Elk, so I will play with the pencil before the brush.
I did not like the background of the mountain i last night's post, once I woke up and looked at this this morning. I remixed the paint and added grey and yet with a cooler and grayer color mix with just a little warm in it. I then started to work out the foliage for this one. I have it started and it will need some work to finish. I will work out my Bull Elk Monarch in pencil sketch separately first before committing it to the canvas.
Tonight I started a new painting, one I am calling Autumn Monarch. This will be a long narrow painting so no sky. The background is the mountains purple behind fall foliage of gold and crimson. The Monarch is going to be a Bull Elk. It should be good when I get it all worked out.
As an extension of the practice of pencil sketches of heads, I did this oil sketch of a head. Basically it is white and black oil and no underlying drawing, all brush work. This is not bad for the first one, but I can see where it needs improvement.
I pulled this out of the vault and re-worked it closer to a finish. I reworked the sky and the snow with shadows. I did not like how it was originally and that is why it was set aside. I will redo the tree trunks and then add the branches.
Since it is hot here today, I felt like painting a snow study. This one is a Snowy Stream while the sun sets so you have a good angle of light to make things interesting. This is a larger painting but it is a decent start.
Happy Friday, so I did another quick study for tonight's post. I did this in about an hour and the point is to quickly and accurately(ish) try to capture the colors and shapes without overthinking it and overworking the painting. No focus on details just practice to get things set for plein air painting.
I did this oil painting as another quick study. It's three tomatoes. It is an okay start, I don't feel like I got the roundness of the tomatoes as well as I would like. The saying is keep practicing the starts of paintings and the finishes will take care of themselves. So this is a start, but I don't know about the finish.
Tonight I worked on a quick oil study of carrots. I knocked this out quickly. I wanted to work on getting down a decent capture of paint in a quick manner. No time wasted over thinking or daubing, practice getting it down quick and as accurate as possible.
I worked on these tonight, more of the Andrew Loomis book studies. I tried to work these up fast and only spent about 45 minutes on each. Some are better than others and the last in the bottom right corner is best. All work towards 10000 hours for mastery or at least proficiency.
I finished, mostly, this oil painting of Cumbres & Toltec Narrow Gauge Steam Engine #487 tonight. I have been working on this on and off for the pass couple of years. I think I have improved enough that I have worked this to a level I am satisfied with and can live with it. The Cumbres & Toltec is an original Denver and Rio Grande Railroad line which runs along Colorado's southern border with New Mexico. The railroad is now run as a tourist heritage line and is well worth a trip down to see.