Fox terrier tales

June 28, 2012

Warning, high cuteness factor.

Some mysterious animal has been raiding our strawberries.

Bigger than a slug for sure, (and smart enough to find the ones under the netting and chomp them right through it). Check her out caught in the act.

Notice her going straight for the ripe red one

She also helps with the gardening, so I guess she thinks it is a fair trade off.

She had an early affinity with gardening as you can see from this photo from 5 years ago, of both of us looking younger.

Lucie helping

Recently she has been finding me very thick. Through clear signals she lets me know what we need to do next, and for some reason according to her, I just don’t seem to get it!

I’ll just put it in here where she can see it

So, come on it is gardening time! Lucie style.

Boy is she ever dumb, maybe she’ll get it now.

And finally, because she is so beautiful and such a wonderful companion, and we love her so much, here is a portrait Rende made of her during one of their favorite walks in an old apple orchard.

Lucida Bright

For a much cuter post than this one about dog love, go over and see Dottie Angel as she tries to quit photographing her beautiful little dog – cold turkey!

Charcoal drawing on acrylic background

This is a really big guy- 50 x 70 cm (about 20″x 28″), the biggest painting I’ve yet attempted (aside from murals).

I don’t use a projector, so I did this drawing (from a photo of Rende’s) by drawing a grid on a low quality print of the photo and a corresponding grid on the painting ( you can just make out the central axis lines) , then transferred the shapes by eye.

Blocking in some of the first areas

I really enjoyed this stage of the painting, it felt free and sketchy, and the contours of the drawing are strong enough to hold it together.

Starting to take form

This was the result of about an hour’s session.

Interim result of painting sessions over several weeks

I could have perhaps stopped here. But what I loved about the original photo of Rende’s (we took all the bottles outside in full summer sunlight for a photo session), was the watery, sunshot quality of all the glass together and their reflections bouncing off each other and the surface they were on. So I wanted to work with it until it contained more of that liquidy light.

A final stage, lots more lights brought up

I thought I was done, but when I looked at it this morning there were still a couple of things I wanted to tweak.

Sunshots 1 Sarah’s bottle series

Done. What’s changed?

– more light added in the left hand jar, rim defined better
-whitish reflection in the middle of the glass in the foregound better defined
-on same glass, bent the blue reflection to follow the curve of the glass better (inside of glass, middle right toward the lower rim of the oval opening).
-highlight added to lefthand dark part of green bottle
-extended black line on left through back of reddish purple bottle

Well one could go on tweaking forever, but there is nothing more that I feel I have to correct or adjust, which is usually the best way to find out if a painting is finished. Don’t forget this is big, the bottles are all about 1 1/2 times life-size, the enlargement gives it an extra impact.

A friend asked if I just copied R’s photo’s literally. The answer is not exactly. I choose the photo because it inspires me at some level, it has a quality I wish I could paint. There is longing there an a feeling of excitement and challenge. In this case it was the wonderful clarity of the reflected light. I wanted to see if I could let opaque oil colours shine in a similar way to the glass.  Rende feels so far, that the paintings really go beyond the photos, and I think this is true. They expand on a quality already there as well as adding their own. I’m not a fan of working from photos usually, but that seems to be the flow I’m in right now and there is a lot to discover.

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This is an answer to Kristina’s comment on Oil pastels and oil painting

Do have a go.
I work only on coloured charcoal paper, mostly dark- Cansons or Ingres about 200-300g weight. Lighter paper won’t hold up as well under strong application of colour or scraping.
And the colours completely die on white paper in my experience. I want them to glow.

Actually, I received a gift of a basic Sennelier set not long ago and it isn’t bad. Here is a link for a photo of the box http://www.dickblick.com/products/sennelier-oil-pastel-sets/#photos

There are some colours I can’t live without, though. You could choose from these depending on your own needs:
88 Sap Green- (a cool sagey bluegreen)
46 Olive green- (muted dusty green)
206 Moss Green- (a bright yellowy green, lights up on the page)
207 Ash blue- (very very light, I use it to lighten other colours to soft grey tints)
219 Celestial blue (Close to the light blue in the set, but more body)
40 Barite green (my favourite greeny turquoise)
82 Bright turquoise

8 Bordeaux (lovely rich aubergine, couldn’t do without it for shadows and depth)
27 Purple (nice magenta)
216 Perma violet (good basic purple)
202 Geranium lake light (good deep rosy pink)

232 Terra cotta (warm brick colour)
240 Light English Red (lighter versio of terra cotta)
20 Yellow deep (cadmium deep)

And I’ve always loved using their irridescent Red Copper 115. Those are usually stumps in my set. Their metallics are so good and this one just shines on a dark blue background. It also adds wonderful light flecks when used over other colours- see Gerard loved all flowers,  and Moon Music.

You’ve got me all inspired to do some tutorials on oil pastels, because they are the medium I’m really at home in. And there are so many ways to use them.

Don’t let all this info overwhelm you.

Here’s another suggestion for a basic set to put together yourself:
1 White
220 Permanent intense red
22 Gold yellow
20 Yellow Deep
200 Mandarin
213 Veridian Green
206 Moss Green
46 Olive green
219 Celestial Blue
237 French Ultramarine
203 Delft Blue
216 Perma violet
8 Bordeaux
202 Geranuim Lake
34 Burnt umber
23 Black