Thursday, September 25, 2008
Pink Scarf, watercolor
Last weekend I took a little road trip with my son and three of his friends. We drove four hours to Kettering, Ohio to check out DC Skate Plaza, which my son referred to as the "mecca" of all skate parks. I wish I could say that I whipped out my skateboard and showed them all a few new tricks. Actually, I whipped out my paintbrushes and finished two paintings that I had started earlier. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time.
My husband didn't fair so well. He was in charge of getting our youngest son to his football game and later, to a birthday party. "Hey, no problem," I distinctly heard him say before I left. After forgetting the directions to the football game, they drove around for half an hour before getting there after the game started. After taking a little nap and waking 5 minutes before my son needed picking up from the birthday party, he rushed down the driveway, drove off the side and got the car stuck on an embankment. After the tow truck pulled him out, he picked up our son an hour late at the party. "How'd it go?" I asked.
"Hey, no problem."
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
VINE BLACK is also called Drop Black, Frankfort Black, Peach Black, Spanish Black and Blue Black. These blacks are made by burning grape vines, cork and other woods and vegetable products. The reason you don't hear much about Vine Black is that it has a reputation of being less pure and inferior to the other blacks. Peach Black was reputed to be the best of a bad bunch. They are bluish in undertone which explains why they used to commonly be called Blue Black. Nowadays colors sold under the Blue Black name are usually mixtures of Ultramarine and Ivory Black. Here's link to a company that still makes Vine Black: Natural Pigments.
Heard enough about black yet? No? Here are a few others:
FURNACE BLACK (also called Carbon Black) is almost pure carbon and makes a dense and intense black used in industrial coatings but less commonly for artist's paint due to a tendency to make 'streaky' tints. Produced by burning Natural Gas.
CHARCOAL BLACK is made from willow and is pure ground charcoal. As a pigment it makes a very poor paint and has been replaced by modern substitutes.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Did you know that black was one of the first three colors ever used by humankind, along with red and yellow earth? Black was first made with burnt wood, and since it was readily available from the nightly fires and was already in a stick form, it is likely that it was the first color ever used!
Carbon Black is the generic term used for any black pigment made from charring natural elements such as wood (Carbon Black), bone or ivory (Bone Black & Ivory Black), lamp oil (Lamp Black) and grape vines (Vine Black).
I'm going to describe four common groups of black pigments:
1) Lamp Black
2) Mars Black and Iron Black
3) Ivory Black and Bone Black
4) Vine Black
So, let's get started.
LAMP BLACK was originally produced by collecting soot, also known as lampblack, from oil lamps. In early Egyptian times, it was the black of choice. It was a more intense and pure black than charcoal. This is the black you will see in Egyptian murals and tomb decorations.
Lamp Black is one of the slowest drying pigments in oil and should never be used underneath other colors unless mixed with a fast drier such as Umber. It produces a very soft, but brittle oil paint. While Lamp Black has a long and honorable history, most artists prefer either Ivory Black or the newer Mars Black.
Some types may be considered toxic. Lamp black can be brittle, therefore not having as much longevity. Depending on your preference, the slow drying time can be considered an advantage or drawback.
Tomorrow--Ivory Black: Black Pigment Series, Part 2
Monday, September 15, 2008
Part of the deal is that I now nominate 7 recipients. Here are my choices in no relevant order:
Kristy Gordon: One of the most talented new portrait artists I have encountered yet. Her blog is informative, loaded with videos and demos, but her work is even better.
Abbey Creek Art: Linda is a wonderful artist and her blog is a fun, daily journal of her days in and out of the studio.
Blog of Manon Doyle: Manon is a mosaic artist and pet portrait artist and her blog is FUN. She also does journal pages which are very creative.
Original Antoine Art: This is the blog to see beauty and grace. Her figures are absolutely gorgeous.
The Best Artists: I've learned more about the masters on this blog than in most of my college art education. This is a great blog for those who want to learn more or just enjoy reading about the greatest artists.
Laurellines: Go to her blog now to see amazing photos and stories of her trip to Iceland. Just beautiful!
Vikki's Blog: I just love her paintings. They are so conceptual and creative. Not a boring post yet!
Just a note of thanks to all the bloggers I nominated above. I've learned from each of you and have been inspired daily!
Rules of Acceptance:
1. Put the logo on your blog
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.
6. Participation is entirely voluntary (of course!).
7. Have fun...honoring the bloggers who inspire you regularly.
These were the two paintings I worked on while I was there. Not finished with either one, but I think a good start.
Below were two great kids I met who were just mesmerized by the watercolor paint. I gave them some brushes, paint and extra paper and let them play around with it. I love the inquisitiveness and lack of self consciousness that children have.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Anyway, here is my latest pet commission. Meet TJ and Tilly, two well-loved, curious little Dachshunds. This portrait was done long distance, with the client taking the photos. This is not the way I would recommend working, but for this commission it was unavoidable. The client was great about shooting and reshooting, but it's still hard to get just the right shot.
For the painting, I started out using a new set of quinacridone colors, knowing that the bright color can be tempered it down later.
In the end, I went over the background with a Titanium white wash which gives it the painting a nice neutral background that lets the original color peek through.