Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Paintings!!

Here's two new paintings that I took down to the Blue Gallery yesterday. I finished both of these last week and it felt SO GOOD to complete a painting, even if it was just a couple of smaller ones. So here they are!

"Spook Lights"
Oil on canvas, 9x12 inches. Framed.

"Dreaming of a Wild Life"
Oil on masonite, 8x10 inches. Framed.

Spook lights are these glowing orbs that appear in certain places at night; they sort of dance eerily around without any apparent cause. They just kind of happen. Spooky!

And "Dreaming of a Wild Life" is of a pale, wistful girl in a lush, overgrown garden. She's longing for a little more color in her own life.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Painting ACEOs the Amy Way

Some of you have already seen this on my Flickr, but for those who haven't, here's a brief presentation of my process for my little aceo watercolors. Instead of working up in the studio, I paint these downstairs on the dining room table so I can keep an eye on the kiddos and dinner and those other fun mom things. The setup is so minimal that I can set up and pack it all away in seconds--you gotta love that!

So here's the components: mechanical pencil, kneaded eraser, Rapidograph pen, round pointy paintbrush, palette, jar of water, paper towels, and watercolor paper cut down to aceo size. Painting small has its pluses.

First, I sketch out the figure in pencil. It's pretty loose right now.

Then I go over it in ink, tightening things up as I go. I give the ink a moment to dry, then erase the pencil lines. Stupid pen bled on the left eye and tore the paper a bit, but it's okay--I can make that work.

Then I start with background colors and shadows--I usually keep those similar. It helps tie a painting together when the base colors have the same tones. So in this case it's dull grayish browns (washes of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue).

After that I wash in some fleshy colors (mixing cad red light, some naples yellow, a smidge of cerulean blue, etc) on the face and hands and blot out the spaces where I want highlights.

Then I add warmer and pinker tones to the cheeks, fingers, ears, nose, and eyelids, and put the initial washes of color on the hair and clothing.

And I like wallpaper, so I added a simple rose and stripe combination.

And I love plaid, so I gave her a plaid shirt under her sweater. And I darkened her eyes and gave her freckles, and generally deepened the shadow tones.

And last, because I can't leave anything alone, I darkened most of the background, leaving a window-shaped square of light in the corner.

And she's done! All in all, this one took about an hour. That's not including all the interruptions, of course! I personally love to see other artists' processes, so I hope you enjoyed this teeny peek into my terribly glamorous world:)