Another mystery photo! Is he an artist who builds giant chicken statues or perhaps a chicken rancher with his trademark chicken?
I noticed that when I paint with gouache on cold press watercolor paper I end up with little white spots in dark areas so this time I tried a different gouache technique. I covered the whole sketch first with thin washes. It wasn’t that helpful. I learned that for that to work it’s necessary to get the values right in the underpainting, making darks really dark.
I had an awesome first day painting plein air in five years, inspired by a guy I saw painting the same tree the day before when I was on a hike at Albany Bulb (see last photo below).
Despite typical glitches there was some bonus fun, like the caricature sketch below of me, my tree and my dog, drawn by a funny, toothless guy from London who hung out nearby while I painted for a while. Then a dance troupe showed up to practice, led by a woman who annoyingly ended every sentence with a question mark. They were there to plan their performance for an upcoming festival at Albany Bulb (a former dump and now a rustic park by the SF Bay.)
Some of the glitches:
carrying a way too heavy backpack with easel and supplies when I could have just brought a stool and painted on my lap (a wheeled cart wouldn’t have worked to hike in a mile on rutted trails);
finding my palette a total mess because all the wet paint I added before leaving leaked into the others;
painting in the sun instead of putting up the umbrella I CARRIED with me so the initial painting came out way too dark due to my eyes reacting to the bright light.
When I posted this painting on Instagram I mentioned that I’d love to know the story behind this picture of a burly guy riding a painted bull in a parking lot in a desert somewhere who Facebook in its wisdom recommends I get to know.
Shortly afterwards someone I know recognized him and told me that this lovely gentleman was her former sergeant and that he is a much loved retired law enforcement officer. Below is my pencil sketch before I painted it.
Every time I open Facebook it shows me photos of random people it thinks I might want to know. Many of them are in curious settings or have interesting faces so I’ve started saving them to paint or draw. Above is the first one, done in Procreate on the iPad, where I tried to simulate an oil painting digitally.
Since I don’t have permission to use their photos I won’t post them here but it will be fun to see if anyone recognizes themselves or their friends, given the small world we live in now.
I tried painting with watercolor (above) over the graphite sketch below in a Stonehenge square sketchbook. I discovered that I am very rusty with my watercolors and this sketchbook is apparently NOT watercolor paper, so this is kind of a mess. But an interesting mess.
I realized I need lots more drawing practice, after trying to paint a life-size three-person portrait in oils over several months and failing again and again. I put the project and the four failed canvases in the closet to try again another day after I improve my portrait drawing skills.
The only thing I like in this painting is the Matilija poppy and maybe the shadows. I’ve painted Matilija Poppies (much better) before like this one that also appears in the book “The Watercolor Artists Bible” along with several other of my watercolors. For some reason I find it much harder to paint flowers successfully in oils.
I started this mostly yucky painting by first using Procreate to design a color plan to work from (below) that I unfortunately didn’t exactly stick to. I like the digital version much better. Then I did a black and white underpainting in acrylic before painting in oils.
I painted this portrait of my darling daughter-in-law in Procreate. My son posted the inspiration photo of her on Valentines Day on Facebook. I am so grateful to her for all the years she has been a wonderful partner to my son and for all she contributes to her community.
I painted this sketch from life in gouache from a piece of a vine I ripped off a neighbor’s fence (they’ve moved and the house is being sold so nobody cares). I started with the flowers, which was a good thing because they shriveled quickly.
I don’t know why I feel compelled to post things that weren’t successful but I guess I appreciate seeing other people’s fails, so why not. I was happy with my drawing but just couldn’t get the gouache to work the way I wanted and the pitcher got really muddy and icky colored. At least I got the drawing pretty close to reality. Below is a photo of the setup.