"If you look into the past of a successful painter you will find square miles of canvas"
-Charles Hawthorne

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Some Colorful Variations #67-70

I was reading my Southwest Art magazine last night before bed and I woke up with the idea to paint some variations inspired by John Nieto. I love his color palette and I knew I had just the right pastels in my Jack Richeson homemade soft pastel set. See the photo below for the pastels I used. Two of the variations were done on black paper which I think worked best. This was fun!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The week in Review

This is a collage of the paintings I completed before I left for South Carolina. I have another collage that I will post tomorrow. I think it is fun to see them all together. I am hoping for some time over Thanksgiving to get to painting #75!

Friday, November 20, 2009

High Key Paintings

I just got back from a great week on the South Carolina Coast. I attended a great workshop withStan Sperlak. One of the demos he did for us was to paint the marsh using only a few light value pastels. The finished painting had a wonderful and mysterious feeling. I thought it would be fun to try it on a couple of my variations. I only used 4 pastels for each of these and they were middle light to light value. The support I used was canson board prepared with pumice and gesso mix so it was quite rough. I think I will try a blue, green and purple version!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An Interesting Sky...landscape painting

'Variation #59' 5x7 pastel
I am back from a wonderful week painting on the South Carolina coast. I attended a mentoring workshop with Stan Sperlak on Kiawah Island and it was so much fun. I got some painting done but had to put my challenge on hold for the week. Today's post is from before I left. I was experimenting with making the sky more interesting. I did paint a new one today but I won't get back up to speed until after the weekend. I am teaching two workshops this weekend so I am busy doing final preparations. While I was away I thought of some ideas for my next challenge so this blog will be staying quite active! Thanks for visiting. If you are interested in seeing more of my work check out my daily painting blog at www.kemstudios.blogspot.com

Friday, November 6, 2009

Another Moody Sky

'Variation #60' 5x7 pastel
I realized that the first half of the variations had a boring simple sky. Why didn't I play with the variations of clouds and weather? I know I will be focusing on the sky for at least several more. My project will be on hold for a week while I attend a workshop in South Carolina with Stan Sperlak, a wonderful pastel artist. I am bringing 5x7 paper in case I get the urge to paint a few variations. I will be back to posting next week.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Painting on Black Sandpaper

'Variation #61'              5x7            pastel
Last week it seemed to be all about texture and I experimented with ways to get the pastel on thick and look more like paint. This week I seem to have shifted somewhat in my style. I am returning to a bit more realistic look and my latest have quite a moody feel to them. This one is my favorite of the last few. It was painted on black sandpaper. A student of mine gave me a sheet of wet/dry silicon carbide paper to try. I know it isn't archival but oh it was so nice to paint on! The pastels went on like butter.

Recycling Old Paintings

'Variation #57'     5x7             pastel
Variation #57 is painted on reclaimed Uart paper. Actually #55, 56 and 57 were once paintings that weren't working. I brushed off the pastel and did an alcohol wash to set this base layer which was for the most part a dark gray. I like how cold and icy this one looks.

Variation #53 Using Canson Board

'Variation #53'            5x7       pastel
This variation is for Jayne!  The other night at class Jayne needed to borrow a piece of paper. I had some canson boards cut down to 5x7 that I was able to share. We don't usually like to work on Canson and this was canson mounted on matboard so the right side or the bumpy side was showing. Not fun to paint on and Jayne was not having fun with it. I had three of those big canson boards that I needed to use so I decided to apply a pumice/gesso mix to it to give the surface more tooth. It worked like a charm and gave me a nicely texture surface to work on. I tinted the mixture orange before I applied it. It worked great with no buckling of the board. Now I have a stack of 5x7's to paint on. I made my pumice mix pretty rough because I wanted a lot of tooth. As you can see in this painting, I couldn't put in too much fussy detail.

Monday, November 2, 2009

October Paintings in Review

At the end of October I managed to complete 50 paintings. I am halfway to my goal of 100. If I continue at the same rate I should be done by the end of November. I am traveling to South Carolina to attend a mentoring workshop with Stan Sperlak so I may not meet my goal this month but I know I will come home energized and filled with even more ideas. I still have this week to paint so come back soon  to see what I come up with.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Using Acrylic Matte Medium with Pastels

'Variation #53'                        5x7                  pastel
You have to love Uart paper. Does it ever take abuse!  This variation was an idea taken from Bill Creevy's book 'The Pastel Book'.  It's a great book for pastel artists with a lot of great things to try. For this painting I started with a loose underpainting using soft pastels. Then using a palette knife I spread some acrylic matte medium over the painting. It softened and darkened the pastel and spread it around a bit. Have a look at the top photo to see how it looked after I applied the matte medium. The matte medium also acts as a fixative so once it was dry I was able to continue building pastel layers. I could have repeated the process building even more layers but I was satisfied with the outcome after one application of the matte medium. Now that was fun!