Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Starting another painting

Here are three new compositions of abstract figure studies for my new painting series which were created on the computer.



I decided to do a painting based on the above sketch, I like the color as well as the composition.

Again, I begin by doing a simple, basic drawing on the canvas using a #7 cool grey Design Art marker pen.

On the 30 x 30" canvas I brush in the background with acrylic paint. The drawing shows through enough for me to be able to see the shapes. On the next post I will show the progression of the painting.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


This is the eighth in my new series of acrylic paintings based on studies done on the computer. Here I'm continuing working on this painting that I started in the previous post. At this point I am adding the yellow color which I have toned down considerably from my original sketch that's taped alongside my painting.

I changed the grey tone at the top of the painting and added the two lighter rectangular shapes in the lower section.

After a few hours of changing color tones and adding more shapes the painting is finished and ready to drop off at the Craig Smith Gallery in Harbert, Michigan. If you are ever in the area, drop by to see Craig's gallery, it's a great place with 4000 square feet of space with lots of great art. Chicagoans often visit the gallery and also come to Craig's frequent parties, he's located only 78 miles from the Windy City. Many Chicago residents have second homes in Harbor Country and spend weekends here. Lots of good dining is also available in this particular area.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Starting another painting in my new series based on computer sketches

RecN 1
With my computer sketch taped to my drawing board I use a proportion wheel to scale up my image on the blank canvas. I do the drawing with a Design Art Marker. Incidentally, the canvas is 30 x 30 inches.

Then I begin painting by brushing a coat of acrylic paint on the canvas. I've decided to change the color and make the background a brighter orange. I often change colors from the sketch during the painting process. I haven't lost my basic drawing as when the paint dries it still shows through. In the lower left corner of the photo you can see my cat Laura lounging nearby in a small basket.

Here is a closeup of laura, she is always around while I'm working as are Jpeg and Tiff.

After the background is dry I start to block in some of the color areas. I've decided to mute the tone on the yellow shapes. This will probably take three or four days to complete if everything goes well. If I get stuck on how to proceed I often stop working and start a new painting. At a certain point I find that it's a good idea to get away from a painting, then I usually come back to it with a fresh viewpoint. In the next posts I'll show how I progress on this piece.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Poster for my gallery

Here is the finished painting that I was working on in the last post. That's Jpeg sitting in the foreground.

This is a closeup of the painting that was based on an image that was created on the computer. Craig Smith, my gallery owner asked me to design a poster for his next party which will feature some of my new paintings.

I took a photo of some wine bottles and after outlining them I superimposed the image over my painting.

Then I added the type and finished the poster.

I did an alternate poster in case Craig didn't care for the first one. Here I used a different painting which also works quite well.

NewPtgHere is the entrance to my upstairs studio. That's Tiff sitting on the stairs and Jpeg is lounging on the beam above. Laura is upstairs sleeping in my studio.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New painting based on digital study

I have finished six paintings in my new series which are based on digital sketches.

NewFig 1
Here are a few sketches done on the computer that I plan to use as a basis for large scale acrylic paintings. The lower right image interested me as I felt it would make an interesting painting.

This is going to be a big one, 48 x 48 inches. I'm not just sure how I'll deliver it to the gallery as it'll never fit in my car. I'll have to find someone with a van. I begin by drawing the image on the canvas with a marker pen. Sometimes I project the image on the canvas with a Beseler projector, a machine which I used frequently when I was doing commercial illustrations.

I then start to paint in various areas knowing that I probably will change many of the colors and values later as I progress.

The background color is too orange at this stage, but it will make a good undertone for the color that I will use later. At this stage it's a bit hard to tell what the color values should be, it will be much easier as I cover the canvas with tones.

I changed the background color which now seems to work better and the other colors and values are working quite well, although I still have a long way to go. If you look carefully in the background you'll spot Laura lounging in a cardboard box. My cats usually are in the studio with me when I am working.

Here's a close up of Laura in case you couldn't see her in the last photo.

Jpeg was up on the beam where she can easily watch me, she loves it up there.

Tiff was where he usually is, on my computer chair having a good snooze.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More oddball photos

I lived in Valparaiso, Indiana for about four years and pictured here are some of the barn cats that I used to feed, there were about eight of them. I like the composition of this photo.

Cat on fence
I tried to photograph a cat sitting on this fence, but just missed him. Here you see only his tail as he took off. However, it does make an interesting photograph.

Train station
An interesting shot of a train station, I can't remember where the photo was taken, probably in France.

Hidden drwy
I like taking photos of signs.

For Sale
I like this photo because it includes my shadow, creating am odd image.

For sale 1
Here's a close up of the same building, I also like the composition of this photo.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More photography

The Scarlet Macaw Art Center has a monthly contest/exhibition for local artists. This month the subject is IMAGES OF HARBOR COUNTRY. In these exhibitions artists can enter a painting, photograph or sculpture that relates to the subject.

This is the photo that I entered, it's a scene at our beach in Sawyer.

Horse in Road
I'm considering entering this photo, HORSE IN ROAD in the next exhibit as the subject will be about animals.

Red Spheres & Doe
You can only enter one piece and I may decide to enter a photomontage RED SPHERES AND DOE instead.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Photo experiments

With the computer you can alter and transform photos to make them more interesting and also have fun during the process. Again, the only thing holding you back is your own imagination. This is also a great way to hone your computer skills.

Double Jeanne 1
A fairly mundane photo of my wife Jeanne. I had the idea of adding another image of her in the photo.

Double Jeanne 2
I made a duplicate image and transposed it over the original photo. Then I changed the opacity of that layer to about 45% creating a transparent image and also an odd but interesting one. This technique offers unlimited possibilities for unusual images.

In this photograph I cropped off the people's heads and added a lot of foreground creating a very interesting image. Try doing this type of image manipulation yourself and see what you can come up with.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Finished painting from computer sketch

Here is the sixth painting in the new series that I've been working on.

Nude2 copy
The two idea sketches which were created on the computer.

CA 7
During the process of painting I decided to do a few changes which included keeping the color values lighter which works out much better.

CA 6
A close up showing some of the interesting linear detail.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Digital sketches for a new painting

I'm working on a group of paintings based on sketches created on the computer. This is a fun project and this is the sixth in the new series.

Nude 1
My first version of the abstract figure.

In this second version the blue color was added which to me made the design more interesting.

I began the painting based on the second sketch.

The painting is not quite finished at this stage but I like the direction it's going in. I may keep it more subtle than the original sketches, it is more interesting to me at this stage. I've stopped painting for a couple of days to let this all sink in. When I am not sure about the direction a painting is taking I find that it's a good idea to get away from it for a spell before proceeding any further.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A great new camera from Olympus

The new Olympus Pen E-P1 is a new four thirds camera which is very unique. It's an interchangable lens camera and adapters enable you to use lenses such as M mount Leitz, Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Pentax, Zeiss as well as all of the new and older OM Zuiko lenses that you might have around. However, when using these lenses you must focus manually.

Olym E-p1 1
It's a 12.3 megapixel camera with a stainless steel and aluminum body, also available in white. Presently two lenses are made for the E-P1, a 17 mm f 2.8 and a 14-42 f 3.5 zoom, equivalent to a 34mm and a 28-64mm. I'm certain there will be more lenses offered by Olympus.

Olym E-P1 2
Here I have mounted an old Zuiko 55mm f1.2 lens using an adapter. I have a few older OM lenses that will be fun to use on this camera.

Olym E-P1 3
I also have some PK mount lenses which I can use with a Pentax adapter.

Olym E-P1 4
The camera has no viewfinder but does have a large 3" viewing screen. A special viewfinder is available for use with the 17mm lens.
For an in depth review of the E-P1 check out Digital Photography Review at dpreview.com.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fun with photomontages

One can often turn bad or mundane photos into rather interesting photomontages. Here are a few examples.

I didn't hold the camera very steady while taking this photo.

Instead of discarding it I added little red spheres floating in the foreground. The spheres are actually my cat's ball which I frequently use in my photomontages.

A photo of the main hallway in my home.

The photo becomes much more interesting by adding red spheres that mimic the bubble lamps above.

Here I added a pelican to a photo of a toll road stop.

Spider on screen
If you follow my blog you have seen this close up photo of my porch screen. Here I have added a photo of a spider.
All you need to do your own photomontage experiments is a film or digital camera and a simple program like Photshop Elements 2.0. It's a lot of fun and will help you develop your computer skills.