Thursday, January 31, 2013

The very early stages of my next painting- Woodward's Garden

I started my next oil painting yesterday afternoon. This is the very, very early stages. I spent a decent amount of time drawing it out first. I realized that some of the angles should probably be set to be mostly correct early on, because it would only make it harder if they weren't done right initially.

I penciled in the two figures, and most of the important wall/counter angles. You'd think that I would have learned from my last painting that I have a hard time with angles, and maybe I should avoid them in my next painting! ;)

The photo was taken by Dick at Woodward's Garden - it's a small, romantic (and delicious!) French restaurant where we had our first date in 1998. We have been going back to celebrate our wedding anniversary over the last few years. It has a special place in our hearts.

It's a tiny restaurant - the front room probably seats about 20 people at most, and has the kitchen in the same room. They expanded into a second room several years back, but we both prefer the coziness of the front room, and always request to be seated there.

Dick actually took the photograph thinking it would be a good potential painting project for me.

As I mentioned, it's very early on, so I realize you can't see much in this photo. It's mostly just the pencil outlines and some darks and lights, which aren't the actual colors that they will eventually be.

More to come!

early stages

the original photo

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Monday night's drawing session

After taking last week off for Meg & Grace's visit, I went back to drawing last night. We had my favorite model, Emily! Not only is she super sweet and funny, she has great taste in music and for some reason, seems to be the easiest of all of the models for me to draw.

I experimented a bit with shadow last night. I typically use 4 different charcoal pencils: 2, 4, 6 and white. I drew mainly in the 4, then used the others for variations of shadow darkness/lightness.






Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The completed Dolores Street Oil Painting!!

"Dolores at 22nd Street"
oil on canvas
24" x 36"

Today, I completed the Dolores Street oil painting that I've been working on for the last 8 weeks.

During today's session, I worked on some last few details: I repainted the car, worked on the building's sign, added more detail and color to the buildings behind the palm trees, and did some final work on the telephone pole. I also did added some more areas of interest inside and around the storefront, and fixed some of the shadows.

This was, by far, the most complex painting I've done so far. In fact, I remember when I first showed Dean, my painting instructor, the photo of what I planned to paint, his words were, Ambitious. ;)

Oh, my! I learned so much while painting this. It's quite remarkable to think of just how much I leaned. The hardest part for me was probably leaning how to get the perspective right. There's a lot of angles in this image, and if one is off, the whole thing doesn't look right.

I also learned a lot about light, and how it falls on different surfaces. Speaking of which, I learned a lot about color mixing, too. As you can see by the main building on the corner, there's a subtle color difference between one side of the building and the other. There's a lot of subtle color differences in there.

I learned how to layout a painting, making changes from a photograph to improve the overall composition. I think the final painting's composition is much stronger than the original photo.

I learned a whole lot more about shadow - they are in so many places throughout the painting. Some of them are very subtle, but make a huge difference.

This was my first city street scene, and I loved it. I will certainly plan on doing more of these.

The painting is still at Dean's studio. It'll have to dry over the next week, then we will varnish it, and I'll be able to bring it home and have it framed.

I took a few photos of the finished painting this evening, although the lighting is not very good. (there's a light shining on the right side, which washes out the color.)

the completed painting




Just for my own records, here are photos from each session from beginning to end. I like to have the progress of each session shown in one place to compare and analyze.

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Session Four

Session Five

Session Six

Session Seven

Session 8: The completed painting

Original Photograph

Monday, January 21, 2013

Meg & Grace's visit: Day 4

The Jelly Belly Factory!

Jelly Belly Beetle Bug

At the cafeteria of the Jelly Belly Factory - not sure if these colors are actually found in nature...

Mom's Jelly Belly-shaped hot dog, and Grace's Jelly Belly-shaped hamburger

My Dad, Mom, Meg and Grace having lunch at the Jelly Belly Factory

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday

Afternoon snack at the Ice Cream Bar!!

Dinner at home

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Meg & Grace's Visit: Day 3!

Grace, sporting her new stylin' hat outside the Goorin Brothers Hats Store

Lunch at Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store - one of my old favorite SFAI haunts.

The Prime Rib Cart at the House of Prime Rib

Grace and Meg

Grace and her Uncle Dick pose with their hats.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Meg & Grace's Visit: Day 2

Dick, Meg and Grace - up bright and early to catch the ferry to Alcatraz!

Grace's Alcatraz hat, which we had bought at Chinatown the day before

Taking the ferry to The Rock!

Inside the prison

Grace and Meg inside one of the cells.

One of the fake heads made for the infamous Escape from Alcatraz.

The Recreation Yard

Grace in the Recreation Yard

One of the loveliest places to view the Golden Gate Bridge

At the Musee Macanique

Grace can do it!

Dinner at Benihana

View from the top of Twin Peaks