Saturday, July 21, 2018

July 21, 2018

First of all, get well wishes to Isa and congratulations to John—we miss you both! Today is our last day before summer break and we're in that "schools out for summer" mood. We start with Greeta's turtle, Stormy, from her cottage sketchbook. We had a few laughs over some Stormy stories.... and it just went on from there.

Back in the city, Greeta began this lovely cityscape. No people are around as the restaurant is closed, but we may see this revisited at night, when it's just as scenic, but busier.

Susan continues to revisit paintings. Here, she's added buildings and palm trees to the Petronas Twin Towers to better set the scene.

Steve finished this lovely Hawaiian landscape. Wouldn't you love to have this as the view from your balcony?

More seascapes from Alan. Here, he's finished his painting of watersports on the lake.

Not completely satisfied with the above, Alan also did this peaceful scene of kayakers on the Chicago river. Look closely at the beautiful colors and dappled shadows.

And it wouldn't be Alan without some Yupo! Here's the start of a colorful scene from his garden.

Marva took some heat for rushing us into autumn prematurely. But seriously, isn't this lovely? You can actually feel the crispness in the air.

Even our portraits have elements of nature in them. Sara is nearly finished with her final dual portrait, having added the background. This is one of her most successful birthday portraits and Baby Nora portraits—all in one!

Notice a theme? We revisit paintings, do studies, and carry sketchbooks. We've made a point of showing the coils on the sketchbooks, like Tony's below. While he's not completely happy with how this started, we love the character and the skilled modeling of facial planes.

Here are two pages from Elaine's sketchbook, showing exactly what can happen within our pages.  Sometimes the magic works .... and sometimes you get a "learning experience."  The sketch at right is unsalvagable as the paper has been abused beyond redemption.... but there's always another page!

Ken's eager to finish his mosaic tomato series and get started on the next series. And what a way to end with this disco ball of a background! Come back in fall to see what the next series will be—and for an invitation to an exhibition featuring the Mosaic Tomatoes.


Rabia is doing the three-way fruit exercise. From left to right, her mango is wet, a combination of techniques and dry. The effects are subtle but distinct. And we love the shadows.

Here's Rabia's final complementary color exercise. The background is so rich and deep—it looks like something the Hubble telescope might have taken.

More from Rabia as she explores nebulae and other sky effects. Look closely at the tree in the lower left, silhouetted against the magnificent sky.

Douad did these lovely florals. We love the brushy, spring-like flowers, the elegant use of complementary colors and shadows, and the interior still life. These newbies have impressed us every step of the way.

 Save the date! We know it's early, but we also know how quickly your calendar fills up. In September, Ken will have a show opening at Ten Cat. The exhibit will probably open September 8 and will feature Mosaic Tomatoes.  There will be an opening reception and you'll all be invited. Watch this space for details!

Our class schedule. For those of you who wondered when the next classes begin (perhaps you want to join us?), here's our schedule.

  • September 8 — October 20, 2018
  • October 27 — December 15, 2018 (off November 24)
For registration information—come on, you know you want to join us—visit Truman College Continuing Education.
And with that, we say goodbye and see you in September!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

July 14, 2018

We had a lot of themes going today, foremost among them being people and water (and people near water). Here, for instance, Alan finished his painting of the Chicago Riverwalk. See if you can spot anyone you know (it's Greeta!) among the people enjoying the city. Also notice the brilliant addition of Marina City, especially for Ken.

From there, Alan painted this lake scene. Look closely to see the sparkle of the water on the rough paper.

Bill is hitting all our themes today. He's revisited his painting from last week of a person near water.

... moving to another portrait, actually a double portrait, if you count the statuesque dog.

Steve is painting a lovely Hawaiian seascape. This one is all about texture–in the sky, water and land.

Susan introduces another theme—the way we influence each other. Here, Susan has been inspired by the way Sara does multiple studies to revisit earlier paintings. She's trying to redo them to better say what she originally planned to. We've kept them side by side with the old version on the left. See if you agree with the way she's combined the two vacation attractions below....

... or clarified the focus on this painting of a family funeral.

Baby Nora is a little pale, but Sara is getting ever closer to a lovely dual portrait. No wonder we do sketches, studies and multiple versions.

John's colored pencil drawing now includes a third character from French theater.

Greeta finished her painting on Khadi paper. We included the deckle edges for your enjoyment. Greeta says the handmade paper seems strong, but doesn't handle much abuse.

And here's a glimpse at Greeta's sketchbook. It's tiny (palm-sized) and she uses it to sketch people she sees on the bus or train.

This is another look at a sketchbook (we love our sketchbooks!). Elaine has finished the sketch she started last week....

... and moved on to two more. One is a girl in an extremely foreshortened position (right). And a larger view of a hand on the left.

Tony is continuing to use his water soluble pens to do portraits. This one has a faint pink watercolor background.

Here, Tony uses an old family photo. We love the way he's been able to use the markers to create such a sculptural painting.

Tony's so enamored of his new media that he purchased a small set of muted colors and did a color wheel. (Those old exercises are certainly valuable!)

Ken's tomatoes almost look like a color wheel. Notice how the tomatoes progress from yellow to ripe red?

We do love our colors, don't we? Rabia finished this exercise in complementary colors. She's used each pair on her palette, from discrete colors to soft blends.

Another painting from Rabia, this one may not seem colorful... but just wait! She's used permanent black to create this delicate silhouette and plans to add color to the background next week. Come back and see what she does. It sounds great.

Join us next week for the last class of the term. After that, we'll be taking a summer break.... but we won't leave you high and dry! You'll be invited to Ken's exhibition at the Ten Cat. Opening reception will be near the end of August, so pencil in some time if you can.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

July 7, 2018

We had no takers for guest blogger today, so we're back to the status quo...having learned a little about brevity in the process. We begin with Steve, who's finished the face on his merman. Despite taxing the paper to the limit, he's managed to pull this off brilliantly...

...before working on sketching other faces.

Elaine's also doing quick portrait sketches while she's building a new palette and pondering her "next big thing."

Another half started portrait sketch by Elaine.

Sara begins another version of her dual portrait. Baby Nora gets better every time... and so does Sara as she changes her green tone for rosier ones.

John doubles up and begins a portrait of four people. They are from French theater of the 1600s or so.

Madeleine also begins a dual portrait. We love how she captured the personalities of her sitters. They seem happy, too!

 Madeleine also finished her cityscape...

...and began a seascape. Versatile, isn't she?

Marva was inspired by a seascape by Childe Hassam and painted this all today. She's totally captured the impressionistic sparkle. And those are rocks, not alligators.

Susan added background to her cheongsam models. Notice the detailed cruise ship and blue sky.

Bill painted a rainy day in Ghent. Look closely at the lovely colors.

 More water and people! Bill paints a solitary figure on a pier gazing out towards distant mountains.

And Alan finished his painting of the Chicago Riverwalk. The details are especially intriguing on Yupo.

Then, Alan worked on aerial perspective in these two sketchbook landscapes.

Ken begin to lay in the green sepals on what he claims will be his last tomato painting of the season.

We know you're waiting for our newbie's fresh takes on our standard exercises. It's complementary colors day and they don't disappoint. Douad tests out the three pairs in a conceptual piece. Look closely and you'll see that Love and Money give birth to Happiness.

Rabia also uses a bird to test complementary colors. Look at those delicate brushstrokes!

From there, Rabia uses tape as a resist and tests salt for texture...

...before attempting this lovely nocturne. It's even deeper and richer than the photo shows.

We're quickly closing on our summer term, but we still have two more sessions, so be sure to come back for more incredible paintings.