Saturday, June 29, 2013

June 29, 2013

Well, talk about your overachievers! Everyone's been stepping up their game, doing extra-curricular work and totally disproving the notion that summer days are "lazy."

Some very interesting groupings and themes today, so we'll get right to it. We'll start with our old masters, most of whom seem to attempting portraits—arguably the most difficult of the painting genres. And then there's Ken, who's moved beyond Rothko to "Rothko-esque...if Rothko were enamored of the rigger brush and both highly caffeinated and serene." Also, note one of our new artists has a portrait in this grouping, framed in twigs, flowers and leaves. So very cool!

And now we're on to the new artists. This week is the famed introduction to complementary colors. Just as a reminder, complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel and, when combined, create neutrals—with a gamut of beautiful colors along the way. Notice that our newbies didn't stop with a few swatches, they tested these colors to the limit—each in a different way.
There's a clever parade of colors around a spiral. There's an entire city on a river glimpsed through a deep fog. Some of these are even entire paintings featuring each of the 3 pairs of complements. Definitely a new high standard. Enjoy!

And John's been busy as well. These are colored pencil. They're part of a story begun several weeks ago. Ultimately, there will be as many as 50, and as fast as John's drawing, it won't be long. We're particularly attracted to the swirling clouds in the background—uniquely beautiful in each drawing.

We'll be off next week to celebrate the 4th of July, but we're looking forward to seeing you the week after. Happy painting!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

June 22, 2013

It's officially summer! And along with the change of seasons, the balance of power seems to be shifting. The newbies are not only out-numbering but out-painting the "old masters" who seem to be vacationing or resting on their laurels. Look below as we see the assigned plaids and color wheels, plus all kinds of really fine extra credit paintings, drawings and mixed media. Some of our newest members are even more prolific than Susan—and that's saying a lot!

Art tool of the week—Watercolor pencil
This seems to wax and wane in popularity. Everyone tries them at one time or another, with mixed results. Some of us love them; some of us aren't quite feeling that same love. Most of us go back to our brushes before we've mastered the learning curve. Not so with Sara, however, as you can see in the study here. Sara may have a a head start, coming from a background in drawing and colored pencil, but we all marveled at the way she used a single purple pencil to quickly and skillfully carve a face out of a few light washes.

See if you can spot her methods. She prewet areas of the sketch and drew into them, she wet the pencil and drew onto dry areas of the sketch. She even used her brush to get pigment from the tip of the pencil and painted with that. Incredible values, variety and texture—all obtained from a single pencil (albeit by someone who knows what she's doing).

We were so fascinated and impressed that I'll wager you'll be seeing more of us experimenting with watercolor pencils in the near future. Keep watching and happy painting!