Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. It's a journal of sorts. It gives me a place to show my work-in-progress for my painting and photography. Comments are welcome --- add one at the end of an entry or email me at BarbBlumer@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Apple Stack Painting in Progress

Apple Stack Painting in Progress
10 x 8 Oil on Pa
I took a series of photographs of apples as potential still lifes, and chose this stack of three to paint first.  I really struggle with painting apples.  I am not sure why.  But I will keep painting them until I figure them out.  In particular, I find painting red apples the hardest. 

Here's the charcoal sketch.   And the green apple.  I am breaking a personal rule  -- I never paint "the" subject first.  Usually I paint everything together so that the values and colors relate to one another.  But, I wanted to see what would happen if I really zoned in on the focal point first, and then worked backwards. 


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Heather Basket Painting in Progress

Heather Basket Painting in Progress
10 x 8 Oil on Panel
For this painting, I made a detailed drawing in charcoal then fixed it.  It is a more complicated subject than fruits so I drew the whole shebang*.  It might have been overkill but I knew the basket was going to be challenging to paint so I decided to go ahead and figure it all out.  I think it will make painting more relaxing. We'll see. I've never painted a basket before.  There are many changes in direction of light which means the values will change frequently.  So, I have been thinking about how I am going to approach it.


* This is an American phrase from the 1920's meaning the whole thing, or all of it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

"The Bartletts" Oil Painting

"The Barletts"
10 x 8 Oil on Panel
I think I am done with this painting, which I am calling "The Barletts."  It is the first painting I have ever done where I used charcoal to draw a sketch first. (I usually draw with paint.)  Well, I learned the hard way that you must fix the charcoal and let it dry completely before painting.  I didn't and the charcoal mixed in with my paint and the charcoal drawing still shows through in places, if you look closely.  Nonetheless, I found it more relaxing and fun to paint this way because I had already done the drawing underneath. 
Lesson learned:  fix your charcoal drawing and let it dry completely. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Anemones Paintings in Progress

Anemones Painting in Progress
10 x 8 Oil on Panel

Before we had our first frost, I picked anemones from the garden and set up arrangements to photograph for paintings.  This is the first one I have started.  To my chagrin, I started with a taupe background and then realized that I wasn't going to be able to get a true white.  I think I can make it work if I build up successive layers of white paint.

Sketch for Anemones
So, for the the next painting of anemones, I started on a white background and drew a sketch in charcoal then fixed it.  I hope to begin work on this painting this week.  It's larger.  Anemones are actually quite tall. 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Painting in Progress: Three Fruits

In Progress --- Still Wet Still Life of Three Fruits
Thought I'd start to post some of the things I have been working on this fall.  I am working on still lifes, and I decided to do underpaintings.   This means that I do a drawing first to work out the composition and solve some of the drawing problems. 

 The underpainting
For this painting, I used a bright pink 8x10 panel leftover from The Grid project. I used Van Dyck brown oil paint to make the sketch.

As a reference, I used a black and white photo from a roll of film I took in Beijing back in 2002.  I like to use black and white images because I get to make up the colors. 

In general, using photos (versus setting up a real still life) can be problematic.  And in this case, there were distracting elements in the background and foreground which I had to eliminate. 

Testing it in a frame
As a result, the plate isn't as grounded as it should be.  It looks like it is levitating.  But, instead of trying to fix it, I think I am going to just name it "Flying Saucer" as suggested by my painting buddy, Lin.

Once it dries, I will tweak a few things, including the apple, but I am pretty happy with the progress I am making on it.