Wednesday, February 27, 2013

16 Female artists who paint with balls (Part 1)

Posted by: Dave
Arantzazu Martinez 

 Camie Davis

Candice Bohannon 

 Colleen Barry

Daniela Astone 

 Erin Anderson

Juliette Aristides 

 Magdalena Almy

Mary Minifie 

Maureen Hyde

Sadie Valeri 

Stanka Kordic 

Zoey Frank 

 Elizabeth Zanzinger

 Kate Sammons

Susan Lyon

Like the title say, there are quite a few female artists out there who are truly pushing the boundaries of realism.  I know a lot of people feel female artists are under-represented in the art world, so here is my tribute to them (part1).  After seeing the amount of talent out there, I sometimes have to bury my face in a bag of beef jerky (the male version of ice cream) and cry.  Man, being a white male in North America is hard.

All images are copyright of the artist.

Friday, February 22, 2013

New (er) Stuff

Posted by: Dave

I am still getting some work ready for the Principle Gallery still life show and wanted to delve into some more figurative work. I am going to be working with Principle in the future as well, which is pretty exciting.

The portrait below went pretty fast I must say; this is maybe 2 and a half days worth of work or so.  Not having to paint flesh tones makes things go way faster, which is why I am going to be hiring albino models from now on.   Who knows, maybe I will even become a creepy clown painter.  The subject is my friend and fellow artist Tara Juneau who never grew out of playing dress up, so it was an easy sell to get her to pose for this.  Again it is another Day of the Dead themed work.  It still has some more work to go, but it's getting towards completion. 

Below that is a "Vanitas" still life I started...neat.  It took about 10 days or so.  I don't know what my obsession with the Vanitas theme is, but I think I need to stop listening to "The Cure" while planning my works.

Before you comment, that carpet is "salmon" not "pink"

Initial lay in of darks after transfer

ébauche (pure paint thinned with spirits)

Start of first painting

 second painting

done on a bun

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Thistles and Thorns

Posted by: Kate

Today is our first day off in ages, so like any happily married couple still very much interested in each other, Dave and I are sitting on the sofa reading on separate laptops side by side for the entire afternoon.

However, I can manage a break from this demanding schedule to write a blog post.  I would like to share my current painting with you, so sit down and shut up.

In October (or November?  Whatevs.) we visited Candice Bohannon and Julio Reyes and got a glimpse inside their studios.  They are incredible painters and as always, when painters get together there's a great exchange of ideas.  Studio tricks that evolved on their own and that you have taken for granted are brain-exploding revelations when you share them with your friends.  Candice said something along the lines of how one favorite tubed sienna in particular can practically be used as a tubed flesh colour, just add white.  I was indoctrinated to believe that using those bandaid coloured premixed flesh tints straight from the tube was sacrilege, and that flesh tones had to be painstakingly mixed from a palette of carefully selected colours.  So when she said that, effectively sanctioning what I had always thought of as sloppy painting, right when the crevices of my brain were awash with her beautiful paintings and my optical neurons were happily firing messages to my brain that said "squeee" and "holy monkey balls," I was all like:


I'm all for streamlining the painting process, so ever since, I've been trying to find myself a nice flesh-ready tubed colour.  And by "ever since," I mean I spent like an afternoon playing around and found one right away amongst my loot from Natural Pigments.  Orange Ocher, people!

(I want to put it out there that I don't know jack about how Candice actually paints or anything.  For all I know she smears pheromones on the surface of her paintings and that's what makes them irresistable.  Probably.   She just said something offhand that set me down a rabbit hole.)

I did these two head studies of Maddie and Nicholas with my new found cheat flesh tint.

The idea is that I have my main flesh tint with which I mix up one or two values by adding white.  Next to each tint I have a neutralizing mixture of the same value.  In the above instances I whipped up a neutral tint with some black and umber.  I also add a bit of red for the cheeks and lips.  Super simple, and it forces harmony.  And harmony has always been something that I took to like a granite rock in a pool of deep water.

Emboldened, I started plans for my new painting (working title "Thistles and Thorns").  You saw the drawing.  Below is the head study.  It's good for me to do these so I can get all the impulsive drawing errors out of my system.  It's like a reality check that lets the steam out of my inflated sense of ability.  I'm continuing to use my gorgeous Orange Ochre, but I'm using Ultramarine Blue to knock back the chroma.  There are some reds in there too.

Here we are with an umber drybrush.  Fun Times!

I clamp the head study to my painting so that I can work on the two side by side.  This way I can keep in mind the mistakes I made in the study, and also make an effort to keep the strong points.

This looks much more like Maddie.

Above, I knocked in a background.  I was kind of worried about what I would do.  I had this really strong feeling for the colours I wanted.  However, I didn't know how to make those colours make sense, since I wanted her to be in a landscape.  The greenish grey I wanted isn't really a sky colour.  And as I thought these thoughts, I stared out my window and noticed that the greyish green I wanted was the exact colour of the wooded mountain across the lake.  Derp!  My lizard brain was all like, that's what I was trying to tell you!  And my cumbersome frontal lobes were like, I was busy processing Breaking Bad from last night.

 Hat and hair.

Start of cloak and dress.  I premixed some epoxide oil into my colours using a palette knife, rather than keeping the oil in a medium cup and mixing with my brush as I go.  This ensures that I get a consistent amount of oil in my paint.  I also used a bristle brush to scoop off excess paint and maintain some visual permeability, so to speak, between final layer and drybrush.

Above shows my approach for sketching in the clasp and then finishing it.


What will become of Maddie's head study?  Will I banish the painting to the guest bedroom in a fit of rage?  Will Dave make totally typical insult-compliments that drive me to the brink of madness?
Tune in next time to find out!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New stuff

Posted by: Dave

I thought I would keep everyone updated with what's going on in my studio, aka living room.  I completed the meat still life and have started another Vanitas for an invitational at Principle Gallery.  I'll post some pics of it once it looks like something. Kate will also be participating with a much cooler still life than mine.

I am pretty burnt on still lifes so I wanted to focus on some figurative work for awhile.  I had to take a couple steps back on the fisherman piece as I decided that having a second figure really didn't add anything.  So after some swearing followed by crying followed by more swearing I went back to do more color studies.  I probably cried again somewhere in there.

I also decided to do some paintings of my friend Tara Juneau dressed up as a "La Dia la Muerta" woman. Based on my extensive knowledge of Mexican culture that I learned in Spanish 1 in middle school, I thought I could represent the genre well.  It's not like I am the first, so don't get too excited.  Artists like Carl Dobsky and Frank Gardner have been doing it for years. The top one is finished (ish) and the second one has about 3 hours in it. 

 Day of the Dead all done

First lay in of paint on the second one

Color study completed for the fisherman

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Body

Posted by: Kate



Ermagerd, paint terxture!

Gold leaf?  Oh snap!

It's called "The Body."  Because of, like, metaphysical stuff.  I'm getting into some cool symbolism, but this won't make any sense till I do more paintings along this theme.  But then you'll see more of my paintings later and you'll be all like, wow, that is so symbolic.

You know what's more interesting than painting?  My dog pulled all the ass feathers out of two of my chickens.  One of them was kind of torn up back there, so instead of letting her contract a virulent case of gangrene in her slum chicken coop, we kept her in our bathroom while she healed.  For a week we slathered her bum with polysporin, brought her choice nibbles on a platter, and cleaned up her poop for her.  I put her in the bathtub thinking that would be a nice safe place to quarantine her, but chickens fly.  Derp!  She got out and spent the week perched on the sink, looking at herself in the mirror and deploring her hideousness.

Isn't she ugly?