Monday, April 15, 2013

Self

1.105 Self. A good friend of mine asked if I had ever painted a self portrait while we were out at dinner over the weekend. I replied that I hadn't and that if I did I would have to paint myself as a crumbling piece of sandstone. Immediately after I finished my last painting I was sitting, disgusted with myself, and decided to give self portraiture a try. I couldn't do any worse than I just had! 
The sun was setting and my north facing window was giving a trickle of pale light and the tungsten lamp that I use to illuminate my canvas while I paint was reddening the left side of my already sun burnt face. So I decided to paint each part with the exact color that I saw when I looked in the mirror. This resulted in a strange palette as my poor color mixing skills combined with the changing light as I painted.
Facial proportions suffered as I smeared layer upon layer trying to approximate what I saw of myself in the mirror on the floor propped against the wall. Overall, I'm a bit terrified of the painting and have placed it face down against the wall in my bedroom, but I had a great amount of fun working on it!

Coyote Gulch II

1.104 Coyote Gulch II. Usually when a painting is going this badly I will leave it unfinished, but I really believed that something good was going to materialize up until the very end. When I painted the shaded shrubs in the foreground and they just showed up flat on the canvas I realized that it was really beyond help. I'd guess that one of the reasons for this failure is the color palette. The colors can be used to suggest the depth of each feature in the field of the painting, but the purple features look so much farther forward than the grey shadows of the background. Also, once again, and I'm still cringing from last time (teardrop arch), I invented shadows where there were none in an attempt to create interest in the top of the painting. This gives the whole thing a frame-like look which is painfully cheesy. I thought that the shape of the sky seen through the arch would be interesting enough to make a great painting, but I made it too symmetrical and boring. I think that this is an interesting subject. I just need to be more confident in the strength of the open spaces and not clutter them up with contrived details. 


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Goosenecks

1.103 Goosenecks.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Double Arch IV

1.102 Double Arch IV