I've been noodling around with Pam Carriker's new line of acrylic paints and inks* and the just-slightly-earthy colors led me right to landscapes.
I decided that Landscape would be a really fun class to teach. It is coming in about 2 weeks with a different format than usual. More later. I'm excited!
In the meantime, here's a little video that will introduce you to some general ideas about landscape painting. Enjoy!
Here's the video
*Disclaimer: Pam Carriker sent me the paints for review. I used them for a while before reviewing them. I like 'em. They are very pourable and sheer, both qualities I like very much. The colors are earthy and there's a solid array. See buying information here. Thanks Pam!
Here's an art journal page using Pam's Whitewashed and Barely Black ink. I LOVE them!
If I was going to a desert island and could only take one piece of artwork with me, this is the one.
I fell in love with this guy when I was a teenager at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The whites in his dress: cool and warm, crisp and soft. The hand resting on his bent knee. His weight so convincingly resting on his foreshortened foot.
Every millimeter of his face and figure seems to ooze a dangerous power. My one and only bad boy.
The details in this painting are so rich and seemingly endless. I could look forever.
Austrian painter Eduard Charlemont painted this in 1878. It first hung in Paris. There is a rich history behind this painting and if you google it, you can find out more.
Notice the power in The Chief's dark skin and whites of his robe. The placement of his belt and the ornamentation around that area (ahem) that lead our eye down to that perfectly placed foot. He's loosely holding a knife in his right hand.
So, yes, I have a crush on him. With good reason. I have a print hanging in full view of my desk. A wonderful sight when I look up. A high standard of creativity and artistic mastery to spur me on and inspire me.
My sketchbook lives on the coffee table. I go through a half dozen (or so) of these a year. My fav is the Canson XXL. BOGO at Michaels Crafts store this week. The above sketches have been transferred to canvas awaiting color. I am thinking restraint :)
I'm looking forward to teaching one of my favorite classes at Create NJ in July. Backgrounds are quick and easy but what next?
Composition is an important element of strong artwork and most of us have an intuitive feel for it. Learning different types of composition will give you insight into your artwork from ATC’s, tags, cards, journal pages, paintings or fabric work.
Your typical grid composition
Play around with composition using various sizes. Games will take the formality out of learning the basics of composition. Once you know the rules, you can bend them with confidence.
Techniques include: Dripping watercolors, symmetry prints, black and white torn paper collage (Notan), expanded square collage, creating pattern. We'll be working with colored tissue paper and deli paper.
This is a great place for beginners to start.
Bring any projects that are giving you trouble. Throughout the day, I’ll help you with critiques. Composition makes all the difference!
Another Grid Based Composition
The next time you are working on a journal page or painting that is giving you trouble, consider composition!
Art Journal Meet Up yesterday. You should check to see if there are any in your area. There's a dyanmic, fun group of women is forming. I found this old drawing and just colored it in with Pitt Pens. So much fun. Just a little more to do on the mountains.
I tripped over this drawing from almost 6 years ago of my son' on his 17th Bday. Loose and loopy drawing; an unconcerned pen traveling over the paper catching this and that. Then some drawings for watercolor
and a bit of paint
We have a new baby in the family. Amelia Marie, 8.14 (wow). Happy-making.
I'm beginning a new series of small flower paintings. You may have seen some of the inspiration over on Facebook.
We have been setting up a photo and video studio area in the classroom side of my studio and I found a few paintings done about a year ago along with a bunch of small blank canvases. I've been combing through old journals for inspiration and sharing these on Facebook and Flickr so that I have all of the inspiration in one place.
Today I begin. I'm really excited! I'm also working on a special surprise class for you that will open next week just in time for Valentine's Day crafting and another surprise. More to come.
Happy Monday everyone. I hope you had a fab weekend.
It's been almighty cold in most of the US lately. I wake up in the morning warm and snuggly and just want to stay under the cozy blankets. Put your hand up if you can relate :) I'm fighting that bummed out feeling with flowers. Lots of them.
This little bunch was done on Yupo paper which is a slick plastic paper; not something that usually attracts me but the way the colors run and the ease of lifting color from the surface is pretty nifty.
If you have tried to draw flowers from nature you see it is complex. Yet the shapes are simple if you take them apart apart and practice. Move on to color and pattern. Most important look at the grace, elegance and movement. Flowers need to breathe. That is more important than slavishly copying them.
I am sharing flowers everyday on my facebook page. Here is yesterday's FB post using pen and pitt pens.
Have yourselves a grand weekend. If you are in the Philadelphia area pop by tonight (5-7:30 pm) to see what the Phila Dumpster Divers did with the "trash" created by the National Archives recent system overhaul. See you there! The gallery entrance is on Chestnut St between 9th and 10th. Look for the balloons!
Pam's new book, Creating Art at the Speed of Life is packed full of great information, ideas and projects. Full disclosure: I have two pieces in the book and received a complementary copy. That said, I'll do my best to give an honest review.
Creating Art has a good bit of technical information regarding the elements of art: color, form, texture, shape, lights/darks. This is a fine introduction to the bones of making strong art. There is much to achieve here and the book is meant as a beginners guide with creative projects to illustrate and guide you through the beginnings of learning these elements. Perhaps you'll want to go further with weightier texts after mastering what's offered here. Or maybe this is enough for you. Either way, the information presented is a wonderful beginner art class in a book.
Apply yourself and your artwork will become stronger.
There are simple projects in here as well: information about working in monochromatic color for instance. The little lesson on creating your own street tag by abstracting the letters in your name is very fun. Some of the projects have been around for centuries: rubbings, texture making with found object. There is much to learn from creating artwork in the styles of Cubism and Impressionism. These are all time-honored ways of training artists in the formalities of art.
Honesty, Diana Trout
It wasn't a surprise when Pam assigned me with projects for the color section of the book. I've been studying the interactions of color for all of my artistic life. I pushed myself to use white in these paintings and mix some muddy colors. I like the pebbly flower forms. All of these elements, taken one by one could provide a lifetime of study. And what is neat about this book is the overview can give you a sense of your favorite element.
I see myself dipping into this book for fun and practice and am honored to have been a part of it.
I'm really jazzed to introduce Jane Davies today. Jane manages to teach at breakneck speed while still producing a body of strong (and wonderful) abstract art.
Her work is free and spontaneous but there is strong, well-practiced line, color, shape and composition that holds it all together beautifully. Man, her color is sophisticated. Knocks me out. And I get all droolly about her shapes like this:
You can float around like crazy in a piece like this. Here's Jane ...
"I have been working with the GelliArts gel plates for a couple of years, always trying new things. This is a technique for making stencils that I learned from Traci Bautista. The stencils are made using a glue gun and two sheets of parchment paper. Here I've used them as masks in the gel plate printing process."
Jane's use of just the three primaries in this video is a point I make to my painting students: limit your colors and learn to mix new colors from them. It will give your work unity.
I'm nuts about Jane's Red & Black series as well. Jane works quickly and in series and that always inspires me. She does a lot of exploration and that shows up in her work.
I hope you enjoyed having a look at Jane's work. She will be teaching "Stencils and Masks" at Art and Soul 2014 in Kansas City in March, and Virginia Beach in October. All artwork in this post are class samples.
See all of Jane's workshop offerings here. She's one of the artists that I drop in on often. Wasn't this worth it a week late?! Thanks Jane.