Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Knee Deep

"Knee Deep"  (oil, 6x6 inches)   click here to bid

One of the two I finished today. I shot the photo reference right before he flew away, but I like how it looks here as if he's wading and trying not to get his wings wet.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dangerous Gull

"Dangerous Gull"  (oil, 6x6 inches)   click here to bid

Here's yesterday's gull right before taking off. I found his pose to be curiously analogous to the message of the sign.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Danger: Gull!

"Danger: Gull!"  (oil, 6x6 inches)   click here to bid

All right! I've made a breakthrough in this oil painting process. Liking the warmth of the reflected beach sand on the underside of this gull, I decided to start with an umber/yellow base on today's posted painting. Then I took that one step farther and lifted off the lights, and painted in the darks, until I had a complete value painting with the umber (I remembered this from Carol Marine's workshop!) That was late last night and I left it to complete the today, when of course the umber was dry.
I discovered that I really like how colors go on over this warm underpainting, without having to deal with the a wet blending of it into the new colors.

(PLUS: I finally signed up for Pandora with my iPad, hooked up some speakers, and had all my favorite music as I painted today. I don't know, but I certainly felt like that had something to do with my performance. Somehow, grooving to Maroon 5 with a paintbrush honed my concentration... wish I'd done that months ago!)

Below is the umber underpainting. The finished painting above has NO white highlights painted in. The highlights are the lifted areas from the umber, left unpainted. I love this look so much I painted 4 more monochrome umber underpaintings today, in hopes of finishing them all tomorrow with the same palette.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Walk on the Beach

"A Walk on the Beach"  (oil, 6x6 inches)   click here to bid

This oil painting thing is starting to come back to me after the long Holiday season doing portrait drawings. I decided to take progressive photos this time, to remind myself of how I get to where I'm going in this process...

For this painting I started with a basic pencil drawing on gessoboard, then washed it with a thin blue layer, wiped gently with a paper towel:

The darkest areas first. This was a mixed blackish using a blue, a red and a dab of yellow.

Here's showing how I use my iPad for the reference photo. It hangs on one side of my board.

I stared the colors with some middle blue (..I know, I speak color-speak like a pastelist... I believe this was thalo blue with white)

Then added the other middle and dark-middle tones (ok, don't ask me how I mixed these colors. I go on instinct, not memory - and I still have color-mixing instances that are such nightmares I don't want to remember them! At least I've learned to mix small amounts so as not to waste too much paint.)

Here I've adjusted the color and value of the water and waves:

Then the final highlight colors and white. ...And a bit more attention to the water to pull up the brightness, and make that rear wave recede a little more. And it's finished! Thanks for watching!

(Ignore the slight color shifts in the progression photos, they were taken indoors. The final image shot is most accurate ...aside from the usual my-camera-to-your-monitor variances...)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Goin' Wading

"Goin' Wading"  (oil, 6x6 inches)  click here to bid

I stumbled across some gull photos that I hadn't yet 'reviewed'... Apparently from the last vacation, all my shots got sorted into their file categories, and I hadn't had a good look at these ones from the Carolina beaches. Turns out I now have several excellent new compositions for gulls, as that trip was right after painting "Gull Yoga" and "Running Scared" and I was very conscious of wanting lots of new gull pics.

New Feed Address (for blog subscribers)

Just a note for y'all who've subscribe to my Daily Paintings blog in the "Follow by Email" RSS feed...
I'm a little bit clueless about all this, but I did notice recently that my feed stats was calling my Daily Paintings blog by it's old name "Rita Kirkman's Art Journal" (which is a separate blog now.) So just now I updated the name of the Feed Title and Feed Address to "Rita Kirkman's Daily Paintings."

...Then I read the note that said "Changing 'Feed Address' will require you to update your feed subscribers with your new address; the previous feed address will no longer work." 


So, I guess I better let you all know (if any of you know what I'm talking about) that the new Feed Address for this blog is now http://feeds.feedburner.com/RitaKirkmansDailyPaintings. (The old address was http://feeds.feedburner.com/RitaKirkmansArtJournal.)

But I think all you really need to do is re-subscribe in the "Follow by Email" box to the right

Sorry for the inconvenience. Thanks for following! Now your subscription will come to you as "Rita Kirkman's Daily Paintings", which is more to the point, and a better description!

(PS: Stay tuned later today for a new 6x6 gull painting in oil!)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pigeon Fight

I gave up on 'filling-old-frames' and decided to just paint whatever the heck I wanted to paint! (...once I figured out what that was.) So today I painted. In oil. And it was good. I'm happy. But I painted in the evening, and won't have a good daylight photo of it until tomorrow. So stay tuned tomorrow for another 6x6 gull painting!

Meanwhile, here's one of my entries to the Austin Pastel Society's Annual Juried Member Exhibition.

"Pigeon Fight"  (pastel, 16x16 inches)  is a new painting I finished just last week, and a new subject and perspective that's a little out of the ordinary for me. I enjoyed it, and perhaps there will be series ...someday.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Workshop - Pastel in Miniature

The smart artist's answer to today's economy: Smaller Paintings!
Join me for a 2-day workshop on painting small with pastel.
March 1 & 2, 2012. Rockdale, Texas.

Wind Break

"Wind Break" (oil, 3x3 inches)  click here to bid

Here's another little painting done for a frame I found. Trees are a favorite subject of mine - in other people's art! - and occasionally I'm brave enough to attempt some improvement of my own handling of the subject... I'm mostly happy with this one. I really like how these grasses turned out. (lol)

Here it is below in the frame. Available in the DPW auctions.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Curious Bird

"Curious Bird" (oil on Uart pastel board, 5x3 inches)   click here to bid

I'm working to fill all the miscellaneous old frames I've got laying about, with the ultimate goal of creating more space and organization in this new studio (A new studio aught to be spacious and organized, right?) Well, this mundane task has it's rewards - namely, getting me to paint something in spite of my current creative block.

The frame I decided to start with was a the most challenging of the bunch - a textured yellowish-blueish-greenish thing that I think is supposed to look like cork. I spent an hour at the computer rejecting several photos of various subjects as just not being quite the right image for this particular frame. (I wasn't really sure what the right image should be either, but I kept looking.)

Then, in my "pre-comps" file (photos that have gone through some compositional process already) I found it! One of the ostrich shots from "Curious Pair," a pastel painting from years ago. This single guy had just the combination of texture and simplicity that this frame seemed to call for!

I decided to forgo the pastel in favor of getting more experience time with oils. And since I didn't have any canvas boards, I decided to try it on a small sample of Uart pastel board, a light gray sanded surface. It was interesting to paint on. I'm not sure I'll use it for oil again; it held the paint in place and didn't allow for much manipulation, but I think the texture complimented my subject in this case, and worked well on the small size.

Below is the painting in the frame. The frame looks a lot happier now, to have the right painting in it. I also think this curious bird looks happy to have this frame!

I'm offering this framed painting in the DPW auctions. Use this link or the link at the top of the page to bid!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Pet Portrait 'Quick-Sketch'

(sepia conte pencil and white pastel, 16x12 inches)

This is what I call my 'Quick-Sketch' portrait, which at certain events I do from life in about 15 minutes (human subject, that is!) or from a good clear photo in about 20. Below is photo of my easel at the mall last month, showing how technology can be convenient! (That's my iPad on the left!)

You can see how I tried to reduce the effect of the wide-angle distortion in the photo.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mission Shadows

"Mission Shadows" (pastel, 12x9 inches)  click here to bid

Painted en plein aire at the Mission San Jose in south San Antonio, Texas.  This was one of the many doors in the wall surrounding the courtyard. I loved the patterns of shadows shifting over the rough rock.

Monday, January 16, 2012

"Morning Light"

"Morning Light"  (9x12, pastel on Canson paper)  click here to bid

Been slowly organizing the new studio, and came across some plein aire paintings that had slipped past being blogged a while back...
This one is from the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. I painted it in the morning when the shadows were interesting.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Winter Baby - A Portrait Commission

(conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches)

Another Christmas commission for a proud grandmother. I've drawn this baby, her sister and her cousin every year since they were each born!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sunday Morning

"Sunday Morning" (conte and pastel pencil, 18x14 inches)

Here's another drawing made to fit an old frame.
Available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas, until further notice!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Girl and the Goat - Study #2

(conte and pastel, 12x17 inches)

I've been finding work to fill old frames this week. Here's a sketch I did as a study for a painting (the eventual painting was from another pose.) This drawing is available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas, until further notice!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Becca's Daughter - An Oil Portrait Commission

"Becca's Daughter" (oil, 8x8 inches)

This was commissioned by my sister, who is the young girl's Godmother. She sent me a beautiful photo, with lovely light coming through the windows, and gave me carte blanche to do whatever I wanted (within her budget -lol.) I felt the urge for a miniature in oil, and here's the result!

Below is the reference photo.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"Koi #11" - First Painting in new Studio!

"Koi #11" (pastel, 5x5 inches)  is my first official painting of 2012 and the first one in my new studio! The studio is not completely finished, and is actually quite a mess right now, so no studio photos will be posted until I say so!
This new koi painting will be a new work for 2012 at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, TX, along with a few of my 'dailies' from last year that nobody was lucky enough to bid on.

To give you a peek into my creative process, I've posted below, today's original finished painting "Water Lilly #3" which I painted from a lovely photograph of the flower. It was only after scanning it and seeing it on screen that I realized it desperately needed some koi. And so a few strokes later it became "Koi #11". (above) NOW it's finished!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Young Man - A Portrait Commission

(conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches)

This handsome young man came in to the mall with his dad to order a portrait for his mom for Christmas. They had me take a photo to do the portrait from.

Visit RitaKirkmanDrawings.com to see more!

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Portrait Commission - Little Conductor

(conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches)

Another handsome grandson of yesterday's client!

Visit RitaKirkmanDrawings.com to commission a pencil portrait from your photo.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Portrait Commission - Baby Bonnet

(conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches)

This one was for a client who always has the most adorable photos of her grandchildren!

Visit RitaKirkmanDrawings.com to commission a pencil portrait from your photo.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Pet Portrait Commission

(conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches)

Those curls were almost not fun.. but I endured for the sake of that cute face!

Visit RitaKirkmanDrawings.com to see more!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Mother's Portrait

(conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches)

From the same client as yesterday's post - this was their mom. I've drawn this portrait 4 times now! (one for each sibling..)

Visit RitaKirkmanDrawings.com to commission a pencil portrait.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Little Sister - A Portrait Commission

(conte and pastel pencil, 10x8 inches)

This is the sister of a client, as a young girl. Commissioned as a Christmas gift.
She had the most remarkable hair!

See RitaKirkmanDrawings.com to commission a portrait in pencil.