Thursday, May 31, 2012

Value does the work, and color gets all the credit.

Another limbering-up Yuba River  painting exercise for my Donner Lake, weekend paint out workshop this June 9 in the high Sierras. No matter the medium, painting is all about value control. Without value control, all the pretty colors in the light spectrum will not help you paint a compelling image. The foundation for that is value control. The dramatic value range I used for the Yuba River is the same that I used for this portrait study. If you can't get your values down, you can't bring the quality of your paintings up.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

From the Lobenberg Archives

This is one of my college drawing students that I drew a while back on a sketch pad. The sequence shows how I concentrated on head and feature SHAPES and getting them all coordinated in correct positions and angles to one other. After this heavy lifting was completed, the penciling in of the values was a walk in the park. The great thing about drawing is that it really, really helps you to look at things DEEPLY and not in an off handed manner. This is one of the keys at being a good representational artist.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Limbering up for a June plein air workshop at Donner Lake in the high Sierra mountains of California

Watercolor of the Yuba River at Donner Lake Painted on 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper. The task at hand was to not get trapped into painting a lot of fussy details with a small brush. I needed to get the impression of rock, foliage, and water across simply and to mind my dark and light values to highlight the white water rushing down the Yuba. I can do better, but this is a limbering up exercise, so I'm relatively happy with it. Tomorrow is another day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Just playing

I posted a portrait of this lady about a month ago . . . kind of spiky looking, and I didn't like it . . .
so . . .  his is the same painting but with tweaks and embellishments . . . three weeks of playing . . .  Davey can be a dull boy if he don't play. Don't ask me what it all means as I haven't got a clue!
Watercolor on 140 lb. Arches cold press. 14 inches by 18 inches.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

End Of Spring Semester Final - Oh The Horror!!!

I had one of my students in the acrylic painting class I teach at Sacramento City College put together (I didn't have enough time in my schedule to do it myself) my mylar, helium-filled, remote controlled  "Air Swimmer" shark (check out the hilarious clips of it in action on Youtube). She brought it to our final class session of the semester last Friday. She did a beautiful job putting it together and even filled it with helium and provided all the double A batteries! A big, big THANK YOU to Hilary! She and I installed what we thought was the correct amount of ballast for a controlled flight mode but alas, Mr. Shark headed straight up to the ceiling (the ceiling in the art room has got to be at least 35 feet!) and lodged himself amongst the ceiling beams . . . oh the horror! There was absolutely no way to retrieve it.  It will most likely reside up there for several weeks until enough helium is lost to bring it back down. On a lighter note, this disaster state of affair was put aside, and I gave each of my students a one inch by one inch card (cut from a full watercolor painting) to translate in acrylic onto a ten inch by ten inch canvas board. This was their final assignment for the semester, and they all did a fantastic job! When all 20 canvasses were assembled on the studio floor, a bee-a-you-tee-full painting of a rooster was revealed (click on the photo to view it at a larger size). Since this class was taught on Sacramento City College's Davis campus, we  titled it "The Rooster That Devoured Davis". It will be mounted on foam core board and hung in the art studio classroom for future students to admire. The campus authorities will notify me when I can retrieve my air swimmer.