I loved painting this picture of my husband and grandson. Everything about it felt sunny and happy. I took the photo at the end of a very pleasant week that the grandchildren stayed with us, at the end of which we delivered them back to their parents on this beautiful beach on the shore of Lake Michigan.
My favorite part of the painting is my grandson’s fingers and their shadow. His pose is so characteristic of him, including the way he is concentrating on pushing his foot into the wet sand. I also enjoy the shadows and their part in the composition.
The next still life adventure was a white mug from my pantry and four pieces of colored paper (see the still life set-up below). I followed the guidelines by Carol Marine in her book ‘Daily Painting’ for the set-up and painting the ‘vulnerable’ areas first (the white cup). I loved painting the colors of the paper reflected in the white mug. My favorite is the lower right painting. (They are each 6 x 8 ins).
Then I tried a square format (below). The shape was interesting but i felt it didn’t add anything to the painting. I also changed the pink color, and I didn’t like this one as much (not so bright).
Next I worked on peppers in traditional oils, 6 x 8 inches on canvas paper. The green pepper is from a Patreon lesson by PaintCoach, Chris Fornataro, and the red one is from a still life that I set up myself.
Although I’ve enjoyed the acrylic glazing process, I decided I wanted to return to something with more ‘solidity’ and depth, and a method that is more direct. I have not been able to find mediums I like for the water-mixable oils, so with some encouragement and instruction from Kari Rajkumar, I’m working with traditional oils now.
I bought a small selection of Gamblin 1980 oils locally, and have been working on exercises from Paint Coach (on YouTube and Patreon). Paint Coach (Chris Fornataro) is very good at simplifying and de-mystifying the materials and process, with excellent tutorials on all aspects of oil painting. And he’s often entertaining!
I’ve had the great pleasure of having four lessons with Kari Rajkumar, from Paris IL, this spring (Feb, March, May and June). She is an accomplished artist in oil portraits. I first saw her paintings on display in Terre Haute last fall and knew right away that I’d like to learn from her.
We decided to delay starting lessons until after Christmas. It worked out best for her to come to my home, which was very convenient for me! We worked on a copy of a portrait by John Singer Sargent, each working on our own painting. She instructed and described processes as we went along in the 3 hour lessons.
I learnt so much great information about oil paintings and portraits in particular. I also benefitted from applying those to my other paintings, which Kari would then critique for me. That was really helpful.