Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Reflections

Christmas Reflections  Acrylic 8x8"  Click to Bid
Today's class demo, cheerful Christmas ornaments. Putting them on a metal platter created all sorts of color spots that made it a "must paint" for this painter.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Maureen's Pastries

Maureen's Pastries 8x8" Acrylic  Click to Bid
I've never been good at drawing from imagination. But when your model moves, or worse yet, implodes in front of you, there's not much you can do but work from memory. That was the case in class today. One of my students brought in the most stunning of pastries, real show stoppers. No sooner had we begun painting when one of them split down the middle and began to bleed - chocolate, oozing from the middle cavity (the pastry, not the student). OK, we can deal with this, I thought, and gave my students a "show must go on" pep talk. Soon after, it was as if someone had removed its skeleton... and splat, flat, yuk. I was kicking myself for not doing a sketch first - I had no drawing to look at, no values, no nothing, except my feeble memory. Not a good place to be. OK, at least 'its a great exercise', if somewhat a drag, to mentally re-create this model in a younger, perkier stage of life.  We all struggled today, but at least we left class reasonably intact - more than I can say for the poor pastries that were disected, devoured and quickly put out of their misery.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cafe Roma's Pastries

Cafe Roma's Pastries  Acrylic on Gessoboard  8x8"  Click to Bid
Today I taught my last class of the semester at a school in New Jersey. As is often the case during the holidays, we bring in some festive treats to eat - and paint, of course.  One of my students owns pastry shop in Little Italy and brought in a big box of Italian Pastries from the famous "Cafe Roma".  We oooh'd and ahhh'd the beautiful pastries for a while, discussed last week's killer homework, then got a late start painting. We began at 2:15 and had to be done by 3:30. Yikes! Here is the demo I did for for the class, and then promptly proceeded to eat the models, yum!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Color Fields Illustrating Color Theory

4 Barns, Acrylic, 8x8" each Click to Bid

When you get the value structure right, you can plug in all sorts of feisty colors. I took a photo of a barn, did a 3 value sketch of it and then played with color. It's fun - and addictive - to take an image and spin it off into many color schemes.

Speaking of color schemes, my latest book, "Color Theory - An essential guide to color - from basic principles to practical applications" arrived today in the mail. It looks great, if I say so myself. The publisher did a fabulous job keeping the colors accurate. It was quite an undertaking - I created over 60 paintings and numerous color charts, diagrams, color wheels and more. The only paintings that were not mine were my husband's - 3 oil portraits illustrating Asian, light and dark-skinned Black flesh tones. It's a real treat to see the final published book. Hmmm, I think a celebration is in order...something bubbly!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

White Tulips in a White Vase

White Tulips  12x12" Acrylic on Canvas  Click to Bid
I always find painting white subjects on white backgrounds a bit challenging. I gave that homework assignment to my students, who also found it challenging. I decided to do a demo for them - which proved to be - you guessed it...challenging, (and it came out way too colorful, almost fauvist). Not to be beat by my own assignment, I went to my studio and set up this still life and painted it.  Then I did it two more times smaller and faster, with different colors, just to play around...