I must say, I am really enjoying my new little corner of the garage. It is slowly getting organized, and developing a personality. My inspiration board is finally up, with photos of figures and interiors I am using for the two series I am currently working on = Gypsies, and Ghosts in the Ruins. More and more photos and various pieces of flotsam and jetsam will no doubt be added to the board as time goes on. I have another board in the room where I make my jewelry and do my beading on clothing, which has ideas, colors I like, clothing I would like to try and make, etc. I seem to have always had some kind of inspiration board—or mood board, as they call them these days.
In one of my trips to the library I found a wonderful book on painting with acrylics, titled Capturing Light in Acrylics by John Hammond. He paints in an impressionistic style, which I don't, but he gives great visuals for tone, color, palette, composition, and light. I loved the book so much I ended up buying it through Amazon. One of the techniques he uses that I tried and loved, was mixing gloss medium with the paint rather than water, to make glazes. I also learned, and experienced personally, that if you water acrylics down too much to make a wash, the bonding medium in the paint won't adhere to the paper as well.
There was another book on acrylic painters that I got from the library that I didn't like as well, but did learn a new trick for drawing on paper/canvass and sealing the drawing with gel medium. I had just bought some Krylon sealant for a previous painting where I had used watercolor pencils. It made me wonder if I could use the Krylon, instead of the gel medium, to seal the pencil drawing onto the illustration board. It worked like a charm. It also sealed the board, so the paint didn't soak into it as much, which had been a problem on Soul Mates.
So, this is what is in the works right now. Another in the Gypsy series titled The Amulet Seller, and the first one, which is VERY experimental at this point, in the Ghosts in the Ruins series. That painting is titled Lost Dances.
Here is the pencil drawing for The Amulet Seller. I loved being able to work from a drawing instead of having to ink over the drawing and erase the pencil lines. Original drawings have way more life in them, and I don't even mind if some of the lines remain in the final painting.
I struggled with this drawing. I did it, didn't like it, but couldn't figure out why I didn't like it. It sat for about two weeks in a place where every time I walked by I could glance at it. The drawing slowly grew on me and I left it alone. Once I started getting paint on it, I liked it a lot better.
This is the painting in progress. Still need lots of work on her hair, and I need to finish her skin tones. The blue shadows will be toned down a little. The amulets, earrings, nose ring, and hair beads will be the last things painted. The size is 10"x12" on illustration board.
The other painting is truly an experiment. I don't usually put a tinted wash down before I do the drawing. This new series is all about decayed buildings, lost memories, and bewildered people. There is going to be a lot of texture in the paintings, so I gessoed a 16"x20" masonite panel, then added this acid green wash, letting it drip and run so it would look like mould and mildew. I used a sepia water color pencil to do the drawing, and wiped off mistakes with a cloth dipped in water. This is where I found out that if you water down the acrylics too much, they don't stick. As I rubbed the pencil off (I make a lot of drawing adjustments, so I did a lot of rubbing!), some of the green paint came off as well. I'm kinda okay with that this time, since the painting will have lots of layers and glazes—all done as a total experiment, which may turn into a disaster. But it will be fun!
The drawing will be sealed with Krylon spray. Right now, I am still working on the drawing, but you can see the wash, and where it has rubbed off where I have done corrections...lots and lots of corrections with, no doubt, more corrections to come. It's not clear in the photo, but she is standing in a building, with an archway behind her, where a plant is growing into the room.
Here is one of the photos of abandoned building that I have been collecting as references. Again, Pinterest was where I found most of the resource material.
So, that is what is going on in my little corner studio.With winter coming, I suspect I will have to invest in a small heater. Even though the garage is insulated, it will still get cold out there. I am also going to buy a better supply table, as currently I am using two small folding tables that don't give me much room. They have nice, four-foot plastic portable work tables at Home Depot that aren't very expensive, so that's what I think I will get. Once that is set up, the only thing I still need to do is replace some of my paints. I tossed about five old tubes yesterday, that were so dried up you couldn't get anything out of them. Of course, the fact that they were all about 30 yrs old might have had something to do with it. That means a trip to Central Art Supply in Medford (35 minutes away) is in order before I can do much more painting.
Oh, and after the first of the year, I am going to join the Josephine Country Art Association. I used to be a member when we first moved to Oregon twenty-six years ago, and I had two collage paintings in the member's show one year, but let the membership drop. We were just too busy, and too broke, with getting our new place squared away (it needed LOTS of work) that I didn't have the time or money for either the membership or paint supplies. Let's just say, for a lot of years, we were REALLY broke. Which makes it all the more wonderful that I have my little corner to play in, and enough cash to actually buy paint and brushes. Right now, it feels good to be me! LOL