Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gaucho Demo & Finished Painting

     Today, I will give you all the information to finish your painting.  In this next image I start establishing my early light washes, which I will build on.  I used Cadmium Scarlett on the stripes of the pants, and then laid in some weak washes on the reins and breast collar of the Gaucho’s gear.

     The next step is to start building the folds of the shirt.  I want to get every portion of the painting moving along at the same pace.  The scarf is a weak wash of Cobalt Blue that will serve as the lighter color of the Panuela, or scarf.

     Here’s my painting after I’ve put in three background washes!  

The first was Ultramarine Blue over the entire background.  Next was a light wash of Raw Umber to knock the blue back a bit.  The lower portion of the wash is Light Red.  I will wait to see how the rest of the painting moves along until I add further washes.

     I’ve jumped around the painting, working in different areas, still trying to maintain an overall working method instead of working from one area outward.  I tend to have better value control.  As I bring up different areas in intensity, I personally make better value and color choices with other portions of the painting blocked in.
     The painting has neared the finished stage and I take one final moment to evaluate my progress.

     The painting is now complete after darkening some crevices and adding a unifying wash of Cobalt Blue over the entire background.  Very little of this wash is perceptible, but it works to neutralize and unify.

     Thanks for tuning in for the demo and let me know if I can help with any specific problems you might have run into.  Remember, there are no bad paintings if you learn from the process.  Good luck!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gaucho Demo - Week 2

     Our next step is to add the first layer of skin tone to our subject.  This will be a mixture of Alizarin Crimson and Burnt Sienna, with a touch of New Gamboge to keep it warm.  (Below)

     I apply this as a bold wash that covers everything I’ve done so far.  Scary, but we all chose watercolor for a reason.  Now we must play its’ game.  Don’t be shy here.  We will paint over the whites of the eyes and all of our previous work.  Let this latest wash air dry completely.

     Now with our initial skin tone wash in and completely dry, I go back over my shadow areas in the face with another wash of Alizarin Crimson and Burnt Sienna.  I also put in the darks of the Gaucho’s hair, as well as his facial hair.  This is a mix of Burnt Umber and French Ultramarine Blue with a touch of Alizarin Crimson to darken it. (Below)

     It doesn’t appear in this photo (below) that much has changed.  These are subtle modifications but they are important.  I added a very light wash of Cadmium Orange over the entire face.  This wash infuses realistic warmth to my subject’s skin tone.  I also add a very dark wash of Ivory Black and Alizarin Crimson to the hat.  (I want to get the dark tone of the hat closer to the image of the photo).

     We’ve accomplished a lot in this phase, so we’ll stop here before tackling the clothing of our subject.  Be sure and contact me if you have any questions.  Good Luck!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Gaucho Demo - Day 1

     OK, we’re ready to start our painting!  My first wash is a mixture of Burnt Sienna and New Gamboge.  I take this mixture towards the Burnt Sienna side, since the Gaucho’s complexion leans toward a darker, more ruddy tone.  Keep this the consistency of tea, and the value rather weak.

     My next layer will be a purple mixture made from French Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson.  With this mixture, I’m going to be establishing some form in the face.  This next step will be slow and deliberate because I want to make sure that I create a likeness to my subject.  This is no time to rush or get flippant with paint applications or color decisions.
     I want to focus a lot of time on the face.  Let’s agree that if the face isn’t a dead ringer of my subject, then there is little point in moving on.

     I also decide that I will work on the Gaucho’s hat.  With that bold, dark addition to my central point of interest, I want it established before I start the next critical stages of the face.

     We’ll stop here so that you can concentrate on getting this important phase of the painting locked down before we proceed.  Good luck!   

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Headin' South....Way Down South!

     OK, it’s time to abandon thoughts of cats and the economy, and get back to serious Art.  I’ve decided to take you along on a little journey to one of my favorite places on the globe….Argentina! 
     Over the next 2 or 3 weeks, I’m going to do a painting demonstration and our subject will be an Argentinian gaucho.  This painting will be my donation piece for the 2012 South Texas Charity Quail Hunt at the King Ranch in South Texas.  The photo is from my 1998 trip to Corrientes in Northern Argentina, and is an iconic representation of these master horsemen.

     If you’re going to work alongside me, you can pull this line drawing off this blog, or I can email it to you, if you prefer.  You will have a week to complete the drawing before the next stage and blog post.

     I will be painting on Arches 140 lb. Cold Press, and will be using a mixture of Gouache and Watercolor.  You’ll be able to see how using Gouache/Watercolor and a dry brush technique in the final stages will greatly enhance your painting.
     Good luck and I hope you enjoy the process!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Cat This Way Comes

     You know the old axiom, “If you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans?”  Well, I pretty much stepped in it this past week.
     It all started on Monday when I was watching a commercial on TV about cat litter.  This “cat lady” lets her cat come up and rub her face.  I was absolutely repulsed by this spectacle, and boldly declared, “I would never own a cat!”
     You see, there’s some history I need to explain.  When Pam and I used to live in Sabinal, TX, I thought it would be a great pastime to raise quail.  Quail are raised in a glorified chicken coop or pen, and it goes without saying that quail pens and cats do not go together.  They do, however, attract each other like the poles on a magnet.
     It also goes without saying that if you raise quail; you are going to gain a reputation as a gunfighter of cats.  Mine is rather impressive.  That is until last Tuesday, when a half starving, mange-dappled barn kitten, with a pretty good hitch in his giddy-up (from direct contact with some type of moving machinery) showed up on my studio deck. 
     He openly declared, “You are now my new owner…. I just adopted you.”  My first thought was, “Reach for the gun and send this little flea-infested Third World kitty to his ninth level of Nirvana.” 
     Then God tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me of my declaration the night before.  I felt like Moses—giving Him every excuse why I couldn’t raise this cat.  (The most obvious being the four dogs in my kennel that are all glazed over with visions of a cat sandwich dancing in their heads.)  I have a terrier, a pit bull, a black mouth cur hunting dog, and a Labrador retriever, who lets all the aforementioned lead her weak mind down some very dark roads. 
     “This will not work, God!”   I have this comical vision in my head of God laughing at my previous cat declaration on Monday, as I slowly turn and walk away, muttering something about going to the Dollar Store for cat food.
     So now I find myself sitting in the shadows of a bold statement, humbled by God’s finger, while a malnourished barn cat eyes me with adoration and thinks I hung the moon. 

P.S.  I am in the process of finding Socks (yes, I named him) a new home.  He's been put in my charge, and I just can't let him meet an early demise at the whim of my dogs.  He found his way to me, and now it's my responsibility to see that he gets a fair shake.  I'll let you know how the story ends.