All art copyright (c) Mike Kloepfer
"The level of achievement that we have at anything is a reflection of how well we were able to focus on it."
-Steve Vai

Monday, June 27, 2011

More quick studies - practice, practice, practice!


Time to get some mileage on the ol' brushes. What I am going for here is a quick study, seeing values accurately, simplifying form, and improving my brush control; an accurate, abbreviated statement.
No finished masterpieces here - but these will help toward that end.
The hardest thing I am finding is to not get sidetracked with rendering, but stick to seeing and describing masses of value and color. (It's so tempting to get carried away with the fiddly bits!)

Acrylic on gessoed Bristol, ~6x9"; 55 min.
Picked up some silk flowers that went on sale at work... I was excited to paint a floral from life, play with the lighting, etc
Again, I started great, blocking in abstract shapes of value and color. Again, I got carried away creating a painting... not a study!
That being said, I was pleased with - and enjoyed the process of - choosing and adjusting the value and color in the shadows - especially on the yellow leaves. I wound up using colors that didn't seem to make sense - until I put them on the canvas. But I trusted my instincts and knowledge, and went ahead. Then I was able to adjust the value and hue this way or that from what was on the board.
This time, it was the areas receiving direct light that I felt were less successful.

Still learning...
The photo is kinda crummy. this camera is a nice one, but I'm still figuring out how to take good photos with it.


Acrylic on gessoed bristol, 5x7" 55 min

I liked this scene of a rock jutting out of the ocean. Reminded me of a painting I had seen that really had that something that grabbed me. So, it was a good subject for a study.
Once again, the temptation was to develop the study into a painting. The point of the study is to capture the likeness in form, in masses of simple, quick, confident brush strokes (again, an abbreviated statement.)
What I kept aiming for was the sense of being there - to convey the feeling as if you were standing right there. It was elusive, kept coming in and out, appearing and fading away.
I had all I needed at about 30 minutes. I should have left well enough alone, but I continued developing bits and pieces.
It's amazing how even a study will go through stages: first you capture the likeness, and as you develop to the next step, you begin to lose the likeness (temporarily, one hopes) before you capture it again, more developed.
It took me a while, but in the end, I got it back to some degree. I am fairly happy with the end result; I am more happy with what I learned in the process.

06/25/11: I liked this scene, especially the shadow side of the trees.

Acrylic on gessoed bristol, 4x5", 35 min.

06/23/11: I couldn't believe it. I got home from work and sat down to paint, and I couldn't think of anything to paint! Totally blank. So after doing some other stuff, I came back and set up a lily that I had in a vase. I really like the way the light plays off the inside of the flower and the shadow on the outside, and I had this idea bouncing around in my head for quite some time, so it's time to begin playing with it using paint.

Acrylic, ~6x9", 50 min.

I've been going CRAZY, I haven't painted in weeks. Work, work, work, and the band has been busy... blah blah blah, excuses excuses!!!
So I got the brushes out and continued with the value scales, which is an important part of my ongoing study and growth... but I just need to paint ... some... THING!
I saw some great photos of sea turtles, and have had the urge to paint them lately. I love the warm, earthy colors of the shell against the turquoise water.
So I figured this would be a perfect subject for a quick painting study.

Acrylic, 8x10, ~45 min.
The main thing I was aiming for is delineating the light vs. dark shapes, and then a bit of color and form within those shapes.
I also wanted to see if I could convey the sense of buoyancy, floating just below the water's surface, while only using large brushes and abstract shapes.
This was fun! I'll do it again!

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