Satin and Tennis Balls

Starting off the week with some real progress! I did an awesome afternoon stint of painting on Saturday after whittling away on this piece an hour or so a day for the prior week.

Models painting, in progress by Jess Lingley

Models painting, in progress by Jess Lingley

The ladies are are really starting to take shape! The skin looks pretty bad as I’ve only done one pass with color so far, but the dresses are looking better all the time. I’m especially pleased with the middle girl’s dress as it actually resembles a satin material (though it’s hard to tell from this cell phone photo, apologies). Painting shadows using complementary colors really helps make them pop, gives them depth. I fixed her shoe as well so the heel actually matches the toe. Once this dries, I’ll be going over the blue cloth parts some more with darker, richer hues and adding lighter hues to the pink at the bottom. I’ll also bring in some lighter skin tones on the girls and work on skin shadows/highlights. The eyes are really bugging me, but I don’t dare touch them until I’m happy with the skin, lest they become painted over.

Watercolor Fun

Watercolor Fun

Pop Art ideas

Pop Art ideas

After visiting the pop art exhibit downtown I decided to get a move-on towards a pop art piece of my own! I saw another painting, possibly during the road trip, that was a normal object made interesting through use of geometry and color. I’d like to combine these two ideas by painting a tennis ball in lots of psychedelic colors! My first thought would be to use acrylic since it dries quickly and easily provides thick bright pigments, but to make it more of a challenge, I’m going to do it with watercolors.

As you can see above, I don’t think I’ll have any trouble getting nice bright hues from them. This also gave me a chance to break out the water brushes I purchased on my trip. They require a light touch, but I like them a lot. They let you paint a larger area without having to dip your brush in water again and again, allowing for seamless blending. I’m still trying to iron out which color combinations I want to use, but I’m almost there. Then it’s onto a light but detailed graphite pencil drawing.

possible idea for wood panel

possible idea for wood panel

Yesterday morning I was struck with an idea for an original painting, so I sketched it out before I forgot it. This is a really rough drawing but I’m pleased with the composition and think it would be suitable for the wood panel I bought to paint on. I’ll need to do a more detailed drawing first though, especially where there are flowers and nature involved that I can’t just make up. Rather than drawing right on the wood and possibly dent it, I’d like to figure out how to transfer a graphite drawing on. I’ve heard it can be done with tracing paper…

So, three projects for me to work on! No excuse for slacking off now!

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Local Pop Art

Before my recent road trip I learned of a pop art exhibit opening at our local art museum: Hot Pop Soup.  It’s on until June 10th and if you’re in the Fredericton NB area, I strongly recommend you check it out!

I’m starting to think that rainy days are some of the best days to visit galleries. When you enter the gallery from the grey skies and cold rain, the paintings seem even more alive and colorful than usual. On the day I went to see this exhibit I was in a poor mood and feeling down on myself. When I entered the gallery and saw the first painting, I was immediately uplifted and smiling.

Beaverbook doesn’t allow photography as a rule, but I can show you a few pieces from some of the artists in the exhibit that I’ve scoured from around the internet. These photos a) aren’t my own and are sourced as such, and b) are not the exact paintings you will find in the gallery. You’ll have to visit in person for those. That being said, here are a few of the featured artists in this exhibit:

LITTLE DANCING SUPERHEROES  by Alexandrya Eaton acrylic on canvas 24 x 24 in. unframed (via Gallery 78)

LITTLE DANCING SUPERHEROES by Alexandrya Eaton acrylic on canvas 24 x 24 in. unframed (via Gallery 78)

WOMAN ON THE EDGE by Alexandrya Eaton, acrylic on canvas 36 x 36 in. framed dimension: 38 x 38 in. (via Gallery 78)

WOMAN ON THE EDGE by Alexandrya Eaton, acrylic on canvas 36 x 36 in. framed dimension: 38 x 38 in. (via Gallery 78)

I really enjoyed Alexandrya Eaton‘s paintings because of the repetition of the subject, something I’m sure was inspired by Andy Warhol. Having a subject repeated using different palettes forces the viewer to see the subject in a different light, in a different way. Having some of the repetitions overlap creates a sort of optical-illusion effect. Seeing pop art like this brings a few questions to mind: how did she choose which figures overlapped? How did she choose colors, and how to color them, and even what kind of texture?

The Crimson Canoess by Peter Manchester

The Crimson Canoess by Peter Manchester

The smile on my face continued as I browsed Peter Manchester‘s paintings. He combines soft realism in seemingly calm backdrops with completely absurd situations and subjects, aliens and sci-fi being quite popular. His images have the campy fun vibe of old sci-fi movie posters and describe amazing stories about their subjects. His works are extremely enjoyable as you try to piece together what’s happening, and what’s real versus what’s not.

by Jean Rooney (via Artists Wanted)

by Jean Rooney (via Artists Wanted)

Jean Rooney‘s piece in the gallery is absolutely huge! I love seeing works that span multiple canvases, wall to wall. The image above is only a fraction of the entire painting. Upon seeing it, I was hit by a wall of nostalgia. Growing up in the 90’s means the neon colors and cassette tapes resonate with me; they brought me back to simpler days, walking to school with the tape-of-the-moment in my walkman (Weird Al’s Allapalooza and Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill, if I remember correctly.) Her works as a whole are extremely bright and demand to be noticed, whether they’re funky portraits or rolling landscapes. Shapes and patterns pop out at you, weaving different parts of the painting together in a surreal way. Work of this nature begs a closer look to take in the wonderful hues and imagery. Some of her other works are available online.

Novella   oil on canvas   24"x30" (by Cliff Turner)

Novella oil on canvas 24″x30″ (by Cliff Turner)

by Cliff Turner

by Cliff Turner

My readers may have seen me mention Cliff Turner before and will know that I’m already a fan, so seeing his name on the list of artists for this exhibit really sealed the deal. His pop art paintings (some from Technicolor) evoke different feelings in different people. Some of us get nostalgic about certain kinds of food, some of us with color palettes, some of us with cartoons. Because his paintings involve so much different subject matter, there is something for everyone to focus on. It sort of feels like what you’d get flipping through a magazine in the 70’s, all captured on a single canvas. His stunning realism continues to impress and looks especially good on the larger canvases in the exhibit.

Seriously, go check out this exhibit if you can! There is so much more there than I could describe in my tiny pokey ol’ blog here.

Though I don’t have a progress post today, there will likely be one next week. After seeing this exhibit I finally decided to start a pop-art piece of my own, an idea I’d been toying with for awhile. This will give me something to work on in between layers of the large oil painting I’m working on.

Have a great weekend guys, HAPPY JUNE!

Books, Spoons and Barbies

Assess Your Personality by Jess Naish Lingley

Assess Your Personality by Jess Naish Lingley

I wanted to get a better photo of this to post but since Tim’s got dibs on the camera for the weekend, this will have to do for now. I’m just glad it’s finally finished! I was finally able to dismantle the still life setup and put all the books away; my studio feels so much larger now. This still life was a great study in perspective and text, especially on drawing things as they are and not how you expect them to be.

I showed my uncle a progress photo while I was visiting last weekend and he asked me if I turned the canvas upside down to draw the text on the bottom (501 cocktails). The only reason I would do this would be to avoid pushing my palm up against a wet section of the painting. Our eyes and brain tend to auto-complete things for us. Most of the time, we can read text that’s upside down or sideways and even when it’s faded out because we know what it’s supposed to look like. I tried as much as possible to paint the text exactly as I saw it, as if it were symbols or something that I didn’t have to read, rather than trying to re-create what I thought it should look like.

Ice Cream Scoop Warhol Style

Ice Cream Scoop Warhol Style

Messing around in Photoshop is fun! After doing his photo of the day a few nights ago, Tim asked me to rearrange a few different colored versions in a Warhol-style frame. Since he supplied me with the photos, all I had to do was line them up on a new canvas. Not very difficult, but a good exercise in Photoshop layer/ruler skills.

Barbie as Famous Works of Art by Jocelyne Grivaud

Barbie as Famous Works of Art by Jocelyne Grivaud (via Beautiful Decay)

Something fun for Friday; Jocelyne Grivaud has remade several works of art using Barbie, whether through photography or painting. The result is a nice contrast between styles. Some works are very similiar but in others the tone is completely different. For example, with the Mona Lisa version the barbied-image is a stark contrast to the original in several ways. Mona Lisa is beautiful, but she’s not a model and she’s not smiling with teeth, things that that the Barbie version makes very obvious. I especially like the Picasso-Barbie painting, in a world all its own.

If you’re in the Maritimes braving the snow, keep safe! Hope everyone has a great weekend, snow or not. 🙂