Bird & Sunrise photo

Bird & Sunrise photo
Because "someday" is today!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Trying to Capture a Mermaid

5"x 7" oil on "Gessobord" copyright 2012 Tina M. Welter
"Mermaid" 5"x 7"oil on "Gessobord" c. 2012 TMW
 I optimistically thought it would only take me a week to finish my second attempt at the Mermaid.  She wasn't so easy to catch.

 After looking at the palette choices for the first painting, I felt the ultramarine blue was just too cold.  I did some more exploring and mixing and found that the manganese blue mixed with yellow ocher made the nicest warm green I was looking for.  You  can see the new palette with my favorite mixes circled.  That was the fun easy part.

Manganese blue, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre & Alizarin Crimson
Burnt Sienna, Manganese Blue, Yellow Ochre & Alizarin Crimson.
I really struggled with getting the balance of the colors on the Mermaid and the background and the face in the shadows to all work together.  I repainted things several times, lots of layers.  Something that looked good one day didn't the next.  Also my lack of experience with painting people, I redid eyes and lips, I don't know how many times.  I wanted her to look more alive than the original statue, but also still otherworldly.

 Overall, I think the painting works and I am ready to call it a tie.  I agree with the old sailors, beware of mermaids, they are tricky creatures!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Try and Try Again

First color choices.
First palette color choices for "Mermaid"
I decided to focus on the wonderful sculpture that is everywhere here in Vienna as my next painting subjects. After painting my self-portrait, I realized I could use some time on the human figure. I tend to avoid painting people, but I think it is time I face some of that fear. At least sculptures can sit for you for hours.

My first subject that interested me was a fountain I took a picture of at night. Challenging to paint the human face with the light source coming from beneath it, but I liked the eerie, unusual feeling that I think is appropriate for a mermaid.

Vertical 7" x 5" oil on "Gessobord" copyright 2012 Tina M. Welter
"Mermaid" first try...
My first attempt was pretty good on color and light, but I didn't like the composition. Too much dark, empty space on the bottom of the painting. I realized after I got the basic color in place that I was going to have to start over again. Sigh. I am glad that the second try as a horizontal painting already looks better, even in the grey under-painting stage. Now, if I can keep from getting too "busy" with the background...continued next week.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Seven Swans a Swimming...

5"x 7" oil on "Gessobord" copyright 2012 Tina M. Welter
"Encounter" 5"x 7" oil on "Gessobord" c. 2012 TMW
This view only shows the central portion built in 1675.

The swans love to swim here.I have reached my goal of six swan paintings, plus one! I am pleased to have succeeded and I feel like the paintings have been improving each time.

My favorite part of this painting is the interaction between the swans. Relationships keep life interesting, happy and sometimes frustrating.

I feel that way with painting. I used the same palette choices as "Island of Calm", but this painting still has it's own unique look. Part of the fear and fun of painting is not knowing exactly what the result of your choices will be. It does take determination to keep moving forward when a painting appears to be a failure. I don't like that part, but like any relationship, I try to trust that it is just part of the growing process.