Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Car Show and Wine Festival - New Work

                     1954 MG TF Landscape  12 X 16 Colored Pencil on Ampersand Pastelboard

I finished this piece last Wednesday just in time to get it photographed, varnished and framed for our local British Car Club Car Show at New Kent Winery this past weekend.  We have and arts and craft area in which I show my art.  My husband and I are members of the club but currently our 1953 MG TD is in many parts and pieces as it undergoes a total renovation.  So until it's completely done and road worthy I draw other great cars from our club.  This one is our club president's car and it certainly is a beauty.  (our TD is much the same style)

Creating this work involved a few changes to the original photo so I thought I'd show you what I had to work from.  The day the photo was taken in Aug. 2011 was very sunny and a typical VA warm humid one.  The meeting was during the mid day when sun was not the best for photos.

I removed the large white tent behind the car on the right and added more of the vineyards like on the upper left.  I chose to create a more fall-ish coloring starting on the trees since our show is a fall show and also to add some warmth to all the greens in the reference.  The photo made the car look so much blacker of a green than it really is, due to the lighting on this day.  Working on the sanded surface helped me quickly create the gravel surface, by just skimming over the surface with Prismacolor sticks and using some stippling with CP's.  I went for a warmer gravel than in the photo to keep color harmony in my work.  Being a slave to the photo is not always a good thing, so remember to compose your piece to make a better painting than photo.   As you can see the sky was a complete wash out in the photo so I made this one up from all of my observations of skies and clouds.  Mental photographs are a great resource and you always have them in your head.  All you have to do is take the time to really see some of the great skies we take for granted.

The show was a great success with over 250 classic European cars.  And I made some great contacts for Car Portraits!  Which is really just a still life in a landscape.  Enjoy your colorful day and next on to a new piece from my Provence Trip.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Continuing the Backlit Series

                                                               Backlit Kiwi  6 X 12

Colored Pencil on Ampersand Pastelboard again, this is the same size as my Backlit Citrus piece and will be framed the same. (A black 2.5" frame with gold band on the inside)    The series will have one more this size in it, stay tuned for # 4 and one more in the 6 X 18 size #5.  The series will make their debut just in time for the fall art show season.   Although I have just finished 2 other works not in the series, and will post them soon, the sequels may get put on the back burner until I can get a few of my France trip pieces done in time for the group show.

So I'm off to finish spraying this with UV Varnish and then to frame.   
Enjoy your colorful day!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Provence Trip and a few Plein Airs finished

                                                   Lourmarin Plein Air Study 5 X 7

                                                   Roussillon Plein Air Study 5 X 7

Well finally I've scanned two of the Plein Air pieces done almost completely on site.  Both are on
Ampersand Pastelboard this first one on white and the 2nd one on the green pastelboard.  I prefer the white as the green or colors make bright whites a chore.   The Lourmarin turret turned into a home was completed with a underpainting of Watercolor Colored Pencils (Caran D'Ache) with layered  Premier Prismacolors completed on top.  Before starting the piece I photographed the scene and did a quick graphite study for composition purposes in my sketch book.   (I tried to scan it but the sketch doesn't want to show up well, sorry.)  I used the wc cp's to quickly tone the background area leaving the sky untouched.  When the wc cp was dry which happened quickly on site because of the dry warm day in July.  I then worked the sky.  Wanting to capture the atmosphere from morning haze still in the Luberon mountains behind.  Working small in Plein Air cp has become a must for my getting near completion in one day, but the sanded surface helps work much more quickly.

The Roussillon piece was started on a very windy morning sitting in the parking lot across from this hillside town.  Roussillon is where natural sienna pigments are found in the ground and the hues are amazing.  I did not do a composition sketch before starting this, nor did I do a WC CP underpainting, just straight Prismas onto the board.  Because this board was green to start with I mapped out a sketch with white cp lightly to build the drawing.  The day was so windy I had to leave halfway done and finish back at the hotel.  Building the colors due to the green Ampersand base coat, first with white.  Final finishing came when I came back to the states, but mainly tweaks and small details.  There was so much to get into this small 5 X 7, but the feeling of the village and it's colorful earth pigments is there. 

So there you have it, a recap of 2 of the pieces I did while on my France Plein Air Trip.  Colored pencil really is better thought of as a sketchbook media when on site.  But when you use a sanded surface, work small and use an underpainting of WC pencils things can move faster.  Perhaps not as fast as other media, but getting a saturated look is possible.  When wanting to work bigger I still use pastels, but  I do not love the mess I create nor are my pastel skills highly evolved.   And taking pastels on this long France trip would have meant more weight for my luggage.

Soon to post my Central VA British Car Show piece, just have to get it photographed.   Have a colorful Day!
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