Thursday, January 22, 2009

Another painting completed....

   I have painted watercolors for many, many years. This year I switched to tempera paint and I'm loving it. Oh, I have always painted with tempera for stuff I've done for school and with the kids, so it's not new to me, but most of my personal paintings were watercolor. Below is a photo of me starting a painting of a fish  storefront in Portland, Maine. It is a site that has been photographed and painted thousands of times, but not by me....until now.
   You can see my little cups of tempera that I use and refill as needed. I work from photographs. Working plein air is fine for me now and then, but I prefer to work this way as I do not sit down and paint for hours at a time. It might be 45 minutes and then I walk away, and then painting something for 10 minutes and go and do something else. It's an inconsistent method, but it gets the job done.

Here's the painting with the top half done (the easy part !) 
The painting looks curved because it is. I am doing it on a piece of mat board I had and in the process of using anything wet, the cardboard curved up.

Finally finished. I was struck how differently I had to handle the top half of the painting from the bottom half. I used larger brushes for the top half, a 1/2 " flat brush and a #7 brush. The technique was rather loose. As I got down to the bottom, there was so much more detail that I worked mostly with the #7 brush and a #2 brush, especially for the words. I really wanted the words to be readable. 
The hardest part for me, when painting a painting that has shadows, is making the correct color for the shadows. You know the colors are the same colors as in the sunlight, just darker, but in the shade, you have to get the color made just right. I don't know if I can do that 100 percent yet. It's a struggle I have. But I think it came out OK.

Thanks for looking !  (you can click on the pics to enlarge them...)