Friday, May 6, 2011

Faces In My Palette

I use disposable paper palettes for my oil painting and though I look at them before I toss them out, I have never had cause to keep any of them before. I was transferring my wet, useable paint from an old sheet to a new one when I saw a face in one of the leftover paint stains! It only needed one more eye and a little shading to add emphasis but it was otherwise there - a green Hobbes-like cat face! Fun! So I checked out all the other stains and found this sheet had several.

What is odd is that I've looked over all my sheets closely for faces since then but none of them have such obvious characters living within. Hmm.

Click to see larger

Oils on palette paper, 2011.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Abandoned - blocking

Oils on illustration board, blocking stage.

So I thought I'd block in all three pieces at the same time so they'd be more unified in their color palettes. It's pretty much working though it has taken one weekend apiece to block each one in. Normally I sketch on my canvas in Sharpie so that I can then quickly stain the canvas and not lose my lines. But since I've switched to illustration board, the paint soaks in past the Sharpie, leaving the ink lines on the surface. This means I need a lot more paint to cover up the lines. While this could be used to good effect, its not the look I was going for so this time I sketched in pencil. But I forgot how badly pencil smears and I didn't want to lose my lines. Being the detail control freak that I can be, I skipped the staining phase and went for a more tedious route in blocking. *headeasel*

I have nicknames for them: Lever Face, Painters Thinner, and Atlas Gauges, appearing below in that order. It is also the order I blocked them in. Right now I am really liking Lever Face; I think it is interesting and has good contrast. Painters Thinner will require more subtle lighting to make it work. Atlas Gauges is based on my favorite photo of the batch and it is interesting for me to find and draw out the colors that were hidden in the photograph.

Atlas Gauges isn't fully blocked in because the paint I had leftover wasn't what I needed for the large areas. The colors ARE what I need for some of the detailed areas so I started doing some of the details ahead of myself. We'll see if that gets me into trouble down the line.

Click to see them larger.

When painting rust or flaking paint, I block in the color that is physically underneath. So for the rusted dial or the can of painter's thinner, that would be the rust color. Later I'll scrape over it with a palette knife loaded with white paint to put the flaking paint "back on" there.