At todays meeting Loretta, Khanh, Tim, Kathy, Carol, Mary McNeil (new), Judith, Dan, Annie, Tom, Mike, Eunice, Ward, Tracie, Elo, Thomas, Sharon and me Celeste.
Today’s suggested table topic blocking in and/or underpainting do you have a method --what can you tell us about it?
Celeste: I took a workshop from someone who recommended not drawing in or blocking in with earthtones because (in his opinion) earthtones will kill and contaminate pretty color. Recently Tedd Chilless told me about someone he met who recommended drawing in with yellow ochre. I have tried recently to use an underpainting of yellow and magenta. Richard Schmid likes to use as little drawing and underpainting as possible. I am showing two recent paintings.
Eunice: In the studio I do a block in and let it dry. I have four or five things going on today.
Mike: I have returned from a trip from overseas. When I first saw the topic today I got hurt feelings! This is an oil painter subject! (Laughter)! Yes well I did think about it anyway and I would say that the watercolorist approach is to use a light pencil first. I have taken classes with Steve Kleier and he has kind of an underpainting. He may look at the reference and decide to put in a wash all over of raw sienna. That may be the way a watercolorist would approach “blocking in”.
Tom: Recently I have decided to tone my canvas with a light green. I sketched over it with a darker green. I am showing two recent paintings. With this one I have gone “full impressionist.” Even the frame I chose for it has a have an “impressionist” quality. Last weekend I painted this painting with this fence. I could see the West Hills in the background, but as I painted the trees got taller and taller until the West Hills weren’t there. (Laughter)!
Annie: I saw what this topic was ahead of time, so I purposefully did some underpaintings. Thanks to Tim I have gotten to see the Quang Ho DVDs. I really recommend them. Qiang Ho explains things very well and I find him to be very inspiring. He talks about how you should make sure you get the shapes that you see and like. Then you have an anchor. I painted my underpaintings of apples in a tree. When you paint out in the bright sunlight and you bring it inside -- things look a lot darker!
Ward: if I were to do an autobiography I would title it “The accidental underpainter”. (Laughter!) I spent some painting time with my teacher. It was during this time that I was introduced to the product Brusho. Brush is an ink based crystal powder. When you drop Brusho onto your paper there is much about it that cannot be controlled (but that is the exciting thing). Brusho creates a kaleidoscope of color but then I unify the image by finding values and shapes that made sense. I am showing you an example of that in this painting (of turtles). I have been painting plein air -- it is really out of my comfort zone. I like hot press for the watercolor. I am showing also a recent plein air painting that I did in Hillsdale.
Tracie: In the past I have worked mostly in acrylic. I have started working in oil. As an acrylic painter I have always liked working from dark out. I like to start in the shadows and work out toward the light. I have enjoyed the darker (sometimes black) and purple type grounds. In this painting (from the plein air paint out last week) I started with a white support. Oil is new to me… I’ll keep experimenting!
Elo: An artist I knew recommended toning with yellow. But I am not so sure that the yellow tone is for me….it threw everything off as far as I was concerned. I am an acrylic painter and my approach is a little like a watercolorist. I am showing last weeks plein air painting of Renner’s restaurant and also a painting of some flowers in honor of my Mother-in-Law’s 102nd birthday!
Judith: I wanted to start today by telling you all that I attended Ward’s drop in class. Ward is a very warm person -- he is in class just as he is here … vibrant and pleasant.—I enjoyed the class a lot and learned some new things-- But enough about you Ward! (Laughter)! Plein air scares me (laughter)! am showing a plein air painting that I did across the street from the Cracker Barrel on Sauvie island. I am also showing what I consider to be a underpainting of a condor. I will paint on this some more..I will glaze it.
Mary: (new, Welcome, Mary) I have toned in yellow. I also am somewhat familiar with a system of underpainting in different colors and then painting over that with complimentary colors. I usually exercise on Thursdays but I gave it up to come here today (Applause)! I am showing two recent paintings.
Carol: As a general rule I tone with transparent red oxide. Susan Diehl recommends before you begin that you ask yourself.. “What is the color of the day”? That is how you take your cue. When I begin the painting I generally put in the darks transparently. I am showing you a painting that I did at the Lake Oswego plein air event. This color in the background seemed to be a "screaming" green. I knew enough to tone with a bright yellow because how else was I going to be able to achieve that super bright green? I am also showing another plein air painting from Lake Oswego event.
Kathy: Recently I've gotten into pastels --I took a class with Brenda Boylan. I love how she uses rich liquid colors as an underpainting to her pastels. There are beautiful vibrations that occur because of the underpainting and the color that goes on over it. I am showing two mandalas. I did these in watercolor to test out colors to see how one color affects the relationship to the color next to it.
Thomas: If you don't have a good start you will spend the whole time you are painting trying to salvage something from a poor start. There are different ways to block in. There is contour with line. There is monochromatic where an underpainting can be very complete…almost a fully realized painting. There is color underpainting where things are put in that are very close to the color of what they will be in the finish. All styles are suitable, but keep everything thin. It is also important that you pay attention to the temperature. You can put things in as they are or you can put in the complement of the temperature. (In an “inversion” way). Most people do start with a mid range in value. If you begin with all the mid values you’ll have a reference point to what is the lightest light./darkest dark. I have a recommendation also that you put paint in-to and not up-to. Always paint over something a little bit and that way you can avoid that cut out look. I am showing a painting that I did recently. You can see that the top part of the painting is light and the bottom part is darker. Planned from the start.
Tim: Aaaand once again I have to follow Kitts! (Laughter)! I block in with color. I have toned with orange and green. I call this painting Tim land. It is because it is completely from my memory. There’s no place like this, but you should visit it anyway (laughter)!
Khanh: I paint mostly at 3 o'clock in the morning (laughter)! My concern is mostly about space. I paint mostly figure so my concern always has to do with making sure the colors are right and that everything is in the right space. What I am doing is a lot like sculpting. I put the paint on and I push it into the right shapes. I will change things and do things differently because I will get bored doing things the same all the time. When I paint bigger I "fight" with the painting and I’ll scrape things off. Scraping helps me because the image is still there and the texture helps the next layer. I’m showing three recent paintings.
Loretta: I was taught to put on a wash of color with turpentine so that the succeeding layers would have something to grab onto. As my concerns for breathing turpentine have increased I have stopped doing that but maybe I should go back to it -- I remember it was effective.
Sharon: I have recently taken our workshop with Colley Whisson and he taught us that the cooler and lighter colors are in the background and the warmer and brighter colors are in the foreground. He had us blocking in with this in mind. This seems of course logical and simplistic, but I had to be reminded of it. I am showing two recent paintings.
Thomas adds: “There is no one way to do an under painting. There is a term called “premier coup” which means “first strike”. You should just explore them all.
AIS at the Howard Mandeville (Za, Thomas, Eric J, Ramona Y, Ned M and others):
First Friday, October 7 at Brian Marki 5 to 8 Thomas Kitts reception for Beauty, Pleasure and the Forces of Nature
First Friday, October 7 Vicki Zimmerman and Stephanie Cissna at Medley Tea
Portland Open Studios Two weekends beginning Oct 8
Beaverton art mix Oct 6-9
The Art mix will host a quick draw (register here)
Kathy Johnson has paintings at the West Linn Church in October
Thomas Kitts has a workshop in San Miguel Feb 2017
Brenda Boylan is participating in Laguna Beach plein and has an article in Southwest art magazine
Thomas Kitts and Eric Jacobsen and Mitch Baird will be at Cape Anne at this inaugural plein air event Oct 2017
Did you miss the Strada easel challenge? There is another new 30 day challenge Paint every day in from October 1 to October 31 to be eligible for a gift certificate from Muse art supplies. Join the Facebook group by Saturday
Joanne Radmilovich Kollman will give a demonstration next Thursday, October 6 at Oregon society of artists. The topic for her demo will be what the topic was today ---starting a large painting and blocking in. (come early for a critique 6pm, demo begins at 7)
Pleasant painting at Sauvie island is up to you this week as Joanne is away. Just connect with each other if you want to paint Saturday or Sunday at Sauvie island
OSA classes (Ward, Susan, Brenda, Joanne etal):
Annie adds that she went to Jerry Dickason’s open house last week at the Falcon art studios. It reminded her how much how wonderful our community is --she recommends that you get out to visit other artists when you can. It is worth it.
Next meeting October 6 suggested table topic: “Paint what you see, not what you know”…what does this axiom mean to you and do you have any good tips and suggestions for “overriding” the brain when needed?