I am excited to announce my artworks featured in curated collection on UGallery. Click the button above to check out my eternal flowers collection of blooming Lilies for purchase on UGallery.
I loved the way these yellow roses appeared just before reaching their fullest glory in bloom. They have a vibrant, young quality about them and the golden, warm light of sunset illuminating this bouquet was beautiful. The yellows were intensified by the warm light, but remained subtle. The light helped to shift the shadows towards warmth. Working from direct observation, I needed to capture my vision for this painting rapidly. I created the drawing for this painting in a single session. The painting was created in two sessions and the method of painting leans towards alla prima. Alla prima is a method of painting using a wet-on-wet technique, where the paint application is direct and brushwork more painterly. Works are generally started and finished in a single session.
The Golden Hour is currently for sale on UGallery.com. Click here to view.
When I think of cool colors I see blue, green, and violet: water, the ocean and things that are cool to the touch.Thinking of warmth, I see reds, oranges and yellows: fire, things that are warm to the touch. I would guess this association is common among most humans.
Identifying warm and cool colors and seeing the difference between this distinction is not always evident when choosing and mixing colors for painting. Artists are faced with an array of tube colors, in warm and cool varieties that circle the spectrum. Adding to this choice, we must identify the light’s temperature that illuminates our subject, and hone in on the subtleties presented.
Think about an object and it’s color at dawn, midday or dusk, or the light in a candle-lit room, or even the night lit by moonlight. In every situation, the temperature of the light (warm or cool) affects the color of the object in view. As if identifying the temperature of light seems complicated, artists need to take into consideration the local color of the object/subject in question. Local color is the color we perceive the subjects to be: a yellow banana, a red apple, a blue sky, and so on.
Choosing colors for a painting is like a math equation, using color instead of numbers. We interpret the local color, add the temperature of light, mix the two together for a pleasing outcome. This process is repeated for each light, mid-tone and dark of any given subject. Summed up, the final color presented is the artist’s interpretation in response to what’s placed before their eyes in a complicated mix to achieve believability.
Ask yourself: how many minutes do I spend looking at a subject when taking a photo (non-photographers)? Does this time depend on the shutter speed of the camera? Do you just snap and walk away? Do you snap, look, delete and try again...are you scanning only the surface?
Cameras stop action for a second and record it as a small moment in the long life of the chosen subject (running, jumping, water waves, etc.). Drawing living things from direct observation records the life of the subject over a longer time frame, capturing the life of the subject.
When an artist draws from direct observation, their eyes scan every single detail and centimeter of their chosen subject. Painting is a time consuming endeavor, and drawing is even more so. The artist devotes several hours to the drawing process and focuses on the subject for several days in order to achieve their desired result. Proportional mistakes are evident in a painting when the drawing hasn’t been resolved completely.
In my experience, I have come to these conclusions about drawing from life:
Imagine honing the skills of observation in everyday life. What would improve in our lives with a keen eye for detail and observation?
I believe there are so many benefits from drawing from life, both art and non-art related. My drawing students are warned prior to completing a drawing class: you will begin to notice things you haven’t noticed before, not just value or composition, but observation and improvement in other areas. Focus improves. Decision making improves. Observation improves. Carefulness and Intentionality improves. Creativity improves and informs problem solving.
If you are interested in learning the skill of drawing, my drawing class is offered entirely online, learn at your convenience! Contact me for more details.
I must be fascinated by challenges. I enjoy drawing from life, but creating artwork from living, organic things can be intimidating. When I chose the subject of flowers to grow my skills, all I really wanted was to have a new and beautiful subject to draw everyday, and to enhance my daily routine. Those that have the experience of drawing from life will assure you that the longest, most time consuming piece of the observational drawing and painting process, is the drawing. The drawing is the map for the painting, which helps with the interpretation of the subject during the painting process.
A quick glance at a bouquet of flowers is not threatening, but the first few days of my experiment, I started feeling the constraints of time. There is an intense pressure involved in trying to capture the likeness of something that is only alive for a week. Before my subject becomes lifeless, there are several things I must achieve: finish the drawing, grab enough details from the subject to accurately inform a painting, and finally complete a painting that conveys vibrancy. This is so challenging when not relying on a photograph for cues.
This drawing of Tulips shows days 6-7 of life. I was unable to draw the subject entirely alive, because on day 8, the stems fell heavy, and the petals gave way to the pull of gravity. I think the absence of the tulip blooms in the drawing adds a bit of mystery and narrates fully the constraints of time.
….inspired by Manet's flower paintings, who in his dying days was greeted by artist friends bearing floral gifts. What did he do in those last days?....Painted the flowers, of course. Gloomy, maybe. Flower bouquets make very suitable subjects: flowers don't get tired, only thirsty, do not move or require a break, flower varieties are endless, and the bouquets are always a challenge to draw and paint from life.
....I am rediscovering the art of drawing and painting from life-observation only-no cameras. I relied heavily on the crutch of photography for a while. Now, I use a home-made plumb line (2 washers and a string), a bamboo skewer (unused of course) and a few rulers (because I love straight lines). I have the pride of creating artwork made by my eyes, hands and head without the translation of a camera lens or sensor. I guess I just needed to prove to myself that the skills I worked to achieve during my University days were not lost to the past.