Red apple with red pot

Red apple with pot

Some practice using reds (terra rosa, cadmium, alizarin) with a full palette. First semester I painted the apple and pot together, but at the time it was a monochrome painting using only terra rosa, ivory black and titanium white. So I wanted to try it again with a full palette this time. I haven’t used ivory black in a long time. Something close to black is created by mixing ultramarine and brown madder (usually I use burnt umber), basically a dark blue and a dark brown.

I usually use bristle brushes in varying sizes as well as softer brushes for blending. This time I used some new brushes I grabbed at the store, nylon brights. In general I like the squarer shape of brights and the strokes they make on the canvas, but as expected these nylon brushes create much smoother, less expressive strokes. So I have mixed feelings about the result.

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Rainbow bunny with yellow cup

Rainbow bunny with yellow cup

I’m glad I decided to go for four a week instead of five. This gives me some breathing room since these take me awhile to do.

For some added inspiration here is Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest talk on TED. There are so many quotable quotes that I ended up printing the transcript and putting it up on my wall.

4 Vases

4 vases

It was a challenging semester and I was out of my comfort zone for most of it which is good (though it didn’t always feel that way) because I was pushed harder than I would have pushed myself and I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made and how much I’ve learned about portrait and figure drawing. I’ll be posting some of my work from the semester soon once I get organized and make some last minute adjustments.

Since I want to be a daily painter (realistically for me that means painting on weekdays about 4-5 small paintings a week), I’m going to use the break for practice and aim for about 3-4 small paintings of simple subjects/week. This should give me time to continue figure and portrait drawing practice and a chance to work on other projects.

Unfortunately I’m a little slow out the gate so this one took me a bit longer than a day to finish, but here’s the first one.

A wise old Greek philosopher once said, “We are what we repeatedly practice.” So with that in mind, it’s back to the easel with me.