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Updated 12/15/09

The Daily Paintings and Postcard-Sized Sketches in Oils and Acrylics

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June 2009

1 I'm still covering the canvas using only the cool colors--the whites you see are the canvas itself, which flies in the face of my normal procedure of toning the canvas. But since the source material is so harmonious and subtle in coloration, I wanted to use the whate canvas to "keep the sparkle" as I continue to develop the shapes.

Yes, not a BIT of warm in here yet, and the harmonies of color are really pleasant. I'm using the "Trifecta" of the sky trio with white to create all those areas of gray variations. All you Color Boot Camp Graduates will know those!

On the rest of the canvas, I'm just putting in the general shapes of the things--such as the grapes and the plate shadows. There is a bit of pure on the vase now, in the shadows on the left. Ultramarine and white. It looks so warm and advancing because with the Color System, if you use a cool color solo with just white added, and surround it with other cool mixes that have two or three others combined, there's an optical illusion created. That illusion makes the purer colors advance, and appear warmer. Can you see it?
2 Uh oh. Some times an artist forgets what they're doing, and I'm happy to report to you that this painting is becoming a great teaching example of that!

Those lovely grays are gone now, and I caught myself getting so enamored with the small white rose, that I forgot one of the things I stress with students, "Don't rush the focal point!" So although this painting has some good things going on with it, I have a feeling that it is going to undergo some major surgery shortly.

Hey, this happens to all of us. But most of 'em arteests aren't courageous (or stupid) enough to share the ones that aren't going so well with the general public. I've had an epiphany of knowledge that I'm a teacher first and an artist second, so I see the greater good in sharing ALL the issues with painting, and that includes problems. Since I took this last image, I've painted OUT the lower 2/3 of the canvas. Gone. "When in doubt, paint it out." So it goes. See, I, too, have to slap myself up side the head and put myself back on track. The painting will get much better because of it. After all, "it's just paint".
6

"When in doubt, paint it out," I said a few days ago. This 30 x 24 has been sitting on my easel since then, asking for attention. Today, after the workshop was over, I invited those interested to stick around and see how this would be changed. Most opted to continue painting after a great idea of pizza delivered to the door. They are dedicated!
So I redesigned the structure on this painting, now using the Golden Open acrylics instead of the traditional acrylics I started with. Fun, juicy and fast painting! Here I'm blocking in the lower half, and I glazed over a lot of the upper half with yellow ochre and gloss medium.

I redrew the plates and the vase larger and expanded the floral portion to more properly balance the composition. And just approached it as though it were differently composed in the first place. I like it better already!
8 As I continue to cover the canvas, I'm working on the lower 2/3, bringing the colors back with the new, hopefully more effective design. The flowers "grew", and the plates moved down and off a bit. Again, I've moved to the Open Acrylics by Golden, to give me some more working time to make decisions. Although I love my traditional acrylics, working on a larger canvas tends to make me hurry when I'm using them.
9 Now I'm so much more pleased with this one. It is coming along well, with glazing done with traditional gloss medium and colors from the Open Acrylics, blending and unifying the upper left corner, and defining the green plate. The red grapes went in very fast, and yet are not painted as individual grapes. I'll still add much more, and have put off adding the lavender leftmost plate. I need to pull the entire composition together before making this bold statement.
21 The still life is about as finished as it's going to be, seeing it now. It didn't take too much fiddle-arting around to get it to this stage with those open acrylics. I finished the "real" color note of that purple plate by breaking the Color System rules to get that luscious of a plate color--using the cools in the light. In man-made objects we can do that, and it creates a wondrous excitement in otherwise follow-the-rules paintings.

I've not done still life in a LONG time, and found it different from the old days. I think I need to do more, perhaps some smaller subjects, and revisit the onions and other fruits. It will come. I do love the energy of this painting in the brushwork.
29 Back into the oils for an 8 x 10 study of a red onion! I love making up the new pillboxes--my old ones were crusty and the lids finally cracked after being in and out of the freezer so many times. There is something very familiar and exciting about putting those Color System hues in their appropriate boxes.

This painting is VERY important to Color Boot Camp graduates, because it focuses so much on the "INHERENT COLOR" (You know who you are who have heard this from me!) The onion's inherent color is a cool red--alizarin, from the cool box. I could not switch completely to the warm red (cadmium red light) when my brushes came around to the lit side, so it "reads right" even on that lighter side, because I obeyed the rule of inherent color by influencing the dominant color of the object. I definitely influenced that light side with those warm box colors, though. This is a nice study, available through ebay. Just search for "Red Onion Oil Painting - Elin Pendleton 8 x 10". I've decided that listing the work when I post the email to all of you is a good time-saver. Here's the link if you want to get there quick!