Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Art Store Demo Doughnut

Yeah, I even blog on my birthday. That is how devoted I am to shameless self promotion. Honestly, I have not been great about keeping up with the blog, but I am a year older, so lets see how things go blog wise this year.
I was asked a few months ago to do a demo in the local art store, Plaza Art Supplies. I like to demo, and while the painting that I do is generally not stellar, I do like to talk and discuss how and why I work the way I do. It was a fun experience and was attended by a great crowd of attentive and inquisitive art folk.

The still life was pretty simple- a few objects in front of white screen. I have said it many times in person, while teaching, on this blog and in my dreams that it is never a good idea to compose quickly and without thought. Showing up in a new location in front of crowd does not result in brilliant composition, but I thought I had some interesting things going on- like a glazed doughnut.  I did do some online research concerning the correct spelling of doughnut vs donut. Apparently both are acceptable, though donut is a more low brow spelling and also may result in free advertising of Dunkin Donuts- the McDonalds of doughnut shops.
I did pick up a Crispie Cream doughnut at the gas station on the way to the demo. It ended up being a nice "red" center of interest. Unfortunately I also go some terrible coffee to drink during the demo. Who would have thought gas station coffee would not be delicious.

Crappy 3 hour Demo Lay-In
This is the lay-in I had at the end of the 3 hour demo. Not my best. Again, I spent a lot of time trying to sound clever.
This canvas sat in my studio for a few weeks before I decided maybe I should try to finish this painting. I wanted to set it up in the studio, get a new doughnut and fix the composition. While I was using many of the same objects and table cloth, I was basically starting from scratch. Day two went better as I was not trying to be cute and clever to a crowd.
Here is the re-lay-in in the studio.
Day Two Lay-in in studio
Much better. The values were better due to the natural light and the design was a bit more interesting and clustered around a strong center.
After this first studio day I got busy with some other deadlines and was away for a bit. A week of studio heat and bugs necessitated me getting a new doughnut (Also just a good excuse to get doughnuts in general- I need doughnuts for Art!)

Day 3- Doughnut #3
I was not fond of how the table edge ended close to the lower left corner, so I painted the corner of the table in to keep the eye from running out of the picture. As you can see from the set up above, the corner was not actually in that spot, I just painted it where I wanted it. While I generally try to set up and paint exactly what I see, occasionally some 'artistic license' is needed.

Day 4
Day 4 my wife was complaining that the doughnut looked 'obscene'. Too many bites. I argued there was nothing obscene about biting doughnuts, but I did sort of get what she meant. I noticed that the two bites and the unbitten part were 3 equal, boring units. A weird series of equal sized shapes is never good in a painting. The doughnut also did not really have much of presence. Also, the sprinkle distribution was weak. It was a wimpy doughnut. The rest of the painting was coming into focus.
Time for More doughnuts!

Day 5- Doughnut # 4

Doughnut #4 from Graeter's was a winner. The icing was pink in areas and had a lot more sprinkles. I am hoping someone from Graeters sees this posts and gives me free stuff. The Doughnut was bigger and the color more exciting. I ignored the sprinkles at first trying to squint and paint the general look first.
I got to a point where I was not sure if I was done. I had my friend Carl Samson have a look and he smacked me around about there being too may sharp edges. He was very much on the money so I spent the day trying to get back to the 'big look', seeing the thing as a whole, rather than focusing in on ever edge, everywhere.
I also decided the view of doughnut was not quite right, as I wanted the doughnut hole to show more.
More doughnuts!
I bought a stand-in for the hole of the doughnut rather than changing it out. I just set it nearby and painted the hole of the new doughnut on the old one.

Below is the finished painting. The added bit of red and yellow to the center of the doughnut really helped. I tried to keep the sprinkles soft and not too strong. Only painting a few strongly towards the front.
I finished it fast enough this day to be able to eat the whole, hole stand-in doughnut.
This was an 8 day, 5 doughnut painting.

Doughnut and Coffee, 14x11, oil on linen, 2015

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fall Landscape Class- Needs more Red

If you have been thinking of taking some painting classes now is the time. Trust me you'll like it. Below is a description of the class, list of supplies and how to sign up.
Here is an example of what the class will not be.
Fall Landscape Painting Class
Saturdays, September 19th thru November 7, from 10 am to 1 pm.
Come enjoy the cooler weather and the fall colors.  With "Cincinnati's most charming painting teacher", we will meet at various  scenic parks around Cincinnati to learn to sketch and to paint with oils. Drawing on the ideas of impressionism, you will practice the techniques needed to complete painted sketches, including basic composition, value, pattern, color spotting, and covering the canvas. Then, building on those skills, you will complete a larger fully realized landscape painting that will capture the impression of light and color of the Cincinnati landscape. In case of rain, we will arrange in parks with overhead cover. Details and directions to the various locations will be given in class. No experience necessary. $199; supplies are the student’s responsibility. A list will be sent with your enrollment confirmation or see  Click here.
Location: First class will meet in my studio in Eden Park; then at various parks thereafter 
To register go to the following link and sign up now.