I swear to you that I am not crazy – I’m just at a serious stand-still when it comes to my art! I need a decisive kick in the pants, so against my better judgement, I’ve decided to participate in Leslie Saeta’s “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge!
I’m just kidding – cranking out a painting a day is actually a really good idea. I did that for a week last winter and I ended up learning so much (and bonus! I had 5 beautiful landscape paintings by the end of it). I talk a big talk about how I want to be a serious artist, but that’s never going to happen if I can’t even decide on what I want to paint, or if I lack the skills to get those paintings onto canvas. Thirty days of face studies should not only bring my skill level up to something acceptable, but also help me to determine if painting the figure is what I want to focus on at all.
Every now and then, I like to get back to basics and do a proper study. Since most of the paintings that I have planned center on portraits of women wearing late 60’s – early 70’s clothing, an image from my copy of La Fileuse (a French knitting pattern catalog) from 1968 was a good place to start.
Being a sucker for punishment, I also decided to use only white and Phthalo Blue (“the priceless troublemaker”, as Carol Marine would say). Here’s what I learned from this particular experience:
I’m pretty happy with the results, but I have to say: Carol Marine was right about Phthalo Blue. Even the tiniest drop will have far-reaching consequences. Use with caution!
Along those lines, no amount of white on top of Phthalo Blue will be nice and bright. Best to use a light touch.
Because I wanted crisp lines along the edges of the painting, I applied a light coat of matte medium along the edge of the artists’ tape. The paint didn’t bleed, but it did form a kind of “shelf”.
Also, when you look at the painting from the side, there’s a slight difference in sheen where I applied the medium, and where I didn’t. I’m pretty sure that can be solved by applying a varnish all over, but that reminds me that…
… I forgot to varnish the painting before removing the tape. Oops.