Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Painting Angels and Slow, Slow Boats *Updated!

One thing I miss about college is the fact that the constant demands of various classes would force creativity. You were told to "create or die" in a sense. I feel that since I left the academic environment my endeavors of an artistic nature have taken a back seat to those more mundane. Recently, I've been trying to change that. Odd sometimes what sparks your initial creativity. I do a lot of illustrative work, some for business, some for pleasure, but I've let my skills in other areas wane. Painting and book arts in particular. This is the first thing I've painted in several months! Thanks to a creative mission sparked by my spectacular friend Mystic, I was inspired to return to the canvas. Today, it's somewhere on the F/V Wizard...after spending many long weeks on a slow boat (thanks parcel post!) up to Unalaksa/Dutch Harbor.

Due to a short time span to paint this particular painting, I used acrylics...I'm not as confident with them as with oils due to their quick drying time, but maybe that's good. Sometimes it's better to step into the unfamiliar than to continue to walk the well trod...oh gosh, cue Frost!

It felt good to break out the brushes again. There's something soothing about painting. Even when it frustrates the mess out of you, it's still better than a great many things.

I particularly liked working with this color scheme, verging on monochromatic for the most part. Blue is my favorite color, cerulean in particular and mixing and blending and discovering the various hues and values was exciting.

I started the painting with a yellow ochre outline as you can see in the outline of the Wizard. I personally find it easier to work with a guide than immediately begin applying paint...however, I often deviate from the guide. Also, you can see here where the sea is lacking in its white foam...which I was actually very timid about adding in the formative stages of its application.

I also employed a technique I'd never used before. (keep branching out!) A grisaille, is a gray underpainting that provides a tonal guide for the colored layers that consist of thin glazes of paint to create a transparent luminosity. It is especially useful when trying to paint skin tones.

Finally, I finished the painting off with a glaze to protect it and to restore the original sheen of the wet paint. After that, it was boxed, shipped and sent off with a wing and a prayer. It's no "high art" but it was an absolute delight to paint and the meaning behind it is heartfelt. I'd jokingly been promising Capt. Keith a painting for a cheer up the bathroom of the Wizard...the scariest place on turns out I actually painted something...but if it ends up in the head...well, your guess is as good as mine!


Turns out, it ended up in the office on the Wiz! I received this pic on Sat...put a big smile on my face! :) Thanks Capt!


Alaska Steve said...

Those are all my favorite colors - fantastic!

carrie. said...

I love her, and I'm so glad she finally made it!! That barge sure was a slow one, but she arrived just in time!

mamawas said...

How artistic and creative. Plus your excellent explanations are A+ from this teacher.. now how will our other teacher pal grade ?


carrie. said...

It really does look like it was made to fit right in that spot. I love it! :)