Web Log and Painting Diary
Feisty Old Women
5-2-07: Feisty Old Women
I finally finished the painting. Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5-1-07: Feisty Old Women - this is the name for the painting. I'm not sure about the title for the book yet.
Today I worked on highlighting Renie and the still. Mostly I used cad yellow light and white. I used a little burnt sienna on the still. I added more white to Renie's hair and the gleam in their eyes.
4-28-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I continued to highlight the leaves - this time defining the edges and the veins with dirty white as suggested in the book Verna gave me. I used the small scriptliner brush and a #2 Creative Mark flat synthetic sable. After that I worked on the still, highlighting it. Mostly for the still I used a number 8 Creative Mark flat synthetic sable.
4-25-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I worked on the leaves again, adding layers. I'm having one heck of a time getting sharp edges. Then I worked on the shading of Annie's sweatshirt. I'm using a #2 flat synthetic sable brush for the leaves and #2 round brush for the lines in the leaves etc. I scumbled Annie's shirt with a #4 bristle brush.
4-24-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I worked more on the branches and the leaves, trying to highlight them. I'm having trouble with them. Not sure why - other than I'm trying to create them without anything really good to go by.
4-22-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I underpainted more branches and leaves. I'm having trouble with the shading on Renie's and Annie's clothes. I think it's because the paint is too thin. The paint I had laid out has dried some in the last month, so I had to add water and it made it the wrong consistency for scumbling in the shading.
4-21-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I extended Renie's shoulder, thinned down her neck and underpainted more branches. I also worked on Annie's sweatshirt.
3-25-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
Covered up the last of the dead limb and began repairing the colors around it, the background and Annie's sweatshirt.
3-21-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
Painted over the dead limb in the foreground. It didn't look good there.
3-03-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I added the undercoating and more leaves to the left side of the painting as well as defining the ones I did last week.
2-26-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
Today's painting session put an underpainting of needles on the evergreen trees and leaves on the twigs. I'm not sure that there are enough yet, but at least it's a start. I whittled back the twig beside Lottie's head - made it shorter. I'll have to put on another coat tomorrow to cover it completely.
2-25-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I added layers to the branches to make them three dimensional and then added underpainting for the needles on the trees. My main problem is I've forgotten how thin to make the paint. I'm wondering if the painting is too busy. Maybe I need to shorten some of the branches.
2-22-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I applied the underpainting for branches to frame the picture.
2-03-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I reshaped Ida's face. To give her a more distinctive chin, I widened her color on her right side. I was also adding various color combinations to try to give her more the skin of a red head, but I wasn't very successful. I also worked on shaping the leaves on Renie's top, adding edging and such lines.
1-30-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
Since the leaves on Renie's dress extended down further than I had anticipated, I extended her image down a little further, filling in around the leaves with the pinkish lavender color. I added yellow and white in combination to Annie's sweatshirt for shading and highlighting. I also worked on shaping and shading Lottie's and Ida's faces. The neatest thing was, as I was working on Ida and Lottie, I felt great love for them. Each one in turn seems to come to me, as though I am connecting with this person's spirit through the painting I'm doing of them. I experienced this also in earlier painting sessions with Renie. As I was painting Lottie tonight, I heard, "Come to us in the days ahead, and we will see you through." I feel better. They are with me. I am doing the right thing at the right time relative to writing about them and painting them while Mom is so ill. My grandma and two aunts are going to help me with this.
1-29-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
Using Hookers green and burnt umber I underpainted leaves on Renie's dress.
1-16-07: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I focused on the whiskey still, using burnt sienna, burnt umber, cadmium yellow light, Indian yellow, Paines grey and a little white. I worked on shaping the barrel of the still and re-added the tubing. I'm still experimenting to see how to achieve the effect of the tubing. I can't say it was a creative day. But it got me back into it - after a break to take care of Mom's stuff and overcome the depression and lethargy that goes with it.
12-28-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I felt very uninspired. Mostly I was painting to distract myself, so I worked on clothing. I added a little length to Annie's and Renie's tops. I also shaded the tops a bit. I worked on adding depth/dimension to Lottie's blouse. In addition, I highlighted Annie's face. Today's exercise was about adding depth with layering.
12-24-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
We didn't go to see Mom today, the high wind warnings were up again. When I looked at Renie's eyes, they were very wrong - not recessed enough. So I used a variation of lip color for shading, painting with a number of different types of small brushes to accomplish this. I also added a little more color to her top and Lottie's blouse, and worked on all the eyebrows. I thinned Lottie's eyebrows. Sometimes it seems I have to add stuff in, and then take out some of it to get it right.
12-23-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I found the picture of Dad and used it to shape Renie's face. The nose is better now. I'm not sure about the rest. I added more depth to the eyebrows, and made them look less plucked, since my old ladies did not pluck theirs. I even made Lottie's thicker, although I may thin them down again. She didn't have much for eyebrows. I kept reworking everything and getting frustrated. I remembered what Jerry Yarnell said, "Don't piddle, play or putter." Since that's what I was doing, I decided to stop for the night. Off to see Mom tomorrow, so no painting.
12-22-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I combined white and a smidgen of black and blue to create white for the hair. I added more layers, a hair at a time to Annie's, Ida's, but mostly Renie's hair. I also lowered her hairline, gave her a widow's peak and cut off part of her temple. I worked on her nose and some on her eye area, and some shading on her neck. Before I start painting on her again, I need to dig out the picture of Dad and see if I can go by it to create the aging look on her face and the shape of her nose, since they looked alike in at least some ways.
My major realization is that when I'm shaping a face, I need to paint like what I'm trying to create is already there. For example, if I'm working at deep-setting the eye area, I hold and move my brush and apply the paint in such a way that it goes on as though I'm actually painting on a sculpture - I "feel" the shape. I see the shape ahead of time, and each layer brings it closer. This is key to getting the shape right.
12-21-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
Each of the ladies got a little attention today. With Ida on her right side - the left as I look at her, her forehead bowed out a little too much, so I wiped part of it out with red. It will need another layer tomorrow. And I darkened her lips. All of the ladies had their lips defined a little more. With Lottie I darkened some of the shadowy creases on her face. With Annie I added more layering - more covering up of the underpainting all over her face - and added a lighter brown to her eyes, also shaped them better. I then added a lighter brown to Lottie's eyes. I lengthened and widened Renie's nose and made her eyelids sag a little to make her look older. On her left side - the right as I face her, the temple area needs more shading. It doesn't look like it curves enough.
12-20-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I managed to get myself back to painting today. Last week I was going through Mom's papers looking for long term care insurance. I've notice when I go for a while without painting, I am hesitant to start up again, almost like I'm afraid I will have forgotten how in the meantime. So today I worked on Ida's face and clothes, adding layers, dimension and form.
12-9-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I worked mostly on Lottie's face trying to get the eyes right. I also extended the lip on her right side. And I worked on her hair, trying to highlight it. I added color to Ida's eyes. With Renie, I added a little color to her eyes and outlined the irises. Mostly I worked on modifying the black lines I'd painted in. I scuffed over them with skin colors and added some lip color to the lines to reidentify them. I also added another layer of color to Annie's face and also modified the black lines I'd painted by scruffing over them with skin colors and then repainting in some of the lines with lip color. Not sure if my ladies are better or not.
12-7-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I worked on Lottie's face, widening out her right cheek a little, narrowing her eyes, and using a yellow base skin color to lighten the color of her skin.
12-05-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I decided it was time to give Lottie's face more definition. I reinforced the lip color and realized that the base color of the creases on the face would best be underpainted with that lip color - a combination of ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson and burnt sienna, making it darkish at first. It seems that if I don't use a dark color first, I have nothing to build from. From now on I think I'll use it for the lines and outlines on a face. I also discovered as I worked on her hair, that I needed to lighten the background behind her. It was sort of purplish red. So I made it more of an orange red. I added black swirls, brown and orangish brown to her hair. She's better, but I still can't get the subtle softness to her face. Of course it would help if I had a good color picture. But I don't.
11-23-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
Today I painted the second layer on Lottie's shirt and Ida's dress. Using a script brush I gave Renie's, Lottie's and Ida's hair a little more definition. I also wiped out Renie's fat lip and painted in new lips and added a little color and shape to Ida's lips. The color for lips is alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue and burnt sienna modified with white. And I added color to Ida's eyes. Trouble is that Ida now looks way too young, so I need to make her skin sag a bunch.
11-21-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I think I'll call my painting for the day serendipitous. I started by painting the second layer on all the women's hair - to make it lighter, leading to white hair. After that I decided to paint a little on Renie and Annie's clothes. Then I worked on Lottie, Renie and Annie's faces. I dabbed with this color and that color in various places. I used pale yellow, alizarin and burnt sienna mixed with white in various places as well as a little Payne's Gray to gray-out the colors at times. It's better. I love my old ladies now. They make me feel alive. I especially felt love for Lottie and Renie tonight - they are, after all, based on my Aunt Lottie and Grandma Renie. Grandma died when I was seven. Aunt Lottie died when I was 51.
11-20-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I added a second layer of paint to Renie's clothes and to Annie's clothes. Annie's the one with the yellow sweatshirt.
11-19-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I found a picture of another old woman and used the wrinkles on her face to go by to paint them in on Renie's face - she's the one whose face was blurred. In the photo I had of Renie she was probably about 60 - not old enough for all the wrinkles and lines I needed. With three of the women, the photos are in black and white.
11-18-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I underpainted my fourth old lady's face. One of the things this painting is teaching me is how different it is to paint a person's face when the background has variations in color. The overall background is red, but one part has an overlay of yellow. One part has an overlay of purple, another is quite red, etc. Therefore, painting the underlying colors for each face was a little different. If I'd known exactly how I was going to arrange the faces to start, it would have helped. I had an approximate idea, but not exact placement. First, I had to paint in the still and then arrange the faces around it.
11-17-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I underpainted the old ladies' clothes, their hair, and three of the four faces. Renie's face is the worst. The problems is that the original is so blurry. I'm going to have to find another picture to help guide me.
11-16-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I drew in the faces of my old ladies using a white charcoal pencil.
11-15-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
Using a # 4 flat synthetic sable brush and a script liner brush I underpainted the whiskey still. Given that the background is variations on shades of red and the still will be a copper color, I may need to add a little highlight color around the still - an aura.
11-13-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title
I drew in the whiskey still using white charcoal pencil.
11-07-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title.
Yesterday I gathered photographs for the old women on the book cover. They are ready for me to paint, although some of the photos are blurry and in black and white, so I will need to find other pictures to go by for coloring and details. Three of them are based on my family members, Aunt Lottie, Aunt Ida and Grandma Renie, as in the book.
The problem with painting, as well as my writing, at this time still revolves around Mom being so ill and in the nursing home, impending possible hassles in the settlement of her estate, and not knowing when someone will come at me again - in an unexpected way when I am at my worst. That happened a couple of months ago with two inconsiderate males. Sexism sucks. That and religious intolerance are two of the major reasons I stayed away from most of my family for years. I'd seen the way women were treated as I was growing up. Oh sure, the men in the family said they loved their wives, but they often negated that love by belittling what the women said and did, trying to put them in their place. I divorced two husbands for treating me that way. Phil is very different. He's loving and supportive and secure in who he is. He has no need to put me down, and in fact wants a self-actualized woman. Unfortunately, Mom's impending death and me being administrator of her final wishes requires that I have contact with those I avoided. I hadn't known the problem was still there - until recently.
So, as I walk the days ahead, always trying to do the best for Mom, I must be careful and this is wearing. Things will be as they will be, and hopefully some of the family males will grow up. Whatever they do, I will emerge stronger and better. Adversity always helps me grow.
11-02-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title.
I added another couple of layers of paint to make the background brighter.
11-01-06: Cover Art for my old lady book - unknown title.
Using Jerry Yarnell's hake brush I covered a fresh canvas in cadmium red - medium and light, orange, burnt sienna, dioxazine purple and Indian yellow. Usually with something like this I need two layers of background color. The first-time coat usually leaves some canvas showing through. Tomorrow I will see if I like the color combinations.
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