Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Thanks to Susan!


It has been... 6 years? I think that is correct? Who cares!

Thanks to Monet Cafe with Susan Jenkins  and her wonderful paintings and abilities; to inspire me back into the fold, I have given pastels another try.  Here are the four stages I performed to get the painting some-what believable:


Stage 1, Block In
Stage 2, Alcohol applied
Stage 3, First pass
Tweaked 9x12 on UART 400 using Sennilier soft pastels

It's a start; I think? Do I have a chance to hop back in? Painter's paint and whiner's whine!


Friday, June 23, 2017

June 2017 Landscape Challenge


I created this image using a photo from the June WetCanvas.com Landscape challenge.  I enjoyed this painting! It's fun to review my work to others. Not to compare but to observe different styles and ideas related to the same images. Here is a link to the Wet Canvas pages: June 2017 Landscape Challenge

ArtRage 5.0.4

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Deltaville Virginia


A sleepy little town with a sleepy little dock in the sunset. I was at a friend's house last weekend before I flew back to Reno. This photo and painting are a snap shot of that evening. We had a wonderful evening. It was great seeing the waterway of the Rappahannock River mouth to the Atlantic Ocean. There weren't any clouds but this shot still came out okay I think.
Deltaville Virginia
ArtRage 5.0.4, Custom Brush

I hope you like it!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Real Water Color


I gave the Peter Sheeler school of technology a try. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would give it a five. But what can I expect for a first try?  Wrong tools, wrong colors, and I just didn't care! Crank it out and see what happens. Nancy said "Maybe watercolors are your style of painting?" I'm not so sure but maybe it is? Time will tell.  Here you go:


Water Color Farm House
AquaFine paints (Brunt Sienna, Virdian, Ultra Marine, Crimeson Lake)
Canson Watercolor Paper, 5 x 7

Monday, May 22, 2017

Painterly with Realism...


The two techniques can live together. I painted this one from a copyright free image I found on Google. It spoke to me. The painting is very close to the photo but only painting can give you those painterly paint strokes. Here it is:



I did not do any post processing on the image since I don't have the time right now. I started it last night and finished it this afternoon.

I painted this entirely using the Custom Brush: Square Canvas #2 and an ink pen for the tree limbs in ArtRage 5. The Square Canvas #2 brush is really wonderful. It blends, has brush strokes, is great at all sizes and just works!

I hope you like this one since it was fun to paint. Thanks again Daniel!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Thank you Daniel!


Artwork mimicked from Daniel Ibanez's YouTube channel. Thank you Daniel! I know you are going to be posting a YouTube video on how to paint in a painterly fashion and I look forward to it. I re-watched every step of the video you posted and noted every brushes settings. The biggest thing I took from the video was that the brush size was very large. Much larger than I would normally do. Ever!

I did some reading over at WetCanvas and searched for "painterly" and one of the posters mentioned holding the brush at the end and to use a much larger brush than you normally would. This helps the painter paint with a gentle touch and in an abstract fashion.

Enough gibberish on my part. Here is my quick rendition of Daniels painting. All done in ArtRage, no Photoshop:

Thanks again Daniel! By the way, I own two Ibanez guitars! I have been playing Ibanez guitars since 1974.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Painting #30


I think I'm getting better?

Earlier this week I went through all of my photos looking for paintings I have painted. Twenty Nine? No way. And now this one. Number Thirty. Where is this leading me? My first painting was painted on January 4th, 2014. That is 1,224 days ago. So in 1,224 days I have painted thirty paintings. "Huh". That represents one painting every 41 days.

Should I paint more? Considering that, in that amount of time I have been actively painting for a total of thirty days. That's another "huh" moment.

I finished the latest painting, and I had such high hopes. Looking at it now after it has marinated a bit today it's just okay. I really hope I get to the point I am really as proud of my paintings as I want to be. But, yet, that time has not arrived for me.

I learned volumes with this painting and that is what every good artist must do. Learn for the future.


Blue Beach


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

It's coming along...


The result of working on the "cloud" I think has paid off! It is not 100% to my liking but it is time to move on. This painting is taking longer than I expected. And, it is becoming to realistic and not painterly enough.

While watching Daniels painting of his wife, at the end he cleans up the painting by making some larger strokes that are in a painterly fashion. This gives his final output the look of a real oil painting that I think works nicely. Now with this painting I think I am going to stumble. This image will not lend itself to being painterly due to its size and scope as an image. To much detail will be lost unless I paint the crap out of it at the end and add thousands of painterly/impressionistic strokes. I'm not sure where it is headed and I am backing off painting for the moment. I'm not feeling it. Here it is at the moment:


Not bad when I am looking at it this morning for the first time! Nothing jumps out at me that is wrong. I won't give up then!


Monday, May 8, 2017

How am I going to fix this one?


I started another beach painting and I have made a few mistakes. And, I think I know where I have gone wrong. I re-watched some of Daniel's videos and he is doing it correctly. He only uses one layer, he is keeping it painterly, and paints on top of his sketch.

With the image below I make some critical mistakes. The biggest being that I started using multiple layers. While in digital painting that seems like it works well for resolving mistakes, in real painting you can't very effectively blend the colors. Watch some of Daniels works. Either in PS or ArtRage for him; it's the same thing. One layer and the brushes/paint mix nicely. Two layers like I have done below and it doesn't work. I will remove the second "clouds" layer and paint directly on the sky layer that I had created. I think that will solve the issue. It's worth a shot. I do not like the direction the painting has gone. Maybe I will rename the "sky" layer to "painting" and learn my lesson from a pro? LOL!


I will use a pencil from now on for the sketching portion of the painting and will paint directly on the sketch afterwards. Keeping it painterly and undoing initial mistakes when I stray from the lines is what I should be doing.

I don't think my mistakes are my fault. Every painter paints differently and I am getting confused by the different techniques by other painters. I need to stick with Daniels technique for the time being. His look of paintings is what I am after. His and Rob's.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

I'm still here... Honest!


Okay, okay, I know. What kind of show am I running here? It's not you, it's me. I have been busy learning. I said this was going to be a journey didn't I?

Here is my latest painting. Not great but it will do for now. I made to many mistakes on this painting to justify cleaning it up. Lesson learned: always sketch your painting out first. If I had traced the reference picture this would have come out much better. My sketching skills are no where near my capabilities of painting with a brush. That's why this painting is off. But, the new brush I learned about from Daniel Ibanez on YT that is in ArtRage 5: Square Canvas 2 is the bomb. It has some flaws that need to be cleaned up in the end but it is so painterly for a digital brush.

Purple Beach
ArtRage 5.0.4, Square Canvas 2 brush

Aren't the colors just a WoW in this painting? I love purple; don't you? My perspectives are off and not very realistic but this brush and technique of painting is a blast to paint in. After I get a few more paintings under my belt I plan on maybe making a video on my process. It is about time to give back.

What do you think? Thanks for stopping by!!!


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I have not given up!


No way have I given up. I have been busy learning. Have you given up? I hope not! The last two months I have been very active at work. And, I have been actively painting too. I have started two digital paintings and then stopped mid-way through the process (maybe three paintings?). I have the feeling until I get my niche way of painting this is going to happen.

My latest Peter Sheeler painting that I painted I really like (see below). I have this painting on my desktop computers as the background and I don't get tired of looking at it. The painting went so easily for me too. I think I have to listen to that.

The last three attempts at paintings were all forms of Peter's watercolors. Two issues that popped up for me: I over detail the paintings and I end up using pastels and ruining them.

Drawing the pen portion of the paintings is very abstract. I have not learned yet how to draw in an abstract fashion. My mind wants to detail to death the image I am using as a reference. That is not what painting is supposed to be. Painting is supposed to be an abstraction of reality. If I wanted real I could take a picture and be done. Been there, liked it, but did not love it.

For some reason my upbringing is telling me that painting in watercolors is not really painting. Child finger painting? No pain, no gain? Just add water? Peter's method is too simple? His method is painting by numbers? If it is so bad then why does he sell his paintings regularly on EBay and he has 40,000 subscribers? His videos receive hundreds of likes. Watercolor? Really? Just add water? How can this be? But the more I look at my copy of the lighthouse I love it. It is detailed, abstract, colorful, vague, and has dimension. My best painting to date. I must listen to my feelings and trust them.

This last week I received from Amazon the same tools and paints that Peter is using and I am trying to get up enough nerve to start painting real paintings. I took a piece of 5 x 7 paper at work and quickly started the pen portion of the lighthouse and it worked. I was able to dry the lighthouse. I was amazed! My hands could actually draw the lighthouse! There is really something to the Peter Sheeler school of technology. Thank you Peter for opening up my eyes!


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

First of many lighthouses


Another Peter Sheeler copy. From his latest posts:

ArtRage

I forgot to sign this one. Oops! Well, I don't deserve to sign it because it is a copy of an original excellent work of art.  Thanks Peter for being so gracious!


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Watercolor and Landscapes


I haven't been taking a break, honest. My latest attempt below is from the great Peter Sheeler. I watched a video by him several months ago on how to paint tree branches and trunks. I stumbled across his videos again this week and oh my... I'm a subscriber now and convert. His Instagram, and Flickr images are outstanding!  Here is my version of his latest barn:

Peter Sheeler - ArtRage: 1766 x 1054

What's there now to like about this painting? It was his idea not mine. His is better but I'm learning and his painting style is very easy for me for some reason. 

More will follow in this style. Below is my second painting imitation. I don't care for the watercolor version that I did. I did it a second time in pastels and its better but not 100% to my liking:

Peter Sheeler - ArtRage: 2100 x 1500

I am enjoying this painting style. It comes out easy for me. I need easy right now. Work is kicking my rear-end and the painting must not distract me from my living. It's a place to go to that is safe and fun!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Onwards


My next attempt at art I am using procreate. The painting will be a copy from a painter that I really admired: Norma S Foresberg. A not really well none painter (Utah) but I liked her style. I did an internet search of her paintings and was only able to find one. What a shame:


I have two of her paintings that were posters put to canvas then had varnish applied to them to make them look like real oil paintings. They are both hanging in my office at work. I enjoy looking at them often, when work is getting me down.

My attempt at her painting has rich yellows and oranges from a fall time scene of grass, bushes, trees and a wandering path to a fence. I have noticed that the path has groves in it and they appear to be the groves of wagons instead of the groves of tires of vehicles. Did she intend to have wagon wheel groves? We will never know. She passed away in 2000. Her husband passed away in 2013.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

I have been gone


I was in Virginia for the last three weeks; busy with life and have done zero paintings. But, now I'm back! I will be very busy this week at work but I am hoping to start posting here again by the weekend.

ArtRage 5 is coming out soon and I am looking forward to getting that update. It looks really promising to fix the things that I disliked about the current version.

I am also thinking through my computer setup using my Wacom 27QHD monitor. I'm not 100% sure that I am going to stick with Apple. Lot's to think through there. Apple has some real pluses but also some weird behavior too. Time will tell. I want to really think this through since I will need a setup in Virginia too. I hate not painting when I am there.

That's it for today. It's good to be back!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

My first list of items to remember


As I paint pastels I find myself not remembering all of the steps to follow. 

After painting my latest painting below, while reviewing my reference photo something was bugging me. Then I realized what it was: the grass foreground. The reference photo has three distinct sections in the foreground: back, mid, and very close. Each one of these sections were painted differently. Because the block in values were different it reminded the original artist to use different colors in a different manner. My biggest mistake: I blocked in the grass section with the same brown color through out the section and blew it! Now it is very difficult to fix the painting without residual issues popping out in the finalized painting. It will make it look choppy and broken up. I am at a stand still with this painting. I may start over with this painting because I really like it. But this time I may keep the block in layer as a separate layer so I can tweak it later. I have learned a lot this time!

Here is my first attempt at a list to follow while painting a painting; that I threw together. I need a road-map. I plan on putting it on the wall and will try to follow it while I paint so I don't forget steps. I will update this list if I make hand-written changes to it while it is on my wall:


Steps to follow while painting landscape Pastel Paintings:
  1. Trace the image.
  2. Block in sky colors (3), mountain colors (3), mid-ground colors (3) including shadow areas (blues/purples), and foreground colors (3) including shadow areas (blues/purples).
  3. Light sky to dark foreground throughout the painting for dimension.
  4. Vary shades in every section while painting details. Usually at least 3-5 colors per section should be used for variety.
  5. In trees and bushes make sure to add sky holes.
Total colors to be used throughout painting: 12 block in colors, 20 detail colors: 32 total colors.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Step 2 of my next painting


Here is my next painting "Her Hillside" (NOT COMPLETED):
 2732 x 1355 pixels using Corel Painter 2017

This painting is going to be a simple painting. The image is the half done version after about two days work. Hopefully I will accomplish this painting before I leave. The figure of the lady on the hillside will be in the open spot in the grass. I still need to let the overall painting marinate. I'm not there yet and won't be painting tonight. It is time to start the list against what I have so far. Painting her will be new for me. A first. The first person I have painted. I will put her on her own layer so that I can tweak it. I am also thinking of creating another top layer(s) that will hold textures on them to give the painting a more painterly feel. The new version of painter supports this new feature and I'm excited to try it out. We shall see.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Contour Design Shuttle Pro V.2


I took a chance and ordered the above said item and installed it on Sunday on my iMac. Since then I have been using it to drive ArtRage and I think I am impressed and disappointed too. Here are the Pros:
1) Setup is a breeze on my iMac.

2) The software makes sense.

3) Built well.

4) Came timely from Amazon.

5) Changes take place immediately when updating the software. An ArtRage reboot is not required.

6) Works great!

And now for the Cons (and maybe ArtRage specific):
1) I do not care for the outer jog ring using ArtRage. I think I disabled it because nothing really works well with it. The outer ring is spring loaded to come back to the zero point on the ring and nothing in ArtRage really stands to benefit from this kind of action. At lease as far as I can think of. You can easily change keyboard shortcuts in AR but nothing lends itself to this kind of action.

2) The inner shuttle dial works well; but, in some ways it is easier to use a button that holds down the shift key while you drag with your stylus left or right to change the size of your brush. I'm not sure that I will use the shuttle. Maybe I need to retrain myself? I am so used to using the shift key to do this action that it is a hard habit to break. At least AR only controls the brush size and not the opaque setting like PS does. I find this action strange. But it is probable just me. Matt Hohr does not change Opaqueness in PS, He changes Flow Rate. A downside to using PS because you cannot assign this action to the shift key. AR does not support keyboard shortcuts to the softness setting using the pastel brush. That's a bummer because I do change the softness a lot.

This may not be the Pro V.2's fault. It may just work better using audio/video software that stands to benefit from a jog/shuttle wheel. I'm not so sure it is the V.2's fault at all. That is my thoughts after two days use. It may change and if it does, then I will post an update!

Here's a picture of the unit:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

White Winter Path


It sure is chilly outside today. Burrrrr...  This picture sure doesn't help matters:
12x8   White Winter Path   ArtRage

It's not that bad huh? Letting the painting marinate for two days then coming back to it and tweaking it helped. I have a little bit of spice added to the tress to try and draw you into the picture. I am not 100% happy with the snow, but I want to move on. After you have literally poured your heart and sole into a painting you want to move on. Quickly. You see every flaw, every little hint of nope, everything that you want to fix, and at this point I have no clue on how to do it. I will be interested in what my friends on Facebook have to say about this one. I am green and I know it!

Now, what will I paint next? I have thoughts of painting Liam's latest painting. But I might dig through my own personal photos and paint something from a picture I have taken. That is the whole point of taking the pictures. To use my photo's later in original paintings is my goal. See the world, take photo's and paint them. No copyright violations there!

Tonight I will try and decide what my next painting will be... Stay tuned!

Monday, November 28, 2016

After Happy Thanksgiving!


What a wonderful weekend it was. My relaxation level came to a whole new level of chill!

But the amount of sleep; I didn't get, caused me issues with doing the amount of painting that I wanted to accomplish. I persevered last night. The photo below of the painting I did last night is not ready to post yet. I wanted to prove to everyone that I did work on a painting. I did spend a lot of time this weekend reading and studying artwork. 

I sent a post over to Matt of Ctrl+Paint asking him to do a video on how digital artists need to practice or perform loose painting. The painting below, as you can clearly see is not loose. The last two paintings I have done have not been loose. I need to work on that. Maybe when I am selecting brush sizes I am making them to small and creating to many brush strokes? Does this cause my paintings to be to artificial and digital? If you know the answer to this then please tell me how to do it. I am not getting any usable answers on the internet other than use bigger brush sizes.

Here's this weekend's painting. I am letting it marinate a day or two before I come back and clean it up. I already have 5 points on my clean up list but I may not be done yet...

It's going to be a great week of painting!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!


What a wonderful relaxing day!  I had the house to myself (except Hannah and Duncan barked at me a lot today), a bird in the oven (Gertude; we name ours!), stuffing, green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes.  It was yummy! The turkey came out perfect and I will have plentiful meals for the next week.  Oh my, I forgot: gravy... It tasted great!

I did some color studies this morning.  I worked on value colors and how they relate to landscapes. I divided a picture into eight different values, which represents 11.11 different segments from zero to one hundred. Then I started to apply those value changes to sky, background, mid-ground and foreground. In the four different divisions of a primitive landscape I attempted to have the values in each section depict relative changes.  As in; I gave the sky three different values, mid-ground three different values, etc.  When I was done painting the blurred landscape it made sense and looked, correct.

I also played with luminosity settings (value) using the color picker and experimented with using all kinds of different hue's that used the same luminosity. All the colors looked great together. But the value's stayed the same. It was great fun to play with. 

This taught me to look at other peoples paintings and visualize what works and what doesn't. Here is a great post about value relationships and landscapes: http://blog.mitchalbala.com/value-divisions-in-landscape/. The only thing the author left out is in the immediate foreground. Usually most painters will have the grass line darker.  Like Karen's latest image: Thankful 18x24 (Karen Margulis). An excellent painting that shows everything done properly using correct values through out the painting and all values are in their proper place. A well done work of art!

Hopefully tonight I will get better sleep so that I will be ready to paint some paintings tomorrow. Copies, no originals yet, but I have so much to learn. You think you've got it then when that blank canvas is looking at you, sneering at you, your knowledge base goes right out the window!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

My XKey/24 experience


I spent the day setting up my new XKeys XK-24 unit to be used by ArtRage. It was "some fun"; but I got it dialed in. Labels and all. I rawk! It took a bit to understand that while not being able to program it with my iMac; and I had to use my windows computer, that the command key in OSX is actually the windows key in Windows. Huh. Go finger?

Here's a picture:

That should do the trick for now and should help me to speed the process up some.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! And it's a four day weekend...  Woohoo! A wonderful day to stay in my jams and get some serious painting done. I have downloaded about 10 different references to paint from so I am set. All I need is a good night's sleep and coffee and I will rock this house. Wish me luck and a soft paint brush!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Keyboard Shortcuts and PS/AR


I spent the day looking around for keyboard shortcuts for both programs. I watched several videos from Matt Kroh at Ctrl+Paint.com. Matt also turned me onto http://www.textures.com/. A great place that has all kinds of textures that can be used for painting.  The textures are made to be repeatable so the edges always line up.

I continued doing research into if I want to use AR or PS.  In AR I was only using the chalk pastel. I didn't realize that the wax pastel allows blending as you paint. That maybe a better way of doing certain brush strokes since it will blend as I paint. But, it may be harder to control. I will need to experiment with this feature.

PS sure is a different duck that is for sure. It probable works great and better than AR but man the setup kills you. And the pastels do not use the canvas as a texture. Maybe it is just different?

I need to decide which tool I am going to work with and stick with it. Then after a month if I do not get the results that I like, switch. Maybe after two months; to really learn the tool. I am thinking that AR will be my choice. It just makes more sense right now. I have accomplished semi-respectable paintings with it. What do you think?

I have until this Thursday night to make my decision, then it is time to paint.  That leaves me with three days this weekend to crank out some paintings. I will need to line up my next three references to use for painting. "I've got to mister!"

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Photoshop Tutorials


Today, I spent my time investigating using PS again.  I contacted Matt Kroh of Ctrl+Paint and he was very helpful.  Matt is an expert painter that uses PS professionally and his work shows it.  He told me that learning PS would be a bumpy ride but the trip is worth the travels.  His teaching of PS is very insightful and informative when I watch his videos.

Matt gave me the link to another painter's pastel paint brushes (Kyle Webster: Kylebrush.com) and they work great in PS!  Pastels with lines - woohoo!  I should be able to get the sides of pastels and the end tips now too.

So, the one downside with PS is that when you paint there aren't canvases with texture. The surface will always remain flat. You can add a texture to the output of the painting to give it a textured look but when you paint you don't get that texture feel when you paint with the brush. Not that you feel it in the pencil but how the pastel reacts with the paper. That granularity in the painting process is gone.

And the keyboard shortcuts are so lame in PS... Sometimes you just know that this is not a painting program, it is a "I can everything, and paint to program". I am just whining.  I know it.

I don't have any paintings to post today.  I'm tired, miss my wife, Hannah doesn't feel well (our 6 pound Yorkie) and it's Sunday.  Well at least no meteors landed in the front yard taking out my god damn truck!
Men in Black and Edger

He is such a bigot!  But it is so funny how depressing he is!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Afterglow of Autumn


9x12   Autumn Glow   ArtRage

This is also another painting I used from Karen Margulis PSA. Her blog entry for this painting can be found at: http://kemstudios.blogspot.com/. If you go to her link you will see how this painting "should be" painted. Her ability of doing natural paint strokes using real pastel puts my work to total shame. I have once again got to start somewhere! This painting is to exact. To many lines are going on. Not enough painterly strokes are happening.  It's to predictable. But I like it enough to post it here.

Using ArtRage the default pastel brush only allows you to use the tip of the chalk and not the side of the chalk. I hope with the latest release of AR they update this feature. There is no way that I can get the lines to appear like Karen's picture gets:

Karen Margulis - Quiet Contemplation

Someday I hope to paint this wonderful painting! She has this one nailed. Notice the brush strokes in the water that have that straight edge to them? I am currently not able to get that effect in AR. She uses the edges of the pastel chalk to her advantage. Something I am struggling getting using AR.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Beginning...


5x7   Happy Meadow   ArtRage

This is a painting I used from Karen Margulis PSA.  Her blog entry for this painting can be found at: http://kemstudios.blogspot.com/2015_03_01_archive.html.  Karen is a wonderful pastel painter that has been painting for many years and gives lessons in her studio.  She has been gracious enough to post videos on YouTube too on how she does her paintings.  A very valuable resource can be found here: Karen Margulis - YouTube.

Currently I am using ArtRage and some of the results are promising.  The lack of being able to use the pastel as a straight line like a real pastel has on its side is becoming a problem though.  I may have to get some help from the ArtRage forum on how to go about using a stencil, a form of a brush, to get straight edges using the pastel engine of the software.  I have not been impressed with stencils in ArtRage (AR) and have considered going into PhotoShop (PS) to accomplish real pastel brushes.  Creating or finding brushes in PS are far easier to accomplish.  And, maybe the engine in PS works better than AR for pastels?  There is a user on WetCanvas.com that feels that PS has a better output than AR.  The jury is out.

This first attempt at pastels using software came out just dandy.  I have painted using real pastels before but I wanted to try them in the digital realm.  It has promise!