Monday, December 15, 2008

Success....The Beginning and the End....or Vice Versa..


Gospel Singer 11x14 oil
This painting was done on the 13th....the day I threw out the failed landscape. I really needed to prove to myself that I could still paint. It took about 3 1/2 hours to complete and my feet did not touch the ground the whole time I painted it! What I mean by that...is...I was in the zone. You know...that feeling when your left brain stays out of the way and you seem to be on automatic and the decision making process is a snap. You know exactly what the next stroke is you know exactly how to simplify when it is needed...all the color choices and values move in the right direction.....and.....you know exactly when to stop...without someone standing right next to you trying to break your arm so you don't mess it up! Now before you start thinking I know everything...I don't! I am sur there are some things that may need to be fine tuned.....but for myself and my eye....this is what I want! This is how I intended this painting to look. No tight detail in the cloth, or much of anyplace else for that matter. I believe I have gotten the strong values and confident brushwork that I so love. The color is a tad on the warm side but that seems to happen when transferring a painting to the computer...and of course there is always a certain depth that escapes ones viewing a painting on a screen in the digital world. The darks are thin and not clumsy and dead and the lights are thick and applied with a knife and then manipulated with the brush in some areas. I have tried to loose a lot of edges where I find it important and keep the stronger ones where they also need to be. So yes...I am pretty damn happy with this one. The practice is paying off and I will soon begin some larger ones for my upcoming solo show.

Here is the loose start so you can see some of how I begin. There is a quick sketch to make sure proportions are accurate and then drawn with paint using lines rather than curves. Below the painting you will see my color charts that I made some years ago.....I still use them but find that I intuitively know the colors I need more often than not...but keep them handy to check back to. The charts are from Richard Schmids book "Alla Prima; Everything I Know About Painting". By the way I am anxiously awaiting his new book, out in 2009 "The Landscape Book". His first book was somewhat expensive....but so worth it...and I expect the second one will be equally as good. There is...in my mind...no greater all around modern master than Schmid! He can paint anything!
I always start at the center of interest and move out from there...painting little pieces of color and value and making sure the shapes and temperatures are right. I paint in the background on portraits very soon in the beginning to correct any shapes in the features that might be off. The small bottle of liquid is a glazing medium and works very well for keeping the darks from being obnoxiously thick. It also keeps the paint from drying flat and dead and keeps the paint open for a longer amount of time as I try to paint Alla Prima (all in one sitting) mostly. The small box with the oriental design is a magnifying glass to look at reference material when I need a closer look.
So there you have it...let me hear what you think..!
Loving the continuing challenge,
Theresa

33 comments:

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Killer Painting, Theresa. You nailed this one.

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Killer Painting, Theresa. You nailed this one.

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Killer Painting, Theresa. You nailed this one.

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Killer Painting, Theresa. You nailed this one.

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Oooops, don't know what I did to make that happen! Sorry!

E. Floyd said...

Hi Theresa, I love the emotion in this painting!

Also thanks for showing the in progress photo also. Liz

eldon warren said...

That's the other side of the coin isn't it? Nailin on right after tossin one? Lookin forward to more of it.
EW

Jennifer McChristian said...

Thanks for sharing your process Theresa.
I can tell you were in the zone. The 'Gospel Singer' is a stunning and evocative piece!

bonnieluria said...

Isn't it the best when it comes out so fluidly and easily? Makes up for the clunkers ( well, mine anyway- I doubt you have any ).
She sure sings Theresa. I really enjoy your notes on the process you use.
It surprises me to know that you have throw outs. But it also encourages me to keep at it.

I love your selective use of warm colors and how much you achieve.
If I may ask- what exactly is your glazing medium? Do you buy it or make it?

http://www.onpainting.wordpress.com said...

Beautiful piece.

WOW that Carol has had too much caffine.

vickiandrandyrossart said...

WAAH! Wish I had painted this...dammit. Hope it doesn't show up in a show where I am...teehee!

Loved seeing your color swatches out. I'm working with Ann Templeton's pigments, and had done a set with her 16 pigments. I LOVE using them...breaks you out of habits of using the same 'ole, same 'ole.

Keep painting!

Vicki

Dianne Mize said...

This one made me sit up and take notice, Theresa. I'd say you flat damn nailed it. Bravo.

I'm a Richard Schmid junkie myself.

Barbara M. said...

Hi Theresa,

Where have I been? Oh I know marking, then baking, then sitting in a marks meeting!!! Wow. What do I think? I think you are incredibly good. I love how you talk about what you're doing.

Great work.

xoxoxox Barbara

Erika Nelson said...

An absolute tour de force piece dear Theresa! Brava! Love her face and things you chose to lose on the painting! The drapery rendition is simply yummy - heck the whole painting is simply delicious!

Theresa Rankin said...

Lol!! thank you Carol x five!!! I don't know how those multiple replies happen either. I really appreciate your feedback!

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you so much Liz! I sure love it when one falls together!

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you Eldon...it's coin toss every time...I need to lock the muse in the closet!

Theresa Rankin said...

I am honored Jennifer....I have a great admiration for your work!

Theresa Rankin said...

Bonnie don't be surprised I have had many throwaways in my short time painting....but I can safely say they are getting fewer and fewer!

Theresa Rankin said...

Oops I almost forgot to mention the glazing medium is made by M. Graham and it is Walnut Oil. I also use Archival for quicker drying.....it is called Fat Odorless Medium.

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you onpainting for your support....I just need to keep working!

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you Vicki!! I really appreciate your support!

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you Diane I am honored!!

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you Barbara...I figured you where pretty busy! Thank you...:)

Theresa Rankin said...

Ahh..Erika....glad you like it!!! You are a dear!

Erika Nelson said...

Theresa I'm recruiting you and Vicki to participate in the latest DSDF with Karin Jurick!

theresamillerwatercolors said...

What a beautiful painting! It has so much SOUL! I love your entries, you make my day!

bonnieluria said...

Thanks Theresa for the glazing info- I appreciate your coming back with that PS.

Happy Holidays to you.

Theresa Rankin said...

Ok Erika I cave!!...I will send Karin a photo today! Thanks for reminding me!

Theresa Rankin said...

Theresa!! so good to hear from you and thank you so much for wonderful comments...they make my day!

Theresa Rankin said...

You are more than welcome, Bonnie...you can ask anything...I will be more than happy to help out.

Peggi Habets said...

Beautiful portrait. Nice work.

Theresa Rankin said...

Thank you so much Peggi.....I appreciate it!