This week I've been really pumped about seeing The Last Jedi so I made some small Star Wars paintings on translucent Yupo paper. It was a really fun and you should check out the process in my speed paint video.
I started a new series of figure paintings about adulthood nostalgia.
Since my work schedule is light this week due to Thanksgiving I decided to try out daily vlog style videos. I've done it 3 days now and I've really enjoyed it. Check out my youtube channel and drop a subscribe
Check out my Yupo paper review in the above video. If you are a watercolorist you need to check this out! If you aren't familiar with Yupo its a non absorbent watercolor paper so its sort of like painting on a plastic surface. Its a really fun twist on the standard watercolor experice and I highly recommend giving it a try.
Here is a couple of my experimentations with Yupo. I'm definitely going to continue exploring.
In this video I give an overview of white watercolor: how it interacts with other colors, how it lightens your values, different types of white and how I use it.
I was pleasantly surprised by this exercise! I expected that by incorporating white watercolor into a painting that it would result in chalky, muddy or grody colors. In reality the paint did change the look of my painting and feel of the medium, but it wasn't actually a bad thing.
So here's what I did. I painted a pair of hands using watercolors, lightening the values of one with water and the other using Titanium White.
As you can probably see in the picture the difference in the two hands isn't some earth shattering OMG-I-can't-believe-it difference. Obviously the top hand has that transparent look that watercolor is known for. But I think the bottom hand still looks nice.
I'll break down the use of white watercolor for you.
- Flexibility of working dark to light or vice-versa
- Easier to cover mistakes
- Gouache-like aesthetic (if thats your thing)
- middle finger to uptight traditionalists
- loss of transparent luminosity watercolor is known for - this is a huge drawback for me
- less of those cool watercolor textures like granulation, blooms, etc.
- mid to darker mixtures can get pretty muddy
- can use up quite a bit of your white paint
So here's what I've taken away from this exercise. Incorporating white watercolor is fun for my sketchbook. In my artwork I wouldn't want to lose the luminosity and texture I can get from layering transparent watercolor and I didn't care for the feel of mixing the white or the thickness thats required to get those more opaque layers.
Like with all things art you'd just have to try it for yourself and I think playing around with adding Titanium White to your palette is worth investing a couple bucks in.
this is nice :)
Paintings I completed this past month
First: "Try on Politics" 24x36in Oil on Canvas
This painting is the first of the Sweater Series. Its a reflection of the politics that I wore as a child raised in a conservative environment.
Middle: "Try on Feminine" 24x24in Oil on Canvas
The second in the Sweater Series is about how I've looked at my own womanhood and tried on different approaches to my own femaleness.
Last: "Blue Light Noise" 20x24in Oil on Canvas
The final painting in the video is unrelated to the first two. Blue Light Noise is about feeling overwhelmed by the constant internet chatter.
Check out my video or previous blog posts for more about each of these new pieces.
I'm excited to be opening up commissions! I wanted to give ya'll a few tips on picking the right photo for your portrait. There are exeptions to all of these rules so don't hesitate to email me a photo and I'll give you my honest feedback on whether or not it would be good for a painting. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos to Avoid
Happy grins are great in photos, but come off strange in paintings. How many famous painted portraits can you think of that have toothy smiles in them? Smiles can be good, but its best to avoid cheesing for the camera sort of pictures.
Unflattering or Strange Lighting
You probably are going to naturally gravitate towards well lit photos because they are the most flattering, but still be aware of how shadows play across the face.
Low Quality Photos
I can work around some photography issues, but if the photo quality is too poor it won't be usable
Here are some nice photos
This painting is about being overwhelmed by racket that the internet brought into my day to day life. This probably started leading up to the 2016 election and hasn't really let up since then. Its just constant: what did the president tweet? here's the hot take on this new trend. this is why millennials suck. buy this thing, this company did something corrupt..... and so on. It just never stops and to make it worse there is just this incessant chatter where people shout their opinions at each other in the comments section and on social media.
I started this painting with a wash of bright teal. I wanted the base to look artificially bright and it would be peaking through the face to show that the internet, for better or for worse, is woven into today's society. The noisy lines around the figure are painted with an interference blue paint that reflects blue to the viewer (its hard to show this in a picture). This is to give off the effect of the blue light that all the screens emit.
Fortunately I've changed jobs and am now in a situation where I spend significantly less time online and it feels like a much healthier balance.
This is the second painting in my Try On series. This painting is a reflection what identifying as a woman means to me. I started this one with a background with lots of noodly curvy lines that represent this larger ever evolving conversation about feminism, womanhood and femaleness. Even on the personal level I still grapple with what it means to be member of my gender. The good thing is that I've moved on from the Anti-Feminist thing I had going on at one point and I'm in a healthier place with much less internalized misogyny.
For a while now I've been wanting to create a series of work about trying on different belief systems, social groups, and opinions. I like to think of our identities as being ever evolving and growing To truly live an examined life its part of the experience is to think through and sometimes even adopt various view points before settling into our own truth. Like clothing though, whatever we identify with today may not permanent and we always have the option to move on.
This painting specifically is a reflection on the Conservative politics that I wore as a teenager and into my early 20s. I remember believing and even being outspoken with opinions that I now see as non-inclusive, racist, and harmful to society. I still feel guilt and shame about this, but I am not that person anymore. I tried on Conservatism and threw that garbage sweater in the metaphorical trashcan.
I had to practice a lot of restraint in writing this by not going off into a rant.
In this video I show painting time lapse footage and talk about these 3 paintings.
20x24 Oil on Canvas
This portrait asks the question that every woman has to ask: "how many buttons do I need to button?" The crudely drawn on boobs are the presence that is felt when I dress myself. Should I wear a bra? Is this top too low cut? Will people respect me if I wear this? Its a burden that I (as someone who isn't even busty) feel. I try not to get hung up on it, but when I've gotten harassed online, heard coworker's boob-related comments, and been brought up with the idea that women's bodies are shameful distractions for men, its hard to get past. I hope that by communicating this discomfort that the veiwer can understand that this is a reality for some women or feel comforted in the fact that they aren't the only ones self dealing with this boob issue.
Here is my conflicted thought process on unnecessarily gendered tools: "Ugh I don't need a girl hammer, I can use any tool a man can use........but it's pink " Are products like this inclusive and fun or insulting?