Friday, October 30, 2009

Value Chart - Planes

Value Chart - Neutrals


I thought it would be helpful to create four versions of the same scene in different neutral/limited palettes. I started this yesterday, and am going to try to complete it by Monday using different "base" colors. In this one I used the same values used in class on Wednesday, using cad yellow and the black mixture, and lightening with white. It's helpful for me to have these permanently on a board, to reference in the future. Laurel is always advocating making value charts like this, so I'm pretty sure she'll be happy with me here. :)

-julie davis

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Waterloo Park Path

Waterloo Park Path (study), 10 x 8

Finally back outside! It was a cool, overcast day, but our plein air class members were collectively very happy to be outside (last week it rained all day). Laurel had us painting with a limited palette of white, cad yellow, and a black mixture (alizarin crimson, french ultramarine blue, and raw umber). We mixed three different colors using only the black mix and the cad yellow, then mixed five values of each by adding increasing amounts of white. We were to continue to focus on the idea of the four value planes (sky, verticals, slant, and the ground).

It was a real challenge with the limited palette alone, not to mention this exercise demands that you nail the values. I wiped parts of this away several times, but once the lightbulb went off, I had quite a bit of fun. I enjoy the large contrast between the dark trees and the gray sky--much like the recent still lifes I did with the dark backgrounds, the drama in the contrast is appealing.

-julie davis

Monday, October 26, 2009

In the Thick of It

In the Thick of It, 12 x 12

Under a tree and in the midst of wildflowers...seems like a good location for almost anything to me. The donkeys that used to live in this old shelter had a pretty good view of the Guadalupe River, and of course, a decent view of these flowers. This is a slightly larger version of "Unexpected Color" from another post. I keep wanting to get a closer composition of the barn, so I guess I'll just have to go back.

-julie davis

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Field Guide

Field Guide, 6 x 6

This was another value planes study I did early this morning--again taking it slowly as an exercise in making accurate value decisions. It's funny, though, because I was using yesterday's paint (which I'd moved around on my palette), and was so tired I wound up using pthalo blue instead of french ultramarine to mix my greens. Not an "accurate decision," but I decided to stick with it, as it was just a study and the colors didn't matter as much as getting the values right. It put a twist on things, but I kind of like the resulting color combinations.

-julie davis

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Substitute

The Substitute, 6 x 8

Today we began Laurel Daniel's plein air class for this semester--except that it rained all day, so today we painted inside and studied value planes. Interestingly enough, it was an invaluable lesson! She took us slowly through the development of a landscape, concentrating on making sure we were accurately recording the values in the four planes of a landscape (sky, ground, slant, verticals). Laurel gave us each a copy of this photo from which to work--"The Substitute" fits because we painted from a photo, instead of outside. (It's late, clever is not easy). : )

-julie davis

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Winding Road

Winding Road, 6 x 6

This is painted from a photo from our recent trip out to Hunt, Texas. The weather was entirely drizzly and gray and cool, but so perfectly appropriate for October. This is a portion of FM 1340, and it runs along the North Fork of the Guadalupe River.

-julie davis

Monday, October 19, 2009

Unexpected Color

Unexpected Color, 8 x 10

The unexpected part was finding wildflowers in bloom this time of year. On a recent trip to the Hill Country of Texas, my family and I found fields literally covered with yellow--and even some blue. Whatever these were, they were a pleasant surprise.

-julie davis

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sweet and Sour

Sweet and Sour, 11 x 14

I just threw it all in today--lemons, pear, clementines. I experimented with a more neutral background--the girls think the darks are depressing.....ah, the family comments! I still find these days I often rush through. This week my intention is to focus more on methodically setting up my composition and really taking time with my painting.

-julie davis

Friday, October 16, 2009

I Take Thee, Clementine....

I Take Thee, Clementine...., 6 x 8

Clementines are fun to paint. I love their round, squatty form--so relaxed, but so colorful. OK, maybe I've gone off the deep end or inhaled too many paint fumes. Still, they're what I gravitate toward when I want to relax and just paint an uncomplicated still life.

-julie davis

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Orange Crush

Orange Crush, 11 x 14

Originally this was "Pied Piper," but my daughters didn't get it--minor failure as a parent. So, "Orange Crush," being that much more familiar to them, was the winner. The crush clearly isn't mutual.

-julie davis

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Lecture

The Lecture, 11 x 14

No matter whether it's a teacher or parent giving the lecture, the recipient's look is often the same. This pear just looked like it was giving some advice to some not-so-enthused clementines. (And, yes, this is a Taylor's Gold). I'm still enjoying the dark backgrounds, though this time I went with a lighter foreground--I'm finally feeling like I have it (almost) together again. :)

-julie davis

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Interloper

The Interloper, 11 x 14

The pear is the wolf in sheep's clothing--its stem looks ominous having said that. In this painting I was getting the last painting opportunity out of the Star Krimson pear before it became breakfast. My girls definitely preferred the Taylor's Gold over the Star Krimson.....much sweeter. I'll post the last of the Taylor's tomorrow.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Cousins, 6 x 6

So many varieties of pears--these are the Star Krimson I posted the other day, and one Taylor's Gold--this morning's breakfast will be a taste test for my girls. As I've really been trying to paint larger even by a little in my daily studies, these 6 x 6's suddenly seem confining. I'm really a creature of habit and whatever I get used to I find comfortable--a good stretching of those boundaries is good for me.

-julie davis

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Staying Up Late

Staying Up Late, 11 x 14

This morning was the last day of Laurel Daniel's still life class at AMOA. It's been a great refresher in both values and still life. The challenge today was to create a painting with relationships of 2/3, 1/3, and smidge values--we could choose to do 2/3 of the painting light, 1/3 mid-tone, and a smidge of dark, or 2/3 dark, 1/3 mid, and a smidge of light.....or even 2/3 get the idea. I went with the 2/3 dark, 1/3 mid, smidge of light (since I've been experimenting at home with dark backgrounds). It's a pretty dramatic result, but I'm liking the drama lately....

-julie davis

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Star Krimson

Star Krimson, 6 x 6

Keeping it simple--a single star krimson pear--you have to love Central Market for the wide variety of fruits and veggies they offer. I'm looking forward to trying this one.

-julie davis

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Lineup

The Lineup, 8 x 16

Who among you has heard of a fruit called quince? I'm certain I'm showing my ignorance, but I picked some up at Central Market today because they looked appealing to paint--hopefully they're just as good to eat. I read that quince is most often used in jams because it can be bitter (the extra sugar masks the bitterness).

I'm still in a funk--struggling to find inspiration and struggling with painting itself. So, I end up doing random things, like this. Odd format, odd fruit, dark.....hopefully it will lead somewhere soon!

-julie davis