Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Night portrait session


Tuesday Night portrait session at the Don Valley Art Club (16"X20") oil, by Carol Berry, copyright 2010

I painted this a couple of Tuesdays ago with my friends at the Don Valley Art Club. I'm learning how to work with my new water soluble WN oils. For long-term health reasons I'm determined to like them. I've been trying all of the various water soluble WN mediums with these oils but don't have any favorites yet. 

To complicate things I'm also experimenting with different treatments of the canvas at the same time. Earlier in the day I had painted the pre-gessoed canvas with a thin layer of yellow ochre liquid acrylic. At the club I roughed in the model with burnt sienna and titanium white. The oil paint had a bit of a hard time sticking to the liquid acrylic although it was really easy to wipe off mistakes. Next week I'm going to tint gesso, which I expect will really grab the paint, but will it let me correct my mistakes? Will I care?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

From the Beach at Emily Provincial Park


From the Beach at Emily Provincial Park (14 x 11) oil, by Carol Berry, copyright 2008

This was my first small-size landscape painting, I challenged myself to start and finish a painting in a weekend. Even though I did not actually paint this on location, I did paint it outdoors on our campsite at Emily Provincial Park. I used a photo enlargement that was the exact size as the painting as my reference and then sketched directly onto the canvas, adjusting the composition a bit to enhance the painting and ultimately setting the reference photo aside while I fine-tuned the different elements in the painting.

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If you live in Toronto, please come to one of the Don Valley Art Club's fabulous art shows held at Todmorden Mills on Pottery Road in Toronto's Don Valley. The opening for our annual spring show is April 30, 2010. Details are on the club's website http://www.donvalleyartclub.com - I designed and manage the club's website. I have no paintings available to hang in this show but it is a very pretty gallery and my fellow members are all talented so I encourage you to try to see the show.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Three Teddy Berrys


Three Teddy Berrys (15 x 20) watercolour, by Carol Berry, copyright 2000

I am really digging out my old paintings! This painting was done a few years ago as a portrait of my three daughter's favorite childhood teddy bears. I chose the traditional serious portrait pose and lighting especially because of the casual subject matter. To further the seriousness, I put a relatively high price on it at one of the Don Valley Art Club's art shows. It sold right away! Unfortunately, two days later our freshly out-of-warrantee family car had a head gasket emergency, completely wiping out any financial gain. 

I have finally started painting again at the Tuesday night life sessions at the Don Valley Art Club and I will post some of those once I photograph them. I have mentioned my art club before, I really value the people I know there. I am especially happy that two of my daughters have recently joined the club and go to life sessions with me. 

If you live in Toronto, please come to one of the Don Valley Art Club's fabulous art shows held at Todmorden Mills on Pottery Road. The next one opens April 30, 2010. Details are on the club's website http://www.donvalleyartclub.com - I designed and manage the club's website.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

4th Concession, Orono, Ontario (fourth view)


4th Concession, Orono (11 x 14) oil, by Carol Berry, copyright 2008

Here's another painting done of a farm on Concession 4. This is the extra scenic road that leads to the campground where we spend all our summer weekends. Just like the previous painting posted, I actually painted this from a photo enlargement while camping at a different location. 

Working from digital photos can be helpful, I have the advantage of shooting in 16 bit camera raw which allows more post control of the exposure of the shot. I am also able to both frame the scene with the camera viewfinder as well as with the crop tool in Photoshop. The third advantage is that I can reduce the amount of detail in the photograph with Photoshop filters, which helps to inform me about the basic forms in the scene and allows me to pre-visualize my vision of the final painting. 

To the above process I am looking forward to adding plein air studies done on location. This winter I've read a lot of books about landscape painting and next weekend I am going to a painting workshop that I hope will kick me into gear and get me outside painting plein air when the weather warms.