Monday, February 18, 2013

Venice Beach Rocks

Diane Mannion, 36 Venice Beach Rocks, plein air, 8x10" o/c
We had frost last night, had to scrape the windshield earlier, but by mid-morning I was painting on the boardwalk.  Tourists walked by in flip-flops and bathing suits.  People waded close to shore hunting for shark's teeth, a popular sport down here, fossil shark's teeth... not the fresh ones.

Last Friday, I painted at the Venice Art Center portrait studio, elbow to elbow during this busy season, but always a treat painting from life.  
Diane Mannion, 35 Former VAC President, 6x8" o/c

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Rose O'Sharon

Diane Mannion, 34 Rose O'Sharon, 8x10" o/c

 Valuable Value Lesson and the VALUE OF DRAWING

Another demo started in class... and from a photo I took a few years ago in Aiken, SC.  And yes, (oh, horrors, we used photo reference).   The lesson for my class was to get students to "see" values.  Values (darks and lights, for those of you from Ohio)... values and drawing skills are the most difficult things for students to grasp!!!  

Short, but vital nag session:
If only aspiring artists would spend some time drawing with pencil and paper, iPad, charcoal, brush on canvas, sticks in mud, whatever... they'd be miles ahead in their painting ability.  Some students think they can learn to paint but don't know how to draw.  I've been drawing since five years old so it's almost second nature, but at whatever age or skill level, draw, draw, draw.  Draw people, still lifes, landscapes, animals, whatever.  But learn how to DRAW.  Nobody can teach you how to draw but yourself.  And the only way to do that is to draw!  Hope I don't sound like I'm losing patience with my students, but!?!!!?

 Now back to values...  If the artist can learn to SEE, to really look at stuff, they will notice that some things are darker or lighter than other things.  Squinting helps to see this!  A light thing will show up nicely with a dark background, like the main flower in the above painting.  To make it simple, think light, dark, and middle value... saving your darkest dark and lightest lights for accents.  That makes only five value shades to worry about.  The icing on the cake, those finishing darkest darks and lightest lights make the painting pop and sparkle.  So how easy is that?  Instead of looking at the usual 10 count value keys, simplify instead.  Paint your darks, lights, middle values... then add the vibrancy of your darkest darks and lightest lights as accents.  Hope this helps.

Friday, February 15, 2013

33 Path to the Beach

Diane Mannion, 33 Path to the Beach, 30x40" o/c
Just finished!  An 8x10" plein air I painted in July on Venice beach, commissioned in a much larger size. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Great Grandmother's Teapot

Diane Mannion, Great Grandmother's Teapot, 8x10" o/c

My great-grandmother's teapot or my granddaughter's great-great-great grandmother's teapot.  A piece of history, perhaps from England via Canada to US.  
Still continuing the floral theme, taking my time to finish rather than posting everyday.  So what's the hurry anyway!?!  And so what if it's overworked rather than daily-painting-spontaneous.  Maybe, there's a point where a painting needs to be overworked and then pushed through that stage... polished and refined.  After the month long race of finishing a painting everyday last month, I'm relishing the process of painting at my own speed.  
Working in alla prima technique, this painting took about two days.  The background, teapot, and leaves were painted using only cad red light, cad yellow medium, ultramarine blue and white.  The roses... permanent rose, transparent red, alizarin also.  And the roses were from my Floridian garden, mid-winter!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Copper Kettle and Roses

Diane Mannion, 31 Copper Kettle and Roses, 8x10" o/c
 These roses bloomed in my garden... aah, winter in Florida!
The 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge is over but I'm still counting.  This is the 31st painting for the year... working on 800 in my blog archives.  I've enjoyed my flower theme and will continue!  I've also enjoyed all the new artist friends I've made through Leslie Saeta's great challenge.

Friday, February 1, 2013

30 Paintings

Diane Mannion, 30 Paintings, all 8x10" o/c

Here they are!  All 30 Paintings in 30 Days... thanks to our Fearless Leader, Leslie Saeta!
And here's a photo of the drying corner of my studio.  Right now the paintings are on canvas or linen, when dry, will be mounted on boards, ready to frame.  All are 200. except a few already sold, spoken  for, gifted, soon-to-be destroyed or NFS.  Also shown, commission in progress and several other paintings... whew!  What a month.