Monday, March 21, 2016

New Mornings
Detail of crow skull study

I'm an early-riser; that's just a fact, not some badge of honor. But it does let me get a lot done, especially if I have a plan in place.

My old mornings:
1. Grab coffee
2. Grab laptop and do social media
3. Grab an art book and look through it
4. Start painting in the studio

My new mornings:
1. Grab coffee
2. Grab still life object(s) and paint a one-hour study
3. Start painting in the studio
Some of the studies so far

They are small--the largest is 4" x 5.25"--so I can pretty much finish them (or not) in an hour.
Will this became a habit? Gonna try to make it so. I'm not much of a rule-bound or goal-oriented person, but if I find something that fits, I'll wear it out. So far this seems to fit.
Set-up I used for the first crow skull study
 I'm using a darkened basement room instead of my studio for this:
 A. Because I can leave all the materials there without them being in the way in the studio, and 
B. Because it's always dark down there.
Details of two studies
Set-up I used for the bottle study
 I read about using a box like this on an internet site for still lifes. Not sure I see the point--but I will keep trying it out. The slot in the top is for controlled lighting--I can cover it partially or all the way with cardboard. If anyone reading this knows what the advantage of this kind of set-up is, please let me know, as it's escaping me.
Detail of lantern study

I'm drawing them first--so far at least. For this study I used a black watercolor pencil for the initial drawing; for the crow skull and bottle I used a red Colerase pencil. No real reason for either--just trying things out. I used a 1/4" flat for most of the paint, changing to a round if necessary for tiny details. I'm keeping the sessions to an hour, even if I don't quite finish them. And when the weather warms, my plan is to do same but with one-hour landscape studies as well.

Also, so far, I've only used Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, and white to mix up neutrals. I def want to eventually go with color, but I'm in no rush.

I do miss my art books, but not the social media.

Thanks for reading!


  1. The old social media, a real production destroyer and such a tempting way to while away empty time spaces in your schedule; except next thing you know, two hours have melted by and you have very little to show for it. With the simplification of your schedule, you are now having MORE fun and MORE production! Yay! Great studies! I hope you get some information on that light box thiingy you are using for some of your studies. (How do you like all this snow today?)

    1. Yes--so far it's working :) I love the snow! The shoveling not so much!

  2. P.S> I want to repeat, I really like the mini paintings!

    1. Thanks for telling me, Gladys! I value your opinions--always have my friend :)

  3. I am glad it is working for you so far. Yay!
    Yes, the snow has been very pretty. I took pictures this morning before it melted. I always value your opinions too. I am so glad we are friends!

  4. Excellent~ Cool beans! The bottle study evokes memories of glassworks from past centuries. All cool !

    1. Thanks Erik! I think the bottle looks old because I'm not very interested (or good at) precision where life-studies are concerned. I've always liked imperfection. Good thing, lol.


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