Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 239

Candle Study, 5 x 5 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Lots to do today, so I set a timer for 20 minutes to paint this little study. I wanted to try to capture the waxy inner glow of the candle, and this is actually the first time I've painted a candle, so it was pretty interesting for me. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 238

Mugshot: Bettsie, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Up next in the Hilton Head Gang mugs, we have Bettsie. Miss Bettsie was as much fun to paint as she was to hang out with for a week last fall. I like the light background, and the way her shirt fades into it. This ranks up there with my favorite mugshots. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 237

Winter Fog, 5 x 7 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

I felt like doing a simple, high key palette knife painting. This was painted from a photo reference I took out driving around the countryside on one of those magical, grey, foggy winter days we get here in Iowa on occasion.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day 236

Mugshot: Kat, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Well, next up in the Hilton Head Gang mugshots we have... me. Look at this hardened criminal - she was only sorry she got caught, haha! I really like the bright green background. I'll admit, since this is only my second self-portrait, it still feels a little strange to paint myself. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 235

Little People Study, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

I wanted to try painting some larger LP figures (relative to the canvas) than what I've done before, just to see how it looked. I prefer them smaller - there's a tension with the figures being this large that I find uncomfortable, so I'll probably paint this one again later with the figures taking up less space, because I do like the concept and want to play with it some more. There are things I like about this piece though - mainly the edges and the "plastic-y" look of the woman's hair. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 234

Free Range II, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

It was a busy day today and I didn't start painting until around 9 pm. This painting was finished shortly after midnight. Better late than never.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 233

When Dogs Drive Cars, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel.
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Yesterday I was in Tulsa seeing a once in a lifetime show of one of my favorite dead painters, Edgar Payne. The show runs through the weekend, and if you're anywhere near, I highly recommend seeing these masterworks in person. Photos don't do them justice at all. 

I like to think that Edgar would approve of today's painting. At least, I hope so. I so very much approve of his...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 232

Mugshot: Don, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

This mug is my dear friend Don, and I think it's one of my best to date. There is something about painting men that I really like... maybe it's their thicker, more textured skin and well defined features, or maybe it's just trying to capture that masculine essence in a painting that I enjoy. I think it's both. 

PS. I'm giving myself tomorrow off. Details Thursday.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 231

Iowa Lavender Field, 12 x 6 inch oil on linen
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

I started this painting last summer on location at a local lavender farm, but as it was my second painting that morning and it was nearing 100 degrees, I decided to just block in the sky, hill and distant fields and finish the rest in the studio later. My plein air group's upcoming annual show in a few weeks finally gave me the motivation to finish it today. I was trying to capture the sense of distance that one experiences in the Iowa countryside, even more so than the lavender plants in the foreground. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Day 230

Buster Value Study, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Here is a more refined value study of Buster. I decided to go with the lighter background. In the end, I felt it was a stronger design. I can go forward with this 16 x 16 inch commission now, knowing I have everything worked out ahead of time. Remember, value is more important than color. Getting the values right beforehand puts you a step ahead. Which is why I love these value studies.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Day 229

Buster Value Roughs, 4 x 4 inch squares on canvasboard.

I'm getting ready to start a large (16 x 16 inch) commission of this dog and thought I'd use today's painting to show a little bit of my process. These are some quick little value thumbnail "roughs" that help give me an idea of how I want to approach the background before I start the real painting. I like to look at them and squint, thinking if these were abstract paintings, would they look good? Are the shapes and design pleasing? Which one works best? I'm leaning towards the one on the left.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 228

Pointer Value Study, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel.
© 2013 Kathleen Coy
Click for purchase information.

I felt like doing a value study today, and once I started I remembered how much I enjoy these. Sometimes it's nice not to think about color, and just focus on form and value.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day 227

Mugshot: Donna, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Next up in the Hilton Head Gang mugs, we have Donna. I had a lot of fun with this one - the light reflecting off the jewelry, the red shirt and lipstick, her expression, and the colors I used for the background combined to make a very enjoyable day of painting. Donna told the best stories - she had everyone at the workshop cracking up at her tales of Tennessee. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Day 226

Sweet Dreams, 8 x 8 inch oil on linen
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

I fell in love with the reference photo for this painting on a facebook friend's page, and asked her if I could paint it. I loved the strong light and shadows in the morning sunlight, the combo of red and turquoise, the patterns on the blanket (especially the heart!) and of course, the sweet snoozing Greyhound (named Sea ray.) My friend fosters Greyhounds, getting them used to the good life, until they find their forever homes. I spent all day Sunday working on this, and am very pleased with the outcome.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Day 225

Fisher Price Dog, 5 x 5 inch oil on panel

Happy to be feeling well enough to do a more realized painting today, rather than the quick studies earlier this week. People who follow my work know my love of the old Fisher Price toys. I found this guy at a flea market last summer. His ear was all chewed up (ew?) but it was same old fisher price dog that I grew up with. Was inspired to paint him today. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day 224

Strawberry Study, 4 x 4 inch oil on canvas
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

I painted this quickly last night, more out of a sense of obligation for something to post today than wanting to. Today as I write this post, I'm finally feeling back to normal (those bad migraines can take me days to recover from), and ready to get back into the swing of things. This is actually the first strawberry I've ever painted. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Day 223

Color Charts, Reds and Greens

I know this isn't much of a painting, but it's going to have to do. Day 2 of recovering from one of the worst migraines I've had in years, and while I'm up and around today, I feel tired and sore all over.  This chart was all I felt like painting - it was actually soothing because it gave me something to do, but I didn't have to think too hard. 

Color charts, my favorite exercise. I first learned of them three years ago from Richard Schmid's book, Alla Prima (I highly recommend this book, written by one of the greatest living artists), and painted my own at the time using the colors on his palette. Since then, I've been experimenting with different colors, and thought today would be a good time to make charts for some of them. 

These are the reds and greens I've been using a lot lately, but you can make charts with any colors you use on your palette. What you do is mix each color with every other color and lighten progressively with white. So, the first row is the chart for Cadmium Red Light. The first column is cad red light by itself, lightened with white. Second column is cad red light mixed with cad red medium (then lightened with white), third column is cad red light mixed with magenta (then lightened), fourth column is cad red light and burnt sienna (then lightened) etc, etc. 

The second row is the chart for Cad Red Medium. First column it's mixed with cad red light, second column is cad red medium on it's own, third column is cad red medium mixed with magenta, etc. etc. Then you keep going - the third row is the chart for magenta. First column is magenta mixed with cad red light, second column is magenta mixed with cad red medium, third column is magenta on it's own, fourth column is magenta mixed with burnt sienna, etc, etc. The fourth row is the chart for burnt sienna.  Hope that all made sense. That's as far as I got. I'm ready to go back to bed for a while...

When I started making color charts several years ago, something shifted in my work. It's really an amazing way to learn about what the colors on your palette can do, and to train the eye to detect subtle nuances between colors. When I first learned about it, I spent two weeks making charts. It was actually fun (and fascinating) for me, and even if you don't find it fun, it's absolutely worth the time, especially when you can keep your charts and refer back to them as needed. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day 222

Lemon Study, 5 x 5 oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

Recovering from one of the worst migraines of my life last night, I spent most of the day in bed. My husband told me to call today a sick day, but towards evening I felt well enough to paint this little study.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Day 221

Mugshot: Chris, 4 x 4 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

My first Hilton Head Gang mugshot in profile, how fun. Maybe it's the only one, I guess we'll find out when the project ends (each weeks photo is a surprise). I wanted to try a dark background, because all of my other HHG backgrounds have been in the mid to light range. I like this background. I may have to do more like it. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Day 220

Saddle Bronc Study, 6 x 6 inch oil on panel
© 2013 Kathleen Coy

I was just sort of playing around here, trying to create a sense of movement. Channeling my inner David Shevlino if you will, although nobody can do it like he can. (Fantastic artist, check him out if you aren't familiar with his work!) I took the reference photo for this painting two summers ago at the Carson Rodeo, in Carson, Iowa.