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Monday, August 27, 2012

Painting Of A Cat

Buster's Friend
10x8", Oil on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson
Painting this little cat portrait was a treat for me.

Stage 2: I blocked in the major shapes and colors.
I have known this kitty for years and have always wanted to paint him.

Stage 1: Drawing the cat with a thin wash of Burnt Sienna and mineral spirits.
 The circumstances had to be just right. At last I seized the opportunity.

 His long silky hair and unique markings along with a lazy, relaxed pose and nonchalant attitude set the stage for a fun little painting.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Visiting Northern England: Final Painting # 6

There is a place in England,
along the River Nidd.
Where winter snows fall gently down,
the grass beneath is hid.

There is a place in England,
a place I love to go.
Where twisted trees and branches grow,
to catch the falling snow.

Rita Salazar Dickerson

Reflections On The River Nidd II
24x20", Oil on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson
When I saw this scene as I walked from the village, Pateley Bridge, I was so excited that I took photo after photo of it with each picture looking almost exactly the same. Sometimes I stood, other times I knelt, and a couple of times I leaned from one direction to the other. I wanted to capture this memory in the best possible light, angle and composition. In the end, I decided on this simple, straight forward view because of the trees. The grouping in the middle reminded me of a Chihuly sculpture with each tree twisting and moving in a different direction.

I started with a simple line drawing that I free handed with a number 2 filbert brush and a thin wash of paint (four parts mineral spirits to one part Torrit Grey, though any dark color will do).

Next, I blocked in the darkest value and then began painting in the light purple sky.

At this stage, I finished blocking in of all the colors. I always tell myself that this part will be quick and easy; it rarely ever is. Painting around these simple tree shapes was a lot more difficult than I had imagined.

 I completed the painting with the the second layer, wet-on-wet, using brushes and palette knives - and generous amounts of paint.

I didn't do a small study of this painting because I originally hadn't planned on painting it. But after completing the first Reflections On The River Nidd (See Visiting Northern England: Completed Painting # 2, July 15, 2012), I yearned for another winter scene of North Yorkshire and here it is.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Visiting North Yorkshire: Final Painting #5

Oil on canvas, 24x30"
Rita Salazar Dickerson
I have never thought about a sheep looking confident before, but this one looked like she really had it together.

There was something about the way she stood and gazed at me with her dark eyes.

Her striking dark face and legs were the perfect contrast to her luxurious, wool coat and white muzzle.

The sheep's horns added movement and texture.

Since I was working wet-on-wet I wanted to complete the face and horns during the first session.

Using my color study as a guide, I knew which colors to mix for blocking in the entire painting.

I liked this zigzag effect that the stone fences created in the composition.

Once the painting is completely blocked in I can usually tell whether I am going to like it or not. I was so excited to mix large amounts of paint and start completing the entire piece.

The nice thing about painting a small study first is that I have given myself time to think about the composition and decide what I like about it and what I would like to change in the final piece. In this instance, I realized I wanted the focus to be on the sheep and took out much of the background.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Visiting Northern England: Final Painting #4

oil on canvas, 24x18"
Rita Salazar Dickerson
This is the fourth painting in my Visiting Northern England series. After doing twenty-one small studies I am now choosing my favorites from those and painting larger versions. Here is the step by step sequence of how this painting was completed.

Stage 1: Painting in the loose lines of the landscape.

Stages 2: Blocking in the darkest value.

                                                                    Stage 3: Blocking in the purples and blues.

Stage 4: Adding the green to the trees.

Stage 5: Completing the blocking in of the green in the trees.

Stage 6: Painting in the tree trunks and branches.

Stage 7: Adding detail to the trees using a palette knife. I painted wet-on-wet.

Stage 8: Completing the detail in the trees with a palette knife.

Stage 9: Painting in the fence.

Stage 10: Using a palette knife I completed the detail of the wood and stone fence.

Stage 11: I completed the painting by blocking in the foreground and then finishing it with a palette knife. And then my favorite part,  comparing the final painting with the 10x8" study. I used more color and texture throughout the final painting.