Thursday, April 24, 2014

Whole Piece Series Cluster

Whole Piece Series Cluster of 32 Paintings
All together these are about 3' by 4.'  
Yesterday's Bumbling

I must have been a sight yesterday! I kept climbing up on chairs and step ladders craning my head around the dining room light fixture to try to get a straight on shot of these painting that were laid out on the dining room table. Finally I ended up moving the table and holding the camera up to the ceiling and taking the photos blind. Still I had to combine three photos to get all the paintings in and make it seemless in Photoshop. Hopefully next time I can hang them on a wall to get a photo (That would be sooo much easier)! :-P

This is just 32 of the current 54 total (I'm still shooting for 100). I'll have to wait for more to dry before I can get a larger grouping together. I'm excited to get some of the newer paintings in as soon as they dry because there are lots of lovely shadows, more ears, and simply more unexpected views of a face. This is the kind of layout I'm aiming for (with groupings of like features roughly where they might sit on a large face), though with a bit more space between the paintings and with more finesse.

Exciting!

Artprize is open to proposals! I've got my proposal started for the Whole Piece Series. Taking this photo was one piece of it. I need to complete my artist's profile and finish writing the project description. All this Artprize prep has meant I'm not painting as much, but I'm getting some in today. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Whole Piece #43"


"Whole Piece #43"
4" by 4"
Oils On Panel
Subtle Shadows

I've been trying my hand at more diffused low contrast shadows in a few of the more recent additions to the Whole Piece Series. In this case this face was back lit so that the whole face was similarly set in shadow with very little value contrast.

When I was at art college and we had a live model set up for the students to paint or draw, that model was almost always lit with high contrast between light and shadow (basically a spotlight was on them). That kind of set up is good for getting basic ideas about drawing and painting down, but there is so much more subtle experiences of light in real life that are meaningful to express in art. Another basic rule often taught is to have a full range of values in a piece of art, from the lightest light (Something similar in value to white.) to the darkest dark (Something similar in value to black.). I find myself more and more drawn to lighting that has to be expressed by breaking those formulas.

"Whole Piece #43"
Side View
So much of what we do see around us we can not fully see because of lighting and that forces us to use conjecture to create much of our understanding of the visual world and much of our understanding of our experiences. I'd like to think on that more.

Next

I'm doing a little jig, as it looks like I have a taker for the bunny portrait! I can't wait to stare at a bunny face for hours and try to suss out its mysteries. I've also got Whole Piece #53 well underway and #54's reference ready, AND I've been able to get back to the landscape on my roof as the weather has finally been cooperating! Perhaps I'll even manage some book art this evening.

Monday, April 14, 2014

"Whole Piece #47"


"Whole Piece #47"
4" by 4"
Oils on Panel
Side View


Looking Close


Painting these closely cropped images of a most familiar subject matter, the human face, has allowed me to think about and revel in the varied form of any face. I immerse myself in the curves and plains, then carefully reproduce the vault of a nostril or overhang of an eyelid. When else would I allow myself to stare so unabashedly? Here there was so much a sense of rounded volume at play. I couldn't help but be reminded of desert landscapes and Georgia O'Keefe paintings.




"Whole Piece #47"
In Process
Initial Oil Sketch

Foundation

I've managed to speed my process again of late by being strict with myself at the beginning of a painting. I had sometimes fallen away from good foundation habits in painting as I was producing so many small pieces, and while sometimes that goes off without a hitch it can also lead to more backtracking to fix what wasn't laid out well in the underpainting. So I have been consistent of late about toning the surface before painting and I've been a bit more careful about my quick line or value sketch I make with thinned oil paint.





Next

I'm starting to run low on my Whole Piece Series reference again. So perhaps another trip to Grossmont to find some generous souls willing to support my painting with their faces. Also! I would dearly love to paint a pet bunny for free to include in my pet portrait portfolio! If you know someone with a rabbit, or you have one let me know! 

"Whole Piece #47"
4" by 4"
Oils on Panel
(Sadly I fought with glare and lost. Perhaps after this dries
further I can get a good picture of is straight on to share.)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

"Whole Piece #46"

"Whole Piece #46"
4" by 4"
Oils on Panel
Bunnies!

"Whole Piece #46"
Side View
First things first! Does anybody have a pet bunny they'd like me to paint for free? I'm interested in adding a rabbit portrait to my pet portrait portfolio. Please contact me at ambergoulet@yahoo.com with your pet bunny photos. 

Fascinating Cavernous Ears

Before working on the Whole Piece Series I had never done in-depth painting of ears. Usually an ear is important to get to look "right" but not much more than a sidenote or afterthought. What I have found thought is that they are enjoyable to dive into much like a beautifully lit rock formation might be. There are so many value shifts and spaces to explore. They seem to exhibit personality in a curious abstract way.

Speaking of Sidenotes

In many of the recent Whole Piece paintings I'm intrigued by the effect of little bits of personal objects or style on the periphery. There are many bits of glasses, and in this piece perhaps even a hair color choice can count. I enjoy how they complicate these images. Even in these snippets of faces we can be influenced by context. We may even snatch hold of what little context we are given with more fervor. Our interpretation of others is never straightforward.


Friday, April 11, 2014

The 7 Day Painting Sprint

"Whole Piece #44"
4" by 4"
Oils on Panel
The Painting Rampage: To those wishing to try this themselves I issue a warning. All the sitting and concentrating intently on painting may strain your back. :-P

I aimed very high. I aimed to get 10 paintings done in just 7 days. I guessed I wouldn't make it if anything else in my life that week didn't go as planned. No surprise, everything did not go as planned. BUT, because I had aimed to get more than one painting done a day I managed to get 9 paintings done in just 7 days, despite the fact I couldn't paint one of those days and only had a bit of time one of the other days! AND I completed #50 the very next day!

I'll be catching up on sharing the paintings as I organize the photos. Here is just a couple to wet your appetite.


"Whole Piece #49"
4" by 4"
Oils on Panel
Next

More Whole Piece Series paintings from photos I took at Grossmont College, perhaps a chance to share an in progress landscape, and prepping my Whole Piece Project proposal for a competition application (That proposal means a photo of all the dry paintings together!).



P.S. A bit of your face can be a part of the Whole Piece Series too. Read about that here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Whole Piece #42"

"Whole Piece #42"
5" by 7"
Oils on Panel
The Seven Day Sprint
"Whole Piece #42"
Side View
So far so good. I'm on track, I completed a painting yesterday and today. (I'll try to share yesterday's painting before the sprint is through. ;)) Eight more to go by next Tuesday midnight to hit my half way goal, painting #50, in the series of 100 paintings! In this painting I enjoyed portraying a bright light cast onto the face without a harsh light shadow contrast. I believe the coupling of a slightly opened mouth and subtle shadows are what intrigued me, as that combination I believe creates a sense of mood that is present but hard to define. That undefined mood feels like a good connection to experiencing face blindness and to many ponderous human experiences.

Next

I'm hoping to get two 4" by 4" paintings done tomorrow as to meet my goal I'll have to double up a few times. Back in September of last year I managed to complete three small paintings in one day to meet my 30 paintings in 30 days goal, so I know it is possible. AND, I am so lucky to have no distractions or other obligations in sight for tomorrow!

P.S. If you are new to the blog check out this post to learn about the series, and this post to learn how to join in.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Crazy Endeavor?

Wish me luck!

My Scheme

So, I've been cooking up an idea since I finished my latest Whole Piece Series painting today. After going through all the paintings I've done so far this evening and recording those I haven't photographed I realized I had missed one all together. So instead of just finishing #39 I just hit #40. I'd like to be at #50 and solidly half way to my 100 painting goal (Though I may decide on just 75 depending on how the panels lay together as I go.). So I've decided to shoot for the moon.

Resolve

In the next 7 days I am aiming to complete 10 paintings. (I'll be pleased with 7, but I must aim high.) By next Tuesday I hope to have reached "Whole Piece #50." (I even hope to blog post as I go.) Whether or not I make it I know that it will push me forward to state this high goal.



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