Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rosebuds and Tripods

Two Rosebuds Three Ways

6 in x 6 in, oil on gessobord;
4in x 6 in, acrylic ink on bristol board;
2in x 3in, graphite in sketchbook

Recently I've been exploring two painting mediums after spending years in only dry media. The last few days, I tried a new process. I began with a sketch, progressed to an ink drawing, and finished off with an oil painting.

I did the sketch because I wanted to get a grip on the rosebuds before I grabbed a brush - I also needed to make some adjustments from my photo reference, and for me, it's best to work those out with a pencil.

Next I did the ink drawing, I really love this stage. The inks are such an immediate medium, there is always the element of putting down a stroke you can't change, but also the chance that the stroke you put down is better than you thought it would be.

Finally, I did the oil painting. I struggled with this one. I wiped the roses a few times, changed their colors, nearly gave up, and in the end just decided to stop. Looking at it this morning, I think it's better than I feared, but I definitely have some issues to resolve with the oil paints. (At this point in the process, I don't consult the reference, I use the sketch to guide me and make all color decisions from the canvas.)

To end, I have a question for all you talented, experienced people out there. What kind of tripod do you have? I bought a $15 one at Walmart a couple of years ago, I've used it almost every day. It has served me well, and I've gotten my money from it. However, the legs stick, don't come out evenly any more, and generally there is far more struggle than help from it anymore. Do you have a tripod that you love? Can you tell me the brand? (I can't afford one of those $200 jobs...I'm not a professional photographer...but I am an artist who needs a tripod to photograph her work. :-)


Jeanette said...

Very nice trio of transitions here Rose. I'm usually not patient enough to do anything in threes :)

The transition from dry to wet is a slow one, but you're doing well with it.

As for a you mean an easel or something more flimsy? I know a tripod as something that holds a camera steady though some lightweight 'easels' are also called tripods... I photograph my pieces on my easel if they're wet or on a piece of newsprint on a table if they're dry.

I'm afraid I can't advise you much on this. What I do use however for standing a finished piece on is a table easel. They're not expensive, not beautiful either, but functional.

Belinda Lindhardt said...

I have a table easel as well, its great for smaller pieces. If you or your hubby are so inclined i dug this link up for you where you can build an easel if thats the kind of thing your after :)

Anonymous said...

Rose! Those are fantastic! I love the oil, love the ink, love the pencil. You're going great guns! You've got to be thrilled with all three of those pieces.

As for a tripod, I've had cheapo ones that I got of trademe (NZ's ebay sort of) I've also had much more expensive ones and I have a fairly expensive one right now....and it's a pain in the butt and nowhere near as good as my last cheapo one was. Really it just matters if it has the features you like. For me that's easy extendable legs and ease of attaching to the camera and ones that have the screw part lift out and attach to the camera easily so you can leave it on and just pop the camera in and out quickly without having to screw it in and out every time you use it. But whatever works for you is all good!

Rose Welty said...

Jeanette and Belinda, thanks for your thoughts. I actually mean a tripod to set the camera on. I just bought a little table easel to paint with. It's not fabulous, but will work for now.

I need the tripod to hold the camera steady, I just can't get pics of the paintings and drawings without a tripod. I only use a point-and-shoot camera.

Someday, I'll earn enough to buy one of those fancy painting easels...I have a toolbox and a few power tools Belinda, but I think an easel is beyond me!

Rose Welty said...

Wendy, You and I left comments at the same time. Thanks for your encouragement on the pieces. There are parts of all of them that I like. I love the shapes and flicking the brushes around to do the little leaf bits at the bottoms of the buds!

I'm after the easy legs too - the liftout thing is a nice idea, but my camera's memory card is down there too, so I have to screw off the lift out part to get in there. (Does that make sense?) So, I'm not sure if that will help or not. But, it's really the legs that are the most important. Maybe I need to look at a few somewhere.


Jo Castillo said...

Rose, these are great. The ink has such great flow to it. Nice work.

You might check some second hand places (pawn shop, garage sales, etc.) for the tripod. Gene got be a great one for $20 I think. It is an expensive one, too.

Ann said...

I love all three of these! You are really coming along with painting. I am so impressed with your dedication and progress!

Can't help with the tripod issue though. Most of my work fits on my scanner, which produces a much better image than my camera. For those too big to scan I photograph outdoors and hold my breath :) We have an old tripod that works ok when I use hubby's camera.

Robyn said...

Oh Boy!!!!! or Girl!!!!! I love your oil painting, Rose. Your brush strokes are so distinctive, consistent and economical. I did laugh when you said you were aiming to do five oil paintings per week - people laugh at me because it takes me ..... months to do one :( And there are no distinctive, consistent or economical brushstrokes either!!!!!

I also love your daily ink paintings - again that lovely confident, economy of brushstroke. You are going to surprise yourself!

Rose Welty said...

Jo, Ann, and Robyn, thanks ladies. It's so nice to hear that people like my work :D. Robyn, did I say 5 a week? Oh dear, I meant to say 3 a week. I have mostly stuck to it. I've been having some troubles with allergies lately...I'm hoping that the headaches are the allergies and not the oils. We'll see. But, I am using a brush every day, does that count?