Thursday, July 3, 2014

Atomic Cocktail, work in progress

As mentioned, while in Lexington, KY us girls walked to the Atomic Cafe and while waiting for our husbands to leave Lexington Beerworks, enjoyed some cold drinks and hot conversation. I liked the colors in the drink photo, so decided to do a 6" x 6" painting of it. Here's the original photo. 

I turned the photo black and white so I wouldn't be distracted by the vibrant colors. I'm trying to see only the values - or gray tones - here. I taped both photos up on my easel and did a block-in without worrying about the tones or colors. But in the back of my mind, I couldn't help it. I kept remembering the color wheel (free downloads) and thinking "the opposite of red is green, the opposite of blue is orange", so I guess opposites attract because I got really happy using these bright colors. I think this is becoming my favorite stage in trying out this new method inspired by Karen Mathison Schmidt (her art is amazing).

The acrylics (I used an acrylic glazing medium to keep the colors thin and bright - water would have only thinned and dulled the colors) dried quickly and then, keeping the gray scale values in mind, I started painting with oil paints thinned with Liquin. I only chose a few colors: Cad Yellow Medium, Naples Yellow, Cad Red Light, Permanent Rose, Cobalt Teal, Ultramarine Blue, and a "guest" color, a Modigliani pink  Wouldn't it be great to have a paint color named after you? Terrific Terrell Teal has a nice ring to it. Here's the first go-around with the oils. As you can see, I turned the straw around from the original photo because I didn't want it interfering with the cute little umbrella. On the left is the photo of the first blush oil painting stage turned black and white. On the right is how the painting looks with the colors. Pretty close. I didn't notice the shadow the umbrella was casting until I saw it in black and white.


Keeping the values in mind (it's hard when you see all those colors!), below is a photo which is pretty much sorta kinda how I left it this morning. I think I signed it prematurely, because now I see some things I want to go back and do. OK, true confessions, it doesn't look totally like this anymore because I couldn't resist "touching up". I know, I know. Don't go back and paint after you've signed it, but couldn't resist.

The blues are more vibrant than in this photo, so I've got to work on my camera settings, and do a re-take. I should know better than to sign a painting right away. It needs to peculate for a few days. Think I'll take it upstairs so I can glance at it in passing in a home atmosphere, rather than a studio atmosphere. Can you see the ice cubes pressing up against the inside of the glass? I'm happy with the straw, too.

Anyway, until I thought of Atomic Cocktail for the title, I called it "my current experiment" because that's what every painting is. Holding my breath to see what this one grows up to be! 

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