Saltiness picks up a paint brush! WIP

saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
edited March 2011 in Artist's Corner
So, it's been about 4 years since I lasted picked up a paint brush in anger. I've been occupied with my photography but I decided last week to start a new painting devoted to one of my other dear interests; bicycles.

This is hopefully the first of many paintings based on macro photographs of classic (70's-80's-90's) bicycles.

What I'm going for here is near-photo-realism, though there may be omissions and additions for aesthetic purposes. I want these paintings to be obvious to bicycle connoisseurs but at the same time I want them to be interesting studies in graphic design and color coordination.

This is also my first time painting on a panel (MDF to be exact) and I'm liking it a whole lot more than canvas. It's much more conducive to my drafting-like style of drawing and painting. I primed the panel with 5 coats of gesso, sanded then toned it with acrylic. The actual painting is oil.

So, here's what I have so far. Unfortunately even though I'm a photographer I'm horrible about documenting my own projects so I've started half-way through.

Any and all feedback is appreciated!

bstonepainting1.jpg

bstonepainting2.jpg

XBL: heavenkils
saltiness on

Posts

  • KendeathwalkerKendeathwalker Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The B is looking really flat on the bottom part- mainly because other than the highlight it all appears to be the same value. Needs to get a bit darker to show it wrapping around the form and falling away from the light.

    The stripes need the same thing.

    Kendeathwalker on
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Yeah, I need to figure out how to add some form to the bottom part of the B. In my photo reference it's basically pure black in the whole bottom half of the B. I'm thinking I can use a dark blue for part of it to add form. Thanks for pointing it out in the stripes too, I hadn't noticed it there. The yellow especially needs to come down at the bottom.

    saltiness on
    XBL: heavenkils
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I think it's getting there now. Still need to flatten out the top of it on the right and mess with the hues of some of the highlights. Also, haven't done any of the shading on the black stripe on the left.

    bstonepainting3.jpg

    saltiness on
    XBL: heavenkils
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Well, the B painting is done! It's currently drying in a dark and dust-free space so I will post a pic of it soon.

    I've started on the next in the series. I'm trying to be more diligent with the progress pics this time.

    This painting is almost entirely blue and I have to admit I hate painting with the color blue. All of the pigments are extremely transparent so it's difficult to get an even coat. This painting will likely require several more coats of color than the previous one.

    It's been a while since I actually went out and bought oil paints. I've been using all the ones I have left over from when I first started painting in school. I bought them with student loan money and didn't really pay attention to the price. Now my jaw drops when I see a 37ml tube of cobalt blue for $20. I splurged and went with the true cobalt instead of the hue. I also picked up some cerulean blue hue just in case. I already had pthalo from a set of beginner Winton oils I found on the sidewalk in the Mission district of SF a few months ago which ended up being the key to getting the right blue for this painting. An interesting note: cobalt blue will permanently dye your brushes.

    Pics---

    I included this one in case anyone's interested - priming the MDF boards. I'm not sure if I want to stay with MDF for these paintings. I might switch to high-grade plywood. The MDF has a fabulously smooth surface but it's susceptible to bowing with the introduction of moisture (gesso has plenty). The first two boards I've used have been fine but the third one, for a future painting is pretty bowl-shaped. I'll experiment with flattening it before I give up on the material.

    miyatapainting1.jpg


    Here's the board after 5 coats of gesso, some sanding and then some acrylic tone. I've laid out the basic shapes as well in pencil and experimented with some dark blue.

    miyatapainting2.jpg


    Now it's starting to look like something. This is the underpainting stage. I've put down the basic colors that will make up the painting and they will serve as a base for more detail and accurate colors. The cerulean blue helped a lot for the background color although it's not totally right yet - it still has a few coats until it's solid anyway.

    miyatapainting3.jpg

    Regrettably, I'm going on vacation for 5 days starting Thursday so the painting will dry out a bit in between which sucks for parts where I need to blend things. Hopefully I can pick out the spots before hand that shouldn't get any paint before I get back.

    Thanks for looking. Comments appreciated.

    saltiness on
    XBL: heavenkils
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    What makes these macro photographs interesting to you? Is it purely the subject? Isn't the purpose of macro photography to reveal details that would be uncommon to see?

    Do you feel these paintings would engage someone familiar with these bicycle designs? Would they be engaging to someone that didn't know what they were?

    NibCrom on
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    NibCrom wrote: »
    What makes these macro photographs interesting to you? Is it purely the subject? Isn't the purpose of macro photography to reveal details that would be uncommon to see?
    Well, the photographs are just a means to an end in this case. The only reason I refer to them at all is to show you guys what kind of reference I'm using. So it's not really what you might think of as traditionally engaging macro photography. I don't find the photographs themselves satisfactory otherwise I would stop there and not make paintings from them.
    Do you feel these paintings would engage someone familiar with these bicycle designs? Would they be engaging to someone that didn't know what they were?
    I think these paintings would be particularly engaging for those who are familiar with these bikes because the design of the paint and graphics are usually the most obvious details that differentiate one bike from another. My goal is to use details from each bike that are iconic of the brand or model.

    I hope that people who are not familiar with the bikes will also find these paintings interesting. What appeals to me most about what I'm creating are the bold shapes and colors. There is an aesthetic in all of my photography that revolves around rigid lines, blocks of highly saturated color and very deliberate composition. I want these paintings to reflect that aesthetic.

    If other people enjoy these I will be thrilled but I'm enjoying them enough myself that I won't be crushed if I end up with paintings that only I like.

    saltiness on
    XBL: heavenkils
  • Jake!Jake! Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I fucking love them.

    Jake! on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited March 2011
    I guess with oils it might be hard to do this, but you might consider taping or masking your lines for the most sharp edge possible. Acrylics this is insanely easy to do, I don't know how you could pull that off. Really smoothing out your paint application as much as possible will sell these.

    I think they are pretty neat though.

    Iruka on
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Jake!, I'm glad you like them. I know based on your photography that you have a good eye.

    Iruka, thanks for the suggestion. I have been struggling a bit with getting the lines perfectly sharp and straight. I don't know of any way to mask effectively with oils. I know there are ways to rig up guides around the canvas to facilitate straight lines, sort of like those cable operated straight edges on drafting tables but I don't know if I can do that effectively with the equipment I have. Right now, I'm just eyeballing it as a I go along and at the end of the B painting I put a straight-edge up to it to see where the waviness was before I put the final coat of white on the background.

    saltiness on
    XBL: heavenkils
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Finished B painting:

    I'm happy with it though I wish I would have gone with a more dynamic composition like the second painting. I'm also still not sure about the white background, I think yellow might look good on it as well.

    bstonepainting4.jpg


    More work on the Y painting:

    Added a few more layers to it. Building up the highlights. Following Iruka's advice I've rigged up a simple way to help keep my lines cleaner. In this picture you can see a thin white line right at the bottom of the Y in the painting. It's a string held on two roofing brackets tied to one of them and then secured with a magnet to the other bracket so I can adjust the length of the string easily for positioning. It's not as good as masking but it gives me a straight line anywhere on the canvas to follow.

    Blues are very difficult to color-match.

    miyatapainting4.jpg

    saltiness on
    XBL: heavenkils
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