Thursday, January 3, 2013

Last year's "To do" list



In the beginning of last year I made a check list of things related to painting, which I wanted to learn or improve. And as everyone who makes check lists knows, the real pleasure is when you get to check items off. So here is that list again 

1.      do more portraits and figures
I counted about 30 paintings of people for the past year. And most importantly, I am not intimidated by the word "portrait" any more! I know there is much to learn and improve, but I enjoy the process.


2.      start painting larger sizes – half sheet (maybe full sheet)
My progress is more gradual here. I did several half-sheet paintings. But I am glad that I have done about 30 pieces of 30 x 40 cm size (a little larger than a quarter sheet, so that they fit in the Ikea frames). This has become my usual paper size and I have started to feel very comfortable with it. Maybe more half-sheets this year...

3.      paint more from life and en plain air and overcome the fear of by-standers
Not much to report here, apart from some sketching here and there. And when I think of all the times I carried my materials with me in vain... I also need to get into the habit of sketching more often and various subjects. 

4.      paint faster, loosen up my style and focus on simplifying the subjects
This is a process, which I don't think can ever be complete. I feel I've made some progress, but I have such a long way to go. So, simplify!

And a few new ones:

5.    master the courage to try the water-soluble oil paints I bought last year

6.    improve my handling of dark colors
My recent Tango series revealed my problem with thick dark colors. I easily turn them into a muddy mess. So I need to practice more with darks and opaques. And, I am going to start now!

 Below is one of a number of simple studies of a lamp with a very dark background, trying different papers. Conclusion - to achieve acceptable coat of dark color, it must be applied onto wet paper. Also, the color mix must be quite thick, but not too dry, and the brush needs to be loaded. The Arches CP stayed wet longer and had better results than a couple of other papers I tried.

Light, watercolor study on Arches cp, 20 x 23 cm
 Inspired by the beauty of the light-dark contrast, I decided to paint this cozy scene from the kitchen.
Doing the dishes, watercolor on Arches cp, 21 x 27 cm


12 comments:

Polly Birchall said...

Reading you to do list is like reading my own thoughts! Especially portraits and using my new water based oils. May run off your list for myself. You have some good darks in these paintings and they don't appear muddy.

Judy said...

Wow, fabulous darks, Blaga! Two wonderful paintings! I did not make lists but reading yours makes me realise it is a good idea. Have to think about that....

Blaga said...

Polly and Judy, thank you both for visiting and leaving comments. I'm glad to read that you have similar goals, and one doesn't have to make a list. I am a "list" person. When my husband sees me writing one, he shivers with fear and hides ;) But that's my way to stay organised and to track my progress. Many people have their lists in their mind.

INA JACOBSEN said...

Lo estás haciendo muy bien, la pintura de la cocina es muy simpatica

Mercedes Ares said...

Hola Blaga: Muy buena propuesta de hacer un listado y proponerse a cumplir, las dos pinturas te han quedado geniales!!!Saludos

Jane said...

Two great pieces ! Love the warmth of the colors in the first one and the , as you said, cosy atmosphere in the second one ! And I can totally relate to the number three of your resolutions...too little out door painting for me too! (I believe it was no. 3) . xx

Lydie said...

Number 3 and 6 for me ;) I never made a to do list but chek what I did last year may be a good idea to know where I have to go ...
I really love the atmosphere of your two paintings.

Rita Vaselli said...

Dear Blaga is so nice to have so many projects! I hope you achieve them all with success, pleasure and fun! A great start to the New Year with lots of jobs all so interesting and well done! I recently read the motto of a Spanish painter ... "In art it is necessary, first of all, something to say!" And you have this GIFT!!

cathyswatercolors said...

I love the to do list! Print it out and put it in your studio. I guess my list is begin to mix media and i would like to do more abstract, acylic, loosen up, landscapes and plien air.... art is wonderful isn't it!

renate said...

Dear Blaga:) Your studies are so beautiful and yes; cozy. The light from the lamps is so warm. I love the kitchen study. Beautiful details. You did it! You can go over to the next thing from your "to do" list:) Big hug:)

Isabelle said...

il est toujours interessant de savoir où on va ,moi je vais au hasard,au feeling et j'ai souvent l'impression de me perdre.
j'aimme particulierement l'ambiance de la cuisine dans la deuxieme aquarelle

Sadami said...

Dear Blaga,
Great, honest and achievable goals. In my view, all your solutions are spot on!! I know your pains very well, as once I tried to loose up my realistic style in watercolour. It took time, but I've mede it and 'm still learning. Keep up, Blaga.
My best wishews, Sadami