This is a photo of the portrait of Helen in progress. It is near completion but still needs some work. I periodically like to place it in a frame at this stage to get an overall view of the work.
This is a close up photo of the portrait of Helen, a six year old girl from NYC. It is not finished yet but I like to set a portrait that is near completion in a frame to help me with composition and values. It makes it easier to see where it needs to go lighter and darker. It also helps me to see shapes and masses important in the composition. I then take it out of the frame to work on it and repeat that several times until the portrait is complete. I made a trip to NY for the first pose. After I returned to my studio in Tucson I thought it would be nice to include her favorite doll. On my second trip to NY I had Helen hold the doll and I painted most of it in right in their apartment from life.
Although I love painting portraits in the studio, I get a sense of freedom and communing with nature when I am out of doors painting. To me the elements of nature play an important part in the development of the painting and the freshness and spontaneity that the work takes on. I love the sounds of birds and other animals, the wind rustling through trees, the movement of light and shadows as the clouds pass by or on a cloudless day just the changing shadows and color as the sun moves across the sky. Sometimes there is a lighting effect, ie..shadow, highlight etc. that appears that wasn’t there earlier and I feel it adds to the composition or interest of the painting.
These next three paintings are in the TPAPS (Tucson Plein Air Painters Society) members exhibition at the Desert Museum. The show is in the Ironwood Gallery at the Desert Museum in Tucson and will run from April 5, 2008 to May 18, 2008. A percentage of the proceeds from sales will go to help support the Desert Museum. A number for more information at the Desert Museum is 520 883- 3024 or you can contact Russ at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our group TPAPS, Tucson Plein Air Painters Society had a quick draw and members exhibition at the Desert Museum. Everyone had the morning to paint then at 1 pm, the wet paintings were put in frames and hung in the gallery for an opening reception. I did two paintings that morning and have three other paintings in the show.