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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gloria J Zucaro's "Try It, You'll Like It"

Here is Number 15 in my series.  This week I tried some new techniques for me.  I have been using a thinner non-sanded paper for my series of tree paintings.  Today I decided to use Wallis sanded paper.
I wanted to use a heavier paper and one with more tooth because I was going to block in with my pastels and then use a large paintbrush and water to create an under-painting.  I used my NuPastel bright orange for the sky area and then a dark teal soft pastel(Unison, I believe) for the tree and main landscape areas.  I also used a light aqua soft pastel for the water.  Then I went to the studio clean-up sink and wet my 2" house painting brush with cold water.  I danced it around the tree and in the land. Rinsed my brush, then I did a smoother straight-line stroke across the water area.   Rinsed and did slanted bottom-side and up to the outer corner, strokes over the sky.  I didn't put too much water and painted with the paper flat.  All the pastel remained quite bright.  I had forgotten to tape the paper down because it is in a tablet form.  That meant as it dried it became quite wavy/undulating at first.  But as it continued to dry it straightened out again...Live & learn! :)  I started adding soft pastels over the top of the now dry but lumpy surface.  It was a little difficult to get a flat broad stroke, but eventually after smoothing some of the scratch marks made by the edges of my Terry Ludwig rectangular pastels, it all pulled together.  As usual I thought by looking at my color wheel and choosing a palette of Blue-Green & Red-Orange that is what I would do.  But also as usual I ended up using all kinds of  pinks, burgundy, violet, blues, some greens!!!  I can't seem to restrain myself and stick to a very limited color palette.
Here is the color wheel I was using and some of the pastels.  The soft pastels are in my Plein air box and are the ones I took with me on Saturday for the Plein air demo and paint-out.  To see that post click here.

This is my post for Paint Party Friday.  Please visit the site hosted by Kristen & Eva and see what about 80 different artists have been doing in all different mediums this week.

Have a wonderful week, Gloria

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Gloria J Zucaro's "A Great Day for Plein Air"

Yesterday morning we were to arrive at Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington at 8 AM for a demo given by Kathy Clouse. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the 70's and no wind to knock the easel over. There were about 20 of us all dragging our equipment behind us along a path to the chosen spot for the demo. We were to do our own Plein Air after the demo, if desired. There was no instruction, just the demo. Kathy started by telling how she had chosen that particular spot. Good large shapes, water, pond scum that was a beautiful lime green, flowers on two banks. She said the values of some light and some dark were good, too. She started with a canvas toned in a combination of reds and yellows because it gives a nice glow under the painting and she lets some show through in the final painting. Kathy then began to put in the first thin coats of paint for the large dark shapes. She did not draw any placement marks and used various dark colors under the different areas depending on what the actual final color would be. The treed areas which were dark, came first then a bit of blue for the sky. Afterwards the shapes for the water and berm with hardy hibiscus. She did not finish the painting, because it was only a demo to show us how she starts. She had painted the same area the week before and showed us her finished painting. It was beautiful! I would show you, but she hasn't posted it yet.


After the demo we all picked out spots and began our own paintings. About 6 of us parked our supplies in an area nearby getting various views of the area where the demo had been. Others moved far afield to other areas of the preserve.  I was doing pastel and set up a little down the path from where Kathy had been. This is the actual scene that I chose.
Here is my pastel Plein Air painting. I used Canson Mi-Tientes black paper, the"rough"side because I like the texture. The only area I smoothed with my finger was the sky, but then put some more pastel over that without smoothing it in. I did put some red, yellow and orange under the area I would be doing my painting on to give some warmth underneath. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gloria J Zucaro's " Mystery Palette"

At Karen Margulis suggestion I did a painting using only a limited palette of fourteen pastels I received in the Terry Ludwig Mystery Box.  Once a year you can order the Mystery box, not knowing what you will receive.They are randomly packed with odds and ends from the vast Ludwig selection.  It is so much fun to see what you get each time.  Here is the box of colors I 
received.


I decided to try one of my series landscape paintings using only these colors.  It was a little difficult because the dark gray on the bottom right was the darkest value, which made it hard to make the lighter values look light enough.  Here is that painting.

To see more detail , click on the image to enlarge.

Thank you for visiting my blog, have a good weekend.

Gloria

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Gloria J Zucaro's "A trip to the Art Institute"

This is my very early post to Paint Party Friday, as I have a busy schedule for the rest of the week.  I am cleaning out & organizing to get my house ready to sell this Fall.

Last Saturday I went to the Art Institute of Chicago with 3 other artist friends.  I drove as I always do and would not have gone if not for having friends who always go to “the city”!  As you know I am a “country girl” and struggle with the parking and street direction issues in the city.  I would much prefer a drive out into areas with fields of corn and old barns.  However, it is good that friends suggest these adventures to me.  Two of the ladies who went had memberships, so the other two of us got in free as guests.  The exhibit was outstanding.  In glass cases there were actual gowns from the times of Renoir, Sargent, Tissot, Mary Cassatt, Manet, Monet, etc.  There were 75 paintings by artists depicting the beautiful gowns in scenes as if the gowns themselves were portraits.  In one gallery setting the floor was covered in artificial grass and there were park benches to sit on, and “birds” were tweeting!  That was the Plein Air room, of course!  It was really a very wonderful exhibit!  I suggest you all go to see it.  This is the last stop in the tour and has been extended until Sept 29, I believe. 


Even though the “CafĂ©” was closed they were serving really good lunch items on the third floor of the Modern Wing in “Terzo Piano”.  The head chef is award winning Tony Mantuano.  His team was serving modern Italian cuisine in a room with huge windows where we could see all the people entering for Lollapalooza. 
   
When we left the parking garage ,a bonus, the other three paid my share of the parking fee.  Thank you, Ladies!   But, I made a mistake, due to street closures from Lollapalooza and I drove us home by Sheridan Rd. and Willow instead of 90 & 53!  It was more scenic, and I pretended that I did it on purpose because of the construction lane closures on the highway.

The next special exhibit starting November 3 is called American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine.




Thursday, August 1, 2013

Gloria J Zucaro's "Better Late Than Never" Post

Our project on Tuesday afternoon was "Paint a mass of something".  We could either use Frankie's references or do a still life using our own "mass".  My friend Judy brought some vintage marbles, others used Frankie's reference photos as did I.  I chose a bowl of strawberries, with some berries scattered on the table.  We talked about varying the colors and edges from front to back and in the shadows.  Up front or in the light there was greater contrast and sharper edges.  In the shadows the color was toned down and the edges were softer.  Way to the back, the colors were even darker and the edges almost smeared to disappear into the background.  Below is my finished pastel painting.

On Wednesday we all cowered and cringed as we were told the project of the day!  We were to use the easy method learned on Monday morning of making figures.  With as few direct strokes as possible. The other part of the project was to combine two scenes of people into one composition.  All of these references were from scenes in various bars.  So people sitting or standing, waiters & waitresses, young couples, etc.  I chose as my reference a very cheerful young man lifting his beer glass in salutation.  The background was from the another bar scene that had three men in it, paintings or pictures on the wall(probably sports figures or celebrities) and some low hanging lights.  I left out the other men and the low hanging lights.  I used the colors in that reference for my background with my handsome young man.  Here is my finished piece.

Below is a fun little painting I did this afternoon using figures and a stair-step look.
Here are a couple more paintings in my "Marla" series.  All of this post will be shared with Paint Party Friday.                                                         !

Number Eleven

Number Twelve

Number Thirteen

Number Fourteen
Have a great weekend, and check the other artists work at PPF!   
 Gloria