Thursday, May 29, 2014

Seeing Blue

Detail from "Seeing Blue" (Watercolor)   C. Eastwood  © 2014
Okay -- the final assignment -- and I do mean final.  We were charged with doing a self-portrait (eek!) and I decided that since I've been so liberal in adding odd colors to other portraits that I've done it was only fitting and proper that I treat myself the same way.  I'm not one of those people who naturally smiles when a camera is aimed at them, but I had no idea I would look sad.  I really wasn't, I was simply contemplating the fact that it's time for me to leap out of the nest and the safety of painting class and try doing something with all of this.  That's not to say that I won't take other's just time to "graduate" and move on.  So maybe what that look was is wistfulness.  It's been fun.  The best part has been the people with whom I've painted and become friends.  So here it is ... a self-portrait of the artist.

"Seeing Blue"  (Watercolor)  C, Eastwood © 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Eye of the Tiger #3 -- Confidence

"Eye of the Tiger III -- Confidence"  (Watercolor)   C. Eastwood, © 2014
For the final painting, I decided to shift styles and let the colors mix and merge directly on the painting.  This is a technique that I often avoid because I don't feel as if I have as much control over the outcome.  And yet this time, like the painting title, I felt confident enough to just let it go and see what happened.  Ironically, this is my favorite of the three.  I think this tiger had something to teach me.

Eye of the Tiger #2 -- No Fear

"Eye of the Tiger II -- No Fear"  (Watercolor)   C. Eastwood, © 2014
The second in my series of tigers.  This next keeps the soft painting style, but a more ferocious expression.  This tiger is telling you that he's not afraid and he's ready to take a stand.  I actually had a blast painting the teeth on this guy.

Eye of the Tiger #1 -- I Can Wait

"Eye of the Tiger I -- I Can Wait"  (Watercolor)  C. Eastwood, © 2014
We've just finished working on a personal series of three paintings.  I originally decided to try my hand at painting lions and tigers.  (And everyone added, "...and bears! Oh my!")  At first there was no particular reason other than I hadn't tried painting either one before and I thought it would be interesting.  But along the way my focus shifted to the tigers and the intensity of their expression.  I painted them softly, almost gently, but let their intensity and strength come through the eyes.

Little Red Riding Hood

"Little Red Riding Hood" (Watercolor),  C. Eastwood, © 2014

ittle Red Riding Hood hurried through the woods toward her grandmother’s house.  She was frightened by the villagers’ stories of the big bad wolf who lived in the dark forest. 
More experimenting in our class to learn how we might use watercolor in applications other than simply a painting to be hung on a wall.  This time we were to take a children's story and work through concept sketches and color scheme experimentation, with a final product of an illustration and the text it might accompany.  We were also challenged to so something "different" with the story -- to provide a "twist."  I decided to use the negative space painting technique to create the suggestion of a forest with Grandma's house in the distance.  And my "twist?" --  Little Red Riding Hood is no longer blond-haired and blue-eyed like the illustrations I remember from my childhood, but a young woman of color.  I wanted to try updating this story to a "modern" version that might appeal to children of all ethnicities.

Untitled -- Negative Space Painting

Untitled -- Negative Space Painting (Watercolor),  C. Eastwood © 2014
Some of you may have noticed that I have not been posting my work this semester.  It's not that I've stopped painting, it's just that this semester's watercolor class -- taken with a different instructor (Kristi Genoway) -- has been a time of exploration and experimentation.  One of the most freeing parts of the class as been her encouragement to indulge in "spectacular failures."  And trust me, I've taken full advantage of that and produced some pretty awful stuff.  But along the way, I've also learned some really cool techniques.  This is an example of a process called "negative space painting" where layer after layer is added to produce a feeling of depth.  It got confusing at times, trying to remember what needed to be left unpainted at each subsequent step, but the end result was quite interesting.