Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Swam Upstream for This? 6x6"

This is the latest in my "Sushi Monday" series.

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Sushi.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Slice of Paradise, 6x6" (Sold)

What can I say?  It's sleeting outside, and I needed to paint a little corner of paradise.  Have you heard of the challenge site The Virtual Paintout? Every month, a new location on Google Earth is chosen, and artists  can look around virtually and find locations to paint!  This one is from Elba Island, off of Tuscany.  And it was a breath of fresh air for me!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

White on White, 8x10" (Sold)


Recently, I've become very interested in the subject of painting white.  I just completed painting a portrait of three sisters in white dresses, and while I was in the process of painting it, I visited every master painting I could find in Chicago and Boston to see how the Greats handled this very complex subject.

Here are a few things that I found:

     1. Simplify.  Keep white objects and fabrics as simple as possible.  First, find the lit areas and the shadow areas.  Find an average color in the right value and cover the areas boldly.  Step back and decide where the color can be tweaked a bit, and indicate a few details without stepping outside your values.

Cecilia Beaux

     2. Look for color in both the lit and shadow areas for vibrancy.  I've never seen anyone able to show warmth and sunlight on white fabric like Sorolla, but his whites are far from white!  Pink, blue, and yellow dance all around, without a single stroke of pure white to be found.  And yet, those fabrics are white!

Joaquin Sorolla

     3. Balance warmth and coolness in the shadows.  Sargent's shadows make me want to weep, they are so beautiful.  When I saw his portraits in person, I could see that each shadow has both a warm and cool tone in each one, giving them life and interest.

John Singer Sargent

The most important lesson that I learned on this journey is that in order to paint white, the artist has to slow way down and observe the subject closely.  In fact, white has taught me to become patient, and to let the subject dictate the right path to follow in painting it.  Many rules and preconceived notions about painting have to be put to the side, and silent study is put in their place.  Sometimes, all this patience and study reward us with a new level of achievement, and we can say that it was all worth it.