Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Preliminary Sketch

A Kelly Sketch
8" x 10" Acrylic

Kelly and Grandpa Bob practice the flute

This summer we had a wonderful treat -- my son Jeff's family came from Vermont to stay with us in California for a week. Kelly is the youngest at 14 and has so many interests. She and sister Jamie spend a lot of time caring for and showing their horses, and they both play sports. Kelly's flute playing has been largely set aside. However, she enjoys playing with Bob who is a very accomplished woodwind musician and a patient teacher. She surprised all of us and brought along her flute. The final day, she and Bob spent an hour playing together. I took several pictures of this heart-warming scene.

There's a nice story behind the dress Kelly is wearing. Her mom had been looking for a clever dress made up of much two-sided gauzy material that supposedly can be tied into 99 different styles. On the Web the prices were too high, but of all places, a tourist shop on Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey featured them for $12.99! The girls each bought one. Turns out that Jamie, the artist, is a pro at concocting outfits from this dress, and styled this one for Kelly. We were having an extended family barbecue that night and we women decided to wear summer dresses. Bob took time out from preparing the barbecue to play flute.

I've been wanting to paint more in acrylics, but I love my watercolors, so I seldom use them. I decided to begin experimenting with doing figures. I have a 1996 book by Barkley Sheaks, an early acrylic expert, in which he suggests painting on construction paper because it's very absorbent. Unable to locate my stash I decided to try pastel paper, which is obviously different and did not take the paint well. Good enough, though, for a first sketch. I concentrated on the figure, and now will work on an overall design. More shading is needed on the figure and the angle of Kelly's arms and the flute isn't quite right. After I complete one of Kelly by herself, I would like to do one that includes Bob, my favorite model. It will surely be titled "The Practice Session."

I have a great urge to abandon the acrylics and do a watercolor, but I intend to persevere and do an acrylic on watercolor paper. I may also do one in watercolor. Blog friend Hallie posted the most luscious acrylic on her blog. I want to do that!


hwfarber said...

How nice of you, Mary, to mention my blog! Just jump into acrylics--I often use Ampersand panels; mistakes can be removed by painting over, sanding off, or wiping with alcohol. The open ones allow a bit of blending; the fluid ones remind me of grade-school painting (fun); and I tend to use the regular ones straight from the tube.

Your watercolors, however, have a delicacy and mood that I've never found. Though this is a sketch of Kelly, it's still a beauty. To me, watercolor is hard--requires planning.

Charlene Brown said...

This is a lovely story and I love the whimsical sketch you've painted. I think it actually looks like a watercolour -- without the hassle of having to get it right the first time.

Mary Paquet said...

Hallie, I must get some of the panels. I have tried the open acrylics once and the others for several pieces. They had a different feel from each other. More to explore. As you and I agree, you can't have too art supplies.

Charlene, thanks so much. It's difficult not to approach everything as if it were watercolor! I do like being able to redo!

Barb Sailor said...

This is a beautiful painting - it is delicate and flowing - the linear qualities are great. There is lots of love in this one and a great story too.

jyothisethu said...

nice picture and a nice anecdote...

Mary Paquet said...

Barbara, I always appreciate your encouragement. You are such a fine artist and teacher.

Jyothi, thanks for checking in. Your son and husband are doing very nice work!

Anonymous said...

You definitely captured the mood and I agree with Charlene, it does look a little like a watercolor. I know how difficult it is to paint figures. You did well with this one.

Mary Paquet said...

Jeanne, thanks so much for checking in. I love doing figures and they are quite a challenge.