Monday, March 30, 2015

Abstract Monday #3

As promised last week, I have completed the abstract work I began for Abstract Monday #2.

I had picked out a palette inspired by some art in the waiting room at the physical therapy office, but I had saved that palette on my tablet. In an attempt to try to make some art that would print well larger than 5"x7" or 8"x10" I decided to make this piece on my laptop. I didn't transfer the palette over.

So, I've already broken rules 1-3 (which were just guidelines anyway).

I sat in the gallery a few days in March, and in the gallery is this enormous begonia plant. I found the colors on the stems and leaves really entrancing, and so I snapped some reference photos of it, thinking it might make a fun abstraction sometime down the road.

But, as the busy weekend progressed, I hadn't been lured by other shapes. I'm sure they were there, it's just that I was too busy to notice. So when Monday rolled around, I was playing catch-up on a number of fronts, leaving my abstraction exercise for the late hours of the day. And that begonia was still on my mind.

I found the version of ArtRage that was on my Samsung tablet to be very intuitive. Most of the settings carry over to the laptop version, so I didn't have to learn too much to get started. However, I found that the palette knife was kind of difficult to control on the laptop version. Palette knives, in real life, have an edge, and on the laptop version of ArtRage, using my Wacom Intuos Tablet, I found it difficult to control the directionality of the knife edge starting out with every stroke. Ultimately, I discovered that it mattered a lot less if I used a smaller palette knife. Using smaller tools, of course, on a larger canvas, means that getting to the end takes a lot more time.

Generally when I am painting in either oil or watercolor, I like to start with a big brush and work to a smaller brush. So, that's how I started Begonia. What I posted last week was essentially a small view of blocking in the large shapes of color with a big brush and big palette knife. So, this weekend I shrank down my tools and got to work on the details.

Here is the result I got using ArtRage 4 on my laptop. The final dimensions of the work are 4800x3047 pixels, so at 300 dpi that would print 16x10". My art reproduction guy likes to print from 200-300 dpi, so depending on the art, it might print up to 24x15" decently.

Begonia, Digital Art by Amy Lewark
One of my artist friends has proposed that we do a weekly digital art challenge, as he would also like to increase his skills in the digital realm. I have a lot of art in the hopper right now, so I told him it's likely mine will either be abstract or figurative (I have been taking my tablet to Tuesday night figure sessions). Each week I am doing this abstract challenge, I go to a figure study session, I work on a studio oil painting (I have two in the works right now), and I try to paint with a local plein air group on Fridays. That's usually the one that takes the hit, depending on the location they have selected, the weather, if I am scheduled to sit in the gallery, or how busy I have been earlier in the week. But I think I can commit to making one piece of art each week on the computer. So far, I'm ahead on the digital front, and behind on everything else.

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