Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fall is in the Air

still life apples and pears by sarah sedwick
"Red Into Green"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

Well, I had my birthday, and I've broken out the legwarmers, so it must be Fall. I spent yesterday painting outside in some gorgeous weather at the Plein Air Washington County event, and will be heading back up there tomorrow for some more - including their quick draw with costumed models, which I love.

Here's a work-in-progress that shows how this apple came together. Specifically, how I painted out beyond the contour lines and then used the background to refine the shape of the apple, working back and forth to create the edges that I want.
alla prima oil painting work in progress apples and pears 
I'll also mention that this was painted with a limited palette:
hansa yellow, alizarin crimson, cerulean blue, titanium white.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Avocado and Tomatoes in Black and White - and More about Notan

fine art black and white oil painting of avocado
 "Avocado and Tomatoes"
approx. 8 x 11 inches, oil on Arches oil paper

After reading this post by James Gurney, I decided to try some notan sketches on brown cardboard as a warmup for this painting - and it was fun! It's so satisfying to put thick white paint over a midtone surface. Why? Who knows - but I'll be back for more. 

notan black and white oil painting of avocado and tomato

The idea with notan is that midtones have to get lumped into either dark or light - you only have two values to work with. These forced choices remind us that we are interpreting, not copying the subject; composition is something we impose on nature. Two artists will not come up with the same value scheme in a notan sketch. There is no right or wrong way to do it. 

Also, it looks cool!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

"Orange Orbit" oil painting and work-in-progress, notan to finish

art painting oil painting of oranges by Sarah Sedwick
 "Orange Orbit"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

While I had this still life set up, I thought I'd try a vertical rectangle in addition to the square composition I painted first. 

These oranges were really patient! They stuck with me for weeks - and I even ate one of them after I finished this today. So maybe they really were from outer space....orbiting. Hm.

Here's my progression from notan to a 4-value sketch to my underpainting to the finish! No shot of me eating the orange, though. Next time.

art painting oil painting process notan sketch underpainting

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Alla Prima Portrait Sketch; Limited Palette Workshop Demo

 Zorn palette portrait workshop demonstration painting by Sarah Sedwick
 "Sketch of A."
approx 8x11 inches, oil on Arches oil paper

This month marks two years since my first portrait painting workshop. Amazing how time flies! And although I've painted this model quite a few times, it's always nice to revisit a familiar face - especially one with such lovely coloring. I've got pinks, peaches, greens, lavenders, and orangey-browns in those flesh tones - all mixed from three tubes of paint! 

My work-in-progress shows how I painted the face out beyond the contour lines, and then re-drew that edge with the darks in the hair. I also painted the setting of the eye before putting too much detail into the eye itself. 
And the ear - well, I got that on there early and then left it alone, because this.

Zorn palette portrait workshop demonstration painting by Sarah Sedwick

Friday, September 2, 2016

Orbit: A new allaprima still life, plus workshop announcements!

art painting still life oil on canvas by sarah sedwick oranges orange art
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

Here's the progression for this one. On the left is a 3-value oil sketch, in which I resolved to keep my lightest lights in the foreground and on the left diagonal half of the composition. In the center is my underpainting, in a mixed up warm orange - you can use any colors you like for this stage as long as you don't add any white. 

art oil painting still life process allaprima  
For a lot more about my process, consider joining me for a workshop! I've got several coming up this fall, but my baby is the 3-day Dynamic Still Life class in Oklahoma City this October:

art painting workshop still life oklahoma city
info and registration here!

If you're looking to try oil painting for the first time - or get a new perspective on a familiar medium - I offer a one-day Intro to Oils every month at Oregon Art Supply. September's is coming up, on Saturday the 10th. 

oil painting class art workshop eugene oregon
Info and Registration here!
More workshops, including two in the Portland, Oregon area, can be found in the right hand sidebar, or here. :)