Welcome to Miss Shawn's Studio.

"Come enjoy the work of some of my students as they learn to visualize, draw, paint and appreciate the fine art of painting."

Shawn Farley Black

Friday, June 25, 2010

Robert Mapplethorpe

Patti just started this small canvas after a Robert Mapplethorpe photo.  Its a 9+12 canvas.  I had her sketch it out first for proportion and had her change the composition a bit.  I like that she enlarged the poppy and has the flower cropped on the right.   Doing this gives the painting a contemporary abstract lookMapplethorpe did some amazing photos of flowers in both color and black and white.  Patti was able to capture the elegance of this photo beautifully and her colors capture the drama. We'll see how it turns out................we did have an oopsie when Patti accidentally sprayed the drawing she had done on the canvas with WD-40 thinking it was a spray fix for charcoal..........well thats how we artist find new discoveries.  The WD gives a slickness to the canvas that makes the paint really slip when working........something to play around with.......hmmmmmmm.

Trip To New Jersey and NY

I just returned from a terrific trip to New Jersey and New York..........Manhattan, to see my family.  Oh the weather was fabulous!  The landscape was soooooooo lush.  In the reservation/park by my aunt's house in Springfield NJ we saw deer that would come within 5 yards of you and turtles sunning themselves on the many logs that drifted in the river. 
I only get  to visit my aunt, who has survived lung cancer, once every few years and this trip was a treat. My sister flew in from Chicago after being delayed up to 4 hours!  O' Hare can be a nightmare. My Mom and her sister are identical twins and its amazing how they still look alike and act alike in so many ways. 
I did not have my sketch book but I took many pictures over the week both in the city and out in 'The Country' as we call it.  The Red Leaf Maple in my aunt's front yard is one of my favorite trees. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Laying in values

Once the composition of the painting was done, in charcoal on canvas,  Arthur began to lay in the values.  Lights to dark.  We'll then build up on the painting creating layers of color.....however keeping to a strict color palette.  I want him to loosen up with the act of painting and discover the possibilities of color mixingThe composition is tricky but he seems to enjoy the challenge.

Working out a still-life

Dr. S has started a still-life, coffee and tea cup (I'm not sure it that will be the title of the piece but for now it will do).  We set up the still life by the window for lighting.  Then began laying out the composition in charcoal on tracing paper.  Dr. S is very exact and takes time in getting every line correct which I most admire.  It makes laying in the painting so much easier.  You can also see the colors we choose for this piece.  Basically a color range of 4 hues.  Ochre going into a deep blue blackWorking on glass makes it easier to clean up.

Patti's Charcoals

These are some of Patti's very first charcoals. Done on an 18+24 newsprint sketch pad in charcoal. The woman at the top was done first.  I love the way Patti did her hair and how you can almost see her eyes.  The one in the middle is a still-life she did of calla lilies.  The leaves are very expressive!   At first, I had Patti do an exercise of working an orb and a gray scale, catching the feel of light. Patti has a wonderful hand with charcoal and is very comfortable working this medium. This piece is actually my favorite.  I can just imagine it 10 times bigger! either the orb or the scale.  It would be  fabulous!....something you could look at for hours.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Zoey's Friends and Self-Portrait

    I love these two pieces.  The one right above is a self-portrait by Zoey (which is her first one ever....Zoey is 11 years old) and the piece at the top is a portrait of Zoey's friends.  I love Zoey's self portrait for its mono chromatic simplicity.  It really does look like her as you will see later.  She worked from a mirror in charcoal on canvas board.  I was going to have her do a full color portrait but when she got to this point both her Mom and I thought it was just perfect as it was.  The piece is an 11+14 oil and charcoal on canvas.  I think it is one of her best.
   The painting above is a gift Zoey did for her friend.  The girls are all going to different schools next year and her friend ask Zoey to do a portrait of them so she would have it as a keepsake.  Zoey worked from a photo of the girls (Zoey is in the middle) and we kept it more a characterization of the girls.  She really enjoyed doing it......and I just love the freckles.