It was a gorgeous day today and we’d just had some snow yesterday so I decided to get out and take a few photos of Pikes Peak.
Finished the portrait of Theo I’ve been working on. The paint is still wet so I had a hard time getting a shot that didn’t have some glare in the shadows but this one isn’t too bad.
I’ve been needing to get some new source photographs for my artwork. I wish I had the ability to just work from life, but my schedule doesn’t really permit that. I’ve been using the same DSLR that I bought back in NYC in 2005 for a while now and the technology has moved on significantly since then.
I’ve been doing a lot of research about the newer cameras and trying to optimize for what we could afford and still get something that would be worth investing in. I ended up buying a Nikon D5200. The D5300s just came out at the beginning of the year so it’s possible to get big discounts on the 5200s now.
In order to keep the cost down I bought just the body and I’m using the lens form my old D40. I actually had a nice 50mm 1.8 Nikon lens. Which would be perfect. Unfortunately they’ve change the technology of lenses a bit in the last decade. It used to be that the focusing motor for the lens was in the body of the camera. Now they’re in the lens itself. So the net result is that the old lens still works… but I have to focus manually.
That’ll be okay for a while and I can pick up a new lens in the next month or two. I did spring for a nice lighting kit though so I should be able to get some nice photographs now. Here’s a couple of shots I got tonight with the new camera and lighting kit.
You’ll notice that they’re not quite in super-sharp focus. I’m still trying to get the hang of the manual focus. But they’re pretty close. These are significantly reduced from the 24 mega pixel originals.
So far I’m really happy with the new camera, can’t wait to get a new auto-focus lens.
I worked on the portrait of Theo over the weekend. Tried to refine the drawing without overworking it too much. Here’s the image.
Sorry about the glare in the shadows, the paint it still wet enough to be shiny and the studio is dark enough that I can’t get any decent color in a photo without using my studio lamp.
Worked on the lynx skull, the notebooks and the bird statue a bit. Posting mostly so I have a decent reference before I dive into the marble table-top. Need to stop avoiding it and just dive into it tonight.
Still need to correct the drawing at the base of the marble vase and the apples are looking a bit flat in the shadows now. Once those things are fixed I’ll be able to put down a couch of trans red oxide in the background and scumble the blues back in. Hopefully I can keep that nice broken effect in the paint. Once the marble and background are fixed I’ll be able to put in the larger cast shadows.
After that it’ll just be about seeing how far I can push each of the individual elements in the painting.
Since I’m posting images again. I thought I should post this one as well. I finished it about 7 months ago, should be ready to varnish now. It’s oil on linen (26″ x 14″).
I’ve started a portrait as well. It’s nice to have a couple of paintings going so I can work on one while the other is drying. I’m trying to fight my nature and leave things more painterly instead of blending everything to death with this one. This is the first pass on the face done with a larger brush than I normally would use.
Here’s a caran d’ache drawing of image.
This is a new still life painting that I’ve been slowly working on. There’s still a long way to go; I’d estimate that I’m about 50% done with this one. Everything is going to need at least one more pass, with the skull and marble tabletop needing the most work. But it’s far enough along that I think you can start to see what the finished work will look like.