Archive for March, 2010

and here’s another selection of sketches available with the book, either original or as a print. see last two posts.


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Now that the opera book is done, see last post, and almost ready to ship, one of the options I’m offering is to purchase one of the original sketches or a print of one of the original sketches along with the book, matted and framed (frame is optional). I got an email requesting a look at the sketches so here’s one page of 9. I’ll post the others shortly. The originals are graphite on vellum and are about 4×6 in size. The prints can be bigger.

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finally. the book is done

The old and new testaments combined happened quicker than this, but I think it was worth the wait. 11×14, 70+ pages on the thought processes and idea development that went in to the creation of 35 narrative posters for the Orlando Opera. Everyone and their aunt has a book out about painting, this one is about thinking. Each spread addresses where the ideas for the final image came from, backed up with sketches and color studies. It’s damn good lookin if I say so myself.

The book is $50 (just found out they printed more so we get a better unit cost) plus shipping (book rate), handling is free.

There will also be a collector series of 15, which will include one of the original sketches (there are 15 really good ones, see above) mounted and matted and framed to the same size as the book, $150.00 for the book and the original sketch, if interested I can email the choices.

There will  be an open series of prints of the same sketches, mounted and matted to 11×14 with the book for $90. Plus shipping. Until I set up paypal we will do things the old fashioned way, check in the mail.

If interested email me at elmodraws@cfl.rr.com

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Kevin Courter

I keep meaning to write about the living artists that I admire and not just the dead ones. To be honest, I have met so many great ones over the years that it’s a long list but a few stand out. I first met Kevin in Carmel while doing the paint out there about 5 years ago. A super talent, a super guy, the only strike against him is that he keeps winning the big prizes at this event. Every time. RatBastard! He would turn in a nocturne/moonrise thing that I knew he didn’t paint at night so I figured that he cheated somehow. And then one year he calls me out of the blue… says he has a collector with a killer house and did I need a free place to stay. Out of the blue. He said he figured that since I was coming from Florida I could use a break. That’s a good guy.

Subsequently we would go painting together during the event and he and I would paint the exact same thing but come up with completely different paintings. He didn’t cheat, he’s just really good at taking what’s in front of him and bending it to suit his will. Me I’m trying to get the exact time of day, 9:03 am and the exact number of trees and he’s recarving the trees, changing the time to 10 hours later and everything else effected by the change of light. Crazy.

If I had to categorize his work, I’d call it luminist or maybe a romantic tonalist… there’s a link at right and you’ll see a consistent romantic glow in his work. How does he do it? Magic! I can’t reveal trade secrets but I will say that he is a master at the subtle interplay of value, hue and chroma. All of his color is filled with color, something may seem grayed down but it’s really two near compliments so close in value and chroma that they hum and create sort of an impossible brilliant middle color. I think there are some people who actually have a higher color perception and can really see the super subtle shifts. He’s a great shape maker too. And a hell of a nice guy.  One of the great privileges of this life is getting to sidle up to a talent like Kevin and watch him paint and steal his ideas.

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Here are two openings coming up should you find yourselves in Central Florida during April. First, my girlfriend Martha Lent and our mutual friend Martha Jo Mahoney are having a two person show at the Harris House April 3, They are both great painters and it will be a good show fo’ sho. Here’s an e-postcard.And then there’s our McRae spring open house on the 10th. 20 brilliant artists in a great, open warehouse space. I wasn’t going to be able to be there but now it looks like I can tho I’ll have to leave bright and early on sunday to head up to the  Gardens event. So no drinking for me. On the postcard is the unparalleled John Whipple, a most brilliant artist.

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We talk about color using terms like temperature or hue  and saturation or intensity and unless you know what these terms mean you aren’t going to know  what they look like in the real world. I found this image on the internet that I’ve been saving for something. I didn’t take the picture but I did lift it off of some site. What I like about it is how subtle the values and colors are. The longer you look at it the more you start to see the image emerge.

To show the differences in the colors I’ve isolated a few notes and dropped them in a chart; light up top, darker down below, more chroma (saturation/intensity) to left, less to the right, warmer on the left and cooler on the right. So you can now put a square face to a name. And to show how little difference in one or two of the three components it takes to separate from its neighbor. When I’m trying to figure out a color I ask myself “lighter darker/warmer cooler/brighter duller” that and a bit of squinting down to see what the difference is between one area and another helps a bunch.

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color and value

I thought I had posted this thing before but maybe it was in some past bloglife experience because I couldn’t find it on this site. At least it will be new to some of you. I use this little example of how value and color are inextricably interlinked by taking a color painting and converting it to gray scale so we can see how it is that color operates to move the eye, to further the hierarchy of the elements and support the composition.

The main thing about value here is maintaining clear separation of light-side and shadow-side, if you keep that, then you keep the form of the object. light and shadow are the foundation of form. But it’s color that does all the work. If you look at the b&w version you’ll see how close the values are throughout. When you glance back over to the color you see how color pulls your eye around the painting. It gives some things more weight in a way that value can’t.

We all know that value is the grayscale equivalent of color, the two other components of color are hue and chroma. First we figure out whether a color is light or dark then we move on to the next characteristic of color. Hue.  I refer to Hugh Jackman as Hugh Jorgan.. but that’s another story. Hue is the warm or cool of the color note; it’s blue not red, but what kind of blue is it? a warm blue (purple) or a cool blue like Cyan. Next up is the chroma or intensity. Is it an intense color like lemon yellow or is it less so like yellow ochre. I know you guys know this stuff but it helps to think of the characteristics of color when you are looking back and forth from the color version to the black and white version.

Moral of the story; value of light and shadow= form, color does all the work. Value is the boy (black and white) color is the girl (emotion). Getting them to work succesfully together is hard.

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