Saturday, December 28, 2013

At Their Mother's Feet- Unveiled

At Their Mother's Feet- mixed media on panel 24" x 30" by Greg Newbold
A few posts back I gave a sneak peek of this painting. Now that Christmas has passed, I can reflect upon the whole process without fear of the recipient's surprise being spoiled. This was one of those rare projects in which the client gave me permission to create something beautiful seemingly without any input or concern as to how it would turn out. I was initially a bit nervous since I had no guidelines beyond the concept of having a mother and six daughters being taught. This was to represent my client Jack's own wife and kids without being a literal portrait. In order to make it work and have a certain family resemblance, I enlisted the help of one of his grown daughters and three of his granddaughters as well an infant cousin to get the photo reference I needed.

Preliminary Sketch
I started with a sketch concept and an idea. i knew I wanted to incorporate a lot of texture and collage elements into the piece as well as metal leafing and I wanted to be free to respond to the painting as it progressed, so I kept the sketch purposefully vague. Using the drawing as a guide, I took dozens of photos, trying to get the angles and poses suggested in the sketch. Working directly on the 24" x 30" birch cradled panel, I then used a composite of many of the resulting photos to make  the final drawing. I had previously applied several coats of acrylic gesso, sanding between coats, so I had a nice surface on which to draw. After I was satisfied with the drawing, I began the painting process by applying the collage elements using matte medium as a glue.

The geometric shapes at the bottom were a heavy cotton rag printmaking paper. The other flowers and leaves were created by tearing, crushing and otherwise molding various weights of paper to create the the shapes I wanted. The shapes were then applied with the matte medium and allowed to dry

Some of the elements were stubborn and required and extra coat of medium to adhere tot he surface. Once everything was applied and dry, I covered the entire surface with a wash of burnt sienna acrylic and began to block in the shapes, colors and values with acrylic paint. I was not satisfied with the tooth of the surface in some areas, so I used a heavy gel acrylic medium in some areas such as the suggestion of the sun at the top in order to get the surface ridges evident there.

Other areas just needed a little more acrylic matte medium stomped on with my trusty beat up 2" house painting brush. From there, I pushed and pulled the different areas, alternating between dry brush and wash, sometimes wiping back the washes to leave the residue in the low areas to achieve the effect I wanted. I envisioned a profusion of pattern and texture but I also wanted the patterns to compliment each other, so I carefully created different patterns for each of the dress fabrics and the sofa. The pastel colors of the girl's dresses contrast well with the more saturated colors of the background. The foil areas were applied with a readily available leafing kit and then they were glazed back to add depth and cut back on the reflective quality which was distracting.

Once all the background and fabric areas were complete, I painted all the faces and skin areas with oil. If you want to try this mixed media approach, just remember that oil will adhere to acrylic, but not vice-versa. Oil is the final layer and there is no going back to acrylic once the oil paint goes on. After the painting was finished, I had it photographed and a 16" x 20" giclee print was created for each of the six daughters while the original was presented to Nancy, Jack's wife. If you remember from the previous post, Jack himself had yet to see the artwork at any point in the process. I was very nervous, but felt confident that it would be well received by all. My suspicions were confirmed when Jack and Nancy made a special trip by the studio to thank me and tell me how much they loved it. Mission accomplished. I hope to do more of these figurative type works in the future.

Previous post on using metal leaf

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

All Is Calm- 16" x x12"; Oil by Greg Newbold
Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin , mother and child
Holy infant so, tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, Holy night
Shepherds quake, at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly, hosts sing Hallelujah.
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born.

Silent night, Holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth
Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

May the love and joy of this Christmas time settle deep in your hearts and that the memories you make may carry throughout the year. May God bless you all, my friends. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Daisy Dog

A recent piece I did for Angels on Earth magazine. The story deals with an abused pit bull dog that a family adopts and names Daisy. Despite the serious neglect, her spirit was not broken and adapted readily to her new home. The concept was to show how content and happy the dog was once she got out of the abusive situation. I had particular fun with all the little details on the dog house as well as the flowers. This one was done digitally over a rough graphite drawing. Unlike some of my previous digital paintings, not much of the original drawing is evident in this one. All the textures were created by hand and imported into the textures palette or applied in multiply mode at the end (crackle texture). 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

On the Marquee

I just received this photo of my illustration for A Christmas Carol: The Musical on the marquee of the Footlight Players Theatre in Charleston, South Carolina. It's always fun to see your work "up in lights", so to speak. I originally did this piece for Pioneer Theatre Company here in Salt lake City, but through the magic of the Internet, Footlight found me and purchased licensing rights to use it for their production. According to their director Don Brandenburg, the quality of the art has made a big difference in their marketing and the success of their run. I am proud to have contributed to their success.We are now in discussions regarding additional artwork, so stay tuned.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Winter Delicate Arch

Winter-Delicate Arch; 11" x 14" Oil by Greg Newbold

With Christmas coming on, I'm in a bit of a winter mood. I thought I would do a couple of paintings with snow. I also enjoy painting favorite places I have been. With the wealth of natural wonders that exist right in my own back yard here in Utah, it's easy to find possible subjects and also hard to narrow them down. I could paint the rest of my life and never exhaust my well of things to paint. Delicate Arch is probably the most famous natural arch in the world and my favorite of the many formations at Arches National Park. Here is my take on Delicate Arch in Winter. It will be available at Alderwood Fine Art later this week. Enjoy!
Update: I sold this painting to a collector friend online within hours of posting! Thank you internet1

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Recent Sales- Meyer Gallery

The Sentinels- 16" x 20" Oil by Greg Newbold
Twins- 16" x 20"; Oil by Greg Newbold
Young Angus- 9" x 12" oil by Greg Newbold
Bales- 8" x 8" ; Oil by Greg Newbold
I was pleased to receive the news that four of my recent paintings have sold at Meyer Gallery in Park City. I particularly excited with the news since I joined Meyer just three weeks ago. I have some serious painting ahead in the next few weeks to keep the gallery stocked, but it is a good problem to have, so I am excited for the prospect. I am also looking forward to a long and profitable gallery association. Thanks Meyer Gallery!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Patterns and Textures

Thought I'd give a little taste of a piece that I just finished. I can't show it all right now since it's a surprise and I don't want to ruin anyone's Christmas. Experimentation and exploration are always a good thing, though rarely do I have a client willing to just let me do what I want. In this case, the client said, after giving me some direction to follow "just do what you think is best. You are the artist, I trust you". No pressure. He dropped by the studio once in a while over the last few months, not to see how things were going, but just to deliver installments on the negotiated price. OK. I have never had a client do that and I got a little more nervous each time he declined to have a look. "I trust you" he would say. A daughter who is in on the surprise and who has seen it finished assures me it is amazing and that everyone will love it. I feel a little better now.

This piece exploits the adage that in decorative painting, too much is not enough. I used collage elements, patterns and gold leaf along with mixed media acrylic techniques and oil paint (mainly in the faces, arms and hands). The painting took a lot longer than I anticipated to create, but I love the result. Fingers crossed for a happy recipient on Christmas day.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Studio Offering- This Weekend Only!

At Sunset- Springdale- 6" x 6" Oil on panel by Greg Newbold
Hi friends! Since it is the holidays and everyone is looking for great gifts at a nice price. I thought I would offer up this little piece to a lucky collector. I did this with a piece last Christmas and was amazed at how quickly it sold, so I figured I would try another. This piece is called "At Sunset- Springdale and is 6" x 6"  in oil on a cradled panel. The view was captured last year on a trip to Zion Canyon. You can frame it or enjoy it as is, or since panel cradle is 1.5" deep, you can sit on a piano, mantle or table without support. If you have ever wanted to own one of my pieces but have felt priced out, here is your chance. For the next few days, I am offering this little gem at the straight-from-the-studio steal price of $275. The offer is for this weekend only! Monday or Tuesday, I will be taking this piece to my gallery at a higher price, so don't wait if you are thinking about it!