Daily Archives: April 8, 2010

Thursday, 4/8/10: Arlene Osborne

Arlene paints representational works of many subjects in many media, including watercolors, oils, and acrylics.  Today she painted a landscape with a few extra challenges — in addition to being a night scene and a snow scene, her piece also depicted the northern lights in the sky.  This was a subject Arlene had been wanting to paint for a while.  Working with acrylics made it possible  for Arlene to finish in one afternoon, since acrylics dry quickly enough to continue adding new details over what has already been painted.

Arlene had created a sketch to work from to guide her composition.  The sketch was  from her memory of landscapes she’d seen and pictures of the northern lights, rather than from a specific photo or reference.  Since she’s painted many landscapes she can rely on the techniques and discoveries she has from years of practice.

Arlene had already gotten a start by establishing the light and dark areas of the ground and the sky.  She started today by painting the lights in the sky with some light green, then blending out the colors into the sky to make the lights seem to shimmer and glow.  She then painted more details into the mountains and trees in the distance.  Painting right over her distant background, Arlene added trees in the foreground.  She then painted snow covering each branch of every tree.  With each step, Arlene gave her landscape not only more realistic detail, but more mood and personality.  Viewers who see this piece in person can see the additional creative touch of the trees and sky wrapping around the edge of the canvas!

Wednesday, 4/7/10: Erika Moen

We were fortunate to have comic artist and illustrator Erika Moen join us today to create a rare stand-alone piece outside her work in comics.  Erika worked with watercolors today, a medium that she does not get to work with frequently, but that suited her style beautifully.  Her professional skills in drawing, composition and visual clarity were evident as her piece came together in the relatively short span of the afternoon.

Erika has done a number of pieces over the years that draw on octopi and tentacles as subject matter.  Her watercolor today filled the surface with a complex tangle of octopus arms.  She seemed to have no problem keeping all the parts clear in her mind, though, as she progressed from a pencil drawing to laying in colors of separate parts, then washes of overall color, then detailed line work with a brush.  Erika used a mix of warm and cool greens, variation in line width, and overlapping shapes to give her picture a sense of depth and dimension.  At one stage, she considered adding an additional painted surface that stood out from this background to build up even more depth, but as the piece developed, she was happy with the look of a single layer.

One visitor to Muse had observed that most of the pieces so far contain some element relating to sky.  Thanks to Erika for contributing the first aquatic-themed piece!

While she worked, Erika kept her computer on the table to take images of her progress, which she complied into a video.  You can see it at http://vimeo.com/10782793