Last week I started the Spring semester at College of Marin. This semester I am taking two classes: Art 105: Contemporary Art History and Painting I. The first class is art history from 1980 to Present. Painting I is a multilevel class comprised of Painting I-IV.
Our first assignment was brushstroke practice painting by taking pieces of Van Gogh paintings and trying to replicate those areas of the paintings. I started out taking a portion of Van Gogh's The Gardener and focusing on the eye. Then I went to class and oddly forgot my painting artbin, So I had to beg and borrow paints and brushes. In class, I painted from Van Gogh's The Moth with the limited paint and paint colors. I returned home, looked up the paint colors Van Gogh used and got to work in creating a unified singular piece adding sunflowers and adding more Van Gogh specific colors.
One of the Van Gogh colors is a color I have always loved -- Prussian Blue. I am happy I have a good amount of it because it is a beautiful color and it over-performed for this painting making everything better especially the greens.
This was a fun assignment.
Sakura Craypas Art
Sakura Craypas Oil Pastels
I love oil pastels since you can have these bold oil painting like art. This is a self-portrait where I can pump up the color.
Working with Acrylics
New Tools for Digital Arts
After 7 years with my beloved iMac, it is starting to show it's age. In the past few months, I noticed the machine slowing down and a significant drop in productivity. After a lot of research, I went for the 14" Macbook Pro M1 with 10 core CPU, 16 core GPU, 32gb RAM, and 1 TB of SSD. It was a bummer that the model iMac I had wouldn't let me use it as a secondary monitor, so I went out looking for a secondary monitor. I went with the BenQ PD3220U 32 Inch 4K IPS AQCOLOR Computer Monitor.
So far, it has been a true workhorse, My only complaint is the lack of USB ports and so I am going to have to rely on wireless devices. While I have yet to actually take it out on the road, it is a laptop and I could use it at a cafe when COVID is over.
Bringing my Ancestor to Life
I am one of those fortunate people to have these great photos of my ancestors. It is more amazing considering I did not know who my birth family was until I was 27 years old because I was adopted. One of the more fascinating ancestors was Mary Jane Morgan Rulofson. She was the sister of my great, great grandmother, Salome Morgan Lincoln Fridley.
In the 1860s-70s, Mary Jane came to work at the studios of the famous Bradley-Rulofson Photography in San Francisco. She ended up marrying her boss, William Herman Rulofson, who was a noted portrait photographer. So, there are some amazing photos of her and her husband's family. They went to Paris in 1878 to exhibit his work which included a life size portrait. Family lore talks about my great-great grandmother Salome having clothes and perfumes from Paris, presumably from her sister and brother-in-law.
William Rulofson hung out with the likes of Ambrose Bierce and wrote a book/pamphlet against the scandal of the waltz called, "The Dance of Death". He ended up "falling off" the roof of his several story studio building in the 1870s and leaving his estate to her. There are testimonials at the time that Mary Jane was very able businesswoman and managed the studio until 1883.
I used Derwent XL graphite and charcoal blocks with a graphite pencil. I think it turned out really well.
Then I used the tool over at Myheritage to animate photos and got some interesting results. I have to say that this was probably the most realistic drawing I have made.
"Smoking Woman in a Green Room"
Yesterday, I finished this piece and spent a while last night just staring at it. Again, I used the layering technique with primer and watercolor ground. At some point the layering had a diminished return, so I may pull back and see if I can get good results with less layering. This piece looks better at a distance than up close. My camera on the iphone 11 is too good.
This is a small piece (4.5" x 4.5") that I did to have some art to put in frames I have that I never got around to using. One of my long term projects is to do art specifically to fill frames. My goal is to fill the cottage with my art.
I picked the color palate that would go with the color palate of my cottage. The accent colors I have are green and orange with colors of reddish brown, grey, beige, black, and cream.
This is the style art I am interested in. I am a huge fan of early 20th century expressionism. I am more interested in conveying a mood, emotion, and interesting subjects.
This is my latest work I finished. This is a result of a favorite technique of using multimedia primer and watercolor ground to layer different mediums like graphite and watercolor underpainting with soft pastels, pastel pencils, graphite block, oil pastel, and acrylic pen. This technique results in really interesting texture like it is on a fresco wall. It also gives it an old school oil painting feel. The green underpainting allows the skin to reflect the background and ambient green and also contributes to the old world painting look.
I tend toward expressionism than hyper-realism since I do not like spending a lot of time on a piece as I get tired of it. I like color and boldness. I want whatever I make to have emotional content. It is more important to make you feel something than to present a realistic depiction. I love chunkiness in my art and I am trying to inch into abstract expressionism, but I am not quite there...yet.
D.K. Castellucci is an artist living in Marin County who works in oil and soft pastels, charcoal, gouache, and watercolors.