Artist Crush-Qiang Huang

Artist Crush-Qiang Huang

Qiang Huang demo at #PACE16

Qiang Huang demo at #PACE16

I have an artist’s crush his name is  Qiang Huang.

Of the twelve demonstrations I attended at#PACE16, my favorite wasQiang Huang- Capturing the Texture of Old Architecture. An inspired artist and exceptional teacher, Huang managed to explain his process so clearly I felt as if I could accomplish a passable representation of an architectural piece, a genre that,so far, has eluded me.
I first noticed Qiang Huang‘s (pronounced Chong Wong) artwork on Pinterest
Then in March I listened to his incredible interview on AHA . I knew from that point on he was someone I could connect with, learn from, and have an affinity with his vision. Serendipitously he was on the teaching staff at #PACE16, held in all places, Tucson! Just about 40 miles from my home. #PACE16 hosted by Plein Air magazine and Eric Rhodes know how to pick’em!

His demo, much like a mini workshop, at #PACE16 was a breakdown of his painting process. He shared the reasons for his color palette choices,such as using Naples Yellow Pale for warmth in the lighter values.He also gave us tips for drawing with the proper perspective and shared some great nuggets of wisdom.

If you see a happy accident,try and keep it.


Signature Style

Huang uses various painting methods to create contrast and variety in the same color notes. Some of his most used tools include the palette knife, bristle brushes,paper towels,calligraphic strokes, and even a credit card.

way better than a photograph

Qiang Huang’s philosophy on painting.

Qiang Huang-inspiration tip

I think I’ll use this reference for a painting and consciously recall Huang’s mini workshop

I have signed up to take his workshop in February, at Scottsdale Artist’s School in Pheonix, and can hardly wait! Last I checked spots were still available. If you have never been to the Scottsdale Artist’s School, I highly recommend it. You can read about my experience in the post-Workshop Review-Michelle Dunaway.

Qiang Huang demo at #PACE16

Qiang Huang demo at #PACE16

I hope you have enjoyed this latest “Artist Crush”, please feel free to share on social media, it really helps me out 🙂

 

Why Tubac Arizona is an Artist’s Mecca

Why Tubac Arizona is an Artist’s Mecca

When we first found Tubac, AZ, I knew it would be a place where I would be inspired to make my dreams come true. The past few weeks have been a great example of the creative energy that flows through this small desert village._MG_8067

On my birthday, my husband and I were cruising through town on our golf cart when we saw  the fabulous Darcie Peet  painting a demonstration landscape in front of Big Horn Galleries. Watching her paint, I learned some new brushwork techniques- notably the way she held and twisted her brush to create the ocotillo branches. One of my favorite tips I learned watching her is to carry a nutcracker in your Plein Aire box to open tight fitting lids on paint tubes.   Many people, including a group of artist friends from Tucson, stopped to watch her paint and to say “hello.” Those of us watching Darcie painted benefitted from the insider’s tips shared by the wonderful group of Arizona artists.

Local artist Karon Leigh hosted a cleverly titled a “Wax & Wine” evening: an intro to encaustics and a creative social gathering. I have been interested in encaustic painting since first seeing the medium used by artist Christine Patterson. The class was both informative and fun. The timing was great for me as I have been working feverishly to complete many paintings before the Santa Cruz County Open Artist Event in March. It was good to have no rules, no deadlines, and no expectations. It was also quite fun to work in a more abstract manner.

encaustic



 

brandon Bailey collage

This past weekend, nearly 200 artist/ vendors were on hand for the 57th annual Tubac Festival of the Arts. John, my husband, parked cars, helping raise money for the Santa Cruz schools. I helped my mentor, Lou Maestas, with one of his four demo paintings ????? outside of Rogoway Turquoise Tortoise Galleries. Rogoway hosted five artists during the festival, Brandon BaileyArtie YellowhairDavid K. JohnSantiago Gutierrez, and Lou Maestas. I had the pleasure of seeing three of the artists create beautiful work.



 

I discovered a new artist, whose work I admire, Dawn Normalis. She was also demonstrating out in the hot sun, her loose and expressive style didn’t seem to suffer from the intense heat.I hope to visit her in Colorado this summer to paint. There were many other artists demonstrating and sharing their knowledge and talent around town.

GO FIND the place that fuels your inspiration tank and treasure it!

Untitled design

 

How the Painting Process Goes in my Studio

How the Painting Process Goes in my Studio

Painting Processes

A quick overview of my oil painting process.Beginning with prepping the surface to a completed painting.

evening run for this Conemarra pony

evening run for this Conemarra pony

Beginning

There are many steps that go into creating a painting other than simply dipping your paintbrush into the paint and applying to the surface.

I begin by building the substrate (Primary or underlying material on which other materials are applied.) Beginning with ⅛ inch MDF board and 1×2 pine, glue and a nail gun I build a cradled panel. To this I apply an archival safe texture, a 4 step process similar to Venitian plaster. This is then sanded down until I am pleased with the surface, not to textured, not too smooth.

gessoing cradled panel

gessoing cradled panel

applying gesso to cradled 36x 36 panel

applying gesso to cradled 36 x 36 panel

Composition and Underpainting

The next step is choosing the subject and the composition. In this a case a Conemarra Pony in the setting sun. I am drawn to images with a quality of light you can almost feel. I often use photoshop to recompose the image to fit my chosen canvas size. then I print out the image as a guide.

For most paintings I begin by doing an oil rub-out method. A mixture of burnt umber and ultramarine blue with a couple drops of oil of cloves, to slow the drying time is applied somewhat evenly and thinly over the entire surface. Then using rags and clean brushes the lighter values are pulled away and the darker values are painting in to create the illusion of 3-D on a two dimensional surface.

A mixture of Burnt umber, Ultramarine Blue Deep and 2-3 drops of oil of cloves.

A mixture of Burnt umber, Ultramarine Blue Deep and 2-3 drops of oil of cloves.

general coverage of underpainting-rub our pigment

general coverage of underpainting-rub our pigment

IMG_4628

Time to Move on to Color

Satisfied with the rub out I begin mixing the colors. I like to create piles of paint rather than mixing stroke by stroke. This way I have enough paint to make a cohesive underpainting and then make slight variations in value and temperature with each stroke.

key color chart

key color chart

Though I usually begin with a finished product in mind, sometimes the end result is not quite what I had planned, but I feel like as I get to know the subject through the careful observation of painting, their character begins to emerge. This leaves me as the only the vehicle to deliver the message.

evening run for this Conemarra pony

evening run for this Conemarra pony

How to feel humble

How to feel humble

Humble enough to know I'm not better than anybody and wise enough to know that I'm different from the rest.

Humble enough to know I’m not better than anybody and wise enough to know that I’m different from the rest.

  1. step out of your comfort zone
  2. open your true self up to the public
  3. commit yourself to a daily challenge
  4. expose yourself by being held accountable to said challenge
  5. believe that if many can do it, you can do it too.

Maybe it’s my rebellious nature to fight the “have to” Or Maybe it’s  the quality of work I want to produce, coupled with my experience, it is just not attainable in consecutive 24 hour periods to complete a painting.  Both times I have set out to do a daily painting challenge, I’ve gotten really frustrated. Frustrated that my paintings don’t seem to come out the way I have pictured. I can’t seem to mix the color I am looking for or make the stroke curve just so. Maybe its because of the time constraint, I don’t take long enough to observe the subject, plan and execute the plan. The time constraint also limits one (with my experience) with a very simple subject, so I tend to try small uninspired still life paintings.

I have decided to be a little gentler on myself, paint daily, yes. Paint a completed painting everyday, I would want to share with the World Wide Web, maybe.

When I look at the progress I have made in my drawing skills, observational skills, and knowledge of the materials, I can see I have made giant steps on my journey to becoming an artist. The drawing on the left I drew in August 2013 the one on the right July 2014.

 

Progress

Progress

Practicing, painting, sketching, reading, about art everyday for the past 6 months have pushed me far. No reason to get a discouraged because I signed up for a challenge. Maybe I am not ready to succeed at this challenge, yet, but I will keep trying because it’s something I am passionate about.

the master has failed