Monday, March 02, 2009

Daily Painting Practice - Old Florida -work in Progress

One of my all time heroes is (Winslow Homer). This is his Red Shirt, Homosassa, Florida, 1904.
One reason to admire Homer is that he gives you a real sense of place in his paintings. How can he do this? It's because you can see Homer's connections to his subject. These are not compositions from photographs but compositions from the heart of an artist. They are sketches from life, memory and experience. To be able to compose a painting like that, now that is a goal I want to aspire to!
I have never painted palm trees before, so I am keeping old Winslow in my mind as I try to paint these old Florida gems.
OK, keep the paint loose and watercolor like....even though it is oils. ( and yes I do talk to myself like this when I am painting)
One thing I like to do with oils is paint an underlayer with some saturated color then go over it with a more muted color. It seems to add a layer of depth. Either that or I am wasting a lot of time painting everything twice.
It still amazes me at this stage, how ugly some paintings are when they start out. Right now this painting is nothing more than blotches of color. I actually have the most fun just after this stage of painting. That's when I go back over the blotches and add just enough detail to bring out the form and the light.
click on painting to enlarge image
Old Florida Detail - painting in progress
Here's my progress on the palm tree on the right. I am just starting to go over the blotches here. I think I hear Winslow's voice coaching me, .... "don't forget the coconuts!"


Ed Terpening said...

Wonderful start. Looks like you've been painting palms for years.

Celeste Bergin said...

I love Florida..I take great pride in the fact that I was born there. If I could have a logo for myself..I would love for it to be a palm tree. I tell you all this, because I feel I am qualified to comment that your palm trees are first rate! I'll be tuned in to see the finish. :) said...

Looks good. You do try some tough subjects.

Anonymous said...

When the undertone drawing is as elegantly done as this one, it emerges easily with just those washes.

I really enjoy reading about your process as you paint, including what you mumble to yourself.

Often, I forget that oils can be thinned and used as washes so thank you for reminding us.