Saturday, August 28, 2010

Daily Painting Progress - Painting Marigolds - One step forward, two steps back

Sometimes things don't as planned in the studio.  Every now and then I suffer from an old artistic ailment... I over paint.  There is no cure, you just have to avoid risky behavior and stay away from raiding the refrigerator when things go astray. ( I'm a new member of  EEA - Emotional Eaters Anonymous) I  actually  should have left well enough alone.

One of the benefits I get from this blog is that I take all of these progress photos, and as a result I can step back in time and see  when I have murdered the  light in  a painting.

Nothing to do now but to go back in and see if I can pull the light out again... and of course stay away from the refrigerator.

Speaking of  going back into a painting...a

Loons Lullaby -
still a work in progress

I am still going back into this painting. I keep finding areas to work on.  One day ( before the sun  goes down in this  painting) I may actually  finish it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Painting a few Marigolds

I need to do a few small flower paintings in case the last couple I sent to the gallery sell soon. ( wishful thinking) It always helps to have some backups on hand when  the gallery calls so I don't feel under pressure to produce one on the fly. So, I think I'll do one of my favorites - the marigold.

I painted over the drawing with a line brush. I used a dark mix of Raw Umber and Ultramarine Blue with Liquin. I allowed this to dry overnight and then brushed in the underpainting using Liquin again. Once the Liquin is dry it won't come off when I paint over it. So if I need to rub off an area ( or the entire painting - it has happened) I won't lose my drawing.

 Now with my underpainted drawing safe, I can play with the brush when applying paint.

It's going well and I am having a lot of fun. So why not....

Start another! I think a companion piece will be fun to try. I will paint both at the the same time and hopefully keep the staging process the same. That way I am sure to use the same colors. So I need to catch up to the first.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Plein Air Painting at Lauritzen Gardens

I had a great day painting plein air yesterday. There was an art event at the  Lauritzen Gardens here in Omaha and a group of us (plein air painters)  acted as  props for the garden tourists to  oooohhhh and ahhhh at.  It was a two day event  but I only painted Sunday. The weather was beautiful, with highs in the 80's not the scorching upper 90's of the past few weeks.

I painted this group of Hostas planted in the shade.

Most of the time I enjoy hearing the comments from people behind me while I paint. Especially when parents try to explain to their children, what it is I am doing .

"Oh look dear, there is an artist. Isn't it beautiful? Look at how he paints with a brush. It's just like your paintings from pre-school."

At those times, I must admit, I begin to feel a little bit of pressure. Here I am at a critical point in this  child's life.  I could be representing this kid's introduction to the "Arts". His entire early art appreciation development is in my hands. How do I explain to a 4 year old that I am only just beginning and he shouldn't judge me or my work at this point,

"This is the under painting... I actually do more than these few lines and scribbles... I am only mapping ..."

The kid turns and looks away. I am about as interesting as the shade. He sees another child with a can of soda and runs off.

   We have lost another generation.

Hostas in the Shade

Oh well, I had fun coloring yesterday.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - painting the Phillips Mill Inn - work in progress

Last month I posted about our trip to New Jersey and New Hope, and how I was dripping with sweat while doing some plein air painting at the Phillips Mill Inn, pictured below.

Now, I am comfortably in my air conditioned basement studio back in Omaha, while it is in the upper 90's outside.

I am just starting on a painting of the inn. I transferred my drawing onto a pre-toned reddish brown canvas and began with lighter tones and a few darks.

I am trying to stay disciplined (for those that know me, please keep the laughter down) and build up the paint in a very controlled way. Keeping the layers very thin and the values muted and close.

I put the flag in early for the contrast, I keep talking to myself " stay focussed... keep the other colors muted."  Good thing nobody is here  listening. So far not bad.

Phillips Mill Inn - Work in progress
oil on canvas

Can't wait to get into those rocks on the wall.