Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mohican Bird feeder

This 8x10 is unfinished. I was unable to finish as my mother needed moved out of the sun (she is in a wheelchair) and to take her to dinner. The weather was perfect for painting, although a little warm for me. 80+degrees. The plan is to add some tree branches so that the feeder isn't floating in the sky. It was very hard to place something to show you are high up. It will be a challenge. I want to add some birds, although the squirrels dominated the scene. Also, I see the sides of the roof are unequal and my clouds look like alligators and need more cloud added. So more work on this little one.

Photo of Gazebo

As you can see there are no leaves yet on the trees, so I added them,and you can see how I changed the trees to make the composition work. I may look at the painting some more and see if it needs anything more.

Mohican Gazebo painting

I guess I am paranoid about posting that I will be gone for a few days. I spent two days in Mohican Park and got one and half painting done. This was done in the morning. I chose to put the gazebo top in the bottom third side and bottom of the 8x10 canvas. This photo will have to be straightened to post on Fine Art America. The Spring colors on the far side of the lake had to be adjusted for the painting as they were too brilliant. The water changed continually and the light was changing so I had to decide what would stay. I will post the photograph on the next blog so you can see I changed the trees to make the composition work better. I also worked on the details at home, darkening in places, putting shadows and lights on the trees, putting shadow and light on the floor of the gazebo. I heightened the colors of the sun on the leaves also.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Finally got to work on this little painting

Gosh, it took a while to get at this...constant interruptions. Life gets in the way of painting. I checked the values. I didn't want to go too strong as it is a Spring painting. I cut the tree way back as it overpowered the buildings. I had to change the colors in the building to get the effect of late afternoon light and shadow. I needed much more planning on this little piece and as I said before I had to go back in and blur out some things from previously white knuckling it (tight detailed painting) My hero is Marc Hanson. He just can make those small paintings sing with few brushstrokes.

Friday, April 17, 2009

No painting today

Too many things going on, Had to run errands, get my lawn mower going and took it to my son, also took him down a form holder to fix for a lightweight easel to be attached to a lightweight tripod. I got the idea from the Tom Brown blog that I get. I am hoping to paint out with less weight. Hope it works. Must get better organized.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What's wrong with this painting?

I was in such a hurry to paint out since it was sunny and fairly warm. I wanted to see if I had what I needed for plein air and was trying to keep it to a minimum.You can tell by the painting that nothing really sparked me. I was attracted to the shapes and little bit of green. But again, no passion here! I started with a toned pink 5x7 canvas panel, figured my center of interests would be the bell tower with it being the darkest dark and the lightest light and put it in the upper third cross hair. I began putting in the sky making it lighter around the bell tower. Then with a light mauve for distant trees on the left and added some on the right to get the color on the other side of the building. I failed to make a value study or even look through my red film to see the values. So all the values are off. Actually instead of going to the bell tower with the eyes and moving around the painting you just jump back and forth to the tree. I think I can fix this. It has the colors of Spring but the building needs some deeper values and the tree and blossoms need toned down. I think the tree is some sort of crabapple. Deep red leaves or blossoms sprouting. I did find I had everything I needed and it fit on my cart. I don't like 5x7. Prefer 8x10. I have a tendency to white knuckle it and it is hard to be loose working that small but time was of the essence. Will work on it. And I also see that the one limb of the tree is a direct line to the roof. That will have to be changed. There just aren't many interesting shapes in this painting so I need to look at some rules!!


Here is the photo of the painting I worked on this afternoon after the car's oil change, a trip to Sam;s club and home.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A coffee painting composition

I was invited to teach coffee painting this summer. First I had to look up coffee painting, then I had to try it. I designed it so the front sail would be the lightest light against the darkest dark land. If you follow your eye around the painting you go from the sail to the top of the island and around to the mast and down to the skipper who is also close to the other third cross hair on the lower left. Coffee painting is different. The coffee doesn't stay where you put it. It slides to the edge of a wet area and makes a dark line. It is much like watercolor and you have to either paint over it frequently to darken it or make your coffee stronger. If you plan a painting, the very first thing you say to yourself is, " Why do I want to paint this?" Is it the color, the mood, the way it makes me feel, a reminder of something? Then design the painting. Where is the focal point going to go? Remember divide the sides by three and mark the cross hairs. It doesn't hurt to have two focal point for design but you must make one of them stronger, more detailed with brighter color.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What starts the spark?

This is one of my favorite plein air paintings.

This was done last September at Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie. It was early morning and the light was fantastic. I decided that the dock would be the center of interest and positioned it where the 1st third of the side panel and the first third of the top panel met. This point would be the darkest dark and the lightest light met. This is also where the most detail occurs. One can always add the brightest color in this spot. I began this painting by painting the sky first and making the clouds go toward the center of interest for a design element. The darks were then put in thinly a dark purple and let dry. Then the colors of the land and trees were added. The water was done with light and dark blues with a design to lead the eye into the picture.