Thursday, February 15, 2007

Garden at Cambria 2

I decided I liked the smaller 9"x12" Garden at Cambria painting so much that I decided to do a larger version of that painting on 18"x24" sized canvas. Most of my work is smaller 12"x16 and under paintings so this is a nice change going largest painting yet.

I also snapped a few pics of the progress on this one. To check my memory, and for fun, I decided to move the smaller painting inside the house and not use it for reference in doing the larger painting. I painted the larger version using only my original reference photo like on the first version. My results were pretty dang close to the smaller painting.

Here you see the start of the first then the added houses. After that I used a thinned paint and, using a paper towel, simply rubbed in the dark blocked in areas of foliage. Some for the dark shadows and some just for an underpaint of foliage where the leaves would be painted in as just mid and highlighted values. I never actually paint "leaves"...they are just suggested masses of paint. These rubbed in areas of paint are a mix of the color of paint you want to use and then dipping a paper towel into turpentine, dipping that into the paint mixture and rubbing away. The nice thing about this method to get these areas done first is that the turpentine causes the paint to set up to a tacky finish in just a few minutes when the turpentine dries. This allows you to paint your mid and highlights right after it dries. I move to other areas to give it some added drying time and then go back to these areas. Looks horrible but it works.

Here you can see the added foliage being painted in over the rubbed in areas. I'm a lefty so I tend to paint from right to left across the canvas. Being a large canvas and using small Flats this process took a few hours.....

Here you see most of the foliage added. I've layed in the cool whites of the fence. This is just Ultramarine Blue added to Titanium White. To the left I increased the blue to darken the fence in the corner of the painting. I thought the fence posts were too narrow so I widened them right after this photo was taken....made a big difference. My perspective was thrown a bit working on the larger canvas. I'll add the white highlights of the fence next which will finish forming the fence....

Finally, the finished painting after lots of tweaking here and there. Overall, a close resemblance to the first smaller painting but some noticable differences. I'll try and get the gallery I'm in to take this piece and use the smaller piece for showing at local Artist Guild shows.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Solvang Nocturne 1

Nocturnes.....the first one I ever saw was one painted by Whistler...famed artist who painted what is commonly known as "Whistlers Mother" but is really titled "Arrangment in Grey and Black No.1". Whistler did many nocturnes. I've seen many nocturnes painted by artists I know and it also added to my desire to try a nocturne. Nocturnes are not easy and this is my attempt to do one that wasn't totally terrible. I'll do a simpler one next time.

This is actually a scene outside of where I live looking towards the neighbors house next door on a hill. It was a challenge to do and worth the effort for the lessons I learned while doing it. If I painted nocturnes for the next year I'd get much better at them....or I'd cut my ear off.

Garden at Cambria

I visited the town of Cambria last year and naturally took a lot of pictures for futre reference material. I think as much as Plein Air painters love to visit locations and immediately capture the scenes on canvas I love capturing images on film just as much. Sometimes snapping the shutter as fast as possible out the car window and sometimes framing a scene as you would to compose a painting. Both methods have resulted in some great paintings. As much as I know good planning pays off sometimes the best things in life are purely accidental as well as a gift. The trick is being able to remember to just see them when they present themselves.

This little garden in the backyard of one of the shops there had all the charm in the world and reminded me of my Grandma who loved to grow things in her backyard...and front yard as well. I've painted 2 paintings now as a result of my Grandma. This is the legacy you leave behind if you are a truly a good person in life, wonderful memories for those left behind. Some of those memories inspired me to paint this scene.

"Garden at Cambria"

12"x16" Oil on Ray Mar panel

The fence was painted in 2 parts. First, the fence posts were painted in a cooler shadowed blue darkening the mixture where the shadowed part would be and done without sketching it in.

After that the highlights were put in and then the foreground flowers were added.

That's what I love about painting. The fence really looks more than it is but it is really just some dark blue paint and then some added white trim on one side...a few strokes and you end up with what looks like a picket fence on a sunny day. Too cool!


I do have a love of fishing boats. So much so that I orginally began to paint as a means to see my drawings of boats become painted boats. These are two of my first completed boat paintings from that quest.
This first one if titled "Eureka Boatyard" and comes from a photo I snapped while stopping for an hour in Eureka, California at the harbor.

"Eureka Boatyard"

12"x16" Oil on Ray Mar panel

The second image is one done of some boats moored in the main channel up in Morro Bay. Behind them is the sandbar that forms the harbor there. I'll do more boats in the future so I can really do them well one day. I like both of these paintings and consider them a great start. Painting landscapes has taught me many lessons in learning to paint and payed off well in creating these two paintings.

"Channel Mooring"

5"x7" Oil on Masonite panel