Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In The Arroyo

"In The Arroyo"
22" X 28" Oil on Canvas
I was heading to take reference shots of the Colorado St bridge at the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena. Along the way the path went by these nice sycamore trees casting some nice shadows under the dense canopy. I've been trying to paint more sycamore trees so I decided to paint this scene....shadows, Fun painting to do and full of small challenges along the way. This is a busy painting and one I would have stayed away from painting a couple of years ago. I'm feeling more confident with these types of scenes and am starting to enjoy their challenges. The background foliage is mostly just suggested work and after the initial colors are blocked in it becomes just a matter of suggesting leaves and shadows with bits of color notes. In the end it looks more than it really is...all a matter of suggestion which goes a long way in painting. Below are two images of the early stages of this painting .

Above you can see the background "tree" colors blocked in and at this stage I was starting to add "leaf" detail. Just blocking in the underlying background colors fills up the canvas pretty quick. I did this stage before going to bed and thenit overnight tacking up so in the morning I came back to it and just starting dabbing in the "leaves" and edges of the blocked in colors.

In the upper image you can see more of the background suggested color nots are in and I'm moving on to blocking in the dried leafy trail floor. Once these colors were in I went back over them scumbling with a worn brush and knife adding detail to that area. After a while I just jumped around the canvas dialing it all in until it looked and felt finished....and that's it.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Eaton Canyon

"Eaton Canyon Meadow"
22" X 28" Oil on Canvas

It seems everytime I go to Eaton canyon I end up in the meadow. It is just as you cross the water when hiking from the parking lot of the nature center there. There are some giant oaks and sycamores that line the meadow on one side and the bottom of the San Gabriel mountains on the other. This is the kind of trail my brother and I used to love running along playing as kids set free in the mountains. Lots of fun painting this one.

Here is a detail of the painting.....

I had the good fortune to visit the canyon 3 or 4 times this past year and that's pretty cool considering I now live over 130 miles away. When I was a kid we used to ride our bikes up to the canyon...or just walk if someone had a flat tire. They had the coolest pictures of a hiker who had been biten by a local rattlesnake. Our hikes were mostly in summer so it got pretty hot in the canyon by afternoon. Now I like to go there either in early morning or later afternoon to watch the colors of the San Gabriels ignite as the sun falls into the Pacific ocean. Sometimes the mountainsides are the most amazing pinks, reds and peach colors....just awesome to see this at various times of the year.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Spring Blooms

"Spring Blooms"
9"x 12" Oil on Panel
A painter buddy of mine, Rich Gallego, finished the year with a painting I saw and that was all I needed to get his kick in the butt to do a painting before the year ended but it was less than an hour away from midnight on New Years night. I started this one but had to stop to do the Champagne thing, haha. I finished it today after getting caught up with other needed things. This was painted from a small 5x7 study I did a few months back. I realy liked certain parts of the study and wanted to try a bit of a larger painting. I like the far off mountains but wish I had placed them just slightly higher. I also like the textures and bits of pure color in the foreground poppies. Some paintings are just fun to paint and this was one of those types of one to start the new year off with.
Happy 2011!!!