Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Morro Rock Surf

I remembered to take some work in progress shots with this painting. This is titled Morro Rock Surf but shows nothing of Morro Rock which majestically juts out of the waters edge in Morro Bay. The title just sounds better than Morro Rock Jetty Surf...and I wasn't that far out on the jetty. Morro Bay gets some huge surf so no messing around out there for me.
Here's the start. Not much of a sketch but that's not needed much in painting...it's all done on the fly and with color.
Painting in the base colors of the rocks and water. I try to do 2 things here...get it as close to what I'm looking for and to fill up the canvas fast so it seems like you are making progress, haha. You are painting over these base colors so the sooner they are in the sooner I can begin the "real" painting.  
Adding detail to the rocks while the water sets up a bit. I don't like working wet on wet so I will move around to let areas get as tacky as they can.
 Adding the water detail and shaded foam of the wave. This is the beginning of dialing it all in which really is more of the work. As this stage progresses things get altered and changed around quite a bit to get the finish I want. In looking at the final image you can see how many changes were made from this stage. 
The final painting. In the upper stage you can see how the rocks vary in color. In my final version I went back over some of them to tie them in more with a tan/reddish tint leaving only foreground rocks grey. The last two marine paintings were primarily blue colors so for this one I wanted something different...reddish grey water, tan rocks with a reddish tint and an overall lighter value to the painting. 
"Morro Bay Surf"
12" X 16" Oil on Panel

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Work Work Work..on the website

            Late last night I went to check something on my website and realised I was way behind in keeping it updated. So I started updating the pages of the website....what a chore that has become. I built it and maintain it but it is way larger than when I first built it 18 or so years ago. It's a beast!
           My website is divided into two galleries, pen & ink and painting galleries. The painting gallery is keeping me plenty busy when it comes to updating pages, adding new paintings etc. I spent most of today fixing glitches on pages and adding 8 more pages for new paintings. I still have other work that needs to get posted there but that's going to have to wait.

The ftp program I use to load pages online sometimes works slow. I was having a boatload of problems with my computer too the last few months. A slow computer and an iffy internet connection is no fun. I got a cool Christmas present from Linda that I was begging for, a Toshiba 3 terrabyte desktop harddrive ($80-90). I moved almost all of my images and all of my music files onto that which made my computer speed back up and work better...gigabytes and gigabytes of photos/music were moved over to that puppy but because it holds so much it hardly put a dent on it's storage capacity. I also made a complete backup of my computer on it too. I think I've used about 1/10th of it's disk space. I love that little black box on my desk. For the bad internet connection I bought a Netgear WiFi Range Extender ($60.). Plugs into any wall outlet halfway between my computer and our router and bam...a way better signal here. I went from a connection of around 20-30 on a good day to 80-90 now....much faster connection. Life is good. If you store a lot of image files, like most artists, having more storage helps a lot.


Thursday, January 02, 2014

We Move On.....

Welcome To 2014 My Friends
Today is Jan 2, 2014. I'm glad you are here and wish you and your family the best the New Year that truly deserve. I hopefully will continue down the twisty road of art and if things go right I should be a better artist by the end of the year, if you are a painter the same should apply to you if you work at it...nothing is free except doing nothing, that doesn't cost anything but you get what you pay for. We continue to pursue being better painters in 2014.

I couldn't paint yesterday because of the holiday. I even went to bed at 11:30 but because of that I was up at a dark 4:45. I made coffee and headed for the studio. I had planned on starting work on a new painting I have in mind as a good way to start out the year but instead I decided to go back at one I had painter in early 2013 but over the year had grown less and less happy with the mountain colors. In the original painting the mountains were painted a more violet color. I've done that before but for some reason in this painting the violet was just too intense. To me the painting looked like 3 horizontal stripes moving across the painting. I know the compositional move to fix that and in future paintings will do just that. For this painting, adjusting that color of the mountains will do for now.

"Valley Evening"
12" x 16" Oil on panel
Now it feels better to me. I like the atmosphere in this painting. A few birds in there too which is the easiest way I can think to add some life to the scene. I'm still no big fan of including people in landscapes....they just draw too much attention. I know a lot of painters would disagree but that's ok. They can paint their own paintings.
My trees are always slowly evolving as I learn to paint them more and more. Each painting is another race, another lesson, another test of how much better you can paint compared to the last painting. Of course, how you see your progress and how fast they happen are variables all of us painters have to deal with as we learn.