Friday, November 11, 2011

Painting From A Painting - UPDATED

In my previous posts, I described my recent trip to Ft. Bragg and Mendocino for a painting workshop.  The last painting I did was on the bluffs above the Pacific just mile or so outside of Mendocino.  I liked the painting quite a bit and I decided to paint a bigger version in the studio.   I was disappointed to find that the photos I took that day were almost useless...completely washed out.  My camera is an inexpensive point and shoot, but ususally gives me decent pictures.  In this case, I suspect I had the camera set on manual unknowingly.

I decided to forge ahead using my 16 x 12 plein air original.  I've included it at the bottom of this post.   

I chose a 24"x36" canvas that had an old, very bad acrylic painting on it.  Several weeks ago I had covered the canvas with a  wash of white oil paint so it was handy and ready to go.  Just as I had done with the plien air painting, I started with a red / orange tone of middle value and then started to sketch directly with the brush.

Morning on the Mendocino Coast   Oil on Canvas   24" x 36"

This painting really "flowed" for me.  I covered the entire canvas with basic form and color during the first session of about 2 hours.  I felt like I was doing a plein air painting again, quick decisions, rapid coverage, broad shapes.  It just felt like I knew what the next step, the next color would be, maybe because I had already done the painting in plein air.  This was a fun painting and I looked forward to each session to add a bit more.  It's interesting how different the paintings are...the newer studio version is really done from memory, with only the original plein air painting to help. (I've noticed that this picture is clipped when displayed on the Blog page.  If you click on the picture, you'll get a larger, complete version.  Wish I knew why that happens.)

Here's my "model"....


  1. Bruce, I love both paintings. Painting big is not so easy when trying to keep
    the painting fresh. Nice work and lovely post.

  2. Thanks Ruth...this is the largest painting that I've done in quite awhile. I really enjoyed it.

  3. I like both, but your second one is my favorite of the two! Great day, great painting and so much fun and challenging! Vickie Chew

  4. Thank you, Vickie! I really enjoyed the experience of painting the 'same' scene from life and then in the studio. I was surprised at how much different the results were. And yes, it WAS a great day!