Saturday, June 30, 2012

Yellow Daisys

Another still life today.  I love the colors in this one. Again it was done with no OMS at all.  The medium was a premixed combination of Damar varnish, turp and stand oil.  From W&N I think.  It works fine, but I think I like the walnut oil better.  The premixed medium is very thin and it seems like it encourages the painter to use a lot of it.  The Walnut Oil, being thicker and heavier, feels better when applied a little at a time.

The background was put on with an inexpensive 1 1/2" brush Using transparent red oxide with a little olive green and in the darker passages, a touch of black.  Very easy and fast.  The transparent colors let the white of the smooth canvas glow through.  I think it's pretty effective.
Daisys  Oil on 20" x 16" canvas

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kayaker in the Natomas Lake Slough

This is my friend Steve aka Sterling Saguaro kayaking on Lake Natomas.  It was about 4 PM and the sun was intense, the water cold and smooth as glass.  The kayaks cut through the water soundlessly.  I snapped this picture from my kayak as we glided along. 

I laid out this painting in a value study first using markers. I followed the photo closely since the composition was pretty good as is.  I decided to make the background very simple.  During the painting, I did experiment with suggesting more bushes and trees along the bank, but it seemed too busy and unnecessary.  Right now I'm inclined to leave it as is.  We'll see.

I concentrated on strong color and heavy paint and bush strokes in the focus of interest - the kayak and paddler.  The rest of the painting was done with transparent colors and left very smooth and thin.
Kayaking in the Slough  Oil on 12" x 24" stretched canvas

This is the value sketch I made with markers to get a feel for how I'd paint the subject.  I think it helped me a lot.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lesson 5 - Pear in a Martini Glass

Lesson 5 from Dan Edmondson was a fun one.  Very straight forward and it went quickly.  About two hours to complete and fun to do.  This one followed the process of the earlier ones with a simpler subject matter.  First the background was laid it, then the area where the pear would go was rubbed out to remove the background paint.  After the pear was blocked in, the martini glass was suggested with a minimum number of strokes.  Finally the grapes were added and the painting was done.

Pear in Martini Glass.  Oil on 9" x 12" canvas panel

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Little Painting of Pansies

Well, lesson 4 is done....or at least done for today.  This simple little painting was surprisingly difficult.  First, I've never done least in still that was a challenge.  And then, I didn't really like the arrangement.  I didn't feel any excitement or energy and I think the finished painting reflects that: it's dull and flat.  Once again, there were many lessons learned here, some of them hard won.  In the end, I've glad it's over and I'm ready to move on.

Pansies   9" x 12" Oil on canvas panel

UPDATE:  I worked on this little painting again.  I'm still not satisfied, but I think it is somewhat improved.  Oh well, time to move on!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Outside My Studio Door

I only worked 1/2 day today....TGIF!  The backyard was bathed in beautiful summer sunlight when I got home and I had a strong urge to get out the paints.  I had been thinking about how to apply Dan Edmondson's lessons and techniques to my own subject matter, so this was a great time to try it out.  I set up my EasyL just a couple of feet outside my Studio door.  I had recently purchased two wine barrel halves and set them up to soften some ugly concrete that had once been the location of a spa and gazebo.  The combination of the mild summer and the potting soil mix that I used to plant some flowers produced runaway growth, and now, just about three weeks after planting, the little ground cover flowers are blooming their hearts out and the central plant in each barrel is growing like a weed.

This is a small 9 x 12 canvas panel.  Painting time, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  I'd like to come back after things are set up a bit and work on shadows as well as adding a bit more detail here and there.  I'm also thinking about lightening the foreground, including the nearest barrel and plants in order to get more of a feeling of intense sunlight sweeping over everything.  I'll think about it a little more for a couple of days.  All in all, I felt OK.  I followed Dan's processes.  I worked from back to front, finishing each item in the painting pretty completely before moving on to the next.  I used no OMS at all...a little walnut oil being my only medium.  Almost all of the paint is straight from the that I mean, mixed with other colors, but no medium at all.  The exception is the background and the brighter leaves where medium was necessary to get the paint to flow over the layers of wet paint already there. I also concentrated on trying to get the paint down right the first time. Over the years, I've developed habit of putting paint down and then 'correcting' it by coming back again and again to adjust color and value. I'm trying now to get it right the first time.  When I'm successful at that, the colors seem much cleaner and fresher.

Outside My Studio Door  Oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel
UPDATE:  This is the painting today including some of the changes that I mentioned in the original post above.  I tried primarily to intensify the light in the foreground.  I added more detail to the front barrel, including more carefully developed metal bands.  I cooled down the shadows for the same reason.  I also added a bit more light to the closest grouping of leaves in the back barrel.  I think the changes helped a lot.  I'll call this one the completed painting.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lesson 3 Beautiful Watermelons!

I hope you'll bear with me as I post these lessons.  I'd love to get some original paintings posted soon, but I've been enjoying Dan Edmondson's painting course so much and my painting time is limited during the week.

For Lesson #3, Dan sent a gorgeous photo of delicious looking bright red watermelon against a black background.  Talk about a show stopper!  It was a relatively difficult assignment, although Dan's guidance helped a lot.  Once again, I tried for very pure, intense color.  I concentrated on using lots of paint with each brush stroke and painting with confidence.  I literally did not take the cover off of my OMS canister...and the only medium I used was walnut oil.  I'm beginning to get the knack of this approach.  It does seem to require more brushes, however, because it is easiest to try to use a single brush for light colors and another for dark...and in some cases, a single brush for certain colors.  Since the brushes are only wiped clean - not rinsed in OMS - this helps keep the colors clean.   For the most part, I feel like it worked.  There are some areas that I may come back to today...or perhaps when the paint has set a bit.

Lesson #3 Watermelon   9" x 12" oil on canvas panel (with 2 extra coats of acrylic gesso)

Another energizing lesson.  This is so much fun and so educational at the same time!

UPDATE:  I spent a little more time on the shadows under the plums, the cast shadows on the two sections of watermelon and on trying to get the grape colors more accurate.  I think it improved the result.  The picture above is with those changes made.  (6.4.12)