Saturday, October 20, 2012

More From Winters Workshop

My second painting was much like the first.  Again I tried to be as faithful as I could to the process.  I drew a fairly careful preliminary sketch with sharp and broad pointed markers.  They work so well for establishing the light and dark pattern in a painting.  I then began to establish the main features of the painting sketching directly on a white canvas panel (RayMar).  I'm still not sure I like painting on an untoned canvas, particularly with this light - touch style of paint application.  The white that shows through in sunlit areas works fine and even creates a brighter feeling, but in the dark areas, it's much less successful  Maybe it isn't so much whether the canvas is toned or not, but rather how the paint is applied in light and shade areas. 

One the location and shape of major areas is established, I blocked in the darkest areas of the painting with a mix of Rembrandt transparent oxide red and ultramarine deep.  I tied to keep the mix to the warm side and slightly lighter than it could have been.  I think now that I might have gone even lighter for the darkest darks.  The intensity of the sunlit day would have justified that as the more correct approach I think.  Finally  I used a very turpy wash for mid value areas.  At this point, the composition was very easy to see and the light and dark pattern of the future painting was quite apparent.  In fact, it was a temptation to stop right at this point!  Why is it that the bloc- ins so often look better, more exciting and fresher that the final???

Finally, I added color carefully and with a light stroke.

Main Street, Winders CA   oil on canvas panel  12" x 16"

Given how bright and intense the sunlight was on this beautiful fall day, I think this painting just screams for a higher key overall and for some highlights here and there, but it's not bad.  I'll resist going back and trying to lighten it, although I'm dying to!

One the next day I crossed the street and painted a building on the corner directly facing my 'green awning' paintings.  This time, it was blue awnings!

Pizza Oven on Main Street, Winters CA   16" x 12" oil on canvas panel.  

I did one more small painting, but the workshop was winding down and I'd about done Winters.  It wasn't very good so I'll spare everyone.

It was a great workshop.  Thanks Terry Muira for all of your great painting tips and instructions.  I'm glad I made the journey to Winters!

1 comment :

  1. Nice Work, Bruce. I love reading about your plein air trips.