Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cloud Play

"Cloud Play" 16x20 oil on linen panel

     Many artists have locations that they like to paint again and again.  This is one of mine. Actually I have painted over twenty 6x8 studies, some plein air and others in the studio from memory. This is a scene I see everyday and as it is on high ground and fairly open it is easy to watch the changing sky and how those changes affect the color and light on the fields. This studio painting was developed from the plein air painting shown below.
     There are several exhibits looming in the near future and I think I will submit "Cloud Play" for one of them. This season is so beautiful that I would like to attempt another landscape from this property but next time perhaps the lower field and maybe a spring storm will be on the way. Time for a little drama!

Plein Air study, 6x8 oil on panel

Monday, April 17, 2017

Quick Studies

"From the Kitchen Window" 6x8 oil on panel

     I have a couple of paintings in progress in the studio as I have three exhibition deadlines to meet and I am finding it hard to stay focused when all is coming to life outside my windows. Last week, after painting in the studio most of the day, I was struck by how beautiful the early evening light was. I was standing in the kitchen considering what to cook for dinner when I changed tack and decided I absolutely had to paint that light!  I am so happy that I keep my pochade box loaded and ready for such moments. I had exactly the right panels tucked in the cover of the box and the one I chose had been toned with a wash of cadmium orange. Perfect!  So I spent a happy hour painting this tiny study, "From the Kitchen Window".

My process for studio work

     Studies like "From the Kitchen Window" have become an important part of how I work. Some, like that little painting, can stand alone and might find their way to a small works exhibit but mostly I like to keep them as references for larger studio works. I also work from drawn sketches in my various sketchbooks, most starting off from quick "thumbnail drawings" and then developing from there.  The above image shows how I created "Blues Alley" which I posted a short while back.  I like to carry a 4x6 inch sketchbook with me and just a ball point pen. That way I am ready for whatever scene might entice me. If it is something I feel I want to paint later in the studio I size it up on graph paper (scaled to the size canvas I want to paint)  and then do a color study (in oil) in the sketchbook I keep for that purpose. Those three things are my references for the painting.

Take a trip to the hardware store!
     In my last post I mentioned some new tools.  Here are some of the fun things I found at my local hardware store and that I am finding useful, particularly for larger paintings. Good edges, both sharp and blurred can be created with some of these!