Saturday, February 03, 2007

February 3 - Finished Lesson Painting, "A Bit of a Worry"

"A Bit of a Worry" is now finished. As you can see from yesterday's progress, my time today was spent in adding more details to the areas where I want your eye to linger, and finishing up the loose painterly aspects of the balance of the surface. By this time, the decisions are far more important than those of the first few passes, and how much detail to pull out is crucial. The lessons of learning what to detail up, and what to leave loosely tendered can consume an entire life! I tend to leave a lot of quasi-unfinished areas, that still support he design without taking your eye away form the story. If you squint your eyes at this finished piece and then go back to look at the black and white structure I sent, you'll discover I strayed hardly at all from that design.
Now we have a painting of the backstretch of Del Mar, and one of the daily routines that go on behind the races. Original oil, 12 x 12 inches, US $500

Friday, February 02, 2007

February 2 - Continuing with the Painting Lesson of Horses

Today's work on this 12 x 12 oil got tabled for a while since I was packaging and sending off paintings, DVDs and books.  Took me most of the morning to get them all ready for shipment. I'm glad of that, because sometimes we artists need time to cogitate about the work we do, while not in front of the easel with it looking back at us. I came back to the easel refreshed and ready to make some interesting changes to the design and focus. 
I'd like you to look at the major changes in the shapes of the two flanking figures. (They still don't have brains, yet!)  I cut into them and added outward with the literal "washing up" of the background areas to the positive shapes of the action. The central hoof checker now has a tee shirt, but I need to get some britches on him! No hats yet, as those color notes are pure accents, and ought not to be added until the painting is cohesive without them. No sense in sewing up a hole in rotten jeans with new thread!
 I did go over the background again, bringing in some of the more muted cool colors to break up the blocky shapes of the barn siding and doors.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

February 1 - The Lesson Painting of Horses at the Track Continues

Now the painting has gone into what I call "the Uglies". I have covered more of the canvas areas with the color that is the major color for each area, except for the foreground and the middle fellow, and there is not much edge control, nor harmonizing of colors across the board. It looks a lot like a cartoon at this stage. Not to worry, tho', because I'm going to fix all of that in the next "go pass".You can also see that I still have held to that abstract structure as I add more pigment, and I am finding come proportional edges to bring the image back into balance.
 So the dance with the brushes continues.
 If you like dressage, I was shown a link that has the amazing Blu Hors Matine at the World Equestrian Games doing a freestyle dressage event that is nothing short of extraordinary!  That mare just dances!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

January 31 - Learning Time Again! Painting Lesson!

Learning time again!  Major changes to bring to you in today's painting, continuing the 12 x 12 oil from yesterday. Some very important things have happened, and I hope I have enough "room" in the message to share it with you! Note how I changed the packground, dividing up the rear space and more effectively placing the figures on a stage with a backdrop. Viewers are more comfortable when  given the illusion that the scene is "contained" for their intimate perusal. The shadowed wall behind, and the openings create that illusion. I cobbled together the new packground from other source photos taken at Del Mar Race Track. Love that tourquoise which is their color!
I have attached another image as an extremely important aspect of painting, demonstrated for you in taking this stage of the painting and manipulating it in my photo editing program. I took out all the color, and flipped it over, with the prime purpose of showing you how important abstract structure is (created in values). Structure is the skeleton of the artwork. Look at the placement and the relationships of the darkest values to the lightest values. And also note that although the background has openings in the wall, they are very close in value to the wall itself to convey the illusion that the wall and openings are further back in the picture. When you look at the upright, colored one, the values don't look that close back there!  I share this with you because one thing I find with many artists is a lack of understanding of how crucially important creating a strong value structure is to the end painting.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

January 30 - Back to Equine Painting!

Time to go to the equine art again, and also time to incorporate some of that earlier experimentation with the thick paint on this 12 x 12 inch oil!  I'm bringing you the start drawing, and also the source material, so you can see what inspired my starting this one.

Perhaps the passing of Barbaro (the race horse) brought this out, but the reference is of a vet or trainer doing a flexion test on the left foreleg of a race horse. The groom and perhaps the owner or assistant or trainer are looking on. The background in the source is booooring, so I'll have to spiff that up a bit, and I am moving the left-most figure so the "action" in the middle is more easily depicted. I also do subtle relocations of shapes to make better design. Lots of loose drawing at this stage, no value issues, no color issues ... YET!

Monday, January 29, 2007

January 29 - Goat Packing and Painting on Location

Since I am still working on the capturing the subtle grays that are permeating our drought-stricken landscape, I headed out today with Vincent van (Pack) Goat for an afternoon of plein air painting. Going about a mile up the canyon behind my studio, I stopped, turned around and painted the view back toward the city. Hard to believe a city of over 150,000 people is just down beyond those trees. Original oil, 12 x 16 inches, complete with goat hair! $200

Just for fun, here's an image of Vincent van Goat and I on our way out to the valley behind us to paint the image above. Vince carries everything--there's a tripod, Open Box M, stool, water, carrots (for Vince) and all supplies in his red carry bags (called panniers).

The setup with Vincent critiquing the location wearing his packing "clothes". It's deceptive, but there's a long downhill hike behind him to the trail in, showing above his noggin. He ate for about 30 minutes, and then just lay down until I was ready to pack up. Follows me like a good dog! We didn't get back to the house until about 4:30, and it was getting on toward sunset, and a lot cooler.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

January 28 - Painting Places Lost to the Developers

A painting that focuses on the softer, gray colors that make a painting sing, today's painting is focusing on those ever subtle grays. I've had a fascination with gray and neutral colors for a short while, and with the interest in keeping values correct, I can really enjoy the process of making a nice painting. Every color of the spectrum is in here, but there is not a shred of conflict! The source for this was a photograph I'd taken near Menifee about 25 years ago. This field is no more as the area is now under tract homes. Original oil, 11 x 14 inches
SOLD to the collection of Linda McFadden of Murrieta, California.