Saturday, March 17, 2007

March 17 - Peony in Textured Acrylics 5x5 inches

Slipping back into acrylics for a while, I decided that the palette knife and a peony needed to meet up on a five by five canvas. I love these flowers, having seen them as a child growing up back east. They are sensous, fragrant and seem to contain a gentle spirit within. The palette knife was fun, quick and allows for some very interesting edges! The colors are much more luminous than the image, but it still brings me pleasure.
I've put it on ebay in my store, here.

Friday, March 16, 2007

March 16 - Arizona Morning Skies 7 x 5 Oil

This is the second painting started in my before-dawn painting session at Grapevine Canyon Ranch. After doing the dawn piece looking east, I spun the easel around and painted the clouds coming up over the Dragoon Mountains behind the ranch. I'm quite pleased with the design of this one, as it seems to hold one's eyes for a long time, enjoying the many vagaries of the edges of the clouds. I'd like to be there again, enjoying the morning light! This little gem is for sale for $100 as an item in my new ebay store.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

March 15 - The Wrangler Painting, One More Pass

It isn't quite finished just yet, but well on its way. I have established the contrast of the sunlight on the forms and ground where needed, and reduced the general value of the shadowed areas to enhance the contrast. I used resin gel medium with my colors to glaze over the areas and reduce the values. Those wonderful Classic Oils are very versatile! One must not rely so heavily on source material that it takes away from the dramatic possibilities. I apoogize for the poor quality of image tonight. I took it in the ambient light of my studio, after dark. When it is finished and the last details added, I'll be sure to have an image taken outdoors to show the true colors and vagaries of value. Now off to sleep.
Complete blog with more images here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March 14 - The Morning Wrangler Lesson Painting, Second Pass

The canvas is 98 percent covered now with the colors that will be the basis for the final pass. At that time I'll put in the details and the highest contrasting points of light. Squint your eyes at this stage and you'll still see the abstract composition in there--hidden mostly now by the similar values. If you would like a peaceful painting, make similar values--Edgar Whitney called it "Large Dark in Midtones", and this painting will fall into that value category. But the light passages will make drama, and take it to a different value structure--Small Lights, Large Dark in Midtone. If you're interested in Edgar Whitney's teaching, he wrote a book on (ulp!) watercolor painting. But the section on designing paintings is spot on for any artist. "Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting" is the title.
In this painting I'm finding the most pleasure in mixing the harmonious hues, keeping to the two color families of warm and cool where appropriate, and just enjoying the journey. I hope you do, too!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March 13 - The first pass on the 12 x 16 Wrangler

I prepped the canvas to get rid of the glaring white (which always messes the values and intensity of the hues I'm mixing) and then quickly delineated the outermost edges of the figure and the two horses. Now you can clearly see how I re-designed the structure, moving the heartbeats up and to the left, giving them all room in which to move. I added in the concept of the diagonal shadows in the foreground, cementing completely the diagonal "X" composition, without even putting in any details. The "X" is formed by the implied direction of the figures counter-pointed by the opposing lines created by the shadow shapes. It is true that the abstract structure of the painting needs to be strong enough to see at the simplest early stages, else the painting might end up weak and unexciting. Even without the lights that will come later, the design is pleasing to the eye. All of the colors are intermixes of at least two hues, establishing the grays against which the more pure colors of the blue jeans and sunlit areas will play. What fun!

Complete blog here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

March 12 - Lesson Time Again! Wrangler with Horses

I just couldn't put off painting this guy. This is Butch, one of the long-time wranglers from Grapevine Canyon Ranch, and the source material gathered from the early-early morning hours before breakfast brought me some wonderful sources! This is just great to make a wonderful painting! So the lesson begin again, here with the source material and the sketches that go into the establishment of design for the work. As you can see, I've moved the subject matter (horses and man) to the upper left of the rectangle that makes up the painting surface, because I need some space for him to move into, and also because I need to establish that this is a "ground" painting (versus a "sky" painting.) Tomorrow we begin the lay in and covering the canvas!

Complete blog here.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

March 11 - Red Rock Country, Arizona

The second of the plein air paintings done on location at Grapevine Canyon Ranch, this is a 12 x 9 acrylic with loads of texture in the foliage, done both with palette knife and acrylic texture fibers (Golden product) put on before the glazing. The red manzanita is in the lower part, and the oaks and rocks of the distant peaks near the Cochise Stronghold convey the wonder and mystery of this amazing historic area. As I was working, I kept thinking "here is where Cochise and his Chiracahua Apaches rode". I almost expected one to ride out from behind a hill. I plan to return to this ranch and area, as every time I paint one of these (and also in the near future when I'm working from all my reference photos), I am filled with the simplicity and enjoyment of the experience. Available for $200 by contacting me. The rest of the blog is HERE.