Friday, February 01, 2008

Feb 1 - Plein Air Evening at the Riverside Citrus Park

In the days to come, I'm going to give another series of image/lessons showing how a different painting evolved from being on location at the Citrus Heritage Park in Riverside....but that one will be the morning painting.

I was so enthralled by the changing light of the evening of the same day, that I grabbed my gear and headed back to the Citrus Park toward dusk to capture the light of what turned out to be a spectacular moment in time.

Here is the result of an extremely fast-changing lighting situation on a 9 x 12 canvas. Done in acrylics, I wanted to capture that essence of evening sky and distance, and still have light on the palms and the tops of the orange trees. Like the demonstration for the Quick Draw, this one was built up in layers. The light was changing so fast, though, I had no time to do "in progress" images. By the time I finished up, it was dark, and I had to walk down through the groves back to my car needing a flash light!

This painting is SO Southern California in January! And I nailed the light....I'm so pleased with it. For sale for $300, just contact me to bring a memory of that evening light on the San Gabriels to your collection.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Jan 31 - All finished and Delivered!

One hour and twenty minutes... finished and framed.
I spent the last ten minutes both studying the stage of the painting from yesterday's blog, and also wanting to place more emphasis on that steeple. So I went over the sky again with another layer, blending the brushworks away with a glaze, and then highlighting the area around the steeple with lighter values of that lemon yellow tinted sky (all Color Boot Campers know what I mean when I say Lemon Yellow in morning skies!)

The last act was to put in one of the lamp posts that are so characteristic of Riverside, on the left. No doubt where this scene is with that unique lamp post!

So in sharing the ten minute stages of a plein air quick draw, I hope that I've been able to show how one of my paintings develop to a finished stage. I look at all of the earlier ones and say, "Yipes! Ugggg-LEEs!!" But not out loud. It is just a fact that paintings in process have to go through ugly stages to get to a finished state. And in a nutshell, the finished state is focusing the viewer's eye on those areas where we want interest, and downplaying those areas where interest is much lower on the priority list.

Yes, I know some artists go the mile in detail and focus, but I like to think my painting style is more the way the human eye sees--what is of interest to us is where our eyes focus and thus we get detail at that area. The rest of the scene/critter/person is then less detailed.

No signature, a requirement for these juried events (makes it fair to the judge), and here's the nicest reward a painter can receive--honors for honest effort! Thanks for sharing the journey with me. The painting is now hanging in the Riverside Art Museum, and the opening for that show is February 7.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jan 29 - One Hour into the Quick Draw

The next ten minutes of this painting were spent with a small round and a 1/4 inch filbert, essentially obiliterating the nice arches and windows that were painted a few minutes ago. I'm tightening down some areas with more detail.

By putting in the row of smaller trees, I have linked the grassy area to the church walls, and again created repetition with variety in that each tree is unique, yet similar. These trees were painted with both dark and light values, to create a sense of depth, through which you can see the church. The cars got some more work, and the sunny grass and sidewalks were laid in using those warm whites, yellows and green.

I also added more palm fronds on the upper left side, making the pole-like trunks not so obvious.
One more ten-minute session, where I take a critical long look at it, make some changes, then this pup is DONE!
Hope you've enjoyed it so far. If you missed some of it, please visit my blog below and see the steps in review.

I'm working on the workshop that comes up in a couple of weeks, and my online courses are buzzing right along. There is new work on the easel, too!

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jan 26 - Fifty Minutes into the Plein Air Quick Draw

Whew, after yesterday's image, I'm thinking "this really is in the uglies!" But today's image shows why getting those big flat planes of color in place is essential before heading for the details (which make the finish on a piece).

I've added the arches and windows on the side of the church, using the flat edge of both a 1/2" filbert and a size 6 bright to get the shapes in one stroke, using burnt umber. Then I spent the balance of the ten minutes working on the car shapes by adding the sky reflections on the hoods and tops and painting wheel wells and dark shapes on the opposing side of the street. A little messing around under the bushes on the lower right, and I'm done with these few minutes.

But I did clean up the brush mark on the lower part with more layers of sunlit color before the "dinger" went off again!

Congratulations to new collector Pam Morthorst of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, on the addition of "Through the Woods" to her collection!

Original oil, 12 x 10 inches.
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