Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jan 17 - Welsh Springer Spaniel and Pheasant Continues

I've had some surprising comments on these paintings, and I need to share that I did a marathon of painting to get them done before the 14th deadline for the Art Show at the Dog Show. Now I share them with you as they had been developed, and at leisure, so these were all finished by last weekend. I talk about them in the present tense, because I wrote the draft messages while I painted them.

Now that that's explained...I'm still working in the cool box as I paint the pheasant. One way I can convey action in a flat, two-dimensional surface is to lose the edges of anything that is moving--such as the wings of the bird. He doesn't look "stuck on" when we lose edges, but rather blends in well to the rest of the canvas. Why do we feel we need to outline every edge of whatever it is we paint? To do so means we're relying too heavily on source material--generally photographs--and the action captured without the illusion of movement creates a static, flat image. So I spend a lot of time deciding which edges need to be lost to create that feeling of life and movement in my subjects.

I still have a ton of work to do on the background, but the initial values are in place now. And of course you can see the position of the dog, now, too.

The value plan for this one is called a "keyhole" because of the circular pattern with the lights in a generally round shape near the middle of the canvas. As far as which one of the six value plans, it's destined to be a small light, large dark in midtones.

And on other news, an American icon of painting passed away yesterday--Andrew Wyeth--died in his sleep at 91 after a long life of art and expression. His father, Newell Convers Wyeth created some incredibly beautiful works in value and design that made him the pillar of American Illustration of the first half of the last century. Andrew was most well known for his delicate portrait of "Christina'a World"--the young girl in the field looking away from us toward a farm house.

I hope that all my friends in the southernmost area of the country (Louisiana, Florida and South Carolina) will take note of the Florida workshop, where you will live and work for five incredible days on the grounds of the Carriage Museum while we paint the distinct times of day. The wonderful person organizing this workshop will be going on a trip in April, and hopes to have all the slots filled before she goes. If you're on the fence about this one, email me so we can chat about it. I'd hate for you to miss this opportunity!

Workshop Information can be found here.
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Color System information can be found HERE.
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