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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Pepper Tree at CSUF Arboretum

The paint out location for this past Friday was CSUF Arboretum The SoCalPAPA were spread out over the grounds.  I ran into a couple of them while I tried to find something inspiring.
I picked this Pepper Tree because of the shape, color, and the shade it provided.
I added a couple of colors to my pallet as I try to evolve my color mixing.  

Keeping it thin with large color washes with big brushes.  Moving to cover the open spaces.
Remaining light value areas are where some of the lightest values will be placed when the painting is completed.
Colors at this point in the painting are used to indicate values within the composition and colors that will react with the colors that I finish the painting with.
Lightening the painting to get a more accurate pattern of values within the painting while further defining shapes and adding the detail of the branches and the foliage.
Darkening areas and further defining the shapes within the painting in order to create the right contrast within the painting.
Darkening the values still further while adding additional shapes and detail within the painting.

Lightening and adding highlights to shapes that were being hit by direct sunlight.  I spent a lot of time with give and take between the shapes and the values within the painting.  It was like a negotiation on what aspect of the painting was going to take over.  Ultimately it ends up being a compromise. 
Further definition of shapes value and color-getting close.
Lightening and darkening one last time.  Touching up shapes.
 Finished! Pepper Tree 24x32 plein air oil on board.
The value shot.
The detail shot.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Back Bay

I got an early start after dropping my mom off at the airport.  She had spent the week with us.
My initial sketch to make sure that I can fit everything in the painting.  I really love the zig zag composition in this location.  I have been painting this size for a year and half now en plein air.  It is a weird size for me.  24x32 
I went to Newport Back Bay Newport Bay Conservancy which was about 5 minutes away from John Wayne Airport.  This allowed me to start painting much earlier than I usually do.  
The initial drawing done and the start of the blocking in of the painting.
The blocking is almost completed.  I am trying to keep the shapes within the drawing intact.  I put in the sky earlier than I normally would.  It set the value plan for the rest of the painting.
The block in completed.  The foreground is set up to react to the colors I am going to add to this area.  One of the time consuming things was having to rework the foreground.
I am working from the back to front to help establish the  areil perspective.
At this point I am ready to elaborate on the shapes, colors, and values within the painting.
The process of subdividing the larger shapes.
I waited for a moment when the sky was appealing to me.  I quickly responded to the shapes and values in the sky.
I wanted to make the foreground darker and warmer in value and color.  This would help create the feeling of distance within the painting and separate the foreground from the middle and background.
The early morning overcast conditions really saturated the colors.
The slow build up within the painting allowed me to chase the light as the sun started to break.  As the time committed to my painting continued to mount I felt this internal urgency to finish.  The paint grew thicker and flew faster as I knew what I wanted in the end.
The gully and brush on the right hand side of the painting had to be reworked to create the right base for my finishing efforts.  I had somehow been able to portray this the first time it would have probably cut off a couple of hours of painting.
Pushing the colors darker and warmer on the right side to allow me to create the feeling of the dried brush.  Some redrawing of shapes on the right also took up valuable time.

The sun had come out but it was still hazy.  It didn't change everything. Starting early allowed me to get a fuller expression.
One of the things about my painting that has evolved is the thickness of the paint I have been putting down.  For the last 3 months I have moved away from thin washes and worked at throwing down thickly applied paint.

The finished painting.  One last review for any last minute touches.
Plein air oil on board 24x32
The value shot.
The detail shot.

Friday, September 1, 2017

SCPAPA Demo with Steve Wang

 Steve Wang preparing to do a demonstration for the Southern California Plein Air Painters Association. Southern California Plein Air Painters
 Steve's demonstration was going to focus on perspective.  He had a great hand out for everyone who attended.  
 A painting Steve did 15 years ago.

 Steve's demo was well attended by the membership.  It was nice to see some familiar faces.  I was hoping there would be more staying to paint.  I always like to see what other painters are doing.  I also like the fellowship of plein air painting.
Peeking at Steve's sketch.
The group engaged as I return from getting my paper towels that I forgot in the car.

Everything laid out and ready to go.  I put in the tree first so that I could relate everything else to it.  I thought it would help me with my perspective.

Steve did a great job at sharing his process.  He kept things fun and interesting.
I started to add Steve and the crowd to the painting but did such a bad job that I wiped it out before really even giving it a chance.  This led me to the realization that I need to start painting people.
Here is Steve's painting.  One of the challenges was to add vehicles to the painting.  That was another fail for me.
Steve winding things up.

Steve's finished painting with the membership.

Ken had a great painting.  I really liked the way he set some objectives for the painting.  He took some pictures and taped them to his easel.
My mom with Steve.  My mom was a real trooper.  She stayed from start to finish.  I was almost the first one there and I was the last to leave.

I finally got to the point where I could start adding the detail and the highlights.  It is tough when you realize that there is nothing you can do to save the painting.  I never quit.  I did the best I could.
This painting really never had a chance.  There were too many changes during the painting to be able to finish it up to my expectations.  The lights never really got light enough.
In reviewing the values you can see that there was an opportunity to push both ends of the value range.  This would have resulted in a much better finish.
I muscled through as much as I could.  I could really feel the rust while I was painting.