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Friday, May 22, 2015

Fullerton Arboretum Again

 The Southern California Plein Air Painters Association were meeting at CSUF arboretum.  
 I had the board already made in the trunk of the car.  I think if I was going to create a board for the day it would have been a medium to dark purple.  Because the day was overcast the dark underpainting would have sped everything up.
 I had to make sure to stay dark as long as I could in the painting because of the overcast day.
 A couple of fellow plein air painters.  Because I live pretty close to the campus I was able to start a little before 9 am.
 It seemed like it was going to rain several times during the day.  I was thankful that I did not have to pack everything up while everything dissolved in the rain.
 One of the challenges of painting when it is overcast is to save the color until the very end.  It can be difficult to get the variation in color when everything is getting flattened out by the overcast indirect lighting.
 The size of the blooms always get exaggerated when I paint flowers.  If I were to paint them to scale they would be lost in a sea of green.
 Finished.  After four hours.  
 My mom checking out the flowers.  She came out for my son's graduation from CSUF over the weekend.  I drug her along for the trip.  Watching someone paint is not very exciting.  

 The finished painting.  The painting measures 24"X36" and is soft pastels on sanded board with acrylic paint and pumice gel.
The value shot.
The detail shot.  Simplification is over rated.  When it detracts from the quality of the painting it is needless. The idea that we could even paint near the detail that we see in the subject is ridiculous.  Our brain simplifies the complexity before we try to simplify things any further.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mothers Day

I went to the Cal State Fullerton Arboretum to paint after having a nice morning with the wife and kids.
 I knocked out a quick sketch and went right into the painting.  I thought that the arboretum was going to close around three in the afternoon.  I did not start painting till around 12:30 pm.
 I set up in the shade with a nice view of the flower garden.  I picked the arboretum because it would give me a chance to paint in an even more abstract manner.

 There were three of these little guys running around all afternoon.  They were really funny to watch.
 I am getting really close at this point.  The focus shifts from being in the painting to being outside the painting and seeing what it needs.

I finished and packed up, took a picture, packed up the car and headed home.

The finished painting 24"X36" soft pastel on sanded plywood with a underpainting of acrylic paint and pumice gel.
 The value shot.
The detail shot.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

For Your Consideration...

 #1 24"X36"
 #2 24"X32"
 #3 36"X36"
 #4 24"X36"
 #5 24"X36"
 #6 24"X36"
 #7 24"X24"
 #8 24"X36"
#9 24"X36"

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

12 Feet-North and South at Woods Cove

 I knew I was heading to the beach, so I looked towards the sky in the direction of the beach and came up with the color for the boards.  I intended to paint at least two boards so I picked a color that would run throughout the painting.  This speeds up the painting.  Sometimes I will pick a color for the underpainting and it will be all but covered up.
 The gear seemed more compact today when I loaded up.  Sometimes it seems like there is no room. (with the same stuff)
 The following shots are from the most amazing little park.  It is squeezed between two homes.  I want to do a painting from here but I did not have the time today. Looking South
 Looking North

 I liked the shadows within the rocks, so I painted this view first.  I knew what I would get latter in the day.  
 I considered what my second painting would be.  It takes a while to move my stuff when I have it all out so I wanted to conserve as much time as possible.  The last time I painted two 24"X 36" paintings, I had to rush the second one because I ran out of time.
 This would be the second painting of the day.  I liked the color of the light on the rocks.

 I had left my sketch pad at home and as a result I had to work on correcting the drawing several times before I was ready to move further into the painting.
 I basically have everything in place.  Because the sun is starting to change everything, I have to decide what I want the painting to look like.
 I have the backlit rocks the way I want them in terms of light and shadow; so now it is a matter of keeping to the plan and not chasing the changing pattern.
 The crazy detail of the bluffs are what I find interesting about this view of woods cove.  As a result, I spent a lot of time in getting the subdivisions of the bluffs to resemble what I saw. 
 I think this painting could have turned out better if I had spent more time on it; but there is a point when I feel full of the painting and I need to stop.
 This was not one of those times.  I do not think I got the full expression that I was looking for when I started.  I also think the underpainting worked against me in this instance.  I think the painting would have been more interesting if I had perhaps picked a orange color to underpaint the board.

The finished painting.  South at Woods Cove  24"X 36" soft pastel on sanded plywood with a underpainting of acrylic.
The value shot.

The detail shot.

 It was already really hot and I was thirsty and needed to use a restroom.  So I did what I would normally do; I started another painting.
 Again I had to work the composition out on the board as I went.  I would have preferred to sketch it out first.  It really saves me a lot of time and frustration.  I had trouble getting the composition I wanted.  I had issues with the size and relationship between the rocks.  I did not let that stop me.  I merged some of the shapes of the rocks together and then cut the water in and around them to establish a better facsimile of the scene.
 Some of the ratios between the rocks were still wrong but it wasn't going to get much better so I moved on.
 I really simplified some of the content.  I especially simplified the water.  The tide was starting to come in and although my stuff was on some rocks out of the way; I did not want to deal with wet shoes.  Normally, I will watch the water and paint small sections at a time.  I will try to see it at the same point in the surge so that I am accurate.  This time I tried to see the whole thing at once.  I waited for the right combination of things going on and took a mental picture.  I put it in really quickly and left it alone.  The shape of the water helped describe the shape and distance between the rocks and was added at the very end.

Facing North Woods Cove. 24"X 36" soft pastel on board underpainted with acrylic paint
 The value shot.
The detail shot.  Plenty of board showing in the water.
The days work.