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Friday, May 25, 2012

Painting at Pelican Point

 I went to Crystal Cove to paint because inland it was about ninety degrees and it was to supposed to be cooler at the beach.  This is one of the classic scenes in the area that has been painted since Laguna Beach was a in it's infancy as an artist colony.  This is the view to the north from a spot along the cliffs

This is the view to the south.  Just around the bluffs pictured here is the old artist colony.  Now it is a state park which is constantly being renovated to its former state.

 I took a couple of reference photos and used my camera as a view finder for the compostion of my painting.  The colors were a little more saturated because of the overcast skies.  As with all of my painting there was no thumbnail, no preliminary sketches, and no return visits.  A good painting means getting everything right the first time.  There is no going back.  I don't think about the color it just happens.  Sometimes I will step back and wonder if I made the right choices...but once I am started there is no going back.
 The color I chose to draw my subject set the tone for all of the color choices I made after that.
 One of the things I remember while doing this painting was working to not cover all of the initial drawing of the point. 
 This painting is on pastel board and measures 27"X35".  It is done with soft pastel.  I was running out of time so I did not take a picture of the progress of the second painting of the day.  By the time I started the view to the south, the clouds had started to break.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Smith Lake

Smith Lake is down south from where I live in wine country.  I ended up there after a couple hours of driving around.  I knew I wanted to be in this general area but I did not know where.  I had just started driving which is not what I normally do.
I settled down into a private campsite in the park.  It was pretty hot so I picked a spot in the shade after I had walked around and took some reference pictures.

I had been at this park once before when I had worked in the area but it was in the middle of summer and the plants had all burned out from the heat and lack of water.
I painted for about 2 hours and like always I knew it was time to be finished.  It is like some kind of internal alarm clock going off.  I started painting and didn't stop to take a sip of water until I was done.  Only then did I feel the sun burn and notice the sweat running down my arms.  So deep is my concentration when I am painting that I am not aware of anything but the subject and my process.