Follow Me on Pinterest

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Painting in Santiago Canyon

 This pastel painting is done on masonite with a pumice and acrylic paint texture.  This is the second painting I have done on my surface.  I used Golden fine pumice gel with Paynes Gray acrylic paint.  I painted the mixture onto the masonite.  The tempered hardboard is 3/8th's thick and cut to size.  I bought a couple of sheets at home depot.
 The main focus of the painting is the oak so I established its shape and size relative to the rest of the painting.  The surface measures 24"X36".
 I defined the overall compostion and established some of the lights and dark parts of the painting to which everything else will be compared.
 I worked then to establish more detail in the background of the painting and worked to establish some distance in the painting through changing the color of the trees and the hills in the background.
 I then went back to the oak in the foreground and tried to establish the detail of the tree.
 I adjusted the sky a little to a lighter and greener blue.
 I then went to the hills and filled in the details and lightened them up.
 I then focused on the foreground and put down complementary colors as a underpainting to the detail of the dried grasses that I was about to add.
 I then added the detail to the foreground and some finishing touches to the oak tree.
 Finished...Santiago Canyon Oak in the Wash.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Painting is dreaming

Painting is like dreaming.  I said it without even thinking about it when my mom asked if I was still painting.  When I said it though I meant painting is dreaming.  I know that when I said that though it felt like some great truth for me.  Maybe it is because of the dream like state my mind is in when I am painting.  This feels especially true of my plein air painting experiences.  When I am plein air painting I usually don't even stop to get a drink.  It is only when I have completed my painting that I fully become aware of my surroundings again.  It is if my concentration is so focused on the subject of the painting that the other things don't really matter.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Painting at Crescent Bay Laguna

This is the beach that I went to the most when I first moved to California.  This is the view to the south.  I think the view to the north is even better.
I set up next to this stairway because the tide was still coming in and I did not want to move because of the waves.  The stairs also helped keep some of my stuff out of the sand.

I started with a water color underpainting.  The underpainting dictated the composition.  I left out the palm trees because I wanted to focus on the shadows and the rocks on the point.  I thought if I included them then I would have left out the water or the rocks would be too small for the size of the painting.

In this photo and the others it is hard to appreciate the shadows in the rocks.
I could have done better at driving the values deeper in the underpainting.  The darker the underpainting the better.  The pastels become so much more vibrant when they are set against a dark ground or underpainting.

The day was so warm that as soon as I was finished with the underpainting I could begin the application of pastel.

I used pastel to further define the shapes within the masses and to capture the color of the shadows before the sun moved and changed everything.

I found the biggest challenge for the painting was the rocks in the water.  Deciding how I was going to capture them was difficult.  I reworked them too many times.  The rocks in the foreground need to be defined more.
I will rework some of the elements of this painting in the studio.  The main reason being that as I was walking back to the car the blanket I was standing on rubbed against the painting and I lost too much of the detail of the rocks and the shadows.  When I have completed this work I will post the finished painting.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Painting at Black Star Ranch

I found this location this past winter when I went hiking with my mom when she came out to visit.  The location is in the Cleveland National Forest.  The Black Star Ranch has been around since the early 20's.

 I set up on the lower part of the road which leads to the ranch.  The road was quite steep and the wind gusting up the canyon was very strong.  My set up and painting probably tipped over about 8 times and this is with me holding the painting as I painted.  Every time I stopped to take a picture it blew over.
 Here is the start of the painting.  I used water colors on Wallis sanded paper.  I used a big brush and tried to get the basic composition down.

 Here is the completed underpainting.
 I changed the lines of the hills on the left because I thought it made a better painting by doing it that way.
 In this shot I have started adding more detail to the composition.
   In this painting I edited a lot of details out because of the time constraints I put on myself.  This painting took about 2 and a half hours start to finish.