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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Road out of the Park

This is a pencil drawing that measures 12"X16".  It is drawn on museum board.  In this drawing for several of the detail areas I etched into the paper with a couple of sharp or round tools that enabled me to show the weeds on and around the road the way I wanted to.

Electric Afternoon at Rockpile




Electric Afternoon at Rockpile




Electric Afternoon at Rockpile




 




Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rockpile Afternoon from the Rail

This pastel painting is done on masonite with pumice gel mixed with acrylic paint.  The painting measures 24"X24".

Along the Rail at Rockpile

I saw a painter along the hand rail at Heisler Park.  I like painting with other people.  Even if there isn't a lot of talking it is nice to be around someone with the same interest. 

My board was 24"X36".  The woman I was painting with said there was too much detail in the rocks to make that the subject.  She was painting with oils on a 10"X12" canvas.  She was pretty bitter about her painting through the years.  She told me about all of the galleries she had been in that were no longer in business.  Her attitude seemed to carry over into her painting.  What started as a nice study of the rocks and ocean turned into an overworked bland summary of all the ocean moving at once.  I believe you have to capture the painting from start to finish.  There is no going back.  Either you get it or you don't.  Yesterday I was painting at Montage resort and was working through my painting and lost track of time.  When my wife called and told me I was late, I had to finish before I could go.  In a way, it helped me because I knew I really had to hurry if I was going to finish.  I am usually very decisive in my painting but this little extra push was what I needed. 
I was painting on a deep cool red board which I had not had good results on before.  As it turned out this was a good choice because the day quickly turned cloudy and the rocks took on a saturated look.

Rockpile Afternoon




Rockpile Afternoon from the Rail




Saturday, June 15, 2013

Heisler Park Morning on the Rocks

This is a finished plein air painting from a couple of weeks ago.  I ended up selling as I was just finishing up on it.  There has been debate about what true plein air painting is and what percentage it needs to be to be considered a plein air painting.  Up to this point in my painting, all plein air paintings have been completed on site in one sitting.  There is no working it in the studio and there is no coming back the next day or ever for that matter.  It is finished and stands on it's own merit as a painting when I finish for the day.  My goal for my plein air paintings as I have said before is for them to stand alone as a work of art that rivals my studio work in quality.  I am not compromising this statement at any point.  My goal is to work large plein air paintings with a high level of quality and finished appearance.  Lately as a result of this goal my paintings have been taking longer.  I am adding more detail and increasing the quality within them.  At some point this may change but for now this is where I am at.  This painting measures 24"X36" and is painted with pastel on a treated board of pumice gel and acrylic paint.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Painting from Rockpile




Deep Moody Colors

\The weather was constantly changing from cloudy to partly sunny.  Everything about this painting kept in mind that I would probably be finishing this painting under June gloom.

Although I was working all areas of the painting down to the last minutes, there was a definite focus on the rocks.  I usually find the color I have in my hand in all areas of the painting and put them down over and over again until I add the finishing highlights.  This time I was painting in a similar way to when I paint with a pallet in my left hand.  I had a number of pastels that encompassed the colors in the rocks in my left hand which enabled me to get a more complete expression of the rocks before I moved to other areas of the painting.


A lot of time was spent getting to this point and I was running out of time.  I wanted the foliage to complement the rocks and sand so I brought in a lot of purples and blues as a underpainting to the detail of the plants that were to follow.

At this point I had to start getting serious about the all of the palm trees and just putting sections of the painting to bed.  It is critical to the composition to keep the trees in the proper relationship to the hills that they are coming from.

 
I have really been going through the pastels at a much higher rate because of the number of large paintings I have been completing.  To supplement the pallet that I currently have been using I added the plein air set of Diane Townsend pastels that were the first set I ever bought on line.  It was interesting using them on the surface because they have pumice in them as does the board I use.

View to the Gazeebo

This painting took longer than most of my plein air efforts because the cloudy conditions extended my time in front of the landscape.  In the past week each of my paintings extended beyond my usual 3 to 3 and a half hours.

There comes a time in each painting where I feel it just needs to be done.  At that point everything speeds up to just get finished.  Decisions that were difficult with ponderous contemplation now just happen.  Things just get done.  When this feeling happens I just can't finish fast enough.  There is a feeling of relief that comes over me as I lose the analization and just react to the situation again. 
The finished painting measures 24"X36".  I like this painting because it has a different pallet and a different level of detail.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Little Corona Bluffs

This oil painting measures 24"X36" and is painted on canvas.  This studio effort was inspired by a trip to Little Corona Del Mar during the Laguna Plein Air Invitational.  After a full day watching others paint at the invitational and painting at Crystal Cove; I found Jeff Horn painting down at the beach.  The light and shadows were tremendous.  I took a bunch of reference photos and put myself fully into the time and place.  This painting is the result.

Rockpile Afternoon


Monday, June 10, 2013

Sage Study

This painting measures 24"X24" and is painted on Masonite with acrylic paint and pumice gel.  I really liked how this painting captured the feeling of the light and atmosphere.  In the lower left hand corner you can see the original color of the prepared board I used.










No Need For Speed

Everything about my set up is opposite of what they (the experts) tell you about what you should consider when packing for plein air painting.  My Heilman http://heilmandesigns.com box carries over 250 pastels but if that wasn't enough I bring along a couple of boxes of pastels that I am in the process of working into the box.  I work on a large surface that requires more time and is difficult to transport at times.  I have a back pack filled with all sorts of extra stuff just in case I need it.  I am going to work on a "plan B" set up that will allow me to go further off of the beaten path with my gear.  I have gone as far as 3 miles roundtrip with my stuff but it was hard work.  The walk back was the worst because of the difficulty that my gear presents.  I also need to come up with a device to carry my paintings so that I don't have them pinched between my forefinger and thumb for miles.  I think I am going to have to invent something for my pastel paintings on Masonite.  Necessity is the mother of invention...

Looking South from Heisler Park

This painting's vantage point is from Heisler Park in Laguna Beach facing south.  I am just north of the gazebo above the beach on the walk way.  The challenge for this painting was capturing the shadows because I was painting late into the afternoon.  Another challenge was that there were shadows from the trees behind me dancing across my painting surface.  The sun was so bright and low on the horizon it made picking my colors more difficult. 

Back Bay Bluff


This past Friday SOCALPAPA  socalpapa painted the back bay.  Because the sky was overcast I was able to paint for a longer than usual amount of time.  This is my result.  My painting measures 24"X36".  It is painted on Masonite with acrylic paint and pumice gel.  The purple background that I used was perfectly suited for the overcast conditions.