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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Divers Cove

I got a late start.  I had gone to Art Supply Warehouse to look for a paint box.  
I found this pallet instead.  I also found a couple of more tubes of Gamblin to try out. Yellow Cadmium Medium and whatever that violet color is in the corner of the pallet.
Still working on my process.  I am still doing too much drawing and it is keeping me from developing my color to the fullest.
I mixed up the colors in my drawing to help guide me through my color choices.
It was overcast for much of the day and the time flew by.  I can't tell you how many times I went through color changes.
I got to the point where I did not think I was going to be able to save the painting.  Finally, I said enough is enough and just finished.  I have never gone home to finish a painting and I have not ever gone back the next day to finish either.  
There are benefits to both approaches.  I am not a purist or a snob about a painting being "pure plein air".  For me it is about finishing what I start on location.  This is a way I can push myself to the next level.  It is always about trying to get a completed painting regardless of size or time on site.
The light peeked in and out of the clouds and I did not think I was going to finish.   At the end of the day the sun came out as it was setting and changed everything.  I had stared at the scene so long it did not matter.

I still threw away a lot of paint, but at least I did not throw away my pallet as I had been doing.  I thought the scaped pallet made a nice little abstract painting.  I am a big believer in observing the abstractions that surround you all the time.
 The finished painting "Divers Cove" 24"x 32" oil on board. 
The value shot reveals a opportunity for more atmospheric perspective.
The detail shot review shows some opportunity with the elegance of the brush strokes.  I am looking to develop these into independent, unique, graceful, and descriptive marks.
It was the longest day of plein air painting on one piece yet.  It was amazing that I was able to focus deeply for 6 and half hours.  It was like I was in a deep sleep.  When I awoke I was hungry and needed to use the restroom.  I got stuck in traffic instead.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Rockpile Afternoon

As I continue to explore my transition to plein air painting in oil, I have been visiting some of the places I have painted the most.  Because I am not subscribing to the start small school of thought, the familiarity of these locales greatly speeds up the initial steps in my painting.
These are the current colors in my pallet.  I am trying out Gamblin paint for my plein air painting.  I love the challenge of moving up the learning curve.  When ever I make a change in my artistic direction, the opportunities become very exciting.  I really like trying to figure things out.
I am in the market for a paint box.  I have been wasting a lot of paint.  I am also looking for something to conserve the unused paint at the end of the day.  I am burning through a lot of paint because I am painting 24x24 sizes and larger.
Every painting is a different experience.  Recently, my paintings have started with a fairly detailed drawing in purple.  As I continue to work through my process, I am looking for ways to get through my build up quicker.
One of the things I like about painting on untreated wood is the way the wood sucks up the paint.  It speeds up the drying time dramatically-I think.  I will have to try gesso to see how fast the paint drys on it.
As I finish the basic drawing, I transition to blocking in the water.  The water is important in this painting as a sounding board for the light coming off of the rocks.  
One of the challenges of this painting was that the sun was on my pallet and on the painting.  I had to work to make sure the painting was not too dark.
I worked to get the entire surface covered so that I could make sure the relationships within the painting were correct.
At this point in the painting.  I am looking at the painting and seeing what the painting needs.  The attitude changes to one of finishing.  What needs to happen in the painting to reach the finish.
The right hand side of the painting must be brought into balance with the rest of the painting.  A softer focus on the hill on the right side was executed to show the atmospheric perspective and to focus attention on the rocks.
The interaction between the rocks and the water and the sand comes back into focus for me.  The question of how much development can happen within the constraints of time becomes an issue at this point in the painting. I have to work through my process so that I can get to the finishing part of the painting quicker.
Now I am touching all parts of the painting trying to bring everything together.
As I draw to a close, I look to insure that all areas of the painting have the right amount of development and detail.
The final color notes are added and the final critique.  Is there anything I can't live with within the painting?
The finished painting.  "Rockpile Afternoon" 24x32 oil on board.
The value shot.  I really like the value contrast in the rocks.  The palms on the left hand side seem to need a bigger value contrast within their total shape.  The edges on the silhouette should be much lighter because I was trying to project a back lit image.
The detail shot.  One of the things I want to develop within my painting is a greater breadth of value contrast within my painting.  In particular, I want to develop my lights to a much greater extent.