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Thursday, October 27, 2016

CSUF Arboretum

I went to CSUF arboretum to try and get a slightly quicker painting done.  I chose a 24x24 board and a closer location so I could get home in time to make dinner.
In keeping with my goal, I did a lot less drawing so that I could get to the painting quicker.
I moved quickly to the blocking in.  I blocked in the sky and tried to get it right and not touch it up later in the painting.  
In this block in I was trying to represent the darkest color within those objects that support impressionistic color shifts.  I want the highlights to create interest in their interaction with the base color of the object.
Another objective in my painting has been to do a better job at representing distance within the painting.
At this point in the painting the block in is complete and the relative distance has been established.
Here I am moving to refining the shapes in the painting.
One of my focuses has been to use large brushes as long as possible.  I have also been trying to develop more detail within the painting using them.  Increasing my skill in my mark making is also one of my painting goals.
I have been using a lot of paint.  I am trying to waste less paint.  I am also working at my color mixing.  I am trying to get greater color diversity through all of the colors worked into my mixing.  I am still discovering different combinations to get to the color I want.
In trying to achieve a greater diversity in my mark making I have also been trying to use more brushes in each painting.  In this painting I used a larger range of sizes.  I was able to use the smallest brush that I carry.  It really helped in the detail of the bushes in the foreground and the fronds in the palm trees.

The finished painting.  24x24 plein air oil on board
The value shot reveals the accuracy of my perception.  I feel this painting really succeeded in portraying the atmospheric perspective. 
The detail shot.  In this shot you can see the diversity of mark making.  I did a better job at establishing distance within the painting and I was able to use a greater selection of brushes within the painting.  I also was able to finish this painting quicker.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

From Rockpile

Over the course of the last 8 or 9 paintings, I have been visiting the locations that I have painted the most.

This is the current line up of colors.  I have never used a set pallet.  As a pastel artist I would try to carry as many colors as I could.  When I painted inside I had the same approach.  I think I have just about every color that Old Holland makes.  One of the biggest challenges that I have is developing the mixing skills required to get the breadth of color that I am used to.
I am not sure where the drawing in purple came from, but I like the use of it to establish values and shapes within the painting.
I am continuing to work towards less drawing in the initial phase of my painting.  This painting ended up taking about 5 and half hours.  I want to get down to 3 hours for a painting this size.  
At this point, some of the value separation has been lost.  I want to get the values closer to their final representation right from the beginning.  This will speed up my painting considerably. 
The block in is finished.  I am trying to have each area of the painting as dark as possible so that I can work my way up in value.  I will try and leave traces of
All of the elements of the painting are in place and I am adding the details to them.  
Here I begin to work on the values.  What is the lightest area of the painting?  What is the darkest area of the painting?  I work to balance everything from the lightest to the darkest and in between.
Saving the detail of the palm trees for last.
The light changed quite a bit at the end.  
The saturated colors at the end of the day are the best.  I wish I could paint quickly enough to capture them .
This day just kept getting better till it was over.
What a great spot to paint.  
A shot of my pallet.  I like including this to get an idea of some of the colors that I am mixing and how my paint usage is changing.
Time to stop.
The finished painting "From Rockpile"  24x32 oil on board.
The value shot. I would like to see greater separation between the lightest and darkest parts of the painting.
The detail shot.  I like the progress I am making with my brush strokes.  

Monday, October 17, 2016

Twilight Upon Rockpile

The overcast day was going to allow me to select some different colors for the painting.
Painting the same location repeatedly has become an exercise that has allowed me to speed up my painting. The familiarity with the composition has sped up the decision making.  This "automatic" painting has eliminated a lot of the problem solving and allowed me to focus on my application rate.
I am still doing a certain amount of drawing in my initial stages.  The drawing has calmed down some and there is more shape creating which is heading in the right direction.
Changes in the light and changes in the tide made it necessary to commit to a particular moment in the sea scape.  I thought the beauty of the scene got better and better as the day progressed.  This made it difficult to not change the entire painting.  I loved the detail of the rocks that were revealed by the tide going out.  The clouds had burned off bringing Rockpile alive with color.

This photo captures the essence of the composition.  I moved the trees around a bit to open up the view to Rockpile.
As you can see there is a lot more blocking in than in my earlier efforts.
The finish of the blocking in of the painting.  My goal is to get to this point as quickly as possible.  My previous efforts have taken too much time to get to this point.  The key will be to be able to eliminate the drawing and put down these shapes from the very beginning.
From this point on, the focus is on defining the various shapes within the composition.  Comparing the values, colors, while maintaining consistency in my representation of the light on the landscape becomes my focus at this point in the painting.
Here I have changed the shapes of the trees and the rocks by carving into them with the blue water.
The tide keeps going out and the sun keeps peeking out from the clouds.
At this point in the painting I am working to get the same level of development throughout the painting.  I am also working at insuring the consistency of light throughout the painting.
As the sun set the water lit up.  This was a good opportunity to create a stronger contrast between the ocean and the palm trees.  Everyone says not to chase the light; but this was the best light of the day.  As a pastel painter it was very easy to add the last touches at the very last moment.

Some of my next steps will be to develop more sophisticated brush strokes, a fuller richer color development, and smoother application.
As I was cleaning up, I took a picture of my easel from a distance.  I like getting a different perspective on what my painting looks like from distance.  
The finished painting.  Twilight Upon Rockpile 24x32 plein air oil on board.
The value shot.  This is a better representation of the values.  In a  couple of my Rockpile paintings the palm trees did not stand out enough against the water.  The sun sinking lit the ocean up and made the contrast much easier to represent.
The detail shot.