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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Chino Hills Morning

Chino Hills  Morning 30"X 48" oil on canvas done in the studio.  This painting was inspired by a hike in the Chino Hills State Park.  I really like the light this time of year in the park.  The shadows in between the hills were of particular interest to me.  I like to paint larger because it affords me a greater opportunity to explore color.  
In this value shot I was particularly interested in the separation of the foreground from the background.  There is no middle ground in the painting.  Although the shadows were my primary interest, I had to make sure that there was the right amount of aerial perspective.  Aerial perspective at times has been a challenge.  The strength of the shadows was important to me.  They were large and strong when I saw them.  They were not very far from my vista.  However, I had to make them believable.  In past paintings the issue was more about the foreground not being strong enough.  In my recent efforts, my intention has been to push the lights lighter and the darks darker to arrive at the illusion of distance.  
The detail shot.  This large painting allowed me to express myself through my mark making to a greater degree.  This painting represents my attempt to push my skill further.  

Warm Waters Morning

Warm Waters Morning 24x36 oil on canvas in the studio.
A really simple beginning.  I started with a thin wash of paint.  In the past I have used thinners to get the initial shapes down.  I them moved to walnut oil.  Now I am using Safflower oil because it is more compatible with the oil in the paint that I am using.  
On the easel.  Checking the look of the overall composition from distance.  In this painting it was fairly easy to maintain the initial notan.
In this shot you can see the thin wash and brush strokes in what will be the water in the foreground.
With all of the shapes defined with different values, I began to add the color.
This painting had a very deliberate and simple color progression.  The slower buildup allowed for more subtlety within the painting.
The big finish.  Everything was set up for a quick and dynamic ending.
The finished painting.

The value shot.

The detail shot.  Time to evaluate the brush work and the abstract nature within the painting.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Pepper Tree at CSUF Arboretum

The paint out location for this past Friday was CSUF Arboretum The SoCalPAPA were spread out over the grounds.  I ran into a couple of them while I tried to find something inspiring.
I picked this Pepper Tree because of the shape, color, and the shade it provided.
I added a couple of colors to my pallet as I try to evolve my color mixing.  

Keeping it thin with large color washes with big brushes.  Moving to cover the open spaces.
Remaining light value areas are where some of the lightest values will be placed when the painting is completed.
Colors at this point in the painting are used to indicate values within the composition and colors that will react with the colors that I finish the painting with.
Lightening the painting to get a more accurate pattern of values within the painting while further defining shapes and adding the detail of the branches and the foliage.
Darkening areas and further defining the shapes within the painting in order to create the right contrast within the painting.
Darkening the values still further while adding additional shapes and detail within the painting.

Lightening and adding highlights to shapes that were being hit by direct sunlight.  I spent a lot of time with give and take between the shapes and the values within the painting.  It was like a negotiation on what aspect of the painting was going to take over.  Ultimately it ends up being a compromise. 
Further definition of shapes value and color-getting close.
Lightening and darkening one last time.  Touching up shapes.
 Finished! Pepper Tree 24x32 plein air oil on board.
The value shot.
The detail shot.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Back Bay

I got an early start after dropping my mom off at the airport.  She had spent the week with us.
My initial sketch to make sure that I can fit everything in the painting.  I really love the zig zag composition in this location.  I have been painting this size for a year and half now en plein air.  It is a weird size for me.  24x32 
I went to Newport Back Bay Newport Bay Conservancy which was about 5 minutes away from John Wayne Airport.  This allowed me to start painting much earlier than I usually do.  
The initial drawing done and the start of the blocking in of the painting.
The blocking is almost completed.  I am trying to keep the shapes within the drawing intact.  I put in the sky earlier than I normally would.  It set the value plan for the rest of the painting.
The block in completed.  The foreground is set up to react to the colors I am going to add to this area.  One of the time consuming things was having to rework the foreground.
I am working from the back to front to help establish the  areil perspective.
At this point I am ready to elaborate on the shapes, colors, and values within the painting.
The process of subdividing the larger shapes.
I waited for a moment when the sky was appealing to me.  I quickly responded to the shapes and values in the sky.
I wanted to make the foreground darker and warmer in value and color.  This would help create the feeling of distance within the painting and separate the foreground from the middle and background.
The early morning overcast conditions really saturated the colors.
The slow build up within the painting allowed me to chase the light as the sun started to break.  As the time committed to my painting continued to mount I felt this internal urgency to finish.  The paint grew thicker and flew faster as I knew what I wanted in the end.
The gully and brush on the right hand side of the painting had to be reworked to create the right base for my finishing efforts.  I had somehow been able to portray this the first time it would have probably cut off a couple of hours of painting.
Pushing the colors darker and warmer on the right side to allow me to create the feeling of the dried brush.  Some redrawing of shapes on the right also took up valuable time.

The sun had come out but it was still hazy.  It didn't change everything. Starting early allowed me to get a fuller expression.
One of the things about my painting that has evolved is the thickness of the paint I have been putting down.  For the last 3 months I have moved away from thin washes and worked at throwing down thickly applied paint.

The finished painting.  One last review for any last minute touches.
Plein air oil on board 24x32
The value shot.
The detail shot.