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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Back Bay

XMAS at Orange Traffic Circle

SCPAPA was supposed to paint in old town orange but I did not see anyone.
The wind was a little crazy.  It changed the way I painted.  I moved everything closer and kept one hand on the painting or easel for most of the day.
I did a sketch to make sure I could fit everything in the painting.
I wanted to do a mixed media painting because I had not brought out the pastels for over a month. I was really focused on the color interaction that I was setting up with the underpainting.
The finished underpainting has a lot of dark grays in it to make the finished colors stand out.  
Here I am working the values, shapes, and colors.  Interaction between all of the elements is the focus of my painting at this stage.
Refinement through small adjustments with a focus on greater definition within each of the shapes in the painting.
The complexity of the painting required me to stay focused and organized on the equal development of all of the parts of the painting.  
By bringing all the parts of the painting together at the same pace I am able to keep the relationships in harmony.
Shapes and proportions had to be changed to make all of the elements fit within the painting.  I had to have the xmas tree, Santa, the fountain, the value interaction between the sky and tree branches, and Chapman fading off into the distance.
Everything has been a gradual build up to the these final decisions about color and finishing details.  Some of these decisions are the logical conclusion to the series of decisions leading me to this moment.

Some of the drawing is wrong and all I can do is clean it up.  I worked from the back to the front of the painting.
The biggest drawing error is not making the fountain pool flatter.  I also struggled getting the range of contrast.  The darks are not dark enough.

The sun moved so fast across the sky.  The lighting was constantly changing.  There has to be a strong focus on the memory of what the scene looked like when you decided how you wanted it to look.
The finished painting Christmas at Orange Circle 24 x 32 plein air mixed media.
The value shot shows some opportunity in the range of values.
The detail shot shows some of the interest created in my mixed media approach.  It also shows the abstract nature of my painting style when you analyze small portions of the painting.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Box Canyon

I painted close to home because I got a late start.  This area is on the southern border of the Chino Hills State Park.  
Set up and blocked in.
My simplified initial composition.  Here I have developed an understanding of what my painting will be.  From here it is about elaboration and clearer definition of my initial concept.
Here I am refining and defining the composition through the addition of all of the items I want to include in the painting.

Now my intent is to develop all of the elements within the composition.  I want them to relate to each other within the painting and reinforce their appearance respective to the lighting, distance, and perspective.
The painting is fairly flat in it's atmospheric perspective.  At this stage I begin to create the feeling of distance within the painting by adjusting the values between the foreground. middle ground, and back ground. 
The adjustment in value is also creating further detail within the painting.  The marks that I am making are intended to be final touches.  There will be successive layers of marks as I progress through the values but I am seeking to speed up my process.  
As I work from dark to light in my mark making the successive layers of lighter values continues to define the shapes within the painting and creates greater detail.  I am working to keep the warmer colors in the foreground to help create the feeling of distance within the painting.
As I notice issues with the continuity of my ideas within the painting, I make adjustments.  In the preceding picture you can see the warmth of the hills in the background.  I had to tone them down to create the right sense of distance.
The last things adjusted were to make the trees in the foreground darker and the trees on the hills lighter.  The highlights on the trees were the frosting for the painting.
The finished painting "Box Canyon"  24 x 32 plein air oil on board.
The value shot.  Is there enough separation between values within the painting?  When it is done right, it looks like a realistic black and white photograph.
The detail shot reveals the quality of the color choices, the mark making and the abstract elements within the painting.