Monday, September 26, 2011

Antoher painting exploring shadows

Lately I have been having fun exploring shadows of all kinds. Afternoon shadows are one of my most favorite things to paint. This latest painting is no exception. This is a studio painting done from photos and an onsite oil study. I cannot begin to describe the joy of painting this scene. The scene is in Lakewood along the road where the golf course winds around and thru. Most people drive right by this spot and never notice it. I'm sure the ones who live around this little pool enjoy its beauty immensely.

The entire pond is quite tucked in by hillside and trees. In fact you must get out of your car and go to the edge of the hill just to catch the beauty as it unfolds around you. I have seen lots of wildlife(they always know the best spots) and its peaceful serene setting is what draws them, I'm sure.

This painting, as well as my other new paintings in and around Lakewood, will be the my booth #4 at the Longview Art and World Music Festival starting this Friday. Come on out and enjoy the treasures that will be displayed there by all the artists and be sure and take one home with you.

Hope to see you there,


Monday, September 12, 2011

Second installment in the revision of the plein aire

Okay, the first image is the first try at revision. I decided to extend the sky all the way across the top of the painting. Also made the cove bigger and lost the slant. Started to add some additional color to the background foliage and tweak the sky holes a bit. Still did not like the fact that my focal tree is just kinda hanging out and not the star. Also, in this version, the background trees are not fading back like they need to and am still not happy with the lack of variation in the grass around the tree. Also noticed at this stage that the background hillside is pretty much one line and needs variation and also to be blued-down for it to recede into the background and show distance.

In the second photo of the painting, you will see that I addressed all those issues above. I toned down the size of the sky holes, varied the line in the background trees on the hillside and also brought the line down so the sky holes made more sense in relationship to the sky. The other thing that I did was to vary the colors in the grass and tone down the background colors a little so the tree now takes center stage. I also softened the bushes in the intermediate part of the scene so they would not compete with my tree. By changing the grasses, and toning down and mellowing the background my tree now becomes the star. And I didn't have to change a thing about the tree itself-it just needed the supporting players to get out of its light.

I also softened around the water's edge in the cove to give a little more variation where the shoreline meets the land and to soften the slope down to the water.

Hope this helps you to feel more confident when you need to re-visit a painting-It's fun exploring them with new eyes and finding ways to improve upon your original idea. Especially when you do a plein aire with a limited time crunch. They make a great learning too.

Happy Painting!


Tweaking a plein aire painting in the studio

I know that when I paint in plein aire, that sometimes things just don't work out quite like I would like. So I decided to take an old plein aire painting that I did at Lake Jacomo and revise it. The original is a two hour plein aire painting. It has hung on my wall for almost two years. There were things about the painting that just didn't appeal to me. So, when one of my students asked about the painting and what I would change-I took up the challenge. It is still not an out the door painting as far as selling is concerned but I'm happier with it and glad to get a chance to provide my students with a life lesson.

SO-here goes-
This is the original painting as it appeared that day when I was done.

I will be posting the revisions and discussing my thought process in doing those revisions in the next blog.

what I did not like about this original work is multiple. Didn't care for the top of the painting where the tree(which was my focal point) leaves the right side. Also the fact that the right side of my painting seems weighted down to that side. I also didn't like the slanted lines created by the tree line on the left, the water on the left and the way the ground also seemed to slide down the left side.

So these are my issues-as I see them. In the next blog, I will let you know how they were changed,hopefully for the better. I often change paintings that I have done that don't seem to be working. Some I can enhance and be happy with, others become a teaching and learning tool for me. I feel that you should always be in the learning mode so you can move forward in your endeavors.

Stay tuned-