oil 9x12 magnify/purchase I'm back from a few days camping at Anza Borrego State Park. The desert was blooming and the air clean and cool. Paradise! I painted this near the visitor's center the first day. It was about 2:00 pm when I started. The light got better and better, back lighting those palms. The sun dropped behind the mountain just after I finished. Then I packed up quick to ride my bike back to camp while I could still see where I was going. IN OTHER NEWS: Today is the fifth anniversary of my blog. Every minute I hold a paintbrush in my hand I feel so blessed and thankful to God to be doing what I love. I sincerely thank all of you who follow, comment and purchase my work. Without you, it would just be paintings piling up in a corner! And a very special thanks to Carol Marine, the Queen of Daily Painting, who really helped me get this daily painting/blogging thing going.
oil 6x8 inches magnify/purchase Another painting on that brushed oil ground surface. I love the rich warm yellow color of these home grown lemons. They're not at all like what you find in grocery stores. I'll be out of town for a few days with no internet service, so I'll post again in about a week. Have a great week, everyone!
oil 6x8 inches magnify/purchase I painted this piece on a "reclaimed" canvas to which I had applied a clean coat of white oil ground. What a nice surface to paint on once in a while, and I really like the texture showing under the oil paint when you take a closer look.
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase Last Friday SOCALPAPA met at Little Corona Beach. (If you've been there, you know that leaning tree!) Painting with your feet in the sand and a cool breeze in your face...well, plein air doesn't get much better than that! How about a whale not too far off shore? I'm not kidding! We could see it clearly from the shore, and she hung around for a good long time. IN OTHER NEWS: I've added an EVENTS list to my blog. Check it out when you have time. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase A Special Event at the air museum on Saturday brought "Louise" the P-38 out of the hangar. As soon as I set up a very kind docent who now knows what I'm up to informed me that she would be moved to fly in about two hours. I decided to stay put and paint fast. It worked out. Just as I finished, some clouds came in and they moved her out to take off. She flew right over our heads several times, fast and really pretty quiet considering her power. I can't tell you how exciting that was for me right after I had finished painting! The crowd was interested in what I was doing and so kind and encouraging. A boy about 12 came close and said, "Just to help you out, I think you should put a little more green right there by those guns." So cute!!! These people know their war history and their planes! I hope I did her justice. Here are some more pics just for fun.
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase Up close and personal because the planes are parked so close together in the "boneyard" that it's hard to get back any distance. I got permission though, to plant myself inside the ropes next time, as long as I don't get paint on the planes! (Don't tell anybody.) I really like this view though, and the various colors I saw in the shiny underbelly. A bit more of the cockpit shows in the painting. My photo is a bit lopped off at the top.
oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase What would happen if I painted the next painting using mostly the leftover colors mixed from the painting I just finished? Here it is, painted right after "The Entryway" without cleaning my palette. Kinda different. It's loose and it was a fun experiment. Have a great weekend, everybody!
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase Saturday I met up with SOCALPAPA, (Southern California Plein Air Painters) at the Planes of Fame Air Museum. Amid all the aircraft, this truck caught my eye. I settled in and started painting. Soon I was informed that there would be some sandblasting going on not too far from me. The noise added to the feel of the place, but in a few minutes a cloud of dust and paint particles hit me. The painting was going well. I really didn't want to move, but I really couldn't breathe. Thankfully, a volunteer wearing a mask was able to get me one quickly. So I was able to continue and hardly noticed the mask.
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase Our weather has been beautiful and I've gotten out to paint the last two days. Friday I painted this at the Orange Circle. It sprinkled a bit, but I just kept painting. My little dog Sandy went along and attracted lots of nice folks, especially children who wanted to pet her. I enjoyed painting and chatting with them as the cars swirled around the circle. They're swirling much faster than they did when I was a kid, and honking now too. We have become so impatient, especially in our cars. All those honkers need to sit by this fountain a while! I think this man discovered that I was painting him. He soon got up and left before I could get the dog in. I added the dog last by looking at my iphone shot.
These are some value studies I demonstrated for a student as a starting point to oil painting. I used a piece of Utrect canvas from a canvas pad 12x9 inches. (Nice stuff.) I taped it to a piece of MDF board (Home Depot) and divided it into quarters. I mixed just four values using Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue and T-White. (One of the values was pure white.) The set up has a clear division of light and shadow from a spotlight and having limited ambient light. If you're a beginner, I highly recommend doing a lot of these with simple objects. Avoid shiny objects, glass and flowers. When you look at your subject squint down A LOT while painting. It helps you see the large value shapes simplified. The bottom right quadrant shows how to draw an ellipse by picturing it inside a rectangle. It's not perfect, but close. (I wiped out the rectangle later.) Also pictured, different kind of stroke shapes made with a flat brush. I hope this is helpful to someone out there just starting out. The importance of getting your values right cannot be understated. I have read of art schools that require working in black and white for an entire year before painting with color.
Here is a little 4x6 I painted later just because I thought the set-up was so simple and pretty. It gave me a challenge! I have gotten used to larger sizes. It is for sale at $40. magnify/purchase SOLD
oil 12x9 inches not for salemagnify This is an interior I've wanted to paint for a long time. We are not fancy enough to call it a foyer. In the morning, light streams in through a long narrow window beside our front door. So it's about the light, but... That's my grandmother's table from Arkansas. I remember it covered with homemade pies. The angel figurine was my mother's. And on the far right is Paula. Yes, the plant is named Paula. I adopted her from a couple moving to Connecticut years ago. They didn't want to move her, but at least they gave her a name. My, how she has grown. And oh, look! Who's that in the mirror???
oil 12x16 inches magnify/purchase Here's a larger painting I finished recently. Lately I enjoy a set up that includes a variety of objects. A lot of what happens when setting up still life for me is intuitive, but I think what usually results in a good one is the right combination of color, shapes and texture. This is one of those paintings that is better in person. The camera doesn't get the subtle color shifts, and there is some glare in the background darks.
Look what I found on my iphone! I thought you might like to see "Cold Pond" at the cold pond. I was surprised to see how dark the photo is. It had really clouded up by the time I finished.
Below is my palette after finishing, partially cleaned off. Maybe some of you fellow painters would be interested in my current palette of colors. Counterclockwise from center bottom: Transparent Red Oxide, Thalo green I think, mixed green of Payne's gray and Lemon yellow, more Thalo green I don't know why, Cobalt, Thalo blue, Ultramarine blue, Alizarin, Permanent Rose, Cad red light, Cad orange, Cad yellow medium, Cad yellow light, Titanium White (2 blobs), warm white, cool white, palette sludge. That mixed green I learned from Kim English as well as the warm white (TW plus CYM), and cool white (TW plus cobalt).
And last but not least, my little malte-poo, Sandy whom I mentioned in my last post. Who could not love this sweet face?
oil 8x10 inches magnify/purchase
One afternoon it looked like rain again, so I stayed close to the RV and did this little tree study. I loved the shapes of the branches and cascading foliage. The backlighting became pinker as I painted which was even more fun. This day I learned the hard way not to put my backpack under my open turp can. Lost in painting, I was unaware that a family was approaching me from behind. Suddenly my whole set up came forward as if into my lap. My turp can fell and drenched my backpack. Paintbrush in hand scraped right through the painting as it fell toward me. What happened? My little Malte-poo lying on a blanket next to me had gone out and around me to greet the approaching children, her tie-out cord pulling my tripod over. Other than that, I had a peaceful painting session! I fixed the painting, then soaked the backpack in soapy water when I got home. Still smells like turp, though.
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase Our camping weekend was cold and rainy, but we enjoyed ourselves anyway. Can you see the cold in my painting? It tried to rain on me, but the clouds didn't really let loose until that night. I was interested in the branches of this tree/bush/thing and also the light on the water. There were big storks out there, so I included a few. Have a great weekend, everyone!
oil 5x7 inches not for sale magnify Here's a little micro-view of my previous set up. Painted on one of those inexpensive canvas cardboards. Once dry, I'm going to glue paper to the backside and make it into a postcard. A friend in Arizona made me the cutest tote bag for Christmas. I owe her a special thank you note, and this will be it! We went camping over the weekend. In between rainstorms I got a little plein air practice in. Will post those next. Have a great week, everyone!