Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Revisiting for Inspiration

Be more painterly!

That's been my quest as of late. More expressive. Less locked in to the reference.

My daily quick study paintings have been helping, I think. Though sometimes I feel like I'm making no progress at all!

My house has paintings everywhere. The ones that have been around longest tend to make it back into the bedrooms and hall. Those are the ones that don't sell. And those are the ones I see the most! Hmmm, maybe I should rethink that for the sake of my confidence.

One in particular I've been staring at for years. When I painted it I was happy with it. But now I see so many flaws.

So I pulled it off the wall, cleaned off the dust, and set it on the easel. I didn't even unframe it as it has a floater frame with the whole canvas exposed.

Here is the old girl:

So, like I said, I was happy with it at the time. I could see the distance. It was very close to the reference. I spent quite a while painting it. I liked my barbed wire and my distant trees. This photo actually does it a bit more justice, the color of the field was not as warm as it is showing here.

What was bothering me is that it doesn't express anything about my experience of this beautiful tree and scene. The light was low and warm afternoon sun. Can't see that! I lost the light. Ahhh, my biggest challenge in a painting is capturing the light. It feels stiff to me.

Anyway. Armed with the lessons learned from my big brush quick studies, here is what I came up with:

I feel like the color is more the subject now. More expressive of the rich warmth of the scene. The background, mid ground and foreground feel more integrated. Both in brushwork and color.

I used a larger brush, kept away from detail, pushed the colors.

I'm much happier now! What do you think?

p.s. available in my Etsy shop:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Reflecting Fall Daily Painting #9

Today's painting is a fall scene on the Umpqua River I'm calling "Reflecting Fall"

The more I paint these, the more I realize what a powerful tool they are! I was in a bit of a block with my painting. These little studies have such momentum!

I have a real tendency to get bogged down in detail. I love detail! I love all the tiny shapes and color shifts and light patterns in nature! They can be like a rabbit hole when it comes to painting! And there is nothing wrong with a beautifully detailed painting! But if they aren't built on a solid foundation, you will always feel there is just something off about them. It's so easy to fall in love with one passage in your painting, and then realize that you created this little gem in the wrong place, wrong value, wrong perspective.... so many ways to go wrong! :)

So these little paintings give you the chance to start many times, build the foundation many times, without bogging down for days or weeks or months in detail. I have a lot of reference photos that touch me, but I wasn't sure I could make a painting of them. This is giving me the chance to try them out, work with them, explore their possibilities. Without pressure or a huge time commitment.

Haha, sorry, didn't mean to get on a soapbox! :) I'm just excited about these!

I think the title "Daily Painting" is not the right one. Quick Study is probably better, but I want to emphasize that doing them often, preferable daily is what creates the momentum, loosens up the fear of failure, gives you confidence. 

So, for today's painting "Reflecting Fall" I did a real time (meaning not sped up) video of the process, showing you how I'm doing these little paintings.

I started with a canvas toned with a mixture of Quinacridone Gold and Hansa Yellow Medium with regular acrylics. Once that dried, I painted the rest in Open Acrylics.

Click here for the video

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Daily Painting #8 - Little Falls

Painting rocks is all about planes. Each rock is made up of a series of surfaces that change in color and value based on the direction they face. Wet rocks pick up all kinds of reflections from the things around them. They can have sharp edges, or be rounded by the action of the water over the years. They can be moss covered or bare. Their sizes and shapes and colors are so varied! Painting things like rocks helps me appreciate how really beautiful they are.

"Little Falls" 5" x 7" acrylic on canvas panel

Title of the Painting