Thursday, November 7, 2013
At the Blue Sky figure drawing session for the last few weeks in October we did a sustained pose. A friend in the design dept, Vincent Nyguen, painted did a demo with me, and it was fun to see our different styles and approaches in everything from the lay-in/drawing to the paint application. He's terrific, and it was fun to have him participate. This painting represents a two week effort (total of 4 hours), and is 12"x 16". I spent the entire first session just doing the underpainting/drawing, which I did with a brown madder color. The color was done the second session, and it was great painting over a solid lay-in. This isn't the best photo of the painting, but hopefully it gives an idea.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
I don't usually post photo reference of plein air pieces, but I thought this was a fun juxtaposition. Along with some of the other fellows in the Design Dept. at Blue Sky, I participated in a fundraising plein air paint-out this past weekend for the Rye Arts Center, and it was a lot of fun. We were able to paint at the American Yacht Club, which is where this piece was done, and I haven't done much marine painting before, so it was a great challenge. The light was in and out, but I just couldn't pass up this awesome blue boat. I would say that the photo ref is darker than the actual scene, and the photo of the painting is probably skewing a little light. But it sold Saturday night at the auction, so it's only a guess.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Here are some new lunchtime plein air paintings not previously posted. A few are (obviously) from this past Winter, but I thought they merited a showing. Similar subjects and compositions are starting to show up since with such a short window to paint (these are 1-2 hours during lunch), I can't wander very far. And I don't particularly care for the piece at the bottom of the vines growing over the rock wall, but I just stuck it in there to show that you don't (can't) always hit a home run, but the failures are important too! The second-to-last piece of the light streaking through the forest has a nice feel to it, I think I'll do a larger studio piece of it in the next month or two. Enjoy!
Monday, April 8, 2013
Monday, January 21, 2013
Here are a few recent drawings from the weekly figure drawing sessions at Blue Sky. Most are done with Conte Crayon on Canson Sketch paper and range from 2 minute to 40 minute poses. I'm really focusing on trying to consciously identify weaknesses in my approach and natural tendencies and work on them. I find that in drawing, as in anything else, it is easy to simply go through the motions and perpetuate the same bad habits every week and not really improve. Proportion and solidity and two things I'm focusing on now. And that's the thing about drawing the figure, it will constantly humble you and you can never just 'dial it in' and expect a legitimate result. It demands respect and effort.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
I went to Lenox, Massachusetts on Saturday to paint at Undermountain Farm, a horse ranch that has some amazing old barns. By the time I got set up the light was quickly fading and the clouds had set in. So I had just a little over an hour to complete this. There are a lot of things that I like about it, and I would love to do a larger piece of it. It is 9"x 12".
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Here are several other pieces that I haven't posted. The top piece was one of three pieces that I did at Sagamore Hill National Monument for the plein air competition. The other two are in the previous post, but this is the one I submitted (we could paint as much as we liked, but could only submit one). I posted a lower-res version of it the weekend of the competition, but this is a more accurate photo. There are a lot of things I like about it, but looking at it now, it needs more variety in the branches; they're all about the same thickness and width apart. The tree may have been similar to that, but no one knows that now, you just look at it and see the repetitive composition. Good reminder.
The second down was a piece I did while camping with some friends. It's ok, a bit lifeless, really. I worked on it some more when I got home from memory, and this was the result. The last two pieces are actually the same fallen tree (there's a third painting of the same branch down below), but on drastically different days. The sunlit piece has some nice elements, but looks a little too 'composed'. I felt like it looked a little too much like an old Disney background painting without the good parts:) The last piece was really a break-through piece for me. On the whole, I have spent few years coming to the realization that my mid-tones are generally too heavy and dark. This painting was an attempt to consciously paint the mid-tones lighter than I saw them. I was pleased with the result, and subsequent paintings have seen my mid-tones becoming ever-more even-handed. Compositionally, the ultra-straight diagonal branch should have never been painted that way. Even if I thought I saw it like that, I should have had the maturity to give it some life and interest. As it is it's just distracting. Oh well, these are for learning.