Monday, June 29, 2015

Water Series Progress

I've always been attracted to water and have long favored it as a painting subject. If on a boat or actually in the water I love to stare down, up close, fascinated by its ever changing, moving patterns. Cropped from surroundings, devoid of context, close water views become abstract. Design and composition options are endless. I studied stacks of my water photos, cropped and enlarged a about a dozen or so. From those, I finally selected five shots, both for their diversity and their common ground. Colors are alike because all of these paintings stem from photos taken on the same day at around the same time.

Five 18x18 canvases on a wall in my studio.

Continuing now with three different blues... Cerulean, Ultlramarine and one called Aqua Blue. I love how they stand out bold in contrast to the orange ground.

I will next get into some neutral tones as a contrast in general to blue vs. orange and black vs. white. The orange ground will still play an important part. 


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Water Series

Water Series continued...

After selecting which photos to use, I completed a couple of 5x7 studies to test my plans. Next, I started each panel by recording important dark and light areas. Close-ups below...

Water Series

New Series: Water

I'm working on a painting series based on cropped images from larger photos of water. 

Five 18x18 inch panels coated with Orange Gesso Color.
On this wall are posted water photos under consideration along with 5x7 painting studies not related to the new series.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

12 x12 Demo on Red Ground

"Light Spill" 12x12 Demo on Red Ground

This demo took less than one hour. I wanted to show how quickly an oil painting (or a painting in any other opaque medium) can unfold when working on color ground.

Note: My standard ground color is a mix of two Holbein gesso colors - Carmine and Orange, applied over 3 coats of standard white gesso. In this example, however, a less-than-successful oil painting, already dry, was re-purposed. I painted over it with Cadmium Red oil paint, which looks much like my usual color gesso ground. Original paint applications beneath the red top coating account for the heavily textured surface, which I rather like. I love to paint on red - medium valued hot color. Darks and lights both contrast against its medium value. Red's forward projecting heat can be kept/covered as needed for depth illusion impact. Plus, it's RED in all it's glory!

Painting with a "apply it/leave it" attitude, work progressed in a series of like-color treatments. What was on my brush at any given time was applied to any place needed across the canvas.

I like to paint the sunlight first.  Straight from-the-tube white. Lighting in the scene is my primary source of motivation. I was attracted to early morning sunlight flashing on the road.


Strongest darks and vibrant forward notes, established a value/intensity range to which all
subsequent color applications relate. From-the-tube color! Minimal mixing other than a few overlapped strokes. Red ground now a significant visual impact factor.


Mid-value colors began to establish more distant areas, where a bit of mixing diminished color strength. (Value is more important than hue/temperature/intensity.) I began to gradually cover
more red ground toward the background.


Lighter valued marks developed background subtleties. Blues into some whites produced lesser highlights accounting for value differences throughout. More red covered in the distance.


Here, red ground importance is finally apparent. In the previous image the background does not visually recede due to the still unpainted red strip running across the canvas. Cool, faded greens completed distant foliage and covered nearly all red ground in that area. 


Brilliant warm colors were added to remaining open red spaces in the foreground, adding some excitement. Added hot notes visually pulled closer areas more forward.  All-important foreground value contrast was strengthened by deeper darks layered over a few shadow areas, while additional white layered to greater, and therefore brighter, opacity. 

Red visually stands out. The red ground strategy is complete when the most red has been allowed to show through in the closest places, gradating to the least red (gradually painted over more and more along the way) in the most distant areas.













Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Fanfare" complete!

I've been working on this series of paintings off and on for months, in between other projects. Originally I was planning a series of nine panels but eventually landed on the concept of just four. I like how the image directions lead one to the next in quad form with two rows. Of course, they could be arranged in various ways, which just adds to their designing fun.

"Fanfare"   acrylic on canvas    

36 x 36 inches (4 independent 18x18 inch panels)
Deep 1.5 inch sides painted black  



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Return to my fan palm paintings

This is the third panel @ 18x18, acrylic on canvas, based on cropped views of a fan palm outside my studio window. Orange gesso ground sings again on this #3 of nine planned paintings. I absolutely love these Mat Acrylics. Colors are exceptionally vibrant and pleasingly opaque.  My process is to spend one session of each of the nine paintings, then come back through them again with additional color, etc. I hope this approach will maintain better continuity within the grouping as a whole.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Series

Started yesterday... Painting in Mat Acrylic (Love this stuff... so wonderfully opaque!) on canvas pre-coated with Orange Gesso. This 18x18 inch panel is the first in a new series. Nine panels are planned. They are to be based on cropped views of fan palms, just outside my studio window.

This is related, in its approach,  to a prior series titled "Leaf and Limb"of nine square canvases, also 18x18, inspired by close cropped views of a crab apple tree.