Monday, March 30, 2009

Deer in Snow Painting Update and Oldest Person?

Deer in Snow -- Online Demonstration
Here is an update on my latest painting. The above is where I am at with it, at the moment, after many hours of painting and drawing. The below is an earlier shot. I am building this painting up slowly in layers, using ideas I have gleaned from other artists work. I am not just painting the same old same old, but trying to incorporate what other good professionals are doing, into my work. It's a little slower at first but will help me speed up on other paintings once I learn their techniques. The aim is more realistic paintings. I think it is paying off a little in this painting as I like the way the trees are turning out so far...

Mixing Tree Colour
I have taken some time to work out the best colour mixes. In doing this I have learned how to get some nice colours for the background areas. An example is the trees to the right in the lower background. For these I mixed approx. 60% Prussian blue with 40%Cadmium red to get a dense blue black. If I reverse the mix proportions it becomes a browny black. The difference is subtle but very useful for giving warmth or coolness to the colour. I then added Titanium white to the bluey black to get the various greys that make up the trees branches. The trunks of the trees are raw umber which I allowed to dry before painting over with the darker greys that I got from the above mixing.

Worlds Oldest Person - Sakhan Dosova, Latest Candidate?
Anyone who followed this blog last year will know I am interested in this topic, so today there was some rumours in the news of a woman that is 130 just in the last few days!! If it is true and there is a little skepticism to say the least, it will really be a milestone. One thing is true, she is a remarkable individual, but the next few weeks will confirm the truth of her claim. Here is the link to read her story.That's it for now and call back in a few days or so to see the finished painting.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ongoing Work and Striving to Improve.

I am getting into a routine now of painting a few hours every day or so, something which I wasn't doing in the past. As always it's a time availability thing. Lately if I go two days or so without working on art it's unusual. How long this will continue I don't know. I am looking at a lot of aspects of my painting technique and dissecting everything now in my ongoing attempts to refine and improve. I am questioning everything I use, brushes, canvas, brushstrokes, everything...I bought new canvases with a smoother surface and it is definitely helping. Also I am reading and learning from techniques used by any artists who have refined their painting technique. One such artist is James Ingraham. Check out his videos on You tube. He posts as Jimmy3d. The above is a shot of my latest work in progress. It's going okay but still needs a lot of work. I will post more when it's finished. I underpainted the canvas and let it dry before I drew on the drawing. I spent several hours working on creating the drawing on parchment paper before I had the final image decided upon. I created the drawing on the canvas by using thin markers which are waterproof. I used skyblue marker for the lines in the sky area and raw umber marker for the rest. The paint is covering the markers okay, so seems to be working out. I hadn't used this way of creating the initial drawing before. The underpainting is ultramarine blue with prussian blue and titanium white in varying proportions. More white is used and less ultramarine as I went down the canvas. It gets rid of the blank white of the canvas and creates a good base for the overall colour of the painting. That's it for the moment. I intend to finish it soon so check back over the next week or so to see the final result.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Reference Photos and Finished Work

The above are some of the reference photos I have been gathering together, all of which are available in the public domain. I will use some of them, most lightly as backgrounds to scenes containing wildlife such as deer, birds etc. I choose these for the atmosphere and unusual lighting. Scenes of really wild places such as these, I find really enjoyable to paint, although I wonder how saleable such paintings could be. Therefore I will attempt one soon and see how that fares out.
I was at the gallery today, and left in my latest painting for sale. I changed the name - I renamed it "Promenade en l'Ete" instead of "Le mer de l'herbe". Name is not so important, as long as it turned out okay. I think it's reasonable -- see what you think, comments welcome... Apart from that I have been working on smaller work and will post the photos of them when finished. Check back to see them, probably in a few days. Anyway, here is the finished painting for you to enjoy, or scroll to the bottom of this page to see it larger. It is available for sale in the Nora Dunne Gallery.

Promenade en l'Ete

Monday, March 9, 2009

Impressionism in California - William Wendt

Here is some of the work from an artist I have just recently become aware of, William Wendt, 1865-1947. He was born in Germany and his family emigrated to America when he was 14.

I am showing it here because I admire his colour combinations, and composition. If I have the time, not likely these days, I will try to research some more work by artists such as him. He was part of an impressionist group working on the west coast of America in the early 20th century. Back then of course, the landscape would have been a lot more natural than it is today.
As for my own progress, I have just about finished two paintings which are drying now. I will post some photos next post. I want to photograph outdoors and it's raining here today!