Thursday, April 30, 2009

2 Color Workshops!

~Some of the painters in the past workshops~

Color Temperature Workshops

this demo is not quite finished but it has the emphasized structure in temp. that we were focusing on.

It was ALL about Color Temperature!

Last week, I again had the privilege of painting with some very inspiring and eager painters! I held 2 workshops back to back at my studio last Thursday through Sunday. We worked steady and hard the four days and our focus was COLOR. What a treat to have 4 full days to focus completely on c0lor and it's relationship to it's surrounding temps.

There are so many important and necessary elements to creating a painting, and not one of those elements ever completely leaves my mind when teaching and or painting. However, there is something to be said for having a workshop that seriously focuses on breaking down the nuts and bolts of one of those elements, my favorite. . . color!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"E Wilkins Street"
11x14 Oil On Linen
This is a piece I did last week. I drive this road several times a day between my home and studio. I really enjoy painting the old streets of Stillwater. This is facing east in the morning, the bluffs you see in the distance are across the St Croix River which would be Wisconsin. The St Croix divides MN and WI. We can literally skip a rock to another state! :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Studio Landscape Demo

"Minnesota River Valley Bottoms"
Oil On Linen Board
Below is the process of the my latest studio piece. The inspiration for this piece came from the Bottom Lands of the Minnesota River Valley. We had access to some of the most beautiful land I have ever seen in my life last fall when working on some other pieces of the area. When I saw this specific place, I immediately saw the painting I was going to paint. The feeling of the evening was of warmth and of peace. The place told a story and the light created the mood. I had and still have a clear vision of that moment and place and wanted to paint in honor of it.

I know I've talked a lot about trees before, and how can one possibly be a landscape painter in Minnesota without having some kind of a love a respect for them but I love the unique character and story each tree has and tells. When I paint a tree, I'm never just 'painting A tree', I care so much about painting THAT tree! As I see it, they are like people. Each has their own unique qualities and it would be quite unfair to not honor those qualities. No two are the same!

When painting on a large scale piece like this, I usually put down some kind of basic grid lines so that I can see where major spaces of division are. It's difficult to see where simple mid lines are when you are up close to your piece. It helps me to stay on track a bit and to avoid major tangents or center lines etc.

I started with a large brush (#10 flat bristle) and washed in my big shapes and composition using transparent oxide red (Rembrandt) and turps.

Once I got the strength or armature in the shapes that I was after, I started massing in the darks, leaving the lit areas open to help create the light effect I remembered that evening.

The dark silhouette in front was primarily Transparent Oxide Red, Viridian and Alizeran Crimson (and probably some Ultra Marine Blue). I kept it somewhat transparent so that later when I build in the next layers, I could have some of the warmth coming through in the shadow. I remember that band of dark almost radiating warmth, however it is a dark in shadow so COOL has to DOMINATE to read as that. That does not mean you have to ignore what you felt (warmth). As the layers move away from you, they get lighter and bluer. (cooler)

The next layer of darks I massed in more opaque color, using UMB, Alizeran and some yellow of some kind. (of coarse white)

The back layer of trees are the coolest and primarily used UMB, Aliz. and yellow but keeping it COOLER.

At this stage I am feeling pretty good. I'm getting my masses covered and feeling I am starting to see where the painting may be going. I like this stage because I now have a strong foundation for what's ahead and I'm never quite sure of 'what's ahead'. Kind of like a mystery you work through till the end.

I like the light effect and the light effect is the mood I wanted for honoring this place. In the foreground I started massing in a magenta like temperature. I remember the night and that the bean fields were an incredible magenta in the shadow areas. At this point I'm going with a 'feeling'. I'll figure out logic later!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Now I'm starting to build on color in the light and develop some structure somewhat in the foreground. I'm not quite sure at this point what I used exactly for color in the greens. I can tell you I did not use green. I only use Viridian for some rich darks with Alizeron.

I put the sky in. Continuing to work the entire painting. That is one thing I will mention, I always work the ENTIRE painting. I concentrate on getting the entire painting working for me before I refine any one thing. Everything is relative to everything else so it's important for me to keep moving around to keep the harmony of the whole.

Now I'm starting to try and figure out how in the heck I'm going to handle this bean field in the front. I did not anticipate this being so much of a problem. I worked and worked this front area until I got what I was after. First, I had to figure out what I was after. :) I had a clear vision of magenta so naturally at first I went over board with that 'vision'.

Ha! It's starting to work! I build and scummbled layers upon layers of warmth juxtaposing cool temperatures to create the sensation I saw that night. I must say, at this point in my painting I have come to realize that there is definitely NOT one way to do things. I believe you have to do what ever it takes to get the effect you are looking for. Let yourself respond to what it is you are painting. Not everything requires the same handling of the brush. I finding out of myself that I paint landscape because I love it. I love the harmony it provides and I love the differences in textures. I love that when the light danced across the tops of those seed pods on the grasses that it reminded me of little flecks of gold dust sprinkled across the tops. And that it was quite different than the light hitting that large heavy, mass of tree above it. They each deserve their own brush work. Some areas of this painting are thick, some thin, some bold, some delicate but all united to create one harmony.

Notice anything missing? How about a dead tree? Yes, I noticed a repeat share in the 'V' of the trees and decided it was best to redesign Nature a bit for the sake of the painting. :) I'll admit the tree went in and out MANY times in MANY different shapes.

A solution! :)

Please keep in mind that when I shot these photos I was in the middle of the painting and was not at all concerned with color etc. This was a really difficult piece to photograph with all the warmth in the greens.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter Weekend!

"Pastel Radishes"
Oil on Linen Panel

Happy Easter Weekend!
This is not a new piece, (I did this a few months ago) but since I'm in the middle of a large studio piece and won't be finished for a few days I thought Spring Radishes would be the perfect Easter Weekend colors to share!
I will be posting the progress on my latest piece in a few days. Until then, have a blessed holiday weekend and happy Painting!