Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Day

...New Day...
6" x 6" - oil on canvas panel

If you looked closely at my little layered paintings, this one had a pink sky above the band of yellow light. That layer had dried. I added the clouds on top of that, and wiped back to expose the pink. See how airy the clouds look? I love sunrises!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Back-lit Trees

...Back-lit Trees...
oil on canvas panel - 6" x 6"

Painting the glow of backlighting can be difficult. But a glaze of transparent paint really captures the effect on these leaves. The ground shadows also are transparent as well as the shaded trees on the left. I made up a lot of this, so I hope it doesn't look too unreal. I'm not going to say what I changed, hoping you can just enjoy it as it is. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

3 Cows

...3 Cows...
oil on canvas panel - 6" x 6"

I had waited an hour and a half for these cows to come into the sunlight. They spent most of their time over in the shade under the background trees. The farmer saw me waiting, camera in hand, and just grinned. But he didn't approach me or ask anything. The cows looked very happy.

This is one of the layered paintings from the shelf in the earlier blog. Most of the paint here is opaque, but the transparent is in the dark of the background and the orangy ground under the grass.

It feels good to have this finished. I actually finished it and some others several days ago, but didn't photograph it till today.

Thanks for reading my blog! Have a good weekend.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

All in a Row...

Works in progress

The opaque layer was added next. Now they're starting to look like something. But they're still not finished.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Five Little Paintings...

First layer--transparent color

Here are the same paintings from last time. I have added transparent oil colors, thinned with Liquin. Now, they're starting to look like something. How do I know where to put these transparent colors? Well, it's generally the darks, the shadows, the bright clear colors, and the stuff underneath (like the ground under the grass or color of light in the sky). Basically, it's my gut feeling of what would look right... just based on experience. Now, they will dry overnight.

You have a good evening...

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I got two narrow picture shelves from Ikea and hung them yesterday. These, hopefully, will keep my paintings safe from Oscar, while they are drying.

This shelf has some 6" square panels with basic underpaintings on them. Even at this stage, it's pretty easy to tell which ones are dark dominant. (The light and mid-value dominant ones are not so easy). Well, it will become apparent in the next stage. Stay tuned...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Low Tide

...Low Tide...
oil on canvas - 6" x 12" 
Here we have stillness, and glowing light, and San Francisco Bay. And each sunset is wonderful! The distant mountain is Mt. Tamalpais, or Mt Tam, as it's called locally. The second little hill is an island. It looks like I painted this with only two colors, but I actually used about five! (Limited palette) I used a lot of layers, and it was interesting to see how it developed, as it changed with each new layer! Reminder to self:  Take photos of each layer and post them...

Oscar is happy that I put down a "placeholder" for him so he knows where to sleep!
Actually, this is an empty frame that I use to view works-in-progress in the studio. I never just lay paintings flat on the floor, and now you know why!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Plein Air in Benicia

...Fish-Riddell House...
oil on canvas panel - 6" x 8"

I went out painting with the plein air group from Benicia, CA. (DaGroup, a really nice group of artists!) They paint at different spots, and this was the subject for this week. The house has a long history, but the woman who lived here was Benecia's first plein air painter. Did you know Benecia used to be the state capitol?
Anyway, I don't usually do architecture, so this was a special challenge. And of course, painting outdoors at the scene is always challenging. 

Well, little did I know, but the local newspaper thought our group painting outside would be a good story. So they sent a reporter out to interview us. Since I hadn't been with the group long (this was my 3rd time out with them), the reporter asked about how I paint, etc. There was also a photographer who was taking our pictures, and pictures of our paintings as they developed (no pressure there!)

As luck would have it, the painting came out fine. The sky was the same value as the roof, and at first I had made it lighter, so the roof would contrast with the sky. After I got home, I decided the painting would have more life if I darkened the sky, so this is the final result. The story will be a feature article in next Sunday's Daily Republic!