Thursday, April 29, 2010

Current Challenges

Well, its spring and it seems along with the new growth outside, I always begin to strive for new growth in myself. I jotted down some painting goals and challenges the other night and as I looked them over I realized they were the same as they've been for the past few years. I guess thats a good thing. Hopefully I'm making progress toward all of them. They always encompass the essential foundations of painting.

The first one is to improve in my drawing. By this I mean getting things proportionally correct and in relation to each other on the plane. Close on the heals of this is composition or design. I really like strong compositions with an interesting dark and light pattern. Strong values, being limited to about 3 main ones. Then, I want to use color more purposefully. Color conveys such emotion and mood and I want to plan that a bit more. And last but not least is the handling of the paint and brushwork.

The only way I know how to improve my drawing is to do more of it, of course. So, I'm going to try to use my evenings to spend some time drawing anything around the house. Not in detail, but in sketching the essentials. Getting them where they go. Showing perspective.

So, along with the drawing, is the composition. Actually this comes first in my opinion. To stop and visualize the whole composition before ever making a mark. Look at the subject, then look away and "see" what I remember of it. This kind of clues me in to what was essential. Then to look at it again and visually eliminate the non-essentials and firmly fix that in my mind. Do some thumbnails if necessary to rearrange parts of the whole.

Once having done this my current method is to determine the overall color scheme and then to loosely draw the composition on my panel with paint. Then I have been doing an overall wash of thin paint, blocking in the darks and lights in a general way. If there are important details to establish sometimes I will block in kind of dark and wipe out the lights with a rag because I still have much better control over my finger in a rag than I do over a brush. By important details I mean things that usually pertain to animals or people. They're the hardest to get right and keep fresh. So this really helps me. At this point I have it firmly established in my mind and if I need to leave it until the next day I can do so.

After this stage, I've been going in and establishing the main subject with thicker paint. I like thick, juicy paint, especially when there's some thin washes showing through here and there, like in the shadows. I'm still working on this. Sometimes I get the look established and I don't want to disturb it. Sometimes I do too much. One has to be judicious at this point. I find that after the block in, getting back about 15 feet and appraising the painting really helps to keep from overdoing it. Patience and discipline!

I'm still experimenting with different colors on my palette. Trying to find the combinations I want for certain subjects. And, as I discovered today, the right brush makes a huge difference! You'd think I knew that by now. I looked at all my flats in their jar and realized they all look like filberts, so I pulled out a new flat and voila! nice crisp edges! Sometimes its hard to be me . . .

So, those are my painting challenges. Hopefully, I'll make progress in them. It will be a learning curve again when I start going outside to paint. Its so much harder to keep all these things in mind when surrounded by so much and all that shifting light. But that will be another post!

Red Barn, 8x10, oil on linen panel

This is back on. I took it off here because there was some problem with the link to ebay. So now there's no link, but it is on ebay at this time. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hillside Heifer, 8x10, oil on linen panel

I really like cows. This one was watching us from up on this hill. Starts on ebay tonight.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Light And Shadow, 9x12, oil on linen panel

This is a scene from my back door one day last summer. We get some amazing cloud formations out here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Glendo Sage, 9x12, oil on linen

Another from Glendo. These are colors I love and a subject I love. There are few things that say "the west" to me like sagebrush and pines. Hope you like it too! On ebay tonight.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Summertime Shade, 6x8, oil on Wallis sandpaper

One from last summer. It won't be long now till it will be looking like this again! On ebay tonight. Click on the title to go to ebay home page. Thanks!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Glendo Pines, 6x8, oil on Wallis sand paper

This is from a camping trip last fall. We like to go to this lake after the summer season. It's very peaceful then. Not so in the summer! On ebay tonight. Just click the title to go to the home page. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Our Chickens, 6x8, oil on canvas

We don't have these chickens anymore, but thought I'd paint it anyway. On ebay tonight. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Two Horses, 9x12, oil on linen panel

A painting done during my grand daughter's nap time, which is a lot like doing a quick draw without the audience!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The North Platte, 9x12, oil on linen panel

This is a view of the river as it winds it's way through Casper - or just outside of Casper. On ebay tonight. Thanks!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sunrise At Miracle Mile, 11x14, oil on linen panel

This is where we camp when we go elk hunting. It will be on ebay tomorrow - Friday - just click on the title to go to the home page. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Old Timers, 9x12, oil on linen

I like old trucks! They are always interesting and colorful! Even when they're rusty. On ebay tonight.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wyoming Pink, 9x12, oil on linen panel

This will be on ebay tonight. Just click on the title and it will take you to the home page. Thanks!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Yellowstone Morning, 11x14, oil on linen panel

More buffalo! And this will be on ebay tonight, so click the title to go to the home page. Thanks!
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