Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Monday, April 28, 2014
This is an example of the "Fracturing" technique that I've been experimenting with lately. I had my paintings lined up at the studio for framing the other day, and a young boy pointed at this one and said,"It looks shattered!" Made me happy to know that my intention was understood by one so young.
This painting is shown at the Button Petter Gallery in Saugatuck, Michigan.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
In an attempt to keep the lessons I learned in Carolyn Anderson's class fresh in my mind, I painted another pastoral scene today. This time, I "bounced" a bit of red into my greens to be sure that my color was harmonized throughout.
And here is another scene from New Harmony Indiana that I thought you might enjoy. Painters were descending on the town in preparation for the "First Brush of Spring" plein air paintout, and so many people were happy to chat with them and see their latest works.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
I'm just back from another whirlwind week in New Harmony, Indiana, where I attended a workshop with Carolyn Anderson. What an eye-opening experience! Here are some highlights of what I learned from Carolyn:
Try not to paint "things". Instead, focus on line, value, color, and shape.
When painting from a photo, try not to go too dark. As we know, photos lie, and darks can get darker, lights get lighter. We have to adjust for this.
Pay close attention to color harmony and temperature. In the painting above, I didn't have a good temperature balance. Carolyn showed me how to "bounce" a cool blueish/green color throughout the painting to make it seem more cohesive.
I'll have some more thoughts on my time with Carolyn in future posts. In the meantime, here are a couple of photos from the idyllic town of New Harmony!
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
This tiny painting was created using only a palette knife. It can be pretty intimidating to try to paint with a knife and lots of thick, uncontrollable paint, but I've found that if you keep a few things in mind as you paint, the process can be simplified and made a lot less scary.
First, start with a really good "map" underneath your painting. The drawing below is what I had underneath my painting. Each area is labeled with an L (for light), M (for middle), or D (for dark). These are reminders for my values (light vs dark) as I paint. The sky, yellow trees, and the foreground are labeled "L" because they are the lightest areas of the painting. Background trees are "D" because they are dark, and the hillside is labeled "M" because it falls in the middle value range.
Once I have my map ready, I start to lay in my paint with my knife. Another rule that I live by is to paint the areas farthest away and work up to the closest areas. In this case, the sky is where I started, then I moved to the background trees, then the hill, then the foreground. The yellow trees and the trunks were the last things to be touched. When I do this, I lay paint on top of paint, and I don't have to paint around anything. It also keeps my paint areas fresh and clean.
I hope that you try to paint with a palette knife-- it is a guaranteed way to loosen up your paintings!
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