Monday, October 31, 2016

"Early Snow, Colorado", 9x12"

"Early Snow" is a demo piece I painted for my workshop in Huntley a few weeks ago.  I used this painting to show how to simplify complex scenes into three values (light, middle, and dark)to make the job of painting a bit easier.  It was painted entirely using a palette knife, so simplification was very important!

This painting was purchased by one of the students in the class (thank you Marcie).

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"Clementines and Blue Jar", 8x10"

This little painting is a demo piece that I did for a class on painting glass last week.  I love painting glass.  It forces me to slow way down and observe what is in front of me, rather than letting my brain say "OK I got this", and painting what I think I see.

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Clementines.

Here are some basic steps I follow when I paint glass.

Here's my reference.

I start by drawing in the basic shapes of the still life, including the shape of the glass object.

I paint in the shadows of the objects, including the shadows showing through the glass.

I look for the turning edges of the glass-- sometimes these edges are lighter and sometimes they are darker than the glass object.  These edges describe the shape and transparency of the object.  The last things to add are the highlights on the glass, typically nearest the light source, such as the highlight on the rim of the bottle.

Glass is a challenge, but it is almost always a rewarding one!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

"Illinois", 12x9"

Last weekend was misty and damp, but my little group of plein air painters decided to load up our gear and head out into the fields of Veteran's Park in Crystal Lake.  It was worth the effort-- the dampness brought out some beautiful fall color.  

After we set up and started painting, we heard a stampede of runners bearing down on us.  Little did we know we had chosen to paint in the path of a cross country competition.  We scurried out of the way, took a deep breath, and started again.  We hardly noticed the wheezing and clomping going on behind us throughout the morning.

Friday, October 14, 2016

"The Road to Somewhere", 10x8"

Last week, I taught a workshop called "Painting Dynamic Landscapes from Photos" at the Pencil and Palette Club in Huntley, Illinois.  "The Road to Somewhere" is a small demo I painted for the group.

Here is my reference photo-- with WAY too much information for me to process into a coherent design.  I needed to simplify this photo into 3 values (light, middle, and dark) to be able to see my way through it.

Have you heard of the Value Viewer App?  It's a super simple app put out by Plein Air Magazine which allows you to download your own photo into the program, and it will simplify it into 3 values for you.  Artists have been creating value studies in charcoal and monochromatic paintings for centuries to guide their painting process.  This little app just makes things easier and quicker, especially if you're outside with limited time!

I love to paint from the 3 value study-- I often put away the original photo until the very end.  This way, I can play with any colors I like (as long as they are in the correct value ranges).  And I often come up with a painting that looks more exciting than my photo.

I think that the most successful landscapes are actually quite simple and strong.  Using a three value "map" allows me to nail down the composition right from the start.

For purchase information, please click on Ann Feldman Road to Somewhere.