Monday, May 31, 2010

The Crossing

Twenty minutes to wait before picking someone up I stopped the car in the Vietnamese Market area and drew what was in front of me.  The guy kept walking back and forth to his truck so he just fell into the drawing.  Even though there is all the detail and the figure is only 1/2 inch high the eye is drawn there right away. 

Marker drawing is so quick and easy to create a sense of depth and form.

I'll post some more of Montana later this week.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Coming Rain, 11 x 14

I'm posting this because it has a good story.  Leaving the cabin about 6 in the evening, I headed out across the forest making lots of noise to alert the bear and other critters (I did run across a griz one time doing this.)

Anyway, the drops were already beginning to fall and, although I'm not usually a big vista kind of painter, this is what was easily available with the rain coming.  Mountains first and then I hit the sky because that was changing quickly.  As the rain increased I moved to the bottom and just got in the river as the storm hit.  Everything got soaked.  Rivulets were running off the canvas.   I've been asked why I don't use water soluble oils more often and this is the reason:  The painting would have ended in a color pool at my feet.

This image looks dark on my laptop.  Check back in a few days....I may correct it.

Speaking of critters, two red fox showed up early in the week.  This boulder is less than twenty feet from the cabin.  Later I found that their den was about 150 feet away and I've spent the time watching the kits play as they wait for their parents to bring in the next meal. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Early Blooms

Just inside the National Bison Range southwest of Ronan, MT we began looking for what to paint.  I roamed about for 45 minutes sketching and absorbing, and thought I had finally found a spot.  Going back to the car to get paints I noticed this ten feet from my bumper and stayed right there.  Like they say, 'When you know, you gotta go.' 

Blocked-in with a purple color it was fairly easy.....until I got to the mass of flowers and reeds in the sunlit area.  The trick was to state it simply with just enough 'stuff' to make the illusion.  Painterly but with some detail.  Perhaps it worked... 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Steven Smallsalmon, 12x14

The Montana Painter's Alliance is a group of twenty five talented artists from across Montana who have regular group paint-outs and were kind enough to include me as their guest.  The morning of the second day they had Steve come in from the Flathead reservation in native dress.  Since I have never painted a Native American before this was a special treat.  After taking several five minute poses to get us warmed up, the group and Steve settled on this one and he posed for about an hour and fifteen minutes.

Here is also one of the warm-up sketches.  Of the four or five sketches I liked this one the best but, alas, he decided on the one that became the painting....which I also like but the shapes in the sketch were more interesting and I wished I could have brought it to a painting.  All the sketches, including this one, were wiped away.  This should give you an idea about how these begin.  Actually, there are more lines here than usual.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Eagle Harbor Demo, 11x14

This is the demonstration painting I did last Sunday for the plein air group.  We had a great time painting all day in the park with people strolling by adding comments.  Someday I'm going to make a T-shirt filled with passerby comments.  The one that always kills me is from the folks that stand and watch for ten minutes and then, with a quizzical expression ask, "Whaddaya painting".  I don't really mind this at the beginning, but toward the end when there is obviously a boat or a tree or a house in the painting, always gets me.  I never know whether to laugh or cry....but usually choose laughter when they are respectfully out of range.  Art education has been woefully neglected...

Here is a photo of how this began.  It's just past the shape block-in stage and on to beginning color.....and, remember, no line drawing just massing in of major shapes in a burnt sienna like color (it can be any color.  bs just lives nicely with green) which you can see under the green as I started over- painting.  Hard even for me to believe it's the same piece.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Waiting for Thai

Waiting for our 'to go' food, I drew....what else?  The food came as I was at this stage so I went home a little disappointed that I hadn't been able to carry it further with darker values.

When looking at it an hour later I thought it made a good point and decided to post it.  While the next step of adding deeper values would have made my drawing more believable, an initial separation of light from shadow is all that is needed to create form and a sense of dimension.

For a painter, this simple 30 percent value indicating shadow struck areas (a value map)  would be all that you'd need, plus a few color notations, to create a painting.  It could lead you all the way to a finished piece.  Click on the drawing to see a larger version.

I feel an urge to talk about shape painting vs. light/shadow painting......but I'll stop and save it for another post.