Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday Plein Air–Galena

We painted in Galena today. Everyone was feeling pretty sluggish from the heat and humidity, even though we start early in the day. Several people just couldn’t take it and went home early. The rest of us soldiered on and we got together for our group critique early, about 11pm. Most of us then went over to the Mudflats Bar and Grill for lunch. They have great food and cool AC.

I’m not real happy with my work today, so I am not showing a closeup.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday Studio Work

Well, I still had paint on my palette so I gave the wild under-painting technique another go. This one was on a gesso hardboard, so it was a much smoother surface. I used very little solvent and because the paint was several days old, it seemed to have a lot of sheen – which I don’t like. I noticed it most with the titanium white. Is that a problem with that white? Should I try a zinc/titanium mix?
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The final painting is just ok. It doesn’t have the pop that the one last night had. But I am learning a lot.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Studio Work

I haven't been real happy with my oil paintings lately. They have been just blah.... I know what I WANT to do, but getting the paint and the brush to do it is another thing. The application process has always been difficult for me. I tend to over-blend, use too thin of paint and mix dull colors.

I found some artists online whose work excited and motivated me. I noticed they use very colorful under-paintings, don't try to cover every bit of it, and have thick, clear, clean color. The brushstrokes are very deliberate. So last night, I made a few wild under-paintings. Tonight, I sat down to play, so I could use up the paint on my palette from Saturday. I had a GREAT time and am really happy with how it turned out! I have HOPE!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Plein Air - Goodale Park

We painted at Goodale Park today. Painters among the Segways, Labradoodles, squirrels, joggers and homeless people. It was so hot and humid that there was a haze even at 9am. We painted quickly and headed home by 11am to camp out in the AC.

I can't seem to get a good photo of my painting, but hope you can see it well enough.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I wanted to use up the paint on my palette last night, so decided to just play on one of the mat board panels. I loosely based this composition of the last painting. I gave myself a rule not to squeeze out any new paint. Yes, it is a blurry painting, but I kinda like it. It could be used for an under painting, but I will probably just move on to a new one.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Plein Air Saturday - Red Bank Marina

We painted at the Red Bank Marina area of Hoover Reservoir, Westerville Ohio today. We have painted here many times. We had a large group today and I elected to park over by the boat dry storage area. There wasn't much shade, so I decided to setup at the back of my mini-SUV. I put a large golf umbrella over the back door and setup my new painting set. The light was still reflecting badly, so I finagled my cotton shirt over the edge and clamped it down. It was quite the setup! The back of my car is the perfect height for me to sit on the edge and the back end gives me lots of space to spread out the stuff around me! Here is a picture of the "Paint - Mobile":
Here are pics of the view. Unfortunately, as often happens, someone decided to park their vehicle right in the middle of the view! So, several times, I had to walk across the parking lot to take a look at what was hidden and rush back and try to paint it.

And the finished painting is below. I touched up a couple things after I got home. I am trying to work on some specific issues in the field, such as keeping the paint clean and fresh and using deliberate brush strokes. Eventually I would like to go a bit more abstract, but feel I need to work on the foundation issues first.
"Dry Storage Mid July", 8x10, oil on hard board panel

Playing with Grounds

I've been experimenting with grounds, size, and gesso. I had been given a huge pile of mat board cutouts and wanted to try to use these for my oil or pastel paintings, since I am not a fan of canvas. I recently tried the approach of using PVA size on the boards, followed by oil painting ground. Both of these products are by Gamblin. I use Gamblin oil paints exclusively and love the quality. I tried using the ground by itself on panels, but felt the paint 'lifted' as I was painting. So I figured I might need to size the panels first. It didn't seem to make much difference.

The painting below was a quickie painting done on one of these boards. This scene is at Bremerton from my trip in June. I used the Fast Matte oil paints last night. I really didn't like the feel of this surface at all and was going to give up on this one, but today with left over regular oil paints, I finished this up. I think the Fast Matte paint works well for an underpainting, with the regular oils on top. Although it isn't a spectacular painting, I feel I learned a lot from my experiment, both about the surface preparation and the paint. I think I prefer the feel of gesso.

Bremerton - High Tide,  8x10 oil on paper panel

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Tide's Out

Just a quick 6 x 6 playing around with the Fast Matte paint. I was able to mix some nice browns with these. Still working out the hues of greens though....and was pretty stingy with the paint! Sometimes it is hard to work smaller.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Test Drive

I stopped at Blicks today to get some Gamblin Fast Matte oil paints. I wanted to give them a try as they dry really quickly. I intend on using them when I travel so that my paintings dry enough to pack them for the trip home. I like to make a quick color wheel test of paints I am not familiar with and was happy with how it turned out. I use regular Gamblin oil paint, and these were very close to those. A couple of the colors seemed a bit stiff but others seemed to leak out the binder oils. I mainly used Gamsol to get the consistency right, but also used some Liquin. 
I usually have a hard time painting flowers, but thought these hydrangeas I bought at Costco might be simple to paint. Yea right. And this is the last time I will try to paint that vase! There is something about that shape and color that I just can't get right. I have tried to paint the vase several times in the past. This is not one of my favorite paintings, but it actually looks better in the photo than in real life, so I thought I would post it.

I gave my new pochade box a test drive for this painting too. It worked well and I did get a bit of paint on it to initiate it.