Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Studio Work - Pink Roses

Pink Roses, 5x7, oil
Here is my third painting with the pink roses. Simple is better.
Parts were still wet, so I was getting lots of glare. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Studio Work - White Tree and Roses

White Flowering Tree and Pink Roses, 8 x 10, oil
Today I worked in the studio from the photos taken at the Park of Roses on Friday. I wanted to re-paint the scene from that day. I feel good about parts of this painting, but I am afraid that the white flowering tree is confusing. It looks like a pine tree with snow. Oh well - I continue to learn. I liked how the roses turned out, so I started another 5 x 7 with the idea of simplifying the view to just the hot pink roses in front of the dark tree. I need to let it dry a bit before I finish that one.

Central Ohio Plein Air will be at Park of Roses again on June 9th for a day-long event "Stop and Smell the Roses" (see link here ) and we will have a little competition going between us painters, and I am trying to figure out how to paint roses before then! Everyone is welcome to come to the park that day for lots of activities. Please see the link for more information.

I used some of the leftover paint on a small piece of the Arches Oil paper and created the little painting below. I was attempting to be more 'painterly' and looser.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Plein Air Saturday–Battelle Darby park

We met at the Battelle Darby park today. One word – GREEN. 
I decided to try to, once again, use the new Canson Touch pastel paper. I still don’t like it, and will try to find one of my local fellow pastelists who’d like to buy the other sheets from me.

Alcohol washed underpainting

Friday, May 25, 2012

Plein Air Friday!

I decided to take today off from work to make it a longer holiday weekend. So, I put the call out to my fellow painters at Central Ohio Plein Air - who wants to paint today? My past oil painting teacher, Jim Glover, responded that he was teaching a class today at Park of Roses and I was welcome to paint with them.  Then a couple other members decided to paint too! We had a nice group.

This park is beautiful, but because of the thousands of rose bushes, it is hard to pick something to paint. I kept being drawn to the hot pink of this variety, called Chuckles - and in honor of Memorial Day, it seemed fitting to choose this one since it was labeled, "To Veterans of the US Army Air Corps.

I was drawn to this view, with Chuckles in the foreground and the white flowering tree in the back:

I was using Gamblin FastMatte oils today, and a couple days ago, I had made a color chart as a cheat sheet and used that today to remind me how to mix certain colors. I was painting on a canvas wrapped board which was a wipe-down from a failed painting, so the board was already a soft green.

My finished painting. 

Jim Glover

Bill Westerman

Sunday, May 20, 2012

More On Limited Color Palettes

I like to putter in my studio when I can't seem to get excited about any of my reference photos for a new studio painting.  I also like to experiment and lighten my load of gear with painting outdoors. Yesterday, I tried to use the palette where you have a cool and a warm of the three primaries. But I tend to get too involved with putting the paint down into a recognizable rendering and forget all the things I have been told about color temperature. I sure wish I could get those lessons to stick in my mind while I am working!

There have been lots of conversations online with painters and limited color palettes this spring. Many of the conversations have been about Ken Auster's palette because he was a featured speaker at the Plein Air convention in Las Vegas in April. Ken uses Aliz. Crimson, Cad. Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, white and Ivory black. I thought maybe using Ken's five color palette would give me enough options, so I made a grid of squares and mixed the colors. Of the mixtures shown below, I tried to use a 80% -20% ratio of each color. Obviously, there are unlimited ratio combinations which would give more choices.
Although this palette makes some interesting reds and greys, I didn't get enough purples, blues or greens for my taste, although I might give it a try sometime.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Plein Air Saturday - Yoder Farm

We traveled to near Danville, Ohio today to paint at the Amish farm of the Yoder family. They have a family bakery. They were very generous and open to us taking any photos we'd like (most Amish do not allow photos). When we first arrived, the young Amish man offered to take us up into the back of the farm to the top of the big hill above where the goats where grazing. We sat in his brand new wagon pulled by the draft horses, "Dan and Duddley". Also along for the ride were a pile of cute Amish kids too. They really gave me the 'eye', with my pink/glitter toenails. The Amish man was a really nice and did a really good commentary as we rode along.

The bakery was having a special anniversary celebration today, and they had free food for everyone who stopped by. Freshly made glazed donuts, hot soft pretzels, ice cream and coffee. I purchased a loaf of spelt oatmeal bread. 

The weather was perfect! We had a nice size group of painters today. I painted two paintings today. The first is on the new Arches Oil paper which I mounted on a hardwood panel. I started out using a palette knife to get the painting started then finished with a brush. 

The second was a quick small painting of a little shed that I viewed between a couple of our cars. I had to finish this one at home. This is painted on Centurian Double Primed linen mounted on a mat board.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Experiments and Lessons Learned

Oil paint on Arches Oil Paper

I tend to experiment quite a bit in my art. I think play is an important part in learning, especially when it involves materials. When I was in Utah, Michael Chesley Johnson tried out a new paper which had been given to him at the Plein Air Convention. It is Arches Oil Paper (If you want to learn more about the paper, please hit the link). This is made by the Arches company who is known for their watercolor papers. In the past when I did watercolors, Arches cold press was my favorite, so when Michael talked about this new paper, I was intrigued.

I was able to find this at my local Dick Blick store and gave it a try today. I did a quick study loosely based on today's pastel painting scene. The paper feels very much like the watercolor paper, but seems a tiny bit thicker. I really didn't notice the coating they used, other than the smell. It has a slightly musty odor. Not too bad, but noticeable. Michael felt it wasn't too absorptive, but I felt it was pretty thirsty. My first passes of paint scrumbled across the surface. Once I got a nice layer of paint applied, I liked how the paint laid down. I tried both a stiff hogs-hair brush and a softer synthetic. I preferred the synthetic.  Because this is paper, you can easily make your painting any size you wish, or even cut out the bad parts of a painting, saving just the part you love. And with it being so lightweight, it will be a good choice for plein air work. I am not sure yet though, what will be required to frame paintings done on this paper. Will it require framing under glass, or since it is oil paint, can it be framed similar to a painting done on boards?

To work on it, I just taped it onto a board:

And finally, here is the last shot of the bridge painting. I did learn much from this painting, which was my goal. I've decided that my idea of using acrylic matte medium coated mat board as a panel for oils probably isn't a good idea. I have found that the dry oil paint doesn't seem to be as tough or fuse with the board. I was having a lot of trouble with my brush lifting previously painted areas, so I decided to call this painting done.