Saturday, July 27, 2013

Plein Air Saturday - Twin Bridges/Hoover Reservoir

It was a rainy Saturday in Ohio. The group had planned on meeting at Twin Bridges on Hoover Reservoir. I planned to just show up, take a few pics, give Andy a package, and come back home. We all sat around in Rich's car chatting until about 9am, when most of the people who usually come would have arrived. There were only 5 of us and since there was no shelter there, we decided to move on down to Sunbury Road to the shelter near Walnut St.

I attempted to paint this view, but ended up wiping that out.
I was working on a small 5x7 Judson's gesso panel. It was a bit slippery for my tastes so it took awhile to get the painting to cooperate. I ended up loosely painting this view with a painting knife:

 This sure shows the atmosphere of the day!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Studio Work - Girders #2

Well, I spent the last few evenings working on the girders painting in oil. I finally got to the point tonight where the surface was very dry and I also was to the point where I didn't feel like working on it anymore! I generally work very fast, and the pace of this one was too drawn out.

I am fairly happy with this generally. I like the composition and my green mixtures of the trees framing the scene are nice true Ohio greens. It is a very unusual subject matter for me but it forced me to paint straight lines which I find very difficult.
Here is a view of the photo, the pastel painting and this oil painting. I still like the 'roughness' of the pastel.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Studio Work - Girders #1

I did something silly this week. I tried to paint a pastel but it was a lame attempt and failed. Later in retrospect, I realized why - my heart wasn't in it, I hadn't planned, and was just trying to copy a photograph. I know better!

I wiped out most of the pigment from the sanded surface. Today, I decided to use this piece of paper for a new painting and new subject. I was using UArt 600 grit sanded pastel paper. I felt it didn't have enough tooth, so I applied some Art Spectrum Colourfix Primer in clear and let it dry. Following are process shots:
 A peek of the failed painting shows through.

I liked the design because of the Z shape that the structures and riverbanks created and gave a nice rhythm across the piece. I wanted to keep the 'brushwork' a bit loose and not get bogged down with details.

I have a real problem figuring how to get away from making an image too realistic. I know I am able to make something very sharp and clear when I mean to, but I really admire those artists that can make each brushstroke count and just get the impression. It's much more interesting.

I am so intrigued with this composition, that I want to attempt to paint it in oil! We'll see it that works out soon. I'd like to get some stronger contrasts, emphasize the Z more, and get the structure a bit straighter!

My final painting is shown below. I am fairly happy with this, although I can see numerous things that could be improved. But I am surprised that I was drawn to this scene since I rarely like to paint architectural pieces - there was something about the design that drew me in. The scene is at Boston, Ohio at the visitor's center, looking south. The Cuyahoga river is flowing under the tall bridgework of the Ohio Turnpike (distant) and I-271 (foreground).

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Studio Work - Oil

I stayed hibernating in the AC today and feel much better. Better enough to work on a studio oil painting. I haven't named this yet. I am not sure it is done, but wanted to stop short so it doesn't get over-done.

Here are some process shots. Because I wanted to take my time with this painting, I sketched the design on my panel with a water soluble pencil instead of using thinned oil paint.

This was painted from a photo I took on my recent trip to Cuyahoga National Park. When I take snapshots, I really don't plan the composition too much, as I usually crop the photos later for multiple designs. But this snapshot was a nice composition and I only cropped it to the ratio of a 11x14 panel. This is the largest I ever paint in oils, and generally no larger than 8x10.

I enjoy experimenting with different color palettes. The palette I used today, to me, makes some very nice colors. I used Rembrandt's Cold Grey, Gamblin's Indian Yellow and Perylene Red - both transparent colors, and Indanthrone Blue a semi-transparent I also used three new Gamblin products - new Cool White and Warm White, and Solvent Free Gel medium. I am liking the feel of the Solvent Free Gel medium with my paints. It gives just enough body to the paint without making it too slippery.

 The Indian yellow appears orange until you mix it with other colors or white. I really like the range of yellow green to blue greens you can make with this yellow with the Indanthrone blue.
I feel my painting has good color harmony using this limited palette. It is a subdued color scheme and less garish than a classic palette combination.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday Plein Air - Heavenly Gardens Daylily Farm

We painted at the Heavenly Gardens Daylily Farm today. Jamie Gossard is a world renown daylily hybridizer. The Gossards gave our group permission to paint on their farm. July is peak bloom season for daylilies, and we were not disappointed! We were very overwhelmed, trying to decide what to paint. I took lots of closeup photos for studio paintings, but I setup looking across the yard at this view:
 Unfortunately, I'd forgotten the easel attachment for my Heilman pastel box, so I had to hold my board in my hand, or lay it down on top of the pastels:
 I had intended on painting two pastels in a 4x10" size, as I have some precut mats this size, but I ended up just painting one.

Daylily View, 4" x 10", pastel on Pastelmat paper
 It was a lovely day, and we had about 15 painters show up.

 Oh - by the way, check out my travel blog - I took a little two day retreat this week with some of my painting buddies -

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Saturday Plein Air, Orange Township Hall Park

It has been monsoon season, it seems, in Ohio recently. Today was misty, drizzly and overcast. Only a handful of brave painters arrived at the Orange Township Hall Park today. We all found a comfortable spot under cover and painted.  I wish I knew what type of tree this is - it may appear as a Weeping Willow from a distance, but it has a much different trunk and leaf structure. I should have walked over and taken a closeup photo.

Here are a few process shots and the finished painting. I wanted to work on my aerial perspective values and colors, and concentrate on brushstrokes. I think I achieved my goal considering everything was GREEN.

I was also using the new Gamblin Solvent Free Gel medium. I am impressed with it and will use it again, although I recommend using it only with either a disposable palette paper, or a glass palette. I had some issues cleaning off dried paint mixtures from my MDF palette.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Meeting Carl Judson

I've owned many products from Judson's Art Outfitters since I started plein air painting. They are all top notch, high quality products. Recently when I read that Carl Judson was on a road trip and that he would be making a stop in Columbus, Jim Glover and I made arrangements to meet with Carl over dinner.

 He has quite the mobile storefront in his van. I purchased some of his inventory and we had some dinner and lots of good conversation.
 Carl was showing off one of his original pochade boxes that is his favorite.

 Jim showed him some of his paintings and the "palette garage".
Carl showed some of his recent paintings. I enjoyed his clean colors and interesting compositions of common objects.
I'd shared some photos of some of my paintings with Carl and I had brought my 5x7 Judson's Pocket Box which I had retrofitted with my pastels as shown on my post a couple weeks ago. He thought it was pretty neat that I had made it work for my purpose.

Also, he really liked my "Beets Me" pastel from earlier in the year. He featured my painting on his latest blog post:

Thanks Carl! Safe travels!