Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunlight and Storm Clouds (Oil Bar Painting as of June 29, 2013)

Here is the oil bar painting I have been working on, a landscape based on a recent photo I took from Obear Park, here in Beverly, MA. (I posted the reference photo here on June 19.) Yesterday was my third day working on the sky, trying to get the color right, and I finally feel like I am getting pretty close to the color I want. In the photo, the sky was blue gray and periwinkle, due to storm clouds and evening light. (In the interests of full disclosure, when I photograph the painting, it is easy to see that the photo shows more of a blue cast, so I adjusted the image in iPhoto to show what the color looks like on the canvas.)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sunlight and Storm Clouds (Oil Bar Painting as of June 28, 2013)

Here is the oil bar painting that I have been working on as it looked yesterday. (I am one day behind in my posts.) The scene is based on a photo that I took recently at Obear Park, here in Beverly, MA (posted here on June 19). Yesterday I continued working on the sky, adding some more purple and gray to try to bring it closer the color of the stormy sky in the photo (almost a periwinkle). When it was nearly time to stop, I added a little more color to the water (using the same color that I am using for the sky).

Friday, June 28, 2013

Sunlight and Storm Clouds (Oil Bar Painting as of June 27, 2013)

This is my oil bar painting as it looked yesterday, when I finally started painting the sky. I started by adjusting some of the tree shapes, and then started painting, first dark blue right next to the tree line, followed by the color you see here. I am going for a periwinkle, but more grey. That's a strange color to paint the sky, but I am going by the reference photo (posted here June 19.) I took the photo just before sunset (from Obear Park here in Beverly, MA). There were heavy clouds in the distance, and the combination with the long light of sunset created some strange effects with light and color. But even so, this is not the final color for the sky, just the first coat (underpainting) and I plan to soften it. I also added some of the periwinkle to the water (reflected light from the sky).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sunlight and Storm Clouds (Oil Bar Painting as of June 26, 2013)

This is the oil bar painting I am working on, as it looked when I finished painting yesterday. (I am a day behind in posting.) I am using one of my recent photos as a reference, taken from Obear Park here in Beverly, MA, looking towards Salem just before sunset, with a storm in the distance. (The reference photo is posted here June 19.) I was planning to rework the patches of light on the ground, so I studied the reference photo as I had my morning coffee. Then I took one of my photocopies of the photo and traced over the patches of light with blue pen, to see the shapes more clearly. Then I made some changes in the painting, trying for similar shapes. I used white paint to start, and when I decided the changes would work, I painted them in with color. I also added some horizontal lines to suggest ripples in the water.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sunlight and Storm Clouds (Oil Bar Painting as of June 25, 2013)

Here is the oil bar painting I have been working on, a view of Salem on a stormy summer evening. This is loosely based on a photo that I took recently from Obear Park here in Beverly, MA (posted here on June 19). This is the painting as it looked yesterday when I finished painting. Most of what I accomplished yesterday was just straightening out the line of the water at the edge of the shore. I realized, by photographing the painting, that the water line is tilted. That had to be fixed. Land masses can be tilted, but the water line is always straight. So yesterday's work was mostly measuring, marking, and repainting with a straight edge. Once I got that main line squared up, I had to repaint a lot of small areas to make it work. I think it was worth it. . . .

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sunlight and Storm Clouds (Oil Bar Painting as of June 24, 2013)

This is the painting I am currently working on, as it looked when I finished painting yesterday. (At this point, I am one day behind in my posts.) This painting is an oil bar landscape based on one of my photos, a view of Salem looking across the water from Obear Park, in Beverly, MA. The photo (posted here June 19) was taken near sunset, with storm clouds threatening in the distance. I didn't have a lot of time to paint yesterday, so I just worked on adding some dark areas to the trees. I also sketched in the reflection of the land in the water, and extended the reflections of the trees. To be continued. . . .

Monday, June 24, 2013

Roses in June (Digital Woodcut)

Today I bought a bouquet of roses, a birthday gift. There were so many beautiful colors that it was hard to decide, but I pinked out some that were pink, heading towards purple. Although I was trying to hurry, I stopped to take a quick picture with my iPhone camera. I was happy with my choice of roses and they made a nice gift. My photo, on the other hand, was blurred and the color was wrong, almost red-orange (maybe because I took the picture under fluorescent lights.) I decided to try to salvage the image, so I opened it in Painter and used posterizing and digital woodcut effects to eliminate blurred edges and accentuate the lines of the rose petals. Then I used Painter to correct the color, quieting the color and shifting it towards blue. Then I posterized it again to get more variation in the petals and cropped the image to get this composition. I am glad I took the trouble because now I have a nice souvenir of my June roses.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunlight and Storm Clouds (Oil Bar Painting as of June 23, 2013)

I worked on this painting again this morning. (This oil bar painting is based on one of my recent photos, posted here June 19.) I didn't have a lot of time to paint today, so I decided to focus on the back-lit shadows on some of the trees. Of course, that forced me to work on where those trees are, which is harder than it might look. In the reference photo, there is one tree with dark red foliage, so I painted that in with a little magenta. Then I used more magenta to indicate where the shadows should be. I was getting lost in all that green and using the magenta helped me to see; besides, with all that green, the eye "wants" to see some red. But these may not be the final colors, anyway. I added some more light areas in the distance, creating a sense of space. And most important, I kept checking and revising to make sure I wasn't violating the laws of physics by making my trees transparent or by putting two trees in the same space at the same time. To be continued. . .

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sunlight and Storm Clouds (Oil Bar Painting as of June 22, 2013)

I got up extra early to work for a little while on this oil bar landscape. As I had my morning coffee, I looked at the reference photo (posted here June 20, 2013), trying to understand what is happening and how the light is hitting the trees. (I took the photo on a summer evening, and the combination of long light and clouds made for some interesting light effects.) Since I was short on time this morning, I decided to just concentrated on indicating where the light hits the trees. It helped to look at the yellow-green reflections in the water, because those seem to be reflections of the brightest trees. I think I made some progress even though time was short. I also painted in one dark green line to indicate the surface of the water. And then it was time to stop for the day.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sunlight and Storm Clouds (Oil Bar Painting as of June 20, 2013)

I started another oil bar painting yesterday. This is going to be a landscape, loosely based on a photo that I took recently at Obear Park here in Beverly, MA. From Obear Park, you can see Salem just across the water. Summer storm clouds at the "golden hour" (near sunset) created a periwinkle sky and bright chartreuse light as you can see in the reference photo (posted here last night.) I started this painting by creating grids on both the canvas and on a printed copy of the reference photo. Then I started painting. I sketched out the basic composition with some gray oil bar, and then worked on the pattern of light and shadow on the lawn and trees. This is how my painting looked when it was time to stop yesterday. To be continued. . . .

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sunlight and Storm Clouds (Salem from Obear Park, Beverly)

This is a photo that I took last week (June 12 to be exact). We took the dog to Obear Park here in Beverly, MA. Because Obear Park has a beach, dogs aren't allowed until 7:30 PM. That's not a very convenient hour for a walk, but the light is often spectacular about that time, as you can see in this photo. The dark clouds over Salem (across the water) combined with the low evening light produced some great colors: a periwinkle sky and chartreuse grass. So of course I took a lot of pictures. But I have been thinking about this photo because I want to paint this scene. So yesterday, I cropped this view to get a square format, and then printed it out because it is the reference photo for my next painting.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Snow Melt in the Garden (Colored Pencil Drawing)

Last weekend, while I was supposed to be cleaning up the studio for visitors, I found this drawing while I was looking through an old drawing pad. This is a view of the snow melting over the ground cover in my garden here in Beverly, MA. I am not sure when I drew this picture, but at least five years ago, probably more. Anyway, I like it, so I took some photographs of it so I could post it here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

First of May at Long Hill (at Porter Mill Artists Show)

This past weekend was Open Studio at Porter Mill, and as part of the event, in the main gallery there is a show of all the Porter Mill artists. I submitted this oil bar painting (First of May at Long Hill). It is hanging right near a window, and the late afternoon light was perfect, so I took this picture. Open Studios is over, but the show in the gallery will be up for a few more weeks.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fabric Flowers and Vase (Mounted for Open Studios)

This is my still life of a vase and flowers made of appliqu├ęd fabric. (It's like a collage, but the pieces of fabric are ironed on to the cloth baking.) I started this project back in 2005 in a fabric arts class, but put it aside unfinished, and picked it up again this January and finished it (progress posted here in January). I decided to display it for open studios, so I bought a cork bulletin board, used blue painter's tape for edging, and mounted it with thumb tacks. It can be hung on the wall, but for this weekend's event, I just put it on an easel. Eventually I plan to get this piece behind UV glass, maybe in a shadowbox frame, but meanwhile I am happy with the way this looks.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Father with his Daughter (Digital Woodcut)

This image began with a tiny print (2 x 3 inches, if that) of a snapshot taken long ago -- probably by my mom. I have always liked that photo of my father, just getting started at being my dad. You can already tell that he is going to be great at it! Today I scanned the little snapshot it into the computer, and did a little retouching in iPhoto. Then I opened the image in Painter and did some cropping, and tried out some posterizing and woodcut effects, adjusting the colors and the amount of black. After a lot of trial and error, I came up with a version that I liked: a "digital woodcut" in monochrome, with just a touch of pink overlay to warm it up.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Winter's Drive at Sunset (Oil Bar Painting)

Yesterday I worked on this oil bar painting, a view of a winter sunset. I used one of my photos as a reference (posted here June 10, 2013). The main thing that I did yesterday was to correct the perspective of the road, widening it at one end (measuring against the proportions in the reference photo). I also straightened out some of the lines, and then added a bit more pale yellow to the sky. And then it was finished, just in time too, because I was worried that it wouldn't dry enough to be hung at open studios today. This morning (June 15), it was just about dry enough, just a little bit "sticky". I had to be very carefully attaching the wire in the back, and transported the painting on a board to make sure I didn't touch it, and actually got it up on the wall without any problems.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Winter Drive at Sunset (Oil Bar Painting as of June 13, 2013)

This is my oil bar painting in progress as of yesterday (I am still one day behind in my posts.) This view of a winter sunset is loosely based on one of my photographs. (The reference photo is posted here June 10 2013.) After painting for an hour this morning, I was still very frustrated with the hillside and trees. I couldn't get the shapes right and after painting for an hour, felt like things weren't getting better, and might become worse if I wasn't careful. It was time to stop anyway, so I turned the canvas sideways to finish sealing the edges (still hoping to get this done in time for Open Studios this weekend.). But as a went about my day, I kept thinking about my painting. By late afternoon, I was so grouchy that I decided to do something about it. I looked at the painting (still sideways), and decided to try a trick that I learned from one of my painting teachers. Instead of turning the painting right side up, I turned the reference photo sideways too, and painted in the shapes I saw, with the canvas still on its side. It worked! I was painting what I saw, not what I thought should be there. Then I finally turned the painting right side round and corrected a few shadows, and this is how it looked at that point. I felt like the painting was back on track, and so was my day.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Winter Drive at Sunset (Oil Bar Painting as of June 12, 2013)

This is a work in progress, an oil bar painting that I started a few days ago. This is a view of a winter sunset, loosely based on a photo I took several years ago. This is how the painting looked after I finished working on it yesterday (June 12). (I am still a day behind in my posts.) Yesterday I worked on the colors in the lower half of the painting. I used an icy blue to repaint the snow in the foreground (just cobalt blue and white). I finally added some dark blue (more cobalt) to that hill and it made a lot of difference to the feel of the painting. I used some dark blue shadow to begin to suggest the shape of the hillside. Because I want to hang this painting for this weekend's Open Studio, I started sealing the outside surfaces of the canvas even though I am still working on the painting, because otherwise it won't be dry enough to hang by then.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Winter Drive at Sunset (Oil Bar Painting as of June 11, 2013)

I started another oil bar painting a few days ago, a snow scene, loosely based on a photo that I took back in 2008 on a winter drive on Route 128, north of Boston. (I posted the reference photo here on Monday.) This is how the painting looked yesterday. (I am a day behind in posting.) When I started the painting, I quickly established the composition, working without a grid. Yesterday I decided that this had been a mistake. The proportions were wrong and there wasn't enough room to do justice to that amazing sky. So even though I liked the composition that I already had, and even though I was pretty happy with the colors in the sky, I decided to fix the problem. So yesterday I created a grid on the reference photo and then taped off grid marks around the edge of the painting, and then I began to move things around. I changed the position of the road and the dark hillside, and then changed the position of the cloud formations. That's a lot of moving around, but I managed to keep a lot of the colors in the sky that I liked. The hillside is going to be blue (not deep fuscia), but because I was making changes, I wanted to use a color that I could really see. The fuscia hillside looks crazy in this view, but it will fade away into the blues and purples that I plan to use later on. It was a big pain to make these changes, but I like the composition better now.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Winter Drive at Sunset (Oil Bar Painting as of June 10, 2013)

I started a new oil bar painting yesterday. This one is going to be a snow scene, loosely based on a photo that I took back in 2008, of a winter sunset. (I took the photo from Route 128 in mid-January, in the passenger seat of a moving car.) I spent time yesterday finding the photo, cropping it and getting it ready to paint. Then I quickly blocked in the basic idea for the composition. I wasn't worrying too much about colors, just trying to get the shapes I wanted, but I did put some colors in the sky that I liked. I felt pressed for time, so I started working on this without making a grid. Later I decided this was a mistake. To be continued. . . .

Monday, June 10, 2013

Winter Drive at Sunset (Modified Photo)

This morning I started another oil bar painting, a winter scene this time. I started by finding one of my photos to use as a reference, a picture that I took back in February of 2008, a view of Route 128 on a winter evening. I had to modify the photo to use it as a reference for painting, the version that you see here. I cropped it to get a square format, and then brought the level of saturation down to get more realistic colors (though it is still posterized). You can see the earlier version by following this link. www.flickr.com/photos/randiart/2259331030/in/photostream/
I think this image is a good choice to paint, and I have already used the photo as a guide to set up the composition on the canvas (to be posted here tomorrow).

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Red Leaves in the Woods (Oil Bar Painting)

This is my oil bar painting as it looked yesterday (June 8, 2013). I have been painting this landscape of the wooded areas around Long Hill Gardens here in Beverly, MA. I took a picture there in October, and I used that photo as my reference for this painting. Yesterday I worked on the tree to the far left of the canvas, trying to match the strength of some of the trees on the far right, to create a bit of balance. I also modified the shape of the second little patch of red on the left. After that, I made a lot of very subtle little corrections. And although I could go on fixing things forever, I had to call it yesterday because it is time. This one is officially done. Yesterday I started sealing the edges (painting the outside edges of the canvas) and kept going with that this morning. I want it to dry so I can hang it in my studio for Open Studios next weekend. I am already thinking about what to paint next.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Red Leaves in the Woods (Oil Bar Painting as of June 7, 2013)

This is my oil bar painting in progress as it looked yesterday. (I am still behind by one day in posting here.) This is a painting of the woods just outside Long Hill Gardens here in Beverly, MA. I took a photo there last October, and am using it as a very loose reference. Yesterday I worked on some areas of foliage that looked a bit too flat and blocky. I made a lot of very small corrections. I was pretty happy with the painting yesterday, and thought I was finished. But after I took a picture of the painting, I realized that I need to strengthen the trees on the left side of the canvas, for balance. So this is not done yet. To be continued. . . .

Friday, June 07, 2013

Red Leaves in the Woods (Oil Bar Painting as of June 6, 2013)

This is my oil bar painting in progress as it looked yesterday, June 6th. (I am still one day behind in my posts.) I made a lot of small changes yesterday, but the main change was that I repainted some of the tree trunks and made them darker. I was afraid that I was losing the lines of the trees and I wanted them to stand out more. I think that helped. I also made some adjustments in the shapes of the tree trunks and branches. Getting close, but I am not done yet.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Red Leaves in the Woods (Oil Bar Painting as of June 5, 2013)

Here is my oil bar painting in progress. This is how it looked yesterday, June 5, 2013. (I am still a day behind in my posting.) This painting is loosely based on a photo that I took at Long Hill Gardens (in Beverly, MA) last October. Yesterday I worked on the foreground, adding some pale gray-green color, and trying to suggest some detail. I also worked on the very tops of the trees, using green, orange, and purple mixed with a lot of pale gray, and did a little bit of work on the sky. To be continued. . . .

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Red Leaves in the Woods (Oil Bar Painting as of June 4, 2013)

This is my oil bar painting in progress as it looked yesterday, June 4.* This is loosely based on a photo that I took back in October at Long Hill Gardens, here in Beverly, MA. Yesterday I did some more work on the green foliage along the edges of the canvas. I also worked on the shaded purple areas and the tops of the trees. At this point, I am trying to make the shapes flow together as I work.
*I am behind by one day and am posting yesterday's work on this project. That's because last night's post was of my collage project ("Another Heart-Shaped Box"), which I also worked on yesterday

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Another Heart Shaped Box (As of June 3, 2013)

Yesterday I went to Porter Mill to drop off my painting for the upcoming art show. I wasn't intending to stick around (I had already spent an hour painting before breakfast), but I had the perfect parking spot, the weather was ideal, and it just seemed a shame not to stay, so I did. I worked for an hour on this project, a heart-shaped candy box that I am covering with collaged patterns created from printed metallic ribbon. The top of the box has orange and purple stripes--which are finally starting to emerge. When I was done for the day, I took this picture. I call this project 'Another Heart-Shaped Box' because I did another one a few years ago. If you like, you can see it at www.flickr.com/photos/randiart/sets/72157632769935420/

Monday, June 03, 2013

Red Leaves in the Woods (Oil Bar Painting as of June 3)

This morning I got up early so I could work on this oil bar painting. This is a view of the woods around Long Hill Gardens, from a photo that I took there back in October. Today I concentrated on the dark foliage on the right and left sides of the canvas, trying to get a little more balance in the composition. I think that helped. I also modified a couple of the trees, suggesting some of the lower branches, and even splitting one of the trees into a "twin" tree. I am more optimistic about this painting than I was yesterday. I think things are starting to come together. To be continued....

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Red Leaves in the Woods (Oil Bar Painting as of June 2, 2013)

This is the oil bar painting I have been working on, a landscape roughly based on a photo that I took at Long Hill Gardens (Beverly, MA) in October. This is a work-in-progress. I am still working on placement of colors and shapes. I am emphasizing differences in color and shapes at the moment, but later I will tone down those differences to make the whole thing harmonious.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Red Leaves in the Woods (Oil Bar Painting as of June 1, 2013)

This is an oil bar painting in progress, loosely based on a photograph that I took in October at Long Hill Gardens. I started the painting a couple of days ago, and have been struggling with the shape and placement of the tree in the middle of the canvas. Last night I used my Painter software to do a little digital trial-and-error (drawing over an image of the painting with digital media.) This is a lot easier than making repeated changes on canvas in oil. This time, I didn't find the perfect solution, but the process helped to clarified my thinking. So this morning, I got out my oil bars and I changed the tree on the actual canvas, bringing it closer to the shape I originally sketched in on the first day, but moved the tree a bit to the left to get it out of dead center. Then I added some more trees, using the reference photo to figure out the placement.