Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Final)


This is the oil bar painting I have been working on. This painting is based on a photo that I took back in October at Long Hill Gardens, here in Beverly, Massachusetts. A few months ago, at the end of April, I said that I thought that this painting was finished.  But after a while, I changed my mind, and went back to it.  I was happy with the composition but didn't feel that the color was right.  So I worked on the color, and in the process, made a few adjustments to the composition, and added just a bit more detail.  Today, I added a bit more shadow to the edges of the road, revised the line on the right where foliage meets grass, and added more blue to the roof on both buildings.  Now, for the second time, I am ready to say that I think this painting is finished.  I have been wrong before.  But in any case, it is time to move on. . . .

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Drawing from Memory (Rescued Sketch as of July 26, 2017)


Yesterday I found an unfinished pen-and-ink sketch that I had done of my mother.  It was apparent that i had been working from memory, not observation.  And it looked like I had stopped working on the sketch because of mistakes and problems, the main problem being that the features were asymmetrical.  So yesterday I grabbed a fine-tipped ink pen and drew into the sketch, trying to make the features symmetrical.  While I was working, I realized that the nose was wrong. (The tip was shaped like my nose, not hers.)  I looked at a photo to verify, and then I revised the nose and kept going.  But the result was that the area around the nose was too dark.  I couldn't fix that without off-white ink that matched the paper. So today I opened a photo of the sketch in Painter and fixed it digitally. I used the computer to match the color of the paper and then reworked the nose.  I did this without looking at a reference, but when I was done, I checked a photo of her and saw that the revised nose in the sketch is closer to what her nose looked like.  I made a few other changes, especially to the eyebrows. I think this is getting a bit better.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Drawing from Memory (Rescued Sketch)



I have been cleaning my home studio, which leads to looking in old sketchbooks.  So I came across a pen-and-ink drawing of my mother.  I am pretty sure I was working from memory; the sketch didn't "match" any of the photos I have, and it didn't look like it was drawn from observation.  It looked like I had stopped working on it, probably because there were several mistakes. The main problem was that the features were not symmetrical.  So this afternoon I got out a fine point ink pen and began to draw into the sketch.  I added to the drawing to made the eyes, hair, and hairline more symmetrical. As I worked, I realized that the tip of her nose was wrong.  It was shaped like my nose, not hers!  At that point, I grabbed a picture of her, one of her wedding photos, and then made revisions to the nose. I also modified the shape of her lips and slightly changed the shape of the jaw.  Then I drew into the hair and neck, to balance light and dark.  People who knew my mom can recognize her, so I think I have the likeness. I can still see lots of mistakes, but I am happier with the sketch now.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Surprised by a Path (Digital Woodcut)


A couple of days ago (July 21), I posted a photo that I had taken on a recent neighborhood walk.  That day, I discovered that a wooded area I have occasionally walked past is actually the entry to a trail through a local park.  I loved the inviting look of the path, so I took a picture.  I have been thinking about the image because although I would have  liked the photo to show the path framed by two trees in the foreground, in the original photo, the tree on the left is quite bent and disappears part way up the image.  There was also a slight bend on the tree on the left.  Today I opened the image in Painter and used cut-and-paste and digital pastel to straighten both trees.  Then I applied Painter's woodcut effect. I had lost too much color in the process so the last step was to adjust the color with one of iPhoto's filters. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Revised) as of July 23, 2017


I did some more work on this painting today.  This is an oil bar painting on canvas, based on a photo that I took in October at Long Hill Gardens, here in Beverly, MA. Today I did more work on the road.  First I put a light layer of gray over the road to blend in the purple and blue shadows I put in yesterday.  Then I added shadow and detail to the edges of the road.  I also added more blue to the shadows on the lawn and in the foliage in the foreground.  Just a bit more work, a few corrections, and this will be done.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Revised) as of July 22, 2017


This is the oil bar painting I have been working on. Today I concentrated on the foreground, adding shadows on the road as well as on the lawn.  I used my reference photo as a guide, a picture that I took at Long Hill Gardens back in October.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Surprised by a Path


Yesterday I took a walk through the neighborhood.  On a nearby residential street, the houses give way to a wooded area -- not more than four blocks from my house.  This is not my normal route, but I have walked and driven by there often enough.  But this was the first time that saw small signs posted on two of the trees that announced that this was the opening of a trail into  Sally MIlligan Park. This was a nice little surprise and a reminder to pay attention!  I liked the way the path looked so I took this picture.  Maybe I will paint it sometime.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Revised) as of July 20, 2017


This is the oil bar painting I have been working on.  I am working from a photo that I took at Long Hill Gardens back in October. This painting is close to finished, but I keep seeing things I want to fix. Today I got out a straightedge and checked the lines on the houses. and made a few corrections. I also added more blue shadow to the trees on the right.  Finally, I started doing a bit of work on the road.  I plan to do just a bit more and then I think this will be finished.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Revised) as of July 19, 2017


I worked on this painting today and this is how it looks now. This painting is based on a photo that I took back in October at Long Hill Gardens on an overcast day. I have been struggling to get the color right. I recently added some strong blue to the shadows, and I think that helped balance the color, and also added more depth. With more blue in the shadows, I added more gray and white to the sky, making it look more overcast. Today I concentrated on the composition on the left side, revising the placement of the tree trunk and branches near the gate house. I still want to add a bit more blue shadow to the trees, but this is nearly finished. . . 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Revised) as of July 18, 2017


I continued working on this painting this morning.  This is oil bar on canvas, a landscape based on a photo that I took at Long Hill Gardens back in October.  I have been working on the color. Today I added a bit more dark blue to the shadows and details. This adds some depth but also balances the color, so I was able to mute the blue in the sky, making it look more overcast.  I am still fussing with some compositional issues (such as the tree trunk on the left).  But now I think I am close to finishing this. . .

Monday, July 17, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Revised) as of July 17, 2017


This is the oil bar painting I have been working on.  The reference for this painting is a photo that I took at Long Hill Gardens back on an overcast day in October.  I have been struggling with the color.  Something seemed to be missing, but this morning I think I may have figured out the problem. I decided that the painting needs more blue, but I really want the sky to be overcast. It is a pale blue now, but I want to make it even lighter and less blue.  So I decided to use a dark blue for shadows, blending into purple shadows.  That seemed to help because now the color seems more balanced to me, and it makes sense because blue/violet is the opposite of red/orange. Because I am using the dark blue in place of black, it is also added more contrast and depth.  I am going to add a bit more dark blue tomorrow, and then take the sky closer to white.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Revised) as of July 16, 2017


This afternoon I did a bit more work on this oil bar painting.  This landscape is based on a photo that I took in October at Long Hill Gardens here in Beverly MA.  Although I thought this painting was finished a few months ago, I am revising it to try to capture the light of an overcast day.  In the process I am adding detail, but trying not to add too much.  Today I added more highlights to the foliage but spent more time reworking details of the house on the right.  I think I am making progress, but not quite there yet.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bright Tree at Long Hill (Revised) as of July 15, 2017


This morning I kept going on this oil bar painting, based on a photo that I took at Long Hill Gardens, here in Beverly, MA.  I took the photo on an overcast day in October.  I am still trying to capture the luminosity of the colors, and I continued that effort this morning, adding pale yellow and pale green to indicate highlights.  I also made some small changes to the building on the right side of the canvas.  To be continued. . . .

Friday, July 14, 2017

Bright Tree at Long HIll (Revised) as of July 14, 2017


This is an oil bar painting that I have been working on over the past few months, on and off.  Today I went back to it.  I like the composition, but am not yet happy with the colors and the light. I am looking for the luminous colors of a cloudy today. This after noon I added white to the sky and road, as well as highlights on the trees.  To be continued.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Evening Light on Maple Leaves (with Prisma Filter)


Yesterday's post was a close in view of maple leaves, a picture that I took during a recent after dinner walk. I used the Prisma app on my iPhone to apply a filter. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Evening Light on Maple Leaves


I captured this image on one of our recent after-dinner walks through the neighborhood.  I love the light in the early evening, and can see why the hour before sunset is called "the golden hour".  So on this walk, I came face-to-face with some low-hanging maple leaves. They looked so great in the golden light that I stopped to take a picture. Tonight I cropped the original to get this composition. I also created a version of this image with the Prisma app on my phone, and I plan to post it here tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Still Life Setup at the MFA in Boston


Yesterday I posted a sketch I made at the MFA in Boston.  On Sunday we went to the Matisse show (Matisse in the Studio), and there was a still life setup outside of the exhibit exit for people who were inspired by Matisse and felt like drawing.  I was, and I did.  Here is a photo of the still life setup.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Still Life at the MFA (Pencil Sketch)


Yesterday we saw the Matisse show (Matisse in the Studio) at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.  It was the last day and I hesitated to go because I thought it would be very crowded.  Well, it was crowded,  but I am glad I went anyway because I loved it.  Objects in Matisse's studio were juxtaposed with paintings in which they were featured, so the emphasis was on still life., but also on the patterns seen in the many tapestries in his studio and the paintings in which those patterned tapestries appear.  I was very excited to see old favorites and new discoveries.  At the end of the exhibit, you walk out into the gift shop, which is lovely.  But when I see an art show like that, I don't feel like buying something; I feel like drawing something.  Luckily, right outside the gift shop, there was a still life setup, with chairs, small drawing boards, paper, pencils, and a sign inviting people to draw if they were inspired by Matisse.  I was so I did. This was just pencil on well, basically typing paper, but I had fun. I was thinking about all the pattern that Matisse used. I sketched for maybe five to ten minutes, and then it was time to move on.  Maybe I will do more with this sometime.  Anyway, I took a picture of the still life setup and plan to post it here tomorrow.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Scarlet Mountain (Acrylic Water Media)


This is the painting I have been working on and I finished it this afternoon.  This is part of a series of paintings that I call "Mountain Daydreams" because I paint them from my imagination as well as my memories of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the state where I grew up.  I use acrylic paint with water on watercolor paper. I use water as part of the process: I put water on the paper and let it drip. I spray water on the painting; I make marks with the brush and then rub part of the paint off with a sponge. All of this creates the look of the detail of the natural world. I have been building this painting up with layers, adding complications to get the feel of the natural world, and then simplifying, to return to the original complication. Today I put the final layer of cadmium red on the mountain, to return to the simple composition that I started with: a bright red mountain against the sky.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Scarlet Mountain (As of July 8, 2017)


Here is my painting-in-progress as it looks now.  This painting is part of my "Mountain Daydreams" series, landscapes painted from my imagination and my memories of the mountains of my home state, Colorado.  These are all painted with acrylic paints used with water.  Today I added a third layer of translucent white to the sky, and added a bit of red-violet to the sun.  So now I think that is it for the sky.  I also added some red-violet to the mountains, at the base and at the very top.  Tomorrow I plan to add one more layer of cadmium red to the mountain, and I think that will be it.  So almost there. . . .

Friday, July 07, 2017

Scarlet Mountain (As of July 6, 2017)


Here is the painting I have been working on, as it looked yesterday.  This is one of my "Mountain Daydreams," landscapes created from my imagination and my memories of the Colorado mountains.  This is acrylic paint used with water, on watercolor paper.  I already worked on adding complications to the sky, to make it look "natural", and now I am adding layers of translucent pale pale blue (almost white) to tone things down a bit.  Almost done.  I plan to add some translucent layers of red to the mountain.  To be continued. . . .

Thursday, July 06, 2017

July Daylilies (with Woodcut Effect)


Day before yesterday, I posted a photo of daylilies in my neighbor's yard.  Tonight I used Painter to add a woodcut effect.  I had to work in sections to get the black edge I wanted on the foliage while getting very little black outline on the blossoms.  The end result may look like a summer evening. Fine with me, although it was still daylight when I took this picture.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Scarlet Mountain (As of July 5, 2017)


Busy day today, but I managed to squeeze it a little time to work on this painting.  This is part of my "Mountain Daydreams" series,  landscapes painted from my imagination and my memories of the mountains of Colorado, my home state.  I use acrylic paint with water, in this case on a piece of watercolor paper that is 9 x 12.  Today I continued work on the sky.  I want the sky to look stormy, but I want a subtle effect, so today I used an opaque pale blue wash.  I also hit it with water and dabbed it with paper towal as it was drying, to add more complications to the sky.  To be continued...

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Daylilies in Early July

Post as:

You can tell it is early July because daylilies are blooming all over town.  The other day, I saw a row of lovely daylilies in my neighbor's yard and I took a picture.  Today I cropped the original photo to get this composition.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Scarlet Mountain (As of July 3, 2017)


I am still working on this painting that I started a couple of weeks ago.  This is part of a series of mountain landscapes that I call "Mountain Daydreams" because they are painted from my imagination and memories of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  This is painted with acrylics used as water media on paper. Today I worked on the sky, adding some purple to suggest storm clouds.  I plan to add more layers to the sky and to the mountains, so this is still a work in progress.  To be continued. . .

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Ivy in Cambridge (with Woodcut Effect)


A couple of days ago, I posted a photo that I took last weekend in Cambridge.  We were on a street near Porter Square, and I was admiring an ivy-covered fence and a brick sidewalk.  Tonight I used Painter to do some retouching, posterizing, and color adjustment. Then I added a woodcut effect.  Finally, I did a slightly closer crop to get this composition.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Scarlet Mountain (As of June 30, 2017)


I started this painting several days ago.  This is one of my "Mountain Daydreams,"  done on paper with acrylic paint used with water.  I paint these from my imagination and memories of the Colorado mountains.  Yesterday I did a little more work on the sky.  To be continued.