Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Waterloo Park

Waterloo Park, 8 x 6
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Today was the second weekly session of our plein air class. Laurel had us repeat the process of identifying the four primary planes in a landscape that we learned in the classrom last week. This time it was the real thing, though — painting en plein air. We were at Waterloo Park, two blocks from the capitol grounds in downtown Austin. Since many in the class were painting outside for the first time, Laurel wanted to simplify things a bit (that's my assumption, anyway) by having us paint a yellow and mixed-black duotone.

Meanwhile, I had brought only panels pre-painted with a semi-neutral rust color ground. Thus, my attempt became a slightly dull tri-tone. Still, it was fun, I did the intended exercise, and found a composition I'd like to revisit with a full pallet later on.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rear Window

Rear Window, 8 x 6

This is my entry for Karin Jurick's current Different Strokes from Different Folks challenge. I enjoyed participating in one a couple months ago, but have been preoccupied with other "challenges" since. Hopefully, I'll be able to do it more often in the future.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Saga Continues

Cedars Study, 6 x 8

Wednesday was the beginning of Laurel Daniel's latest plein air class. This first day, we worked in the classroom from photos, because of the weather. Laurel walked us through an extremely helpful, group step-by-step demo of blocking in the main values in a landscape (see Cedars Study, above), after explaining the theory of planes and atmospheric perspective. Boy, I thought I knew it, which I did in my head, but the demo showed me I've been ignoring certain elements of the process when actually painting. That is, primarily, that those relationships must hold true within each general distance range of the painting, (foreground, middle ground, and background), and in addition that each of those succeeding distance planes must correctly relate to one another. It's hard to put it all into words, which I guess explains why actually doing this exercise was so helpful and so important.

Mountain Pasture, 6 x 8

This second study was also from the first class, where we were to go through the above-mentioned process on our own, using a photo of our own. Mountain Pasture is from another photo taken while in Colorado.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Road Out

The Road Out, 8 x 10

Here is another piece from Colorado. It is a plein air study, which I didn't have time to clean up until today. I wanted to paint outside this afternoon, which was beautifully sunny and cool here in Austin. Unfortunately, I didn't have any new panels, so I finished this in order to get at least some practice for the start of Laurel's next plein air class, which starts Wednesday. Note to self: get panels tomorrow!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mountain Road Studies

Mountain Road, 9 x 12

Mountain Road, 8 x 10 (original plein air study)

Here are two studies from my September trip to Colorado. The bottom one is the raw plein air field study, the top one done in studio, using only the field study for reference. I decided to do this because I recently found myself getting overly detailed when working from a photo, when usually the need in landscape painting is to simplify the forms (especially as they recede into the distance). I think I'll try to do this more often on studio work when the critical details can be referenced either from the plein air study or from memory.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dog Heaven 2

Dog Heaven 2, 8 x 8

This is my Irish Terrier, Major Eamon. I recently brought him on the trip I took to Colorado with my college buddy, Bruce Powers and his dog, Gracy. We were there almost a week, nearly all of which the dogs were free of both leashes and fences. With the freedom to chase chipmunks, the scenery, and getting to split nearly half a t-bone steak with Gracy the night before we returned, life was about as good as it gets for a canine.

This is a one-hour study I did today for my daughter Natalie, who asked me to paint her favorite pooch when she saw the photo I later referenced it from.