Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Front Gate

Front Gate, 8 x 10

I'm no botanist, but I thought this scene was evidence of Austin's somewhat unusual climate. The red flowers evoked a feeling of springtime to me, while the orange foliage in the background unmistakeably said fall. Either way, after an extremely hot summer here, this November has been SO welcome.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mountain Pasture

Mountain Pasture, 22 x 28

This is an enlargement of a study I posted about a month ago of a mountain pasture in southwestern Colorado. Getting the values and color intensity integrated between the various distance planes in a vista like this was very challenging. It took me longer than I anticipated to get it to a point I was happy with. Hopefully, all the exploration done here will not be lost on my next distant landscape.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Morning With Rocks

A Morning With Rocks, 9 x 12

Mount Bonnell was the site of our final plein air class this morning. With the temperature in the fifties when we started and a cloudless sky, it was a venue with innumerable interesting choices of subject. So, of course I chose. . . rocks.

In defense of my imagination, I truly did, and do, find the high contrast of the rocks sitting in the early morning light quite exciting to paint, or even just look at. I also felt that the high point of view across the lake toward West Lake Hills rendered them even more exciting.

So, I admit it. Rocks excite me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Secondary Neutrals

Frontier Cabin, 6 x 8
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Class met this morning at Shipe Park in central Austin. I camped in front of this log cabin to take up today's assignment, which fortunately for me, was carried over from last week's class. I missed last week due to work, but Laurel today gave everyone another go at creating a value study using only neutrals and semi-neutrals. Simplifying the process a little bit was the fact that we made these by mixing only the three secondary colors. Value adjustments were made adding either white to lighten, or mixing the naturally dark purple with other colors for the darkest values.

Though this sounds a bit complicated, it was helpful in getting us to focus once again on finding the correct values in a landscape, which is crucial in any painting. The use of only neutrals and semi-neutrals did, however, make for a pretty desaturated picture, at least in this case.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

As The Sun Sets, A Lake Rises

A Lake Rises, 8 x 10

Thursday evening, a few of us from the Plein Air Austin group painted the sunset at the beautiful home of Lynn Cohagan, which overlooks Lake Travis. (Next time, I want to paint her house. It's SO beautiful).
Thanks to more frequent rain in the last two months, the lake is finally starting to fill back up. It still has over thirty-five feet to go to reach its normal level, but we're glad it's heading in the right direction, for a change.

This is my first attempt at painting a sunset, but since Laurel was painting close by, I wasn't as intimidated by the task as I would have been, had such fool-proof help not been so readily available.