Monday, March 30, 2009

Last of the moon paintings (for a little while)

Winter Night 18x24 oil
The top picture shows a page from a sketckbook showing my observations on how the moon illuminates a snow covered landscape. I was interested in learning about how moonlight affects objects at night and the kind of shadows that are created. The bathroom window gives me a perfect observation post. The painting was invented out of my mind, but I used the information from what I observed that night as the value plan for the painting.
I hope you enjoyed the series of paintings on the moon. The next full moon will be April 9, I'll be looking.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Early Morning plein-air painting

Went out early this morning to do a little plein-air painting. Even though it was raining and kinda dark there is still a mood to try to capture.

I like to start off in this spot at dawn because each beginning of the day is different. This spot allows you to get a little atmosphere in between the layers of the landscape. The light rain helped keep the background trees lighter in value than the trees on this side of the lake. This helps add depth to your paintings.

Constantly doing these outdoor sketches in all types of weather helps you learn about color,value and mood. Alot of the sketches are not worthy of a frame, but they do provide you with the information you need when it comes time to paint in the studio.

You can see the paintbox in action, it is small enough to sit on my lap inside the truck. Not a bad way to spend the morning if you like the outdoors.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake 5x7 oil

Today is my brother Phil's birthday, I just got done talking to him and told him I'd send him over a piece of cake.

I enjoy doing these small paintings, even though they are smaller the same amount of decision making has to be done as far as composition, value, color etc.. They can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days to paint, depending on the complexity of the subject. Its a matter of constantly refining things until you get it the way you want it.

Not all paintings make it either, some, no matter how hard I try just dont make it. These are called wipers. I wipe the paint off and now I have a toned panel ready for use again.

I want to thank everyone who takes the time to read this blog and shows interest in my work, I appreciate it.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Full Moon

Full Moon 10x8 oil $315 painting is framed
This is from the trip my brother and I take to Northcentral Pa. every year in October.
We try to schedule it during the week of the full moon, this provides enough light for spotting wildlife, photography and painting all night as the moon travels across the sky. We do get a few hours of sleep in before we head out to the trout streams the next morning.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rising Moon

Rising Moon 5x7 oil (SOLD)

My wife and I just finished our evening walk and were getting ready to head home when we came upon this scene.

I love painting the moon and the effect it has on the landscape, and on me. I have a 14x18 canvas panel that I sectioned off into 12 small squares so I can keep the moon sketches together. Its interesting to see how the moon shows up under different atmospheric conditions.
The next few posts will be paintings involving the moon.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Slippery When Wet

Slippery When Wet 6"x8" oil 
What a familar scene to any flyfisherman, a trout doing its best not to be caught. One of my favorite environments is a stream running thru a forested area. I like the filtered light you get in this kind of setting, how the sunlight sneaks thru openings in the trees spotlighting the fisherman.
It took alot of years of practice and many failed paintings before I could paint water convincingly. I did everything I could to learn the secrets of water, I took photos, used my camcorder, but the water in my paintings still looked static. Many times I put the rod down and just sat on the bank watching and wondering what makes water look the way it does. How do you paint water thats clear and you can see right to the bottom? Then I started noticing the rocks on the bottom didnt have clearly defined edges they had edges that were soft and slightly out of focus. The color of the water changed as it got deeper and I started noticing what the stream bottom looked like when it was in sunlight and when it was in shade. The soft edges gave me the illusion of the waters motion. Little by little I started understanding WHAT to look for. I started SEEING like an artist.
Wow, its 12:15 am. I got to get some sleep, 4:45 comes quick. I wonder if the moon is out tonite?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Clearing Out

Clearing Out 5x7 oil
A painting from last night 11:00 pm. The last three nights have been overcast so this was the first chance at the full moon this month.