Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Winter Cardinal REVISED 6"x6" oil over acrylic


I wasn't happy with this painting after looking at it for a while.
I struggled with the acrylics to get covering power in the snow and defining the form in the branches,
everything looked so bland.
I decided to use the oils and see if I could improve on what I had already. A little color (greens and browns) was put in the thicket, the snow on the branches now stood out  better from the background and some work was done on the cardinal.


I'll put it away for a while and take a look at it later to see if I like it or if it needs more work.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winter Cardinal 6"x6" acrylic

Winter Cardinal   6"x6" acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

This is the finished painting from the last post.  It is what I wanted to portray- a thicket of snow covered branches with a cardinal perched in it.

I used acrylics becauseI knew the painting was going to have many over lapping layers and seeing how acrylics dry within minutes I could do a few layers a night without worrying about disturbing the previous layer.

I like the gallery wrapped canvas  because you can continue the composition around all four sides of the canvas.  I  installed a metal hanger on the back so no framing is needed.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow Day

I painted this a couple weeks ago from pictures I took during a walk in Neshaminy St. Park last year. Seeing that it snowed last night I thought it would be appropriate to post this painting today.

This shows how important it is to have reference material that you can fall back on. That day at Neshaminy Park I didn't take my painting equipment because I wanted to gather as many pictures as I could while the snow was still there. And on a picture taking day that usually means a lot of walking. I will visit two or three parks in a day, each one offering something different.

When painting on location time is spent finding the right spot with the right lighting and then usually an hour to a hour and a half to paint the scene.

Last week I was in the mood to paint outdoors and didn't care about taking pictures. I did one painting in the morning at the lake, did another of a field and trees but that one didn't turn out too good so I wiped it.    
And then went to Washington Crossing and painted at the graves of the unknown soldiers.

So your frame of mind and the mood you are in help determine how successful your day will be.

Looking out the window today and seeing all the branches of the trees covered in snow gave me an idea for a painting with the layers of branches going back in the distance and a cardinal in the foreground to brighten up a winter day.
This is the painting half finished, I still have to put in the snow covered foreground branches  and give the cardinal a little more detail.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Plein air oil painting of Graves of the Unknown Soldiers

This painting was done last week the same day as the last painting.  I painted everything on location except the flag pole,  if I had tried to do it while the first layer of paint was still wet I would have made a mess of it.  I gave it time to dry and used two pieces of tape to mask out the flag pole and just painted in between the two pieces of tape for a straight flag pole.

This is at Washington Crossing Park in Bucks County. Here is a link on this historic site.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

First plein air paintings of 2012

I promised myself I would do a lot more painting on location this year. It felt great getting out today even though it was 38 degrees and a little windy out by the lake when I started. I was glad I brought extra clothing because I ended up needing it later on.

When I started at 8:30 this morning it was overcast but the sun was trying to show. As I looked out over the lake I thought  what a dull colorless scene. I started to walk back to the car to find something else but I stopped and gave it another look. I forced myself to find one thing I liked about the scene no matter how small.
 I liked the area of water in the foreground, you could see the slight blue/grey of the sky reflected there and the contrast of the brown leaves right in front of it.  OK I found a center of interest and then I  built the rest of the painting around that.

I never realized how cold I was till I finished the painting. Your concentration is so focused you are not aware of the cold. One improvement in my equipment are fingerless gloves. The tips are cut off making it easier to handle brushes, palette knives without having to remove the gloves every time you want to do something. I spent about one and a half hours on this painting standing in one place with the wind blowing on me.

On a side note, as I was approaching the lake I failed to notice the two bald eagles up in the tree. A quieter approach might have given me a better look before they flew off.

Edge of the Lake  8x10 oil