Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

Beach Santa
11" x 8"
Santa stopped by the Punta Gorda portrait studio a few weeks ago while on vacation down here in sunny, SW Florida.  Had a good rest before heading back North for his busy night.
Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Southern Atelier, Sarasota, Florida

Atelier Model
10" x 8"

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of painting at the Southern Atelier, Sarasota.   A few artists were comparing notes about the Steven Assael workshop which was held there last week and I was all ears and eyes observing his influence on their work. 

Artists were using black, so I cranked open my rarely used tube and painted it into the background.  There's a lot of glare on this photo because of the wet paint, but you can get the idea of how it makes the figure pop by contrast of dark and light.  The light from an overhead skylight on a cloudy day was cool so the shadows needed to be warm.  I may have overdone the cad orange a bit in my painting frenzy.  Artists influenced by the workshop were welding fan brushes and mixing colors right on the canvas.   Not the way I usually work and because I left my fan brushes at home, I didn't do too much blending.  They also said, Assael stressed the "bones" of good drawing and structure.  Learn how to draw with a paintbrush.

The artists glowed with inspiration and praised Steven Assael's workshop.  Some traveled great distances, even from Canada and London, to repeat this workshop.  I'm saving up for next year.

Steven Assael's show, Illusions of Reality is at the Naples Museum of Art until January 9, 2011.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sarasota Harbor

Old Sailor
4" x 6"
This old dinghy must have been a pretty sight sailing around the harbor with the sun and wind in its sail.  Like an outcast, it was anchored well outside a flock of spanking new fiberglass dinghies.  Even though it had been patched and repainted, its classic lines were still elegant and graceful.  By contrast the new dinghies looked like bloated plastic shoes.

These small, postcard size paintings are a good way to practice paint application techniques.  I'm working on putting stokes down and leaving them.  Also using thicker paint, straight from the tube with no thinners.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sarasota Plein Air

Towles Court Morning
8" x 10"
Thanks to my Facebook artist friend, Lawrence Chrapliwy for suggesting this:  Set a timer for 20 minutes for composition, then 40 minutes for getting the rest down.  Below is what I was able to do in an hour and above is the finish which took another hour.  The technique really works to set a timer and work faster on location!  The stained glass window, and the light on the door, first captured my attention.  Took photos of this scene and can see why it's impossible to really "see" the true colors from a snapshot!  I know my drawing is a little quirky, but it's a true impression of the moment.  Below... the results of the timed first hour and a snapshot of the location setup. 
Painting after one hour
My painting set up

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cadmium Scarlet

8" x 6"
A friend suggested I try cadmium scarlet, shown here in the highlights.  Really sings!  This was painted on top of an old landscape but not much shows through.  Kept my colors to cadmium yellow light, ultramarine blue, cadmium scarlet and white.  Also trying to use thicker strokes and less blending.   Painted at the Venice Portrait Studio in about two hours.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teaching Project

6" x 8"
Painted this while teaching a class.  Students were given small, horrible, black and white copies of a sandy path that I shot at Venice Beach.  The challenge was to create their own version, changing composition, elements, and design.  Color had to be imagined... and painted using only red, yellow, blue and white.   My demo was first sketched with red, then painted rapidly, leaving bits of red showing throughout the painting.   The exercise also demonstrated the three main tonal areas of a landscape.  Darkest tones, brightest colors in foreground, middle values and colors in mid-ground, and coolest colors, lightest tones in background.  The sky tones reflect the lights on the ground and highlights on leaves.  The sky also moves from dark to light towards the horizon, and cool to warm as it leans towards the sun.   It was interesting to see how each student created a completely different painting from the same snapshot.  Good practice for when they finally go outside and paint on location.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rachael Again

Rachael in the Banyon Tree
24" x 18"
Just finished this portrait of my favorite model.  While Rachael posed in this huge banyon tree in Punta Gorda, a flock of wild parrots chattered in the branches above her head.  Hard and soft pastels and pastel pencils on Arches watercolor paper coated with raw sienna Colourfix Primer.