Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rolling Roller

DMannion, Rolling, 6x6" oil
      Wave painting... working with warm and cool colors, brush stroke quality, design, composition, values, drama and fitting all that elusive wave quality in a six inch space.  Phew, what a challenge!  
       This painting and many others are for sale at my Daily Paint Works Gallery.  Please visit by clicking the box on the right for a direct link. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

View From the Cockpit

DMannion, View From the Cockpit, 6x6" oil
     Painted half from photo reference and half from memory of a mid-Atlantic adventure on a small sailboat.  Still can't get over the sense vulnerability.  How gallon jugs of water flew across the cabin and the boat was leaking and night was approaching along with a storm and the hull was less than an inch thick and the bottom of the ocean was a couple of miles deep underneath.   Funny how people asked later... "Well, where did you pull in at night?"  This painting is a sketch of how the waves looked like mountains.  And imagine the black of night when they couldn't be seen at all... only felt slamming against the hull.  This painting is not scary enough, looks more like a children's book illustration than an illustration of sheer fear.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Boatyard Oil Painting

DMannion, Remember When, 8x10" oil
     Two forgotten old boats in a boatyard... a sad sight, but still had lots of character.  Completely made up the background, time of day, and simplified things a lot.  Exaggerated the colors and values for dramatic effect, working from imagination.  Gave myself permission to use my artistic license.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Seascape Oil Study

DMannion, Heavy Seas, 6x6" oil
      Figuring out how waves move, the patterns, structures, color and light.  These waves are at the edge of the shore, they don't break quite like this out at sea.  I have many memories of those enormous waves from the middle of the Atlantic in a small sailboat in storms... mental snapshots both beautiful and terrifying. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Challenge Entry

DMannion, EVOandBasil, 6x6" oil
      Playing catch-up with the Weekly Challenges at  This is for the Reflections Challenge by Abby Ryan:  Painted in a hurry because I was hungry while magic chef John prepared pasta and pesto in the kitchen.  Thai basil was grown in the garden.  Dinner was delicious!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Beach Party

DMannion, Smoke On The Water, 6x6" oil
      This week's Challenge entry for , The Color of Music.  Asked John, who knows music, what was the first song he thought of that related water to music.  I'm doing a series of water paintings and wanted to continue with them for this Challenge.  The first piece he thought of was Smoke On The Water... a classic, he said.  I loved the title and music and thought of a foggy day on the beach.  The Royal Terns and Laughing Gulls arrived just in time for the party.  Perfect way to celebrate my birthday today!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sunny Dixie

DMannion, Dixie, 6x6" oil
      Here's one from two weeks ago at the Venice portrait studio when Dixie posed for us.  She couldn't stop smiling and was delightfully animated.  It was like painting a tree while the wind's blowing.  Hope I caught a glimmer of her sunny disposition.
      I'm teaching a four week watercolor workshop starting tomorrow at the Punta Gorda Visual Arts Center.  Looking forward to learning along with my students.
      And here's what I do when I'm not painting or teaching or swimming or napping:
Floating in the Gulf... ahhh

Monday, July 18, 2011

Still life Sketch

DMannion, Vermilion, 4x6" oil
          This is my entry into the week before last's challenge at  Only had time to do a sketch.  And I'm two weeks behind, yikes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Indigo Wave Study

DMannion, Stormy Waves, 6x6" oil  Sold

      Wanted to push the depth of the darks and add more contrast between foreground wave and background.  Dug out an old tube of Winsor Newton indigo and got the effect I was looking for.  The cloudy sky was only indigo and white.  Mixed a little indian yellow into the white for the surf and breaking waves.  Also a bit of ultramarine and white for the wave structure patterns, and also for the foreground water in the surf area.  Added foam patterns, like broken, lace fishnet stockings to the foreground with white, yellow ochre, and ultramarine blue.
      Once in a while, the Gulf actually is this rough!  Sometimes, we even get to watch surfers riding the waves.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Venice Beach, Florida

DMannion, Sea Turtle Nests, 6x6" oil

      It's sea turtle nesting season in Florida.  Early in the morning, volunteers walk miles along the beaches following turtle tracks out of the Gulf.  The nests are dug up and each egg carefully counted and returned, then marked with stakes and colorful plastic ribbons.  I lived on an island for a few years and it was the custom to dig up the eggs, put them in coolers until they hatch and release them later.  This protected them from raccoons, fire ants, and dogs... at least that was the theory.  But now there's a law against that and also another problem.  Who would have guessed coyotes would be a major threat in Florida for sea turtles.  Coyote tracks have been reported all along the coast around destroyed nests.
      Many nests are also destroyed during hurricane season.  And the nest in this painting near the surf may not make it either.  But the report is good that there is an extremely high nest count this year.  
      Here's a link for further information on Florida's sea turtles:

Currently available at Melange Gallery, 252 Tampa Ave W, Venice Fl 34285

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wave Painting Practice or What To Do With Leftover Paint

DMannion, Gulfscape #6, 6x6" oil
Demo below...
      Had lots of left over paint on my palette from yesterday's painting.  I usually take a palette knife and mix all the colors together making a pile in the corner, not including the original, clean colors around the edge, just the piles of different colors I've mixed.  Ended up with a warm purplish pile and a cool blue pile.  Thought I'd use them up on another little painting, didn't, so now there's another leftover pile.  And I hate to waste paint so I'll have to keep painting.
      Wave painting is close to abstract painting.  The colors are pushed from warm to cool, the shapes are simplified, and patterns and movement are stressed... almost to the breaking point (and break they did with this breaker).  It happened like an accident, standing back and squinting, I saw things that weren't planned, but worked.  So I let it stay.  And John likes it, so there!
      And here's a progression demo.  First image is a composition and movement diagram done with the leftover purple paint pile.  Started this in a different way than the wipe-off method used in yesterday's demo.  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gulfwave Series Demo

DMannion, Gulfscape #5, 8x16" oil
      Took photos of each stage of this painting (see demo below).  First stage was ultramarine blue and linseed oil painted on gessoed panel, then wiped off to show composition.  The following stages show how I worked each session, from one to two hours each. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Seascape Series

Gulfscape #4, 8x10" oil
   Some days, the Gulf water is lighter than the sky when dark storm clouds are on the horizon.  The water turns light green, vermilion in spots, an almost impossible shade of pale cool green.  Used ultramarine blue, vermilion, cobalt blue, perylene red, cad yellow light and dark... and even purple!  Weeks of rainy weather here, lots of gray skies and clouds to study.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Another Seascape Oil Painting

Gulfscape #3, 8x10" oil
      On a roll... painting these bloody waves until I get them right, at least right in my mind's eye!  They're all small but just practice for the huge water painting Betsy wants.  Years ago, I painted a lot of water paintings.  I think these are much better than the old ones.  Going to the beach and staring at the Gulf a lot has helped. 
      Used ultramarine blue, cerulean, perylene red, cad yellow light, and titanium white for this one.  But last night, I was inspired by Karin Jurick's palette (watched one of her video's on You Tube).  She uses a lot more colors and mixes as many together as she wants.  My next wave painting, the one I'm working on right now, has a much more colorful palette, at least three more colors.  A stretch for me!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Marine Oil Painting

Gulfscape #2, 8x10" oil
Lots of cloudy weather down here in Florida this week, just right for practicing stormy weather paintings.  Used limited palette, perylene red, ultramarine blue, cerulean, light cad yellow, and titanium white.  Painted alla prima... wet into wet all at once.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Alla Prima Oil Portrait

Sarah, 10x8" oil
      Venice Portrait Studio.  Was traveling light last Friday and only brought ultramarine blue, cad yellow light, perylene red, and titanium white to paint with.  The model had a lot of black hair and I had no black paint.  Sure, someone would have loaned me enough, but I wanted to see how far I could get by just mixing the three colors.  I'm pleased with the result.  Sometimes, a limited palette makes the work look more harmonious.  Sarah is a beautiful young woman but not easy to paint because she's so perfect.  Told her she needs to work on some worry lines to give us something to measure from.
      I'm glowing from the response that my last post is receiving on Facebook, Gulfscape #1.  Today, hoping to repeat the performance,  I attempted to paint another wave...  it's in the maybe-I-should-wipe-it-off-and-start-over stage.   Gulfscape #2 might or might not be posted tomorrow.  Wish there was a technique to make it easy... but then, it would just look like another formula painting.  
      There are lots of books on how to do it.  My favorite is E. John Robinson's classic, "Paint the Sea in Oils Using Special Effects."  Good practical advice and great for learning wave structure.  But I'm reaching for something more with these wave paintings.  And if it were easy, how boring would that be?