oil on canvas panel, 8 x 10 inches
While painting another scene adjacent to a local fisherman’s harbor, I labored over getting that painting right. After throwing in the towel, I turned, went accross the street and slapped out this little painting in twenty minutes. I had become very tight and fussy with the last one and needed to cut loose. This painting will never see a frame, but there are parts of it that I find arresting. I will probably go back and make a larger, highly engaging piece from this subject.
Right now, this whole plein air thing is to practice practice practice. I can feel the skills sharpening with every painting. This one was just plain fun!
Watercolor, 15 x 22 inches
Well, here is this morning’s effort. Yes, I have accomplished the need to create a greater feeling of enormity by setting up scale comparisons with the background suggestions, the palms and the little cars. It is much more difficult to suggest rather than delineate (at least for me). The urge to describe something like the little cars more fully is something I must constantly resist. After all, when seeing a car from the distance show in this painting, they would be nothing more than a mere shape. (Gotta give up what we think we know, right?)
As for the lighting . . .I sorta got it, but feel that I could have been less timid. I wanted a yellow / orange sky, but for the life of me, I couldn’t get the superstructure of the ship to read as white when I put the shadow. The actual image in the photo reveals that structure to be quite dark against a light sky. That’s no problem, but the colors proved difficult . . .so I resorted to warm light / cool shadows with warm reflected light in the shadows . . .what I know from landscape painting. I guess I have to dig some more. . . . this is the last of this ship for now. I have to work on my “Miroir d Eau” painting. I am planning to use that as a demo in some upcoming workshops. Wish me luck!
“San Pedro Morn”
watercolor, 15 x 22 inches
There are times when the easel just has to wait. This time, it has been too long.
As you may know, I have two classes for which I must prep . . .and some other workshops I am getting ready for . . . and now, a new assignment on a board of directors with an organization out of town. That assignment has me visiting southern California occasionally. This last weekend was one of those visits. A short flight to LA then on to my hotel near the Los Angeles Harbor.
Wow! What a place that is. I had the chance to go for a few walks in the early morning and a long one on Sunday. Huge ships, tug boats, beautiful golden light, and apparati for loading and unloading ships that would boggle anyone’s mind. They are absolutely enormous (tens of stories high!) and the horizon is littered with them. They are rather strange in appearance and remindful of the “Star Wars” movies.
Here is an image of one of the large tankers parked in the morning light in one of the harbor channels. The colors, the different values of the two shores and horizon and the golden light had me stopped in my tracks more than several times. After taking over 150 photos, I had to hurry to the easel to get something down in paint. A very interesting trip and painting project!
watercolor 15″ x 22″
Some days there is just no substitute for play at the easel! And this was pure FUN!
I absolutely LOVE this look in watercolor, but it is a look that too many artists over the years have attained . . . .and I want my own look that will be recognizable. Even so, this method of working is a thrill for me.
The method involves soaking the paper first. Then wringing it out by rolling a dry rolled up bath towel over the paper (firmly) . . .then painting into the wet (Moist) paper. The trick to success using this method is to carefully monitor the amount of water in the brush. Too much water and it blooms on the paper. Just enough causes the marks to have softer edges, but the paint stays put. The artist has but one hour to get it all blocked in before letting it dry completely. Once dry, a few calligraphy strokes here and there make for visual excitement and balance.
Years ago, I painted a lot like this . . .and it is really fun to ‘digress’ a bit and just play for the sheer sake of play.