Friday, October 30, 2009

Demo Part 4

A few final details are all that is needed to complete the painting.

I add a few dark grasses crossing the lighter grasses in the foreground. I also decided to add some tall weed seed pods to the grasses to add some variation.

I added a bare branch to the trees on the left.

I lightened the value in the center where the path disappears. It had become too dark and was not allowing the eye to travel beyond into the far field.

I added a little color and detail to the distant trees.

A little more blue was added to the sky. One of my students thought it would make it more dramatic.

I was happy with the painting so I signed it!

Title - "The South Forty"

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Demo Part 3

I added more color to the grasses. I am building up layers of color to create depth in the grass. I use the side of my pencil and long strokes especially in the front where the grass is quite tall. I have adjusted the slant of the tree on the left so it points inward toward the center of the painting. I have added some clouds to make the sky more interesting.

Now I can start adding more and more detail. I keep added grasses this time adding some that cross the ones in back for variation. I adjust the values in the grasses so they are lighter towards the center of the painting to draw the eye inward.
I add more detail to the leaves of the trees.
I decided to add more to the distant hills in the center of the painting to give the feeling of the valley extending beyond.

I needed something to slow the pace of the strong line in the path so I added some dark spots between the grasses. I am paying very close attention to any strong lines and breaking them up with variation in color and/or value.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Demo Part 2

After laying in my basic color washes while doing my demo I then worked in my studio adjusting the composition and adding more color.

In this next step you can see that I added more area to the distant field. I wanted more of it to show in the painting, more like my original sketch. I accomplished this by erasing the distant trees and raising them up higher on the picture plane. This also moved my horizon line. Now it's not right in the middle of the painting making for a stronger composition. Secondly, I dropped the base of the trees on the left. They had becoming too close to the same level as the trees on the right. My intent in the original sketch was for the left tree mass to be closer on the picture plane then the trees on the right.

I am building up the color layers, concentrating on color so sometimes I loose the composition. I find it very helpful to keep checking my sketch so I keep my composition true to my original.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Demo at the Duck Store (Part1)

I started with a thumbnail sketch of my composition and values.

I then transferred my composition sketch to my paper. I decided to try some new paper I just purchased called PastelMat. It is a pastel paper from France and the color is sort of a yellow ocher. I drew my sketch with a water soluble graphite pencil and then wet it to create graphite washes for my values.

After it had dried I started adding colored pencils. I started with French Gray 10% in the sky with some light pink and a bit of light blue. I applied the color in long strokes going first diagonally one direction and then diagonally in another direction.

All of the colored pencils that came next were applied while I was doing my demo. I found it quite hard to work and talk at the same time, so left verses right brain. I tried to let people know what I was thinking and why I was making the choices I was making as I was working.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Down to the Wire

Late Friday afternoon and still nothing to demonstrate for Saturday.

I am scheduled to do a two hour demonstration on colored pencils at the U of O bookstore on Saturday and I have been struggling all week trying to come up with something. The first hour will be no problem, I can talk about all the pencils and papers available to colored pencil artists as well as the many tips on ways to use them. But what can I demonstrate for the second hour?
Finally inspiration hits me! I will demonstrate how I approach a landscape painting. A fall scene!

First thing to do is gather some photographs. I will be in a basement so will have to work from reference photos rather than life.

I took this photo a few days earlier from my car window. I loved the color in the foliage.

The second is of a hill covered with fall colored trees and grasses in the foreground.

The last one was taken earlier this year. I like the path in the grass and the distant field.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Waiting for Insperation

My muse has left me. Oh, come back to me my beloved.

I am stuck! Cannot find inspiration. I have searched my photos, taken more photos, spent what feels like hours searching through art books and art magazines. So far no luck. I need something new and different to challenge me.

I guess I shall just have to quit trying so hard and be patient.

" I go to studio every day. Some days the work comes easily. Other days nothing happens. Yet on the good days the inspiration is only an accumulation of all the other days, the nonproductive ones." - Beverly Pepper 1924 (from Artist to Artist by Clint Brown)

It is tough just waiting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What next?

I have finished all of my major art projects. The rains of autumn have arrived and I am feeling the need to begin another project. What shall I do? There are so many choices. I want to do another long detailed colored pencil painting but of what? This is where it all begins. What will my subject be? I begin my search through my reference photos to see if anything sparks my imagination. So, I make a pot of tea, and start searching.