Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mitchell Albala Workshop on Bainbridge Island

  Today I joined a workshop taught by Mitchell Albala, held at Oil & Water Art Supply ( on Bainbridge Island. As I wrote in blog in the past, I read through his "landscape painting" book and understood most of his theories of making landscape painting in his way, which I mostly agreed. I was there to learn a part of his process of making landscape paintings directly from him.  Since I was at Dick Brick on Capitol Hill to see his demo (I also wrote this in my blog) he remembered me and said "you look familiar", which made things easier for me at the beginning.

  Ok, the process and practices were simple.
  1. clop a letter size of color photo using a set of "L-shape" cloppers to find an interesting composition. 
  2. put a tracing paper on top of the photo and block shapes in 3 or 4 value ranges. The first picture above shows it. We mostly used a marker pen (Prisma) for this process.
  3. mix 4 values with titanium white and black acrylic paint (dries much faster) [mixed the 5th value later] and paint the composition you clopped. The left photo in the second picture shows it.
  4.  reduced the values down to two (black and white only) and paint the same composition. The right photo shows this.
This entire practice force us to see the landscape in only big shapes, which helps us to judge what's interesting in the painting before picking the scene. Mitch uses this process in Gage Academy's classes as well. I've now well absorbed what he wrote in his book.  I think.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Last Update of "Icy Falls"

I had to declare this to finish this piece over Memorial Day weekend. In other words, by the end of May. It's been taking too long. I don't think I can make much difference from here other than minor color/value/edge modifications, which would still be a lot I need to make. But the most important parts are done by now.

So from now, I'll shift my focus onto the sunset piece then will start a new animal piece. It happens to be cattle painting again.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Left side is almost done

Kept working on the water fall on the left side of the canvas. I might want to make it a little more lighter to paint the volume of water. But otherwise this part is almost done. Move on toward the center then the right to balance the color based on this part, which I'm somewhat satisfied. I'm changing the cool dark part back to a little warmer. Because it's standing up too much.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Greenwood-Phinney ArtWalk - The Big One

 Yesterday evening and this afternoon, I was a part of the annual artwalk in this NW Seattle neighborhood. I'd been applying this artwalk last 5 years or so. I was accepted two years ago but needed to withdraw due to my company's bankruptcy. So this year was my first time showing my paintings at one of businesses in the neighborhood along Greenwood Ave.

 The business name was Emma Jean's Consignment and Antique, a small shop at a little north from N 85th St. Except for the show window at the front of the store, where the stampede series was hung, all walls were full of stuff. So the owner, Thomas Grant, about 6' 6" or even taller guy, hung my six paintings down from the ceiling grid (see the second photo). Some people who visited the store this afternoon took a while to find my paintings. People don't have habits to "look up". They tend to look down instead. Yesterday was better because they were spot-lighted in darker store at night.

 There was a lot of traffic into the store last night. I greeted them, answered their questions, and added some more background information behind each painting. Most of people liked my paintings.  But I think only one person took my bio/statement card with a business card stacked up on a table. But it was expected. I was there again this afternoon 3-5. Much less people walked by. And most of them were just interested in antiques. Since the weather was nicer than expected this afternoon, I thought I should have brought my pochard box and done some demonstrations in front of the store. Although I haven't done city-scape for good 7-8 years. I'll consider next time.

Overall, it was relatively successful event by considering that this was my first experience attending an artwalk as an artist. I was quite tired standing for more than 5 hours totally. But I need to get back to painting tomorrow. I felt I needed to produce more while standing there this afternoon.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Another Highlighted Area

Worked on the top left corner of the "falls". This is another highlighted area taking direct early morning sunlight. Later, I would probably come back and push values more to make edges a little sharper. But I like how this came along especially for the texture.

This weekend I need to compose my bio/statement paper for Greenwood-Phinney Artwalk next week. I might not be able to work more on this piece tomorrow.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Make it a little cooler

I made the darkest dark a little cooler using blue-purple, because it looked a little too warm against the title "Icy Falls". Then I made the highlighted part stand out more as a trial, to see the contrast between most of the shadow part and the highlighted part. It's better than I was thinking.