Friday, December 31, 2010

Last update in 2010

I just finished reading this "Landscape Painting" by Mitchell Albala. Then I checked back my blog to find when I started reading. It was back in Feb. It took me 10 months. But it was really good. Half of the stuff in the book was something I'm already familiar with, which I've learned/heard from multiple instructors of workshops/classes I attended before, or read in some articles in magazines. But even the stuff I already know has assured me that that's good stuff I should keep in my mind all the time.

At the end, he wrote about discipline to keep ourselves motivated and inspired. Here is the direct quote from the book, which I completely agree:
"In my experience, there is no foolproof method for continued artistic growth---except to consistently put yourself in front of projects that interest you and to keep painting. Most artists will testify to the fact that whatever skill and success they have achieved, they achieved largely through tenacity, consistency, and hard work. Momentum is powerful. The longer I don't paint, the more inertia I must overcome to pick up my brushes and get restarted. When I paint more frequently, I gain momentum and am more inspired to continue."

I think I just need to keep painting to get to the next level and beyond.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Coming to life

As I planned I almost finished the foreground and sky. It turned out in my favorable way. I guess I need to put some more highlight to the foreground because those areas are the lightest light. Warm light on the thin clouds worked better than I imagined.

Now I just need to finish the midground snow then branches of the bush in the shadow. And I would be done with this piece. Hopefully I can finish it by the end of the year. I might change my mind and put this on the upcoming small show at a Starbucks in Georgetown in January.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Changing Colors

Lighting around this A-easel is always poor and it's difficult to take a good photo. But you might be able to see I started changing the colors. It was close to noon and light was coming down from high above. I want to show that even though it's not in the reference photo. Otherwise this panting would become very dull color-wise.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shapes are getting defined

Shapes of horses are almost defined. The length of legs and face were the key but I probably don't have to come back and change them later any more. The tanker might still need some more adjustments but it shouldn't be a big deal as long as horses are right.

I started toning the body of the black horse. To see the color/value contrast, I made the dried grass lighter. The value or color value of the tanker might be tricky because one house is dark but the other one is light.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Much better than last night

As I planned, made a good amount of purple mixture first then added white, cobalt blue, arizarin, or orange to create some variations out of it, and applied to the front bush much thicker than before. It worked well. i wanted to adjust/add more to the part but it's getting mushy. I'll leave the part and work on the foregound snow & shadow and the background sky next.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Value, value, and value

Well, I don't think tonight's effort to make progress on this painting made any progress. I guess it made it worse. I tried focusing on the front bush and adjusting the values. But I think I made the snow in the shadow too light. What I need to do tomorrow is making a mound of mid-value purple and from the purple I can make it a little lighter, warmer, cooler, darker, or whatever. Also I need to start applying thicker paint. Then it probably wouldn't take much longer  to finish this piece.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Still can't define bigger shapes

Coming closer to a month since I updated last time, I still can't define the shapes of horses and tanker. Moving borders of shapes from left to right, upper to lower, and opposite directions, back and forth... Those borders are still fuzzy. At this stage, straggling with shapes, I can't think about the colors at all. So far it look redish monotone. But I need to fix shapes first.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Values of Shadow Part of Snow

Not much progress made lately. Still can't decide the values of shadow part of background and middleground of snow. I think I made them too light today. I need to come back later. But at this moment, I want to cover bare canvas in the foreground, left side of the canvas.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Felt a little strange at AIC [updateing from an airplane!]

  First, I need to tell I'm updating this blog from an airplane on my way back to Seattle. SW Airlines was offering $5 in-flight WiFi, which was hard to resist (cool!).
  This trip was for my day job. However, I squeezed every part of Thu and made a 2h window at night when the admission was free.
  I don't exactly remember when I was there last time. Probably about two years ago or more. They changed the room plan quite a bit. I guess it happened when they opened the new modern wing last year. Unfortunately I didn't have enough time to visit the new building last night. Or maybe because it took me additional time to figure out where the all impressionism paintings were. Then when I finally figured it out and walked through the stretched section, I felt something strange, which I never felt in the past for more than 5 times of visits. They didn't make me feeling much admiration this time. The colors are the same as before for Monet's haystacks, poppy field, waterloo bridge, Degas' millinery shop, dancers, Pissaro's landscapes, Renoir's girls, women, and so on and on. Nothing has changed on them. The change happened to me instead, which I came to understand while browsing American Art section when I was looking for after-Civil-War era landscape paintings.
  I've been learning more and more color making and value placing based on modern realism. I'm not intending to do any more exactly like the impressionists did more than a century ago. I know I still need to learn a lot more from their master pieces. That's for sure. But...
  After I left the AIC and sat at a table in Bennigans, watching the entrance of the AIC through the window, a little sadness came to my mind and Sam Adams tasted a little more bitter than it should be.