Monday, June 27, 2011

Changing the direction

Based on what I experienced and leaned in Jim Lamb's workshop over the weekend, I decided changing the way I paint. More specifically the process especially at earlier stages. On the way back from Bainbridge on Sat, I stopped by a hardware shop in Poulsbo to get two cheep (less than a dollar each) house painting brushes (1/2" and 1-1/2"). I used those tonight to fill up each mass shapes in the background other than cows with much closer values to the final ones. Determining the values on the field is tough because the color/value of grass is quite different from the grounds. So I still couldn't determine the value of the long shadow strips cast on the ground.
 But the color/value of trees in background as well as sky's are almost final ones.

This process change would affect not only to the process itself but would also affect to the final outcome. I'm almost sure. I'm going to try the same way on the cows next. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Jim Lamb Plein Air Workshop - Day 3, Last Day

Today was perfect for painting weather-wise. We met at Fay Bainbridge State-park and reduced our cars down to three (plus my motorcycle) and visited the host's house on sand bar next to the park. It was very narrow strip of land but absolutely beautiful.

The photo on the left was today's outcome. Not as impressive as last two days. I had problems with defining colors for both foreground and background trees. Besides, I wanted to paint Olympic Mountains, which were immediately hidden by the clouds.

So Jim suggested putting focus on the interesting shaped tree on the left and I made it much bigger and moved toward the center. That's why it took entire today to work on only one piece. His last comments were 1) I needed put much bigger curved cloud shape on the right to counter balance the heaviness of left trees. 2) the color of the sand beach is too cool. It's not in Hawaii.

Well, at least I got some ideas to work on in my own plein air sessions this summer. When I told him I needed to learn brush strokes, he said it would take planning, confidence and some practices. I have to work on that too. It was quite intensive but productive three days. I'm very tired tonight.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jim Lamb Plein Air Workshop - Day 2

Today, we continue to paint in the vineyard. I painted a farm road along the berry yard. Originally there was a big tree on the right side of the road , which was blocking view toward the top of the canvas.  But Jim suggested I eliminate the tree and, instead, paint the field behind it.That made this painting much interesting.

For the dark background trees, he helped me to paint cool darker part on top of overall color of the big mass to make the rest to come forward, instead of painting highlighted part, which would destroy the total value. It's much darker than real trees but it works for this painting.

He put some key shadow shapes in both background and foreground. Without it, this painting was very dull.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jim Lamb Plein Air Workshop - Day 1

Starting from today, I'm in Jim Lamb's 3 day Pein Air workshop over this weekend. There was a small problem happened to my motorcycle this morning on my way to Oil&Water Art Shop on Bainbridge Island. But I got there 50 min late eventually.

In the morning Jim did a demonstration in a class room, then seven of us went to Bainbridge Island Vineyards & Winery to paint. About the time when we started, sun was out and nice. However, thick clouds rolled in quickly and even rain started about 3:30P. Most of us managed to finish a piece. The photo, left, is my outcome.

Some of Jim's key advices were:
  1. left side was too heavy at the beginning. Then I adjusted the composition by changing large shapes on the left to balance with right side.
  2. define the darkest dark (edge of the pond) first, then I can define the next dark (shadow part of background trees) in relative to it. The same rule can apply to colors. Define greenest green first then decide others in relative to it.
  3. paint the mass of background trees first, then curve sky into them to shape the edge of trees.
After I stopped painting this about 4P, he left me the final comments to this outcome:
  1. sky is too heavy (color/value-wise). It should be closer to the pond surface.
  2. The vine field (yellowish center part) is too hot (means too warm in color).
I'm looking forward to Day 2 tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Overall values of snow mountains are nearly defined

Even though the colors of snow mountains are not consistent (because I mix colors each night and apply them to a small part), the overall value of the mountains are close to final. Instead of finishing them up, I want to step back and re-work on the sky and the foreground next. The foreground needs to be much darker and sky needs more colors.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Still adjusting main shapes

Kept adjusting shapes of cows tonight. At the same time I added more middle value shapes on the bodies. I also made the ground lighter because I couldn't see the values on the body were right or wrong.
Today I went to Seattle artwalk but realized not much new stuff was on the shows. I'm planing to go to Edmonds Art Festival tomorrow. Weather would be better than today.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Composition stands out

Tonight, I spent only 40 min with a #8 filbert and made this painting interesting. I think the strong composition is helping this painting to stand out without getting into detail at all. What I need to be careful with the following steps is just not to screw up. Good start tends to end bad.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Value adjustment

Value range of this painting is narrower than I regularly paint. Because it was at dusk. Almost everything was dim. I started making values for large rock shapes and clouds lighter from the right side toward center. At the same time, I'm adjusting colors of snow. But snow colors wouldn't be finalized almost at the end, I guess.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Nice Shadows

I like the shapes of shadows in this composition. I just blocked the dark parts with a mixture of ultra marine and burnt umber. But it's already showing life. In the background, I originally drew a high-voltage power-line pole. Now I'm thinking I would eliminate it as well as the power lines. They aren't making the background interesting anyway.

Monday, June 6, 2011

New Idaho Cattle Piece

I started drawing for a new cattle piece. This is from a photo from the same Twin Falls, ID, vacation. I cropped the original photo to focus on the sun-lit faces and bodies vs. shadow areas.The size is 14"x20". It was cold (must have been in teens) but clear winter day. It was almost the last light. I want to paint the temperature and faint warmth of the last sun light.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Nice evening to eat on the deck

It was really nice evening today. I grilled some food on the deck and had dinner there. While eating, I read an article in the latest issue of the Artist's Magazine. It's about color palette for plein air, written by Michael Chesley Johnson. He was explaining about five different combinations of color palettes. Except for Earth Palette, which includes yellow ochre and burnt sienna, all others have some king of cad yellow and cad red. Then some options for blue and lightening ingredient and muting ingredient. Now I know why my last "Icy Falls" ended up completely unrealistic purplish. For the next piece, I might consider these options.