Thursday, September 29, 2011

Found a Key Component for New Field Easel

I'd been looking for these quite a while. The main problem was I didn't know the name of the pieces of hardware I was looking for. It's really hard to find something that you don't know the name on the internet.

I went back to one of information seeking principal I've learned at the graduate school; (Ahem!) find a person who knows what you're looking for. I simply went to a near-by home depot and asked an associate with a sample from my studio easel. In less than a couple of minutes, the associate showed me where they are.

They're called as thumb screws and insert nuts. With these pieces of hardware, the sliding piece of wood can press down a stretched canvas and hold it tightly.
My next step is to design&draw the canvas holder including the sliding mechanism.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I guess I know what I need to do to finish this...

The colors of this digital photo is way off. So you don't see the actual colors I put in the background pasture. But I tried some bold colors there to see the effect. Other than that I really need to finish the left horse, which is not the focal point anyway. Then want to try more impasto technique for the foreground flowers.

I'm going to try finishing this piece this weekend.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Came back after 6 years

It was the end of 2005 when I went to Bellingham for onsite painting. I remember it was very dark even in the middle of the day when I was painting at the same spot but in different angle. By now the lot was bought by someone and new buildings were built as well as a short service road. Trees and weeds have grown enough to block the original vista I painted 6 years ago.

Yesterday, the weather was nice in the morning when I got there and painted. So everything was whitey and I lost some sense of colors. But I didn't forget to put Olympic mountains in the further background. I need to learn how to interpret those colors to make attractive paintings.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Working on the face

Started working the face of the horse. The overall shape seems to be fine but those ears are a little too small. I need to adjust them next. Otherwise I think I'm getting there.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Binoculars Clamp arrived

A good news is the binoculars clamp I ordered on-line arrived today via UPS. It's nice and strong. A bad news is the thread hole at the bottom of the clamp is 1/4", which doesn't fit 3/8" thread screw on the base. So I need to use the mini-ball head that is dual-threaded to fit either size, which is heavy itself. The weight of the ball head and the clamp combined is 1.14lb (851g) total. It's quite heavy to walk around with while looking for the best spot to paint. I might look for a lighter ball head with 1/4" thread screw. But I'll wait at least until I build a stretched canvas holder. The clamp hasn't come cheap since only kind I found, then got, was from the same Manfrotto made in Italy. I found an used one though. I don't want to spend much more until I'm sure this system I'm thinking now would really work.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Values of darks

It was not intentional to make shadow shapes less dark. I usually make them really dark dark especially at early stages. It was because I put the lightest light already on canvas. After that whenever I touch dark paint mixture my brush always has white pigments even after I cleaned it carefully.

Although it was intentional, it created an unexpected effect to this painting at this stage. As you can see easily the horse(s) look like getting a lot of sunshine and even shadow parts are getting reflections from many different angles. In other words they're hazy in viewers eyes. I like this much. I'll try keep the value contrast in this way toward the end of this painting to see what happens. It would be quite different compared to "Breeze" I painted two years ago. I might change my mind though.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Plein Air on Maury Island

We are still in summer here in NW this year. Or it finally arrived. I couldn't miss this opportunity and got on a ferry to go across the water from Fauntleroy Ferry Port. I rode my motorcycle through Vashon Hwy and got to Pt. Robinson Park on Maury Island. I walked around the beach near the light house. But somehow any angles on the beach didn't inspire me. So I walked up to the parking lot and walked into a trail, where I decided to set my easel. The aspect between height and width is a little off but I think I'm getting better with color & value contrast between light and shadow. I need to keep doing this to get better with this. The objects in upper left quadrant are big stones. I couldn't define good edges with the background so they're vague.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Positioning leaves are not so easy

I still keep moving around leaves on the canvas. Originally they were too high so I moved them downward. To define each major leaf I need to decide the color of background shade and carve it out. I think I want to put more colors at the bottom for the highlighted part of grass.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

New Tripod

My current tripod that holds my hand-made pochade box got a crack at the top plastic part. I've been thinking how I can fix it or get it replaced a while.

But when I visited Portland last weekend for gallery/PAM walk, a friend of mine in Portland gave me a heavy duty tripod. It's Bogen Manfrotto 3001 made in Italy. It has a heavy (14 oz) mini ball head attached (right photo). It took me a while to detach it, which I finally did today using a bench vice because it was very tight after carefully examining how I can do it without breaking anything.

That particular model has been discontinued. But the top of the base unit has a 3/8" standard thread (left photo) so I can attach any manufacturer’s head. I'm now looking for a clamp head to hold binoculars or something heavy. And I'll build a stretched canvas holder that can securely hold  up to 12"x16" canvas and attach it to the clamp. Then build a folding box pallet that can be tightly attached to the two legs of the tripod. I got some idea how to do it from a pochade box at an art supply shop in downtown Portland. It's going to be a long term project. The outcome would become my Ver.2 pochade box system.