Monday, December 31, 2012

Paint Holstein

I started a new cow painting after finishing the seagulls yesterday. This time, and first time, I'm going to paint Holstein. It probably wouldn't change much from Hereford so far I painted. I worried the composition more than colors. I wanted to put the dark green forest in the background, at the same time keep more foreground pasture including the wire fence in the frame to counter balance. As the result, the main subjects became smaller but I could think any other way to work. 18x15.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Establishing Context

It's been almost three weeks since last time I touched this piece. I'm still trying to establish context of this painting at the same time adjusting key shapes of the rocks. I might need to touch on trees before getting into more details of rocks.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Never Underestimate...

Well, for more than a week, I couldn't make much progress on this painting, which I thought I could finish faster than usual.
I was wrong.
The main problem was the colors for water surface and reflections on it. The other is I'm still getting the shape right for one rock, which is troubling the ripple shape to be unnatural, or at least not what I want them to be. Once I fully recovered from flu, I need to put more focus on it and allocate more time to complete this piece.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sharping edges of water surface

At the same time adding reflection of a wood stick, which is outside of the frame, to the left, I refined top half of water surface with a little linseed oil to make the color mixture smoother. I think it worked as I expected.
The bird on the left got more shape defined. Now I need to move on to the bottom half of water and birds on the bottom right corner.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Can't determin the colors

Gradually defining colors and shapes of seagull figures at the same time redefining colors of background water and rocks. But I couldn't get or determine the right colors for the backgrounds. I know I need to mix more amount and cover wider area with the same base colors. Otherwise it would be a little different every time I mix a color, which would cause inconsistency of colors and the painting would start deteriorating.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Composition is clear

I like this composition better than "West End". It's much simpler. I'm almost sure now I would enjoy working on the details with this painting. I need to experiment more with water surface.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Another Cape Flattery Painting

Also I started another painting from a photo I took at Cape Flattery. This one is a view on the north side facing Straight of Juan de Fuca. And Vancouver Island in a distance. Coincidentally (not intentionally after cropping the original photo) the size is the same 16x24.

Covered Water Surface

Quickly covered the most of water surface with lighter value. Now the whole canvas is covered by approximate values and colors. I'll push and pull values, edges and colors from here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's been more than a month since last update

Wow it's been quite a while. I was quite busy this month because I went to Japan the first time since I came to Seattle area to live 11 years ago.
Anyway I finished "West End" during the holiday weekend and came back to this seagulls. I started adjusting the rock shapes but I'm feeling that this would be quick painting once I've caught a speed. I just got that feeling today.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Getting into refining stage

I basically touched all areas on canvas and now I'm going to refine colors and edges each section. From here there is not much difference I could make so this might be the last update. Unless I find something significant.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Main part of Ocean is done

I spent some time in this Sat morning and finished the main part of the ocean. I probably won't have to tough a while until the end. I'll go back to the trees to get feeling of volumes or depth. Currently the left side is completely flat.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Filling ripple with darker colors

After adjusting shapes of rocks, I started filling ripples on water with darker colors. I know they're too dark now but I'm sure I need to paint them over again and again between the dark part and light part before getting to the final values/colors.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tackle with Trees

Although colors are still not right, or undecided, I started pushing values and adding smaller shapes and adjusting their relative positions. Then moved toward midground.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Roughly placed bigger shapes

I think bigger shapes are defined and placed properly. Now I can start refining the shapes and colors gradually. The key shapes/colors are ripples of water. They should be rounded since winds were calm inside of the harbor at La Push. Probably that part would decide if this painting is success or not.

Book touching Japanese American History in Seattle

 No direct relation to my art works. But this book "Hotel on the Corner Between Bitter and Sweet" by Jamie Ford that I recently finished reading is about genuine love between Chinese- and Japanese-American teens in Seattle in the 1940s, which was torn by the war. The Japanese-American girl, Keiko, was talented and apparently became an artist as Kay Hatsune, which makes legit for this blog, I guess.

 I'm not going to reveal key plots here but what attracted me most was actually the scene setting in Nihonmachi (Japantown) in 40s. The focal point of the scene was Panama Hotel on the corner of 6th Ave S and S Main in International District, where Japanese immigrants used to stay long time after getting off the boats. I went to the tea/coffee shop at the hotel a couple of times after started reading this book, as well as Kobe Terrace Park located on a steep slope inbetween the hotel and I-5. From there I could see all the way down to Elliott Bay and Bainbridge Island. While standing there in sunny Saturday afternoon my mind was drifting to the past when Henry (the Chinese-American boy) and Keiko were in their childhood 70 years ago.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Suddenly Getting Better

Once I got the larger shapes right, it suddenly started showing completeness in this quadrant. I know I need to come back and adjust more values and smaller shapes and edges, I should at this moment move on to the other areas.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Painting: Seagulls

Started a new animal painting. Technically birds are not animals. I guess I'm expanding my subject matters to bird kingdom. When I finished this, I would need to update my web site to be proper.
Anyhow, I drew this tonight. But I needed to adjust the size of birds more than a couple of times (sigh).

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Still can't get shapes right

I'm still struggling with larger shapes even on one corner of this painting. The relative sizes of those rocks/cliffs weren't right, which was causing shapes unnaturally leaning left. I'm gradually correcting those mistakes at this stage. It's maybe a time to start another painting before pushing this further.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Came back to Cape Flettery painting finally

Last a couple of weeks, I kept working on "Aiming a Sharp Turn" because I wanted to finish it within last month so that I can say I'm finishing one piece a month still. After it's done over the weekend I worked on framing the cat painting then were preparing for several small canvas for plein air and another canvas for the next studio painting. Then finally came back to this piece tonight. The stage is still covering up the entire canvas with proper values for proper shapes. I'm still measuring those shapes relative relations gradually.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Enough for Bleachers

Well, I don't want to keep working on the bleachers any more. Making them realistic wouldn't help this painting to be better. I'll stop here for the bleacher and move on to put the final touches on the main subjects. This might become the last update of this painting.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Continuing to fill background

Quickly filled the background greens. It didn't take much time. I might come back and push the darker areas more. But otherwise I'm satisfied with the outcome. Then moved on to refining colors of the bleachers. I'll work more on them before set my focus on the main subjects to finish this painting.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ground is done

I mixed enough orange and then added blue to make sandy ground colors. It's nice and thick enough to be called as done. I might touch up a little more but not much. The next step would be the background greens around the girl's head. I might exaggerate greens in contrast with skin colors of the main subjects. Those are complementary each other.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Burrows Bay onsite painting

This is the outcome after I spent an hour and 45 min at Washington Park in Anacotes. It's bay view toward south. Sun was moving toward right in late afternoon. I think I captured tvalues and color changes for water well. I could have spent more time to be more completed. But I felt I accomplished what I wanted at the end. I would definitely make a studio painting later based on this.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Anacortes Plein Air

I just came back from Anacotes, WA for plein air. The site is inside of Washington Park (a city park) looking down Burrows Bay and Barrows Island. I had this idea for last a couple of months. But finally did it today. I'll put up the photo of the painting tomorrow.

Roughly filled Bleachers

Since I didn't want to get edges of the horse interfered at the end I filled the bleachers roughly. At this moment I don't care much about the colors but I need to work on values further not to get too much attention. But at least I want them to be cooler because the main subjects would be quite warm. I want to counter-balance them each other.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Filling the canvas

Although I still want to push more values with the 1" brush further, especially the foreground(sea), the composition and value/color arrangement on the canvas is now clear. It's actually simpler than I originally thought. As long as I keep this through the end, it would become a quite nice painting. If I could really keep it though.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Continued to work on main subjects

Kept working on shapes and values of the shapes on the main subjects. It's getting to life not because colors are closer to the final but values of shapes are right. Now I need to step back and put bleachers in the background before finalizing the main shapes/colors. They would interfere the edge of the shapes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Definding shapes & values in head area

Started moving up toward horse's head area to define shapes by putting value differences in. Then realized the head was a little too big. So I'm shrinking it now. The colors are not too important right now (you can't see them due to bad photo. Sorry). But still trying to mix close-to-final colors.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Started working on the first Cape Flattery piece

I have an idea to make a series of paintings from the last trip to coastal Olympic Peninsula. The first one is this piece, which is the same view with the one I painted. Only difference is the canvas is wider. 18x24.
I only started drawing but already struggled with the bigger shapes. But finally got those at right spots. I'll fill out large masses with my favorite 1" brush next.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Putting nice thick layers

It's getting close to the final stage. I started mixing more paint and putting thicker layers. Then I realized the bottom of the cloud should be much darker. I need to fix that. Then I want to make sun-lit part of the mountains brighter in contrast with shadowed foreground. And then I guess I'm done with this piece.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Painting Trip to NW corner of Olympic peninsula

Today I came back from 3 day painting trip to NW corner of Olympic peninsula. It was a very nice one and I want to go back in the near future. I painted at Cape Flattery (left pic) Saturday evening before Sun set into Pacific Ocean. It was nice interacting with many people while I was painting at the end of a trail. As Sun moved toward the horizon the colors of cliffs and trees kept changing but I enjoyed watching and capturing them. On Sunday, I hiked 2 mile tough trail for an hour to Shi Shi Beach but weather wasn't so good (right pic). It was hard to see the colors of the rocks and ocean. Then this morning I stopped by La Push and took some photos for future painting. Weather was better today than yesterday when the Peninsula got some rain while Seattle didn't. I couldn't carry three canvas so I didn't paint today.
Overall, I got some inspiration about seascapes. I'll try producing at least a couple of studio paintings out of this trip after finishing "dragon cloud".

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Leg movement

Since whole this painting is about movement, I've been working on the shapes of front legs in detail at this early stage. Once I got those shapes right, that would define the rest of painting and I can focus more on colors later instead.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Slowly making/adjusting shapes

Not much progress I could make this weekend. Mainly due to a four hour shift I took at the Gallery on both Sat and Sun, in addition to a start of a mild gout symptom on my left foot.
But I managed to add some more shapes in the foreground and adjust the dragon cloud shape, which was leaning too much left.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More paints on clouds

Since the clouds are much thicker, I put more paints on that part. Made them more colorful and subtle value variations. After all the clouds are much lighter compared to the ground. I'll go back to the ground to add more shapes and patterns.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Initial Rough Block-in

Initial rough block-in with 1" brush. It didn't lose sketching fortunately. The horse and girl shape have lots of curvature and difficult to paint in with this brush so I guess I need to change the brush for the part.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rosario Bay on-site painting

It was hot clear day on Sat when I went there in the evening and spent about an hour to paint this. Sun was reflecting on water and shiny and I couldn't figure out the colors of water. I tried some ripples near the rocks but it was not enough. Probably I needed to decide the main color first and mixed it in batch, which I didn't. I'll try a seascape probably in two weeks when I took a Monday off. I might go further north to Washington park of Anacortes, which is free. The Rosario Bay park is inside of a state park and I forgot to bring my discover pass. I had to park just outside of the park border.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A little progress

Not much but I'm making some progress on highlighted mountains by putting more color/value variations. Before getting into too much details, I'll move to the clouds.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Next Animal Piece

I finished "Porsche" on the last day of July. Then recently an old friend of mine in Japan contacted me and offered buying two horse paintings; "White Horses" and "Side by Side". Now I need to paint more animal paintings, especially horse paintings. So I picked this photo I took at the county fairground in Langley on Whidbey Island. This is actually a horse and a girl in an appear-to-be local competition. I liked the angle the horse and girl were leaning in while they were making two 360 degree turns around a pole. The horse's right hind leg is blurred in the photo due to the fast movement, which could be a good challenge for me.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Will work on the background a while...

Why I didn't update on this was because I couldn't make much progress due to my struggle with the fur colors and texture. I still don't have good ideas about those. Until I can feel brave enough I'll keep working on the background colors and texture, which are also not too easy. Most of them are in shadowed area.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pushed values

Ok, this is much more closer to the final values. Highlighted part of background mountains could be a little lighter but once I put more colors I probably don't have to change values much. It's time to change the brush.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dragon Cloud:Initial Blocking

After the drawing, I changed the brush to a 1inch inexpensive one, as Jim L regularly does, and started blocking bigger shapes. Although the values are not quite right (most of foreground is shadowed part) all canvas has been covered by now. I'll keep using the same brush and adjusting values before getting into the details.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dragon Cloud: Rough Sketch

Next landscape is from the same trip near Riverside, WA. I couldn't forget about the long thick cloud hovering above the highway and the mountains, which looked as if a dragon was flying above.
16"x24". I started with cool underpaint and drew rough shapes over.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Plein Air at Ridgefield

I suddenly decided going Portland at Fri night to see their current exhibit for California Impressionism. It was really good. Then on the way back stopped by Ridgefield WA for lunch and painted the wildlife refuge area from an overlook park. I think I handled the highlighted green part better than before but I don't think the shadow part was not dark enough. Next time I'll mix dark color before painting so that I won't lose dark values on my palette, which is difficult to keep once started mixing with white. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Need to stop messing around the mountains

I call the mountains are done. If I kept working more, I would destroy them. I need to stop touching them. The mass shadow parts got good warmness/coolness and values. I'll work on the foreground shadow part to make them a little darker, then go back to cloud to finish this painting. This would be the last update.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sky/Clouds were filled

Sky was quickly and completely filled with proper values of clouds with soft edges because I used only a No.8 soft flat brush. I'll add sharp edges later with a smaller brush like No.6 or 4. But otherwise sky is done.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Adjusting face shapes and background colors

Kept working on shapes around the face. Then adjusted some values and colors on the bucket and the door. Now I need to lighten values on the body.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Can't decide colors yet...

Although the shadow part of the mountains are getting closer to the right values, I still can't decide or find the colors I want to put on the hightlight part of the mountains. I might need to stay away from it a little while and work on the clouds. Then I might be able to find the right colors in the context.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Refining Mountains

I guess I started putting too much detail of the house and the field. So I decided moving away from that part and started refining value changes on the mountains and their slopes. At the same time, I'm refining the shadow shapes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Still minding only bigger shapes

Although I started making each shape clearer, I'm still focusing on only bigger shapes or masses to get them right. And it's about time I need to shift toward values next. Currently they are too dark. But it's ok at this stage.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Getting darker values right

As you can understand based on the angle of sun light, it was almost sunset time. Then the shadow part was quite dark. But in human eyes, those color and value variations were still recognizable, which I tried putting on tonight in the foreground. Although the colors of river aren't right yet (it should have reflected the above blue sky), I think I got the values about right. I also put the one of eye catching shape, a house, at this early stage to check the composition. It actually counter balancing the heavy masses on the right side of the canvas, which is good.