Sunday, December 29, 2013

Not much progress on this deer series I

After spending some time to enhance the deer shape and color, I only realized I couldn't make it better much even if I spend hours more. Although I'm still half-way done for the background spruce trees and grassy foreground, I think this would be the final update before finishing this piece.
I'll put probably a red dashed line to indicate the sliding gap between upper and lower parts at the end to finish this.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Starting New Series - Mountains

Last 1.5 years or so I'd been focusing on scenes relating to water like ocean, lakes, rivers, and the final outcome of the effort would be the coming up show at PLG in Feb titled as "NW H2O Alchemy".
Now it's time to move on to the next series or theme - Mountains - which is viewed along hiking trails I've been exploring for about a year by now. The first one is from last Hurricane Ridge trip at the end of summer. It was at elevation 6,000 ft Klahhane Ridge I hiked. 24x32. I just started drawing.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Still try finding right value combinations

After watching Tim Deibler's DVD "Finding Geometric Shapes in the Landscape", he gave me for free at the last workshop, I tried filling all background (colored area) with more proper values. The foreground should be more lighter but also more colorful. But now I can see spruce shapes clearer. I used only #8 flat brush for this.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Making Spruce Shapes

Started making spruce shapes. This part is the one I don't know how it would end up. One thing I'm sure now is I have to make the directions of major branches somewhat identifiable to balance with deer and short plant shapes on the bottom half. I'm still not sure the color cordination at the outside of the rectangular.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Roughly Filled Inside of Rectangle

After filling darkest darks in top half, roughly filled bottom half inside of the rectangle with oranges and yellow greens. Now I need to decide the monotone color outside. Originally I was thinking reddish purple, just like I did with "Dash". But now I'm leaning toward some kinds of orage, like deer's body color.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Let's put a landslide in

I decided putting in a rectangular in this painting, which is split into two pieces and the top one is sliding down a little bit. Both top and bottom pieces would have full colors in them and the outside part would be monotone. So, to show the sliding line, I would have to paint an actual line, maybe a dashed line. Since this is the 11th piece for this year I'm going to try finishing it by the end of the month/year. Last year or before, I finished only 10 pieces or less. This would be for my personal record if I could finish by then.
But at the same time, I want to start a new landscape painting as well, which I haven't decided what to paint yet.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

One last round of pushes

If this were me a year ago or before, I would have stopped painting at this point and call it done. I'm now able to see problems and, more importantly, I know how I could fix them. Besides, it's already December and the next clear day for photos after I finish wouldn't come until Tue or Wed. So no need to rush and finish yesterday, the last day of Nov.
First I need to make another big batch of sky colour and re-shape tree edges on the island with sky holes. Then bring up background trees/forest to be lighter. I would touch a little more on the greens and yellows on the island to give them more value contrast. Then finally re-work on the edges of stones to give more sense that most of them are submerged.
That's all I have to finish this piece. After all, this would be one of my best paintings ever. I decided changing the title to "Summer Dream - Crescent Bay" because this view looked exactly like a summer dream in winter.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Changed colors of the ocean

From the rocks on the bottom right corner, moved up to the ocean and changed the colors from purplish blue to a-little-green-tinted blue. Since I mixed quite batch of the color, refined the tree/brush shapes as well on the right edge on the island by putting sky/sea holes between them to make them more natural. Now I'm go back to the island's tree&brush shapes to complete that part. This might be the last update of this painting before finishing it.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Refining Rock Shapes&Contrast

As I was thinking yesterday, I spent good time working on the rocks on the bottom right today. Those are actually darker under the water surface than I thought. I think I made them a little too red. But after putting more contrast in place, they're coming to life. I'll probably need to tone them down later when I redefine negative shapes with sand-through-water colors.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Shapes created by seaweed

Moved on to the bottom part to get this piece finished. But shapes of seaweed aren't decisive and they made this part of painting less interesting and, actually, broke the entire composition. I have to use more straight lines to hold this together as a whole. I might need to define the rock shapes on the right before seaweed. Those rocks are counter-balancing with the island.

Monday, November 18, 2013

First of Oh Deer Series

Next a couple of animal paintings would be deers, based on photos I took during Olympic mountain hiking last summer. I'll call them as "Oh Deer Series". This is the Series I. This deer was on the steep slope with another one when I was climbing up toward the peak. To show the feeling of steepness, I've chosen vertical format and placed the deer below the center. The top half would be filled with dense spruce-like trees, which is dark green and good complementary to deer's reddish body. 22"x16". I almost finished drawing. It would be left until I finishes Crescent Bay. I really need to finish it asap. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Birds are difficult, after all

Well, all the way to the end, I had never satisfied with the goose shapes and colors. I finally gave up. My conclusion is birds are difficult to paint after all. I probably should stick to mammals.

For the rest, I'll try the water surface a little more interesting by adding color variations to finish this piece. I'm planning to complete it this weekend.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Still working on trees on the island

I made the sky a little greener but realized it's too dark. Instead of touching the sky while it's wet, I came back to the trees on the island again. Not much accomplished but at least I put more sky holes to make them thinner. Now I need to move on the the lower bush and the side of the islands, which is quite difficult to determine the colors and values because most of the part is in shadow.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Curving in Trees

Started curving out trees on the small island. I'm testing how bright the background sky should be in comparison with the darker values of trees. Depending on that, I might, or might not, put clouds in the sky to create value changes. All of this is not final yet though. They're also dependent of values of the foreground.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Establishing surrounding water

A little difficult to see the colors but I filled the colors of surrounding water tentatively. Now I really need to improve the geese somehow.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Shapes on the island

I've been working on shapes on the small island on the beach. This reminds me West End, which I struggled with the shapes&colors of bluffs. I made the side of shadowed area too light. I need to knock them down. Then I'll move on to the foreground, submerged area. But at this moment I won't worry much about the colors. Just shapes in detail.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'm not sure how I could finish this

Well, I'm not sure. I keep touching feather tones but I still couldn't see or feel the final image. For landscapes, by the time I get to this point I regularly could see the final picture. With this one, I still couldn't see it. One thing I'm kind of know now is I have to make paint thicker. And probably wet on wet.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Putting Ligher Values in Place

Tonight I covered more surface over exposed under painting. At the same time adjusting the shapes of lighter value parts, I tested contrast between light and shadow, which made this a little more vibrant. It's probably about the time to change brashes from the 1"&1.5" ones to regular bristles to define relations between smaller shapes and putting more strokes on.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Made the bird feather darker

I had to start either light value or dark value on the body of the geese. I decided to start dark value. It means that I need to curve the shapes of feathers with very light value. At this moment the white part of cheek and body is still to dark. Also I want to start putting ripple shapes on the water too.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Still can't finished covering the canvas

I spent more than an hour on this but have covered only about 2/3 of the entire canvas. The main reason is I keep misplacing bigger shapes and need to adjust them gradually. Although the highlighted part of tree greens are quite perfectly spotted. I think because I referenced with other bigger shapes below them.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Shapes, shapes, and still shapes...

I know this is just my second bird painting after "Seagulls". But I'm still struggling with the bird shape. Maybe because of their aerodynamic shape is difficult to be captured. Or maybe I'm just not experienced enough, unlike Tony Angell (maybe too big to compare with, ha-ha).
Anyhow, I'll keep pushing it until I get something that gives me some degree of satisfaction.   

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Large (relatively) painting for Crescent Bay

I started a large (26x32) painting for Crescent Bay where I painted on site near it earlier this month (opposite side of salt creek campground). This is the view toward west. I kind of know I need to use cobalt blue at the end for the color of ocean, which I haven't used for years. But at this moment, I'm just trying to place bigger shapes on the large canvas after putting on purple under painting and very vague drawing. It would take some time to just cover the entire canvas with base colors & shapes.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Low Tide 2

After I did basic drawing, I painted background as well as all sides with light water blue. Since I painted top&bottom sides, I need to leave it at least a couple days before I can set it on an easel.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I think "Low Tide" was wrong...

Tonight after I came back from a group artwalk with friends in Seattle, I finished Rosario Beach. Then looked at Low Tide again.
Suddenly I realized I picked a wrong composition.
The reason being: Look at Summer Breeze I recently finished. It's a great result not because it's painted on a small panel but because it focuses closely to the main subject I wanted to paint. Then look at Low Tide now. It's very difficult because the size of the geese/main subject is very small compared to the canvas size. It wouldn't be a geese painting but a ocean painting.

That's wrong!

I'm now re-cropping the original photo to make the geese bigger on canvas at the same time making the canvas size to 16x16, which is 2" wider vertically. I don't have time tonight to start a new Low Tide. But I'll start making new 16x16 stretched canvas tomorrow night.

Sorry for no photo tonight.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Finishing up Rosario Beach

Although I'm still not satisfied with ripples and reflecting sun, then need to finish up front rock, they wouldn't take too long and I should be able to finish this within a couple of days.
This was especially difficult to decide values obviously. The far part of ocean is, I think, still too dark. But if I touch that part, I need to adjust all the other part relative to that part. Probably it's too risky at this late stage.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

About to be done with this piece

For background, there needs to be a little more value pushing/pulling (mainly pushing) then some adjustment on the horse is also needed. But otherwise, this is almost done. I started this last Saturday so I would say one week project. Not bad.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Quickly getting to the final for the shapes

Once I got main shapes corrected, it didn't take long to get to this stage of the main subject. I'll go back to the background before coming back to the final colors and brush strokes on the horse. After all this is just 12x12.

Monday, September 9, 2013

As always, shapes aren't quite right

As always the case, although I was quite confident with my pencil drawing, I soon came to realize the major shapes weren't quite right and had to re-draw as I filled with more value variations. I'm still adjusting the body shapes as well as the face shapes.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

This was not planned but...

Since PLG will have "Around the Block" show next month, I suddenly decided making a quick horse painting on a cradled pre-primed 12x12 panel, which I got at Dan Smith today for about $6. The dead line is Oct.6 but I would need to finish at least a week ahead to let the paint dry. So I sketched with a pencil in detail and put the darkest colors without underpainting. The horse is whitish so the white surface would actually become good reference. I would need to fill with background green soon.

Monday, September 2, 2013

I ended up like this...

Although I still need to adjust colors on dark part of water, this is how I ended up. This is the situation impressionists would use fat short strokes and let the primary colors get mixed through viewer's eyes. Instead I used a smaller brush (#5) with mid-length strokes, which created more realistic outcome. I guess I unconsciously intended it. Since at least values are much closer to the final, I'll go back to the rocks again to match value-wise.

Time to start defining the biggest mass

Although I'm still working on the shapes on the fore-ground rock, it's time I need to fill up the water and ripples to define the values of the painting as a whole. Otherwise, I can't determine the values of rock shapes and lighter part on them, as well as the colors/temperatures.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Started working on Rocks

Value relations as well as color temperature relations might not be right at this moment but I started working on those rocks and you can get the idea from this photo. I had to curve in with light color of water to see values/colors on the rocks better. I'll keep working on this a while.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Detailing Geese Shape

Re-shaped the geese a little more. Also realized the rocks were too big compared to the geese. I curved them in too.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Starting from Background

Started from the background sky. When I put the light water colors, I realized the sky was a little too dark. It has to be lighter than the water beneath. I'll probably come back almost at the end. I'll put more details on the rocks next.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Geese at Rosario Beach

I don't exactly remember when I took this photo at Rosario Beach. I've been visiting there so many times by now. But probably last year. Or maybe even this year. I think it was in the morning when tide was low. 14"x23" because I wanted to keep the oval shapes of ripples in around the rocks. I originally thought putting an exact oval in like the recent two animal paintings. But it would require me more time to finish. So I'll try natural oval instead and let the colors fade outside of the oval.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bowman Bay

After Tim Deibler's workshop, I'd been thinking switching stretched canvas to canvas on a board for plein air. So I made a wet board carrier for 11x14x1/8 re-using two panels from the old pochard box, which I no longer use. I taped 9x12 gessoed canvas on a board then slot it in one of three slots in the carrier.
Today I went to Bowman Bay, near Deception Pass and next to Rosario Beach, then tested this box. As you can see in the photos, it works perfectly. The green snap-lock band I bought for my motorcycle's side bag, which I barely use, can tie the lid in place to secure the boards. So the cost was only for the poplar board for the sides, which cost me about 5 bucks. I'm very pleased with the outcome. The painting surface of the taped canvas is about 8 1/2 x 11 1/2.
I'll use this again for the next Hurricane Ridge vacation at the end of the month and all plein air in the future. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Big Color Masses

While I was filling huge color masses with my favorite 1" flat brush, I kept thinking what kind of colors I want to use for each part and transition between parts. The entire painting would be very cool color temperature wise. Only a few areas - like reflection of sun light, lower sky, and vegetation on the front rock - would be warmer. Also I decided to remove rocks on the low-left corner to pull the water and reflection of light down to the bottom. It would take good imagination because this part didn't exist in the scene. I hope this decision would turn out ok at the end.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Adding fences

After refining the face shapes of the horse, I adjusted values of front lumber fence then added wires. At this moment, I just wanted to make those values close to the final. I'm still not sure how to handle the edge of the circle.

Friday, August 2, 2013

New lanscape painting - Rosario Beach

New landscape painting I started is Rosario Beach, which probably many painters painted. This is along the theme "water(H2O) in NW" I started last year. I have some plan for a couple of more but the last one in the series would be snow scape.

Anyway, I've chosen unusual light setting: against reflecting sun on the water. I painted this on site just about a year ago. The size is 22"x24". I'm still undecided if the middle rocks should be further away or closer to the front rocks. The key would actually be ripples on the water, somewhat like "Seagulls", and the reflected saturated sun light.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tim Deibler Workshop - Day 2 & 3

The photos above are the outcome of the rest of the workshop this weekend. The red rock painting was from Day1's 1.5h session. Other two on the left are from Day2 plein air, which was mostly failures. Then the right one is from Day3 in the art center. What I've learned were quite similar, if not the same, to ones I keep hearing from other workshops in the past:
1. Don't use white straight from the tube
2. Define the value relationship in the scene (lightest, darkest, mid values) then lay them down on the canvas first.
3. find color temperature relationship, warm and cool, in the scene and keep the relative relationship when you mix&put colors on.

These are the basics from the workshop. But also I was making the same mistakes again and again, like evenly divided distances between the same shapes like trees and the same size of similar shapes like rocks, etc. I'll re-consider the size of canvas for my plein air again. Down to 9"x12". And maybe put a cut gessoed canvas (9x12) on a board (10x13), which would probably save money for me for stretcher bars. Those are all practices anyway. Not for sale. And more importantly they would be easier to carry in bulk even when they're wet.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 1 paintings

These are the outcomes from the first two 1 hour painting sessions. Top one is from a BW photo, and the bottom one is from a color version.

Tim Deibler Workshop - Demo night

Today was the Day 1 of Tim Deibler [] workshop at Winslow Art Center on Bainbridge Island. Then he provided a 2.5h demo to public tonight with this 30"x40" canvas. The photo was taken at a break after 1.5h mark. I haven't seen any demos with this big size of canvas before. He's really quick painter with quick wiggling strokes. After finishing the first block in with thinner paints, he stopped using paint thinner other than when he really needed to clean his brush. He painted this with almost only one brush (#8 flat Utrecht 209 series?).

Day time, we did 2 one hour paintings (I used 9"x12" canvas pads) and 1.5h painting. I'll take photos of them tomorrow evening and post. Basically summarizing values of the subject down to three ranges: lightest, darkest, and mid value. Then blocking them in with proper value relationship between large shapes, which I keep hearing from Mitch Albala, Jim Lamb, and so on. I started using more and more paints lately and I realized I need to take bigger tubes of basic colors tomorrow. This is a good sign of improvement on my skills and techniques.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Getting closer and closer...

As always the case, finally, really finally, it's getting closer to what I wanted in the front ground. The colors of the river is done as well as the left river banks. Now I need to refine colors of the right side. The trees are good enough by now. What kind of earth color combination I could make and how are the keys now.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Refining front ground slopes

I spent a couple hours yesterday, then a couple more hours this morning, a couple more in the afternoon, then more in the evening on this piece. Refined the shapes and tried different temperatures on the front ground slopes. That part is getting better finally. I need to adjust values and shapes on the background snow mountains next.
It's not going as fast as I want, but getting better for sure. Have to be patient.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Came back to the horse

Tonight I came back to this horse and added some layers in the background. This part is supposed to be monotone and values aren't quite there yet but the shapes aren't too bad at the same time.  I need to keep refining.
Since I couldn't finish any pieces last month I have to finish two pieces this month. That's why I came back to this while still struggling with Kootenay Sky.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Started Committing

After coming back from Choochokam Arts Festival, where I saw some good painters' demonstrations like Jim Lamb, Ned Mueller, Barbara Barry, etc., I finally started committing on this painting. I mixed some batches of mountain and snow colors and laid them down with thicker applications.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Double Bluff - again

Day 2 of Jim Lamb plein air workshop started at Double Bluff Beach again in early morning. I painted west bluff looking toward west and an isolated sea water on the beach, which Jim demoed last year. It went relatively well by remembering his demo.
However, the second piece I started about noon didn't go well mainly because strong sun light (temp was about 90) shifted and washed colors away in both sun lit part and shadow part. I was kind of lost. Jim helped salvaging this a little bit like adding pattern on the foreground and dark red trees. But I gave up.

For both paintings, mixing enough batch of common green helped me a lot. I should make this my habit.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

"Emmert Vista II"

Today I joined Jim Lamb's plein air workshop Day 1, hosted by WIFAS(Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio), Cary Jurriaan, on the island. Until this morning we didn't know where we would paint today. It was at the former president of UW, or the current NCAA president Mark Emmert's place, near Cultus Bay, south end of the island. Mark Emmert is apparently one of Cary's friends on the island. In the afternoon, while we were painting, Mark came back from the East Coast where he works and I exchanges some words with him. He liked my Moto Guzzi V7 but his wife cut off our conversation and asked me not to recommend with a smile...I had to let him stay away from trouble.

Anyway, above is the outcome of today's session. After finished initial block out with wider brush, I run out of base green mixture and struggled putting more layers on top of it. Lesson1: make a enough batch of major colors expected to use a lot.
I think the tree shapes and colors are ok. Jim said sky is too cool and I should worm and lighten it up. He demonstrated on my canvas, which I later destroyed mushing up with greens. He also commented the orange grass is too hot. I should have made more pinkish or something like that.
But after all, I think I picked a proper composition and made a good progress on learning plein air today.
I'm looking forward to the session tomorrow.