Monday, December 29, 2014

Filling up blank spaces

Randomly started filling the blank spaces for the animals and the background. Surprisingly not much to fix bigger shapes while doing that. Maybe because the composition is quite simple.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Started New Animal Painting

I finally decided I had enough and put the last deer painting aside, or gave up, and started a new horse painting from a Moses Coulee photo.

Also I decided to go back to the basic instead of modifying the scene to fit geometric shapes in, and follow my instincts. This image can tell easily how it's working out.

After putting the basic drawing in I blocked the darkest part then filled three sections of  background. The size is 18x20.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Wasted no time and started a new landscape

After finishing Snow Lake Trail, I wasted no time and started painting a new landscape. This is from a photo taken at my May painting trip to Moses Coulee. At that time I painted a scene looking toward South West from the dog leg corner of Palisades Rd. This one is looking toward South East from the same point. In this direction the table rocks are lower but have more steps and variations, then continuous. Also I liked the color change in the foreground dirt road. The size is 18x28.
It's more looking into the direction light is coming from. So not much distinction between shadowed area and cast shadows. Also some part of ground is darker because of clouds above. Those would be the main challenges in addition to the texture of rocks.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Started finishing this piece

Finally, finally I can see the end of the tunnel. After touching the trees in the background I came back and started adding more contrast and texture on the foreground rocks. I still have to decide how to finish the vegetation in the foreground but I'll just follow my instincts.
This would be the last update, then I'll start a new landscape during the holiday week. Hopefully the next one wouldn't take four months.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Skyline has been defined

Sky and the edges of the mountains have been defined tonight. I probably wouldn't come back and touche them further. The shadow area still need more refinement but I'm getting there for sure.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I feel all areas are covered now

I don't even remember how many months it took me to get this stage on this, but finally I feel I covered the entire canvas. Now I can go circle around and keep enhancing and fixing colors, values, and smaller shapes in each area to finish.

I feel a big relief.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Painted like crazy

Spent just a little more than an hour but painted like crazy in the background. This was the main problem I couldn't move forward for months. I didn't get the context conformed while painting on the main subject previously. It didn't matter if each shape and color is proper or not. I only cared about values.

Now I can see the deer much clearly that I've never seen since the beginning of this painting.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kept working on the same area

Worked on the same area again today. The rock colors are getting better in addition to more value contrast between lit and shadow part. But the grass on the right should have been more yellowish rather than pinkish.

But I'll leave it as is for now and move on to the other area now.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Came back to this piece again

I haven't updated for this since Oct. 6. More than a month. But I've been working on the front ground on the right side of the canvas. Since it's the closest I need to put more details with sharper edges, and more color/value changes. I guess it's still too purple. I need to gray it down.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Believe it or not, I haven't given this up...

...just yet. I figured I wouldn't be able to proceed any more with this less high-lighted cloudy scene with geometric shapes in.

So, I decided to go back to basic plain painting. If it doesn't work I would give up. But just wanted to give a last chance.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Painting near Lake Wenatchee Again

I went to Lake Wenatchee again today. This time I rode around upper Little Wenatchee River and Fish Lake, but set up my easel on the bridge over Wenatchee River, just starting off from Lake Wenatchee.

Clouds were thick at the beginning then Sun started peeking through, and it was sunny at the end. So the light changes fooled me and, as the result, the part of brush where sun light didn't directly hit was too light, losing contrast with the directly-lit part. Background forest's value is about right. Just doesn't have enough contrast between the top part and the bottom part, which was quite dark.

Even when I was painting, I didn't like the color of river water. I should have spent more time to get proper colors/values.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

painting near Lake Wenatchee

Today I woke up a little earlier and went over the mountains to paint since I thought I might have a good chance to have sunshine over there. I was only half right.
It was clouded and the sun was struggling to come out. But regardless I set up my easel when I found a creek in a swampy area leading toward the mountains.
I felt (actually they were) the backdrop mountain colors were too light. I should have made the midrange green more darker.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Worked on the shapes at the focal point

I worked on the focal point shapes in the middle of this painting so that I can work around the area gradually toward the edges. However, I'm still not satisfied what I got here. I'll work the area a little longer before move on to the surrounding areas.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Almost done with the cow

I might go back and change some shadow colors and minor details and highlights further. But it's basically done by now. I added some odd hot colors to highlighted part by accident but turned out ok. So I would leave those as is.

Then I'll let it dry for next week before submitting it to PLG show on the Sunday.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Refining head shape

Tonight I further defined the head shape. It might be the time I have to put more paint on it.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cow for "Around the Block"

Although I haven't finished the deer yet, I quickly started working on a 12x12 cow painting for PLG's Around the Block show. The entry is on 10/5(Sun) so I have to finish this this week to let it dry for one week before the date.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Started a new landscape

Started a new landscape painting. The original photo was taken last Oct when I hiked up Snow Lake Trail. The trail head starts near the parking lot of Snoqualmie Pass Alpental ski area. First I couldn't decide the size but finally decided a little smaller; 20"x28". But still used medium duty stretchers.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

North Cascade Vacation - Day 4

Last night I stayed in Winthrop and heard rain hitting hard on the roof of my single story lodge at dawn so I thought I would just need to rode past the mountain to go home today.

I was wrong! It didn't rain much and even on the east side of the pass, I got good view of Liberty Bell Mountain between the clouds. I stopped there and set up my easel and started painting, and that's when the clouds started clearing up magically and blue sky showed up.

At the end, 4 miles from home I got a motorcycle problem and got it towed to home, but otherwise this vacation was quite successful for all account than I imagined.

Friday, August 22, 2014

North Cascade Vacation - Day 2

Since yesterday I'm officially on vacation and hiked the back mountains of Durrington up to Crystal Lake and staying two nights in Marblemount. This morning I rode up to Diablo Lake to paint. Weather wasn't too good and at the end when I started putting the finishing touches rain started dropping. I also left my camera at the lodge. But the outcome wasn't too bad either. I wanted to put more lighter values on the top side of the mountains since lights are coming down through the clouds but didn't have time for that unfortunately.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Not much more I can improve

Still working on the clouds but suddenly I started feeling I can't improve this much any more. I want to put more sky blue into the cloud areas otherwise orange underpainting is still showing up. I want to make those cooler. Then probably go back to the rocks. Then this is done.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Made trees more solid

As I wrote before I came back to the trees and made them solid and even added some lighter valued branches. I think I can leave stones as is for now and work on the sky&clouds again.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Adding layers on sky and clouds

Gradually adding layers on sky and clouds to come up with shapes and colors I desire. At the same time I'm curving into the tree shapes to define edges against them. It might be about time I need to put more pigments to the trees again. At some part, orage of underpainting is showing up.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Moving on to Sky/Clouds

Getting a little tired of stones on the ground. I just can't decide what kind of color each part should get. So decided to move on to the sky and defining edges of ground and trees next to sky. The thick cloud part is the lightest and slightly warmer compared to thin clouds.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Rachel Lake Hiking

Since last week I hiked a wrong trail, I went back again and found the official Rachel Lake trail #1313 trailhead and hiked up. It took me about 3 hours to get to the lake and took a little more than 2 hours to come down. The trail actually continues to Rampart Ridge from there but it was already 2PM so I decided to go down. The trail was along a creek so I enjoyed view of many water falls. No wonder why this trail is so popular. I saw many people along the trail.

At the end when I came down to the trailhead, I saw a chipmunk stayed still on the road. I took a couple of shots with my Nikon P520. The clear/close shot like below was not possible until I got this camera, which has x42 zoom. Looks like it found food a camper or hiker left behind.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Some progress on rocks

Still only half of rocks I worked on so far, but still progress. Maybe before working on the rest of rocks I should define the detail of trees by curving in from the background clouds and sky. Then I could see how the final would look like.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lost in Box Canyon

Again, this is not directly art-related. But I'll most likely paint one out of this hiking photos or from the next hiking in the near future because I almost lost in the forest and wondered around about 2 hours before finally found the lower trail, which was actually not the one I intended to hike today. Apparently I was on a wrong trail from the beginning! I figured it out only after I came home and researched again with google map.

The trailhead parking was accessible only from Kachess Lake (east side) and at the end of 3 mile dirt road. I apparently missed the trailhead on the right hand side the road and, instead, kept going along NF-4930. No wonder why it ended unexpectedly and I had to climb up steep forest slope without trail. I took above photo on a big rock when I decided giving up finding the lake and turning around. It was about 1PM. On my way down, I climbed down straightly to the creek because Box Canyon Creek flows along the trail. Only problem was the creek I thought it was Canyon Creek was actually its West Fork, which flows in a distance from NF-4930. As the result, I couldn't get back on the NF road, then lost.

I don't want to talk how treacherous the path was, which I had to walk through. I fell not only a couple of times because I couldn't see my footage due to thick low trees and vegetation. Sometimes it was swampy. Many of low bushes had thorns, and so on.

Anyway, the bottom line is I came down safely only with some minor cuts and bruises. I saw some hikers at the parking when I got back. I never saw along MY trail, and wondering where they were hiking. I promise I'll try again soon.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Started defining edges of rocks

I haven't touched this for more than month. But finally decided to define edges of rock shapes with much thicker applications (look at two distinctive rocks in the middle of the image).
Although I still can't decide how light those lighted part of rocks should be, I'm sure those should not this much purple but rather greyer.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Columbia River Gorge trip

Over the last holiday weekend I rode down to Portland then Columbia River Gorge. In Portland I visited PAM and galleries except Elizabeth Reach Gallery, which was closed over the weekend. I stayed at Stevenson, WA, at the second night and painted there. Originally I was thinking going back to Oregon side but afraid of the crowd I experienced a day before.

I can clearly say the far mountains and greens on them were still too dark compared to the trees in front. Then sky is too blue purple (I should have mixed more yellow). I think those ruined this composition. I need to try it again somewhere.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Kendall Peaks Lake Hiking

Well, this is not directly related to any art activity. But I might paint something out of photos I took during this hiking to Kendall Peaks Lake.

Most of the trail is a logging road then the final part forked out but very narrow and covered by snow so I couldn't find where it begins good 20 min or so. I walked up and down along the logging road then eventually made up my mind and go cutting through low trees. After 10 - 20 ft into it, I found a faint sign of trail at a gap of snow patches. The rest was easy down slope to the lake.
I started walking at 9:50A and arrived the lake about 1PM after lunch. So it's about 3 hours to get there. Coming down took me 1.5h total.

The lake was very nice but most of the trail was not so impressive. No wonder why I didn't meet any other hikers.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Refining Deer Shape

Forgetting about the background a while I started refining the shape of the main subject. Still not satisfied with antlers, but it's getting there. I might work on the ground in the larger oval next.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Roughly covered the canvas

Using a #8 flat brush I covered the entire canvas very roughly. Now the composition is very clear and I can see possible next actions I need to take. I'll probably work on the rocks on the ground next.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Still Numbers Game

At this early stage, I'm still painting by numbers, like #1 section this color this value, #2 section .... and so on. I'll make the deer shape more definitive first, which is the main subject of this painting. Value shift inside of three geometric shapes is the next important thing after that.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Late Summer High Clouds

I just started this landscape after I finished (almost) the Klahhane Ridge. This is from the same vacation viewed from Klahhane Ridge. Although it was still summer day, the clouds above mountains were already fall's. Just like as if looking up upside-down Japanese sand garden, which was raked neatly. The blue sky looked as if a big pond in the garden. I'm going to try creating texture of the clouds. 26x28.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fiddling with drawing

I'm still fiddling with drawing for this painting. The problem to start with was the upper oval was a little wider than I was planning. Then the deer shape drawn relative to the oval was off balanced as the result, while the positions and size of paws were fine because they were relative to the lower oval.
But the position of deer's left eye is correct. So now I can draw/paint everything relative to the eye. Now I might not need to correct the oval any more.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Finishing up this landscape

I'm trying to finish this up over this holiday weekend. It's taking too much, or waiting too long for this to magically turn into a master piece, which was not happening. But I definitely have learned lessons for last 5 months. I guess it's enough now.

Hope I don't have to update this any more as I'm intending.

New Animal Painting

A new deer painting has two oval shapes and one rectangle in it. It' difficult to draw perfect ovals by hand. But they don't have to be perfect anyway.
Those three shapes represent planes of air contains the background objects.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Need a change

I realized I hadn't touched this painting this month. So I did tonight. But I needed a change to get this painting going. Very common trick I came up with was upside down. Then came to understand the key was the dark part of pointing trees, which is holding the big rocky mountain. I need to push more values for those parts to spice up this.

I kind of decided I had to finish this within this month. Memorial Day weekend would be the good time to push this close to the end.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Moses Coulee

Yesterday, I rode my motorcycle to get to La Conner to attend a panel discussion about John Cole and his arts. I arrived 45 min late due to a couple of mistakes/miscalculations I made. So I could see/hear only last 20 min. But it was good enough.

After coming back home, I quickly load up my painting stuff on the motorcycle and took off to get to Quincy where I booked a motel room for the night.  Then this morning I rode to Moses Coulee and painted at the side of a gravel mountain road. It was gorgeous morning to paint the big scene.

Since I spent some time to make a thumb nail sketch, the composition and proportion of the bluffs are about right. I think. The colors of sagebrush is still challenging especially where the clouds high above cast shadow on.

I took more than 100 photos with my new (used) Nikon p520. I would probably make bigger paintings not only for this scene but also from other photos. I had a very good time out there.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Getting tired of this...

Looks like I failed again with the background of this barrel race series. I wanted to make the background more random but ended up painting bleachers. I'll finish this up soon after putting more highlight or color contrast on the main subjects. The rest is auxiliary. This would be the last update.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Added more layers on clouds

This is the first photo taken with a new (used) Nikon P520 I recently won through eBay bidding. It's quite huge with 18MP of image.
Anyhow, I spent a lot of white to put more layers on the clouds. Since I haven't adjusted much of the values on the ridge the edges are still quite sharp. I need to wait a while until the new layers become touchable before I can adjust those values and colors.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Expanded mid-range coverage toward right

Tonight I continued what I was doing yesterday and covered further right side of the ridge. At the same time I brightened the edges of rocks to make them sharper. So far so good. I now need to go up toward the cloud covered peak, which viewer's eyes would eventually reach and rest. The edges there should be much softer.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Filling out midrange ridge

Filled the ridge in the middle. But couldn't define edges yet. colors of trees are still inconsistent. It would take quite some time for the area to take shape (sigh).

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jim Lamb Demo at Daniel Smith Seattle

Starting at 11AM Jim Lamb was demonstrating his painting process just like he would do at any workshops. First 30 min was Q&A about his setting, material, plein air environment, and so on then actual painting session was about 1.5 h, which is very typical for his demonstration for the size of 8 x 10 or similar. Last time I took his workshop was more than a year ago, I believe. But I still remember what he repeatedly said. After that, I took two Tim Deibler's workshops over last 10 months or so.
Jim's distinctive style is characterized by the simple palette, relatively thin layers almost until the last stage, and the funny brushes he prefers. Then of course his way of pushing dark until the end, which create very atmospheric paintings like John McCormick's in SFO.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hesitating filling the background

Added more value contrast to the shirt and hat then made highlighted part lighter. At that same time I tried putting some values into the background but couldn't decide how to handle it yet. I'll define more horse legs next then fill the ground part. Only after that I would try the background again.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Further pushed colors and values in frontground

Kept working on the front ground today. Maybe about the time to move on to the mid range, which should be lighter than the current values. Also it's too purplish now.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Figures are taking shapes

Although values are hodgepodge those figures are almost taking the final shapes. The problem is the background. I don't want to paint the bleachers accurately like I did in the past. Instead, I want to come up with some random patterns to imply bleachers without painting bench by bench. I'm not sure how I can do that at this moment though.   

Monday, April 7, 2014

Started applying thicker paint

As you can see obviously I started added bold strokes with thicker paint on the foreground trail and rocks around. Colors, values and edges maybe far from completion. But it's obviously getting lively. I need to use more short straight strokes for rock shapes to differentiate them from the ground. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

La Conner Visit

Today I had the first long ride of the year to Skagit Valley mainly to visit MoNA(Museum of Northwest Art) to see John Cole exhibit, which was really good especially for his earlier works including cubism.
Then another good thing happened at La Conner Seaside Gallery. I personally talked to Alfred Currier (below image is from the Gallery website).
Then lastly I painted along Best Rd looking toward east (top image) beyond tulip fields. I had two frustraions: 1) I couldn't come up with good colors for distant trees along Skagit River, and 2) oil paint didn't flow well on the surface (canvas paper) although I mixed more than I regularly do. I didn't use pallet knife though. By considering this is the first plein air of the season all together, I'm mildly satisfied with the outcome. I'll try mixing more paint next time.