Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Superstition, take 2

Well I think it's just about finished. It took a bit longer, since this one is 24x24.I took photos of the in-progress painting each day. Perhaps you are curious to see how a painting evolves over the course of my painting process...

I made all the images the same size. So, if you click the "next" arrow, it should be like a flip book of sorts and you can see the painting go from start to completion.

I think I am going to put on some more glazes. I would like to dull down the blue rocks in the shadows. They are a little too light right now. The camera made them appear a little bit lighter than they actually are, but it's still something I need to address.

I also need to work more on foregrounds. Painting the desert can be tough. It's hard to get all the muted greens, along with the peach and pink colors of the dirt with minimal brushstrokes. I think my foreground looks a little too lush. I think it's effective in the middle to background hills, but there's still a lot I need to work on with the nearest hills.

I tried out a couple new colors as well. Mars Violet from Williamsburg was one of them. When mixed with ultramarine and white it makes some nice muted purples. I used it a lot in the shadowed sides of the mountain.

I picked up a tube of W&N Cremnitz white (Lead white) and used that instead of Old Holland, since this canvas is pretty big and I can't afford to use up half a tube of that on one painting. I also used a little bit of Prussian Blue to get some of the greens.

My full palette
-Cremnitz (W&N)
-Naples Yellow (O.H.)
-Yellow Ochre (Rembrandt)
-Cad Red Medium (O.H.)
-Red Ochre (O.H.)
-Mars Violet (Williamsburg)
-Ultramarine (W&N)
-Prussian Blue (Gamblin)
-Sap Green (Rembrandt)
-Green Earth (O.H.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Guerrilla Box and some painting progress

After reading some reviews online I decided to buy a Guerrilla Box. I bought the 9x12 Pochade  box at Utrecht today. I think it was around $169. A little pricey, but I have been really impressed with the quality. It has a piece on the bottom to be connected to a tripod. I'm using the ancient family camcorder tripod.

 It's nice and spacious inside. Plenty of room for tubes of paint and mediums. The enclosed leaflet says it can store multiple wet 9x12 panels inside. That's great for backpacking, which is something I plan on doing really soon. Can't wait to get outside and try it out.
I also have some work in progress shots of new paintings. First up is the Superstition one from last time. The color is now blocked in, so the next step is some dark glazes and highlight layers...

I decided to revisit the last Superstition mountains painting I did. This time it's on a 2 foot square canvas. I don't normally work much larger than one foot. I also decided to extend the foreground, and put it in shadow. I think it will help focus on the shapes in the rocks created by the sunlight.

The color has been lightly sketched in, over a reddish-brown toned canvas. Since there's no sky I think it makes the mountains seem much larger, and now that it's on a bigger canvas it should seem more towering than before.

"I won't be a rock star. I will be a legend." -Freddie Mercury

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Done and on to the next one

Finished the latest Sedona painting. Things have been really busy lately at the gallery and I haven't had much time to paint. It feels good to mess around with oils again.

There was a cropped-off mountain on the right side, you can see it in the older photo from last week. I thought it would make the composition better by removing it. I'm happier with the result.

And on to the next one. I went to Lost Dutchman State Park a couple weeks ago and took some pictures from the hiking trails. Here's another view of the Superstition Mountains. There's something about the geology there that I really like painting.

I toned the canvas with some scrap paint (When I clean my palette after each painting session I mix a muddy mixture from the unused paint and save it for next time. It makes a good neutral color for mixing or simply for toning canvases).

Then I sketched with charcoal, followed by some sketching with thinner and the mud mixture.

Now it's time to begin adding color...

It seems like I forgot to post some music for the past couple of weeks. Here's what I'm listening to right now. A great cover of Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone by The Rolling Stones. Bob Dylan really is a master of lyrics. Check out Hurricane if you haven't heard it before. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sedona (in progress)

I started another painting a few days ago, and I made some good progress last night. I went to Sedona not too long ago and took tons of photos. This was taken early in the morning. It was cold, but thankfully the sun was out. It was a nice break from the clouds and rain the day before. Anyway, in this painting I'm trying to capture a crisp, cold morning with some warm light. That's my goal, at least.

I like to try something new/different on each painting. Lately I've been experimenting with dark glazes, and then building up highlights out of the dark shapes. The medium I seem to like is mostly thinner, with a little bit of stand oil. The thinner evaporates quickly, leaving a slightly tacky surface from the stand oil. Some painters like to coat the painting with a very thin layer of oil before each painting session (it helps colors flow better and provides a better surface to paint on, among other reasons). I think this method gets the best of both worlds.

My palette so far (Old Holland unless otherwise noted)

Canvas toned with scrap paint from previous painting session. Sketched in with charcoal, followed by burnt umber and thinner.

Flake white
Naples Yellow
Yellow Ochre (Rembrandt)
Cadmium Red Medium
Sedona Genuine (Daniel Smith) <This one is cool because it is made with iron oxide from Sedona.
Venetian Red
Alizarin Crimson
Green Earth