Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Landscape # 6 after Kevin MacPherson

12 inch by 16 inch oil on stretched canvas

I absolutely loved painting this one, and I think it's my favorite so far.

 There are more greens in this painting than in any of the others I have tried.  Mixing greens was tricky.  I didn't use any greens straight from the tube.  I used pthalo green mixed with alizarin crimson to make the dark shadows and varied the mixture from more to less red as needed.  Ultramarine blue mixed with yellows provided the other greens.

MacPherson's painting is titled "Summertime Stillness".   His style of painting is much looser than mine is.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to achieve that.   Even though I'm using a big brush, it's difficult for me to make a bold stroke and leave it!

There are still more paintings in this book that I'd like to try, but I bought his second book, and there is so much in it that I love!  Not enough time!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Spring Hillside

6 inch by 9 inch oil on canvas sheet

This is a small detail that I copied from Kevin MacPerson's painting Laguna Hillside.  I haven't tried painting wildflowers before, and I wanted to try to get patches of color rather than individual flowers.  I found that I was getting mud when I was painting wet into wet last night, so I let it sit to dry overnight.  Today I re-established the bright yellows.  I had fun with this one.  The mood in this painting is much brighter than the previous one.

Have a good weekend!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Where's the Red?

6 inch X 9 inch oil on canvas sheet

I'm still enjoying trying to learn painting landscapes. I remember reading on someone's blog (I'd like to give credit, but I read so many I don't remember) about landscape classes he was taking.  His teacher's mantra was "where's the red?".   His point was that a landscape painting was dull and lifeless without the addition of some red to act as a counterpoint to all the greens.

I have found that to be true.  I add alizarin crimson to the shadows, and burnt sienna and even cad red light to highlights.  Those few strokes can bring a dull area to life.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

White on White Challenge

6 inch X 9 inch oil on canvas sheet

I painted this for the DPW weekly challenge.  I thought I was finished several times, but after I'd come back to it I'd see areas that weren't right.

Painting white really is a challenge!  I've been reading the posts from other people who entered, and we all agree it is difficult.  I could see colors in the reference photo, so I tried to bring those into my painting.

I remember in one of my earliest painting classes, I was struggling to make my "floating fruit" sit down on  the table.  My teacher came by and asked, "Why did you put purple in that shadow?  There isn't any purple there."  I dutifully took it out.   Now I put purple in my shadows if I want to!  Heh.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fast and Loose Lemons

4.5 inch X 6 inch acrylic on canvas sheet

This was a fun painting.  I bought four tubes of acrylic paint--red, yellow, blue and white.  I've seen painters who make an underpainting with acrylic and then paint on that with oils.   I thought I'd like to try it.  

Karen Mathison Schmidt is one of my favorite artists who uses this technique.  She creates rich, luminous paintings with lots of glazing and underpainting.  Check out her blog. 

Anyway, I started out with the paints on a paper plate,  thinking of making an underpainting.  Once I got started, I did the whole thing in acrylic.  They dry fast, so it was a completely different feeling from oils.  I painted  much looser than I do with oils.  And it was fun to see what I could do with just three colors. 
I'll have to try the underpainting another day. 

Have a good weekend! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Landscape # 5 after Kevin MacPherson

12 inch X 16 inch oil on stretched canvas

Another landscape in my quest to paint my way through Kevin MacPerson's book.  This is the first time I have attempted to paint animals.    I worked on this in my weekly class, and for awhile there was a lot of hilarity about the little gray lumps in the foreground.  I put shapes in there, but I didn't try to make them look like sheep until the last day of painting.    There was lots of guessing as to what they would be.

Carol Marine made a comment one day in class that when she was first starting out, even when she didn't think a painting was a success,  she'd try to find maybe one thing that she did like about it.  That would keep her encouraged.  I'm trying to adopt that attitude, so that I don't get totally discouraged.  So....what I like about this painting are the mesquite trees on the right.

However, I find every one of these a great learning experience.  Thanks for visiting!