Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Waiting for the Night

We were down on Pier 4 last week to do a nocturne. We arrived at 5 p and the sun didn't set until 9 so we had lots of time to do some warm up paintings. The view on one side was across the bay to the high level bridge and the other way was towards the skyway bridge. I am playing with a new palette and I am determined to get control of Phthalo Blue.  It is very intense and wants to take over everything.



This first painting is looking towards the high level bridge.  This is a very imposing structure that few artists have managed to capture very well.  There is lots wrong with this painting and yet I like it.  This palette may just work for me.




This second painting is of the same scene.  I elected to leave out the forground structures, move the bridge away from dead center and let the phthalo blue show more to its advantage.  I like this one even more.  I am on a roll.



This third painting was done just as the sun was setting and lights were beginning to come on.  I wanted to paint the skyway in the dark so this was a set up painting for my final of the night.  I am excited about this one mostly because I used phthalo in three painting is one night and I like all three.


Bring on the dark.  That is for next post.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

I Got Agressive

Catherine Gibbon told me to pay more attention to the light and while looking at my past paintings I reached the conclusion that I have to be less timid when I paint.  My best work, in my mind, is where I was bolder in both brush strokes and colour.  If I am not sure how I want to approach a subject I get cautious and mix little piles of paint and keep reworking it in an attempt to get it right. I need to mix big piles of paint, get the colour right, load up my brush and think about every stroke.

We were at Cedar Haven Farm on Tuesday evening.  I love this place and am always inspired here.  I did three paintings.  The first one took about an hour and a half and was just okay so I wont post it.


This one was done in about 45 minutes and is much better.  I decided to step outside my box and did a magenta underpainting.  This colour was so intense that anything that I put on top of it seemed very dull in comparison.  I also discovered that a glaze of yellow turns the magenta into the  beautiful warm orange seen in the foreground.




This third and last painting was painted in about fifteen minutes while I stood in the parking area waiting for everyone to gather.  The sun was just starting to set and I made no attempt to tone down the magenta.  I am really excited about where this will take me.  Catherine said that she thought that this was my best painting ever.  High praise from my mentor.  I think that I might just agree with her.  I know Debbie does.

This is going to get exciting.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

It was Hot

I am not sure what the temperature reached yesterday but it was above 30C.  That is way too hot for May especially considering how cool it has been the last while.  I stood in the heat fighting with acrylic paint that was drying incredibly quickly and tried to focus on what I was doing.  I was in a lets just get this done mood and maybe that was a good thing.  I have tried painting the Mcquesten bridge many times and failed miserably every one.  Only time will tell but I kind of like this painting. 

This just proves that I do my best outdoor paintings when I don't overthink the process.  I just block in the shapes and let the painting tell me what it wants. 

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Made in Dundas

The annual Made in Dundas festival at the Dundas Museum and Archives has tons of activities for kids.  Everything from a petting zoo to crafts, puppet show, face painting, fire truck and much more.  It was very hot and very busy with parents chasing their children from activity to activity.  Deb Carson and I were right in the thick of it merrily painting away.  The idea was that we would promote our exhibition inside however all the adults were too busy with the activities to chat with us for more than a moment or two. 


This second painting was an experiment.  I had this painting of Moon Bay that I kind of liked but the sky was too blotchy and the water wasn't quite right.  Catherine Gibbon suggested that the water could be darker so I decided to glaze over the water to darken it and the sky to smooth it out and lighten it a little.  I am now really happy with this painting.  I am going back to play with more of my disasters to see if I can work some more magic..

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Time to Breathe

Four exhibitions and a torn medial collateral ligament and torn meniscus and it has been a bit crazy for me.  The last of the shows is hung and my knee is improving, albeit very slowly, so I have some time to regroup.  I have been very happy with my painting the last couple of weeks.  Not much worth posting but I am getting excited about were I am headed.  More colour and more contrast makes for much more fun and satisfaction.There are a couple of issues with this painting but none that I can't live with. 

This painting was done in Courtcliff Park.  I painted three paintings Tuesday night and I learned a lot from each of them even though two were pretty bad.  This one is 11" X 14" and was painted in about 30 minutes because the sun was getting ready to set behind me.  I love the wonderful warm colours in the late evening.


I think that this is one of my best acrylic paintings and that excites me.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Adjustment Time

I sprained my knee about six weeks ago and not only is it slowing me down it limits how long I can comfortably stand at my easel.
A painting of the view from the Crack in Killarney Provincial Park
I spent some more time working on my colour study for the commission.  I am getting really excited about this now.  I am happier with both the rocks and the clouds.  Now that the clouds are showing better depth I may fiddle with the mid ground a bit.

If I get this one perfect what will happen when I start the larger finished version?  No pressure!

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Now Colour

Last post I introduced my latest commission and posted images of my value sketches. I am reposting the value sketch here. This scene is all about depth and to properly represent the huge expanse stretching to Georgian Bay I need to get the values, colours and shape sizes correct.

I have now done a colour study.  This is 9" X 12" and the desired finished painting will be 12" X 16"  The purpose of this study is to play with shapes and colours keeping in mind the values from the previous study. I need to lighten the foreground rocks to make them believable, lighten the dark midground trees on the right to push them back and the far distant landscape is possibly too light and maybe just little too blue but I can't make that call until I make the other changes.


 I am starting to think that I can make this composition work.