Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Cassandra is fun

I almost didn't go to the sketch group today but I had to drop a painting off for the Art Gallery of Burlington "Small is Beautiful" show so I decided to stay for the sketch group.  Why is it that when I am not really in the mood that I do some of my best work.  I have sketched Cassandra many times but today I think that I got my best likeness yet. Maybe I should only paint when I am looking for other things to do.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Hidden Valley again

Yesterday was another perfect day to paint.  A clear blue sky and warm enough to paint comfortably without gloves.  The fall colour is well past its peak but the colour that is left stands out against the grey background and the orangish yellow leaves were brilliant against the bright blue sky.  I should have made the sky more blue however I wanted a smooth even hue for the cloudless sky and was concerned that I would end up with too much texture if I went back in.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Bernie again

Bernie has posed many times for our Wednesday morning sketch group and he is always fun to sketch.  He is a wonderful old gentleman who has a really craggy face and always looks miserable. One would think that getting a likeness of a face with this much character would be easier than a plain face that looks like everyone else but I don't find that to be the case.  If you have a person with a very average face all you have to do is get the shapes relatively right and it looks like them.  It looks like a lot of other people too but it looks like them.  With a face like Bernie's you have to get all the odd shapes and nooks and crannies correct or it looks nothing like him. 

I like this sketch but it doesn't look like Bernie or at least it doesn't look the way I feel Bernie should look.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

A Great Day to be Canadian

Yesterday was as close to a perfect day as it gets.  I went out and voted in the morning, painted in shirtsleeves in the sunny afternoon, had a wonderful turkey supper with Debbie, watched the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals and then watched the very divisive Conservative party get removed from power. I love being Canadian.

About a dozen of us gathered at Hidden Valley Park in Burlington to paint fall colours.  The colour was past its peak and not all that impressive however it was sunny and very warm so a great October day to paint.  This pine tree seemed to be dancing in the park and I thought that it could be a very dramatic composition.

I always start a painting by putting a thin layer of a mood setting colour (in this case cadmium red light mixed with transparent iron oxide) on my board using oil paint.  I then wipe out the highlights and add some darks to get a sense form.  This under painting usually gets almost completely covered with more paint however in this case when the painting was complete except for the sky four different artists (all of whom I respect) came by and told me that they loved the sky so guess what. No blue sky.

I kind of like it.  What do you think? 

Saturday, 17 October 2015

We painted at Kerncliff Park in Burlington on Thursday.  It is one of my favourite painting locations at any time but in the fall it is especially grand.  The colour in this old quarry is magnificent and I have failed at every attempt to paint it.  This one is my best to date probably because it is so much fun to let the colourist in me loose.

I spent the week before Thanksgiving paddling in Algonquin Park with my son Nathan and five of his friends.  The very generous deal was that I was exempt from chores provided I painted.  I again failed rather miserably with acrylic paint but I am getting a better feel for how it works so I will keep at it.  You can play with oils but acrylics dry way too fast for my liking.  I used some retarder this time and that helped.  This is the best of the three completed paintings.

I did a few watercolour sketches along the way and this one is of  our mascot "Trojan" who is a rubber chicken that showed up in the oddest places during the trip.