Thursday, September 29, 2011

Correcting a few problems ?

I'm not really sure I've improved much on the painting, but I did eliminate "trying to capture sunlight hitting the metal roof".  I added a little bit of color to the edge closest to the trees, yes, I was nervous trying anything, but like Celeste said "go on to the next Plein Air painting".  Think thats what I'll do.

The above photo is the corrected version.  (I can never get two photo's to look the same as far as brightness, color saturation... neither one looks 'just' like the painting.

8' x 6" oil, unnamed

This was my painting from the first day of Kathleen's 3 day workshop.  Well, actually I forgot to take a photo of what it looked like after my first day, but take my word for it, it looked nothing like this, just some strange blocked in shapes. This is the painting now after I worked on it a couple of days after I got home.  Just in case you can't tell what it is,  (ahem, lie to me please, tell me you knew what it was, ok?)  it is a barn... with two roofs.  

One of Kathleen's suggestions was that after we have worked on a painting and you think it is going south, ask your self some questions like:  Is it the design? Is it the drawing?  How are your values? etc.  When I question this painting I find that the sunlight that is suppose to be on the barn, that lighter line going from left to right about in the middle of the painting, really doesn't look like sunlight on the metal roof.  I have since attempted to correct that, but it still doesn't look like light hitting the metal roof. Also, in the upper right hand corner when I used a color isolator the afternoon of the workshop I found that the hill side really WAS that value and color, but I'm not sure I've depicted what that is in the painting.  What do you think?

Even though the painting has a number of issues I don't find the whole painting bad ...some things that I do like are my trees, how the light is seen around the edges .. back lit.  .  Also I think I conveyed that it was a bright sunny day. 

What do you think, I'd love to hear your thoughts ... How would you suggest I 'fix' this painting?  Do you see some issues that I didn't?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Learning the hard way ...

I think most of the time, good, really good lessons are learned the hard way.  Such as me leaving my paint box palette filled with paint to harden ... for one week.

See the dried up mess on my almost new Guerrilla paintbox palette below?  Ouch, what a mess.

Next photo you see a paper towel with paint scrapings from the above palette. I ended up using a palette knife, odorless turp and a retractable razor trying to remove the dried on paint.  Some big globs, some small smearings of paint.  All very hard to remove from the wood palette.

After working on this for quite awhile I've finally removed all the paint and I've learned my lesson to never leave the paint on my palette this long again.

In Kathleen Dunphy's workshop her palette was a beautiful grey that had accumulated from wiping up the oils.  After time it had turned a beautiful hard smooth surface.  I think I'll try this next time before my paint dries too hard.  I chalk it up to being new at oils, what do you think?  Have any of you learned this lesson the hard way?

Monday, September 26, 2011

My workshop with Kathleen Dunphy

6" x 8" oil

Whew, just arrived home from a three day workshop with Kathleen Dunphy in Murphys California.  Each of the three days was filled with Kathleen's generous knowledge of oils and plein air painting.  

On our first day we started out with a three hour lecture followed by mixing our paints, then after lunch we went out to paint in the warm afternoon, or should I say I attempted to paint.  Geesh, I was feeling so confident when I arrived and yet I froze with I got out in the field trying to put paint to canvas.  Okay, my first day was less than I had wanted for myself but after I gave myself a little pep talk that evening the next day was much better.  We all met at a local winery at nine the next morning and because it was pretty hot after a demo by Kathleen, I chose to set up my easel in the shade of a beautiful grape arbor facing the front of the wine tasting building.  As I started painting Kathleen came by to see how I was progressing and was pleased with how I had started and her words were just what I needed to continue and not freeze like I had the day before.  The above painting was the results of the day.  I still may do a few more things to my painting, but for the most part I was very happy with the light I caught and the shaded of the front porch.  I am thinking that now I may be able to pull the other two out of the ditch and make them better. 

I was more than happy with my three days at the workshop ...  and I think it was just what I needed to more forward with my goal of painting en plein air in oils as well as studio work using oils.  Right now my head is reeling with all the information I received.  

I hope to share more tid-bits of my trip as the week rolls along.