Sunday, March 30, 2014

It's All In Your Head…And Hand…And Heart

Self Portrait

Observing light on a form and translating it into paint on canvas. It's not just seeing. It's grasping the the visual world in a way that you can understand it well enough to describe it on a 2D surface. Finding how to manipulate both the observed form and the paint itself to give an explanation of what you see. The stuff you have to work with is paint, brushes, color, value, shape, edges, contrast. Those are physical things you manipulate. Raw information comes in through the eyes. It goes out through your hand, brush and paint onto the canvas. In between, in the mind and in the heart is where the stuff really happens.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Painting a Head

It's been awhile since I've painted from a model, I went to scottsdale Artist School last Saturday and painted a head. I know some artists who seem to never lose their chops. For me, if I'm not doing it regularly, I feel it. I had to really work on this. I painted a couple of hours at the school and then reworked it for a couple more at home. Although I see more I should do with some of the forms, it's now fairly satisfying. But I see I need to be doing this more often.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

De La Tour and and Egyptian Tombs

One of my favorite artists is Georges de La Tour. As a young boy I saw a painting of his at the LA County Museum of Art and was hooked. Of course, with his dramatic lighting he is easy to like, even for an unschooled young boy. But his work has stuck with me. When we went to Paris a number of years ago, I was again struck by the the beauty of his work. 
So, when I came to this part of the book I am illustrating, I was excited to borrow some influence from my old French Friend.

I'm working in gouache here. As I've mentioned before, it can be a little tricky because the light and middle-tone colors dry darker and the dark colors dry lighter, so you have to do a lot of your color comparison on the palette. Or, you have to lay down a small swatch and dry it with a hair dryer to see if you have the right value. But once you get used to all that, it's a wonderful medium. If you click on this detail, you'll see more clearly how I develop the form with strokes of color. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Not Another Bungalow!

Yes, another bungalow. This on's on Portland in Phoenix. I've taken my city Painting class here a number of times to paint. I had to paint this house a few times before I was satisfied with the color but I finally got it. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Paintings at SFA

Beginning this week, I have 11 new paintings showing at Scottsdale Fine Art. Most of them are small pieces done on location, including some of the bungalow paintings I have previously posted on this site. There is one larger painting, an 18 x 24 of Gordon's Grocery Store. Come by and take a look if you get a chance. They will be up until 15 Mar.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Another Corner Building.

This is another older building, it is across the street from Gordon's. It was once a dull brown color but then was painted this bright yellow a few years ago. Good move for me as it gave me something more interesting to paint. The rich color of the stucco is enhanced by the warm light reflecting up into it. One of the things I like about painting in the city is the mundane manmade objects that become really interesting elements to paint. Anything, once you throw a light on it, is interesting to paint. In this case, the post, the traffic light and the one-way arrow all become interesting elements and create a fun companion to the palm tree.