Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Finished Painting

It is such a nice feeling to finish a painting and have it approved by the collector who commissioned it.   He is anxious to get it hung in his new office and is talking about a second larger painting for his conference room. 

This painting is 30"x40" so I will have to haul out my really BIG brushes for the next one.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Commissioned Painting Stage 2

After the sky is painted I progress from the horizon line forward.  Mangrove islands take shape, sabal palms and coconut palms look ok,  and the water is brushed in. 

Everything is moving alone nicely until I realize my composition could be improved.  There is too much "beach" in the foreground.  This is not the best time to make a change from the study, but necessary from time to time.  So, all the beach in the front becomes water flowing around mangroves giving just the needed space for wading spoonbills.

Birds always come last.  When the landscape is finished and dry to the touch I pop the birds in.  Where they go has already been decided, so the challenge is to get them the right size and value for where they are placed on the picture plane.

Painting the birds in after the landscape is finished and "dry" allows me to easily wipe them out if they are not quite right without damaging the work I have already done.

This painting took about 3 weeks to create, photographing it as I worked.  It has been approved by the client -- hoorraay--and gets delivered this weekend. 

Visit my blog tomorrow to see the finished painting.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Another Commission

 I have been asked to show another painting in progress so here it is.

This is another commissioned painting, 30" H x 40" W.  The client is in West Palm Beach in south Florida and wants the painting to reflect his surroundings.  He wants it to be light and colorful so we decided on mid afternoon light with water, mangroves and roseate spoonbills.  The client knows my work and was anxious to get the painting for his new office so we went right from the sketch above to the final canvas, skipping the painted study.

After stretching the canvas I toned it with yellow ochre since I am going for a mid afternoon feeling.  That means little color in the clouds and a clear blue sky.  The yellow ochre adds a touch of color to the coulds and tones down the blue.  Of course, I don't use white and blue right out of the tube.  If I did, the white areas would turn chalky and the blue would be electric.

Starting a painting is always exciting.  Clean brushes, palette full of paint and the challenge begins.  Every brush stroke is the result of an inner dialogue...which brush to use, what color to apply, where do I begin?

After almost 30 years of painting I have developed my own approach to developing a painting.  I almost always begin with the sky and use large, round bristle brushes.  The clouds are painted in first with the sky built around them.  I know this is backwards to many artists but this application allows me to work the sky paint into the edges of the wet clouds giving me soft edges and "puffing" out the wisps.

I never start a painting/sky unless I know I have time to work the sky until it is finished down to the horizon line. It is critical for me to work direct, wet in wet in order to achieve soft billowy clouds.

Because the composition has already been planned in the sketch I know where all the elements in the painting are going to be placed.

Once I am satisfied with he sky  I begin on the ground elements working from the horizon forward.

My next blog will be about developing the ground elements.