Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Mountain Goat" Alla Prima (Direct painting) demo.

Step 1.

Step 2.

Step 3.

Step 4.

Step 5.

Step 6.

The completed painting, "Mountain Goat" 12x16 oil on linen panel.

This painting was executed in an Alla Prima method of direct painting. I painted this one afternoon in basically one long sitting. I started with the focal point, the head of the animal, working outward from there. I was trying to go for the finish immediately. This is how I paint outdoors when time is of the essence. Plein air painting is a great exercise in training one to work quickly while using the immediacy of the moment to ones advantage. Although this is a studio study, it hopefully has enough spontaneity, and freshness to keep it interesting, while still describing the form with some suggested detail.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"New paintings from the studio"

"Saturday Afternoon Nap" 8x12 oil on panel

This a quick little study of my beautiful granddaughter napping on the couch. I took some good reference shots of this, so it might just translate into something large. We`ll see how that goes. I like the the look of immediacy in this little sketch.

"A Mountain Goat" 12x16 oil on linen

Except for the horse subjects that I paint, I do not paint wildlife on a regular basis. I do like doing wildlife, but the subject is not readily accessibly to me, except for the tropical birds I see locally. This guy perched on rocks looks like he is surveying his territory. I`m sure with the exception of Mountain lions, he is king of the hill.

"The Old Red Barn" 9x12 oil on linen panel

This little 9x12 painting is an afternoon effort in my studio from reference taken on a painting trip a couple of years ago. I like to revisit old reference. Occasionally, a fresh eye on something that I might have been passed over is good. Most of the time there was good reason for passing over it. I think in this case, for myself, this was a fun little study.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Scribbling in the Margins"

The concept of sketch books was introduced to me in College. Prior to that, all my scribbling, drawings, doodles and sketches were done in the margins of my class notes, and on a freezer paper that my parents used to wrap meat for the old coffin style lift top freezer. The paper was a great drawing surface. It had one wax side, and the other was smooth.......but not slippery. My brother and I filled many of these with drawings that were eventually, and unfortunately all thrown out. It would be fun to have some of those old......and I mean old drawings now. My parents were working folks, and really never placed to much value on that sort of thing. I guess they thought it was just a silly way for children to amuse themselves.

I think sketch books have an important place in developing better draftsmanship and keeping the observation skills honed. Most artist, including myself, do not draw, or use the sketchbook as much as they did in school, or at other times in their careers. An artist is of course, always drawing when painting, but the pure drawing process is sometimes neglected. One can easily ignore this because of being consumed by other things that seem to be more important at the time. Like anything else, the more one practices, the more proficient one becomes at their craft. Same with drawing and painting. Thing that surprises me is how many students do not seem to carry a sketchbook. Many do, and usually they are filled with beautiful drawings, concepts for projects, etc. One would think that it would almost be something that every art school required.

I only have three or four sketchbooks lying around, and I draw in them occasionally when I am sitting in front of a TV program that is not demanding my complete attention. I pick up a magazine and draw images I see, or draw from memory. Sometimes, I sketch from the model in classes along with my students. These are always quick, almost gesture type sketches, that usually never have a high degree of finish. I thought it might be fun, and of possible interest to post a few of these pages.