Showing posts from August, 2010

Working out Problems in Small Paintings

Pony tail 9 x 12
I'm having fun painting these small figurative pieces right now.  They help me work out problems and experiment without committing to a large canvas.  They're also a great way to keep working during this most distracted, and busy season.

The model for this painting was sitting under warm halogen lighting which created powerful shadows on his body.  The accepted rule is: "warm light, cool shadows or cool light, warm shadows.  In practise, however, this is never wholly the case.  I find that there is always some warm and some cool in the shadow, and everywhere else on the skin for that matter.  

The young man's back was predominately warm but, as his torso turned from the plane of the back to the side, there was a distinct coolness.  I painted it very green because I prefer a powerful statement to a small one any day.  There was also a strong warmth on the side of the body where the model's arm reflected its warmth onto the torso.  Then, around to th…

Altering an Oil Painting

9 x 12
Cows.  Not my usual subject by any means. 
Sharon and I drove around in the lush, green countryside recently and found a small herd sheltering from the afternoon sun under a stand of trees.  Before they decided to move back to grazing, we set up on the road nearby and started to paint them. 
Inevitably, I suppose, they did move - a lot.  Cows moved in and out of my view, but, because they all have similar colouring and shape, I could refer to another cow to finish painting anyone who had risen and moved on. 
Originally this piece had an extra cow in the lower left corner.  I thought it would be a good, diagonal lead in to the composition.  It wasn't. 
Luckily, I hadn't used much impasto paint on that one, so I just shaved off some of the thicker dry paint with a palette knife and painted grass, tree trunks, and the legs of the cow on the left in the newly vacated spot. 
I just love the flexibility that oils give to make major changes like these.  I couldn't have…