October 13, 2017
June 12, 2017
January 16, 2017
November 6, 2016
My Croatia tour was wonderful! The weather, the people, the students - I had an amazing time. And painting wise, it was a target rich environment.
This little study was done on sight in Orevic, a small coastal village in Croatia. We tumbled off the Korcula ferry and painted in this small village on two separate days. Figures in paintings are not my typical subject matter, but the sun was very warm, so we sought out shady spots, and this is what presented.
I have always found it quite fascinating, this process of editing down when plein air painting. Less IS always more. To paint everything is not possible, but if you edit down to the essential elements, the eye and the human brain seems to take great delight in figuring out the details for themselves.
In a previous blog entitled "The Devil is in the Details" I discussed this concept of editing down, particularly on location, because of having a very limited amount of time to paint. In this quick study you can see how detail is suggested as opposed to being rendered literally. Big shapes are accurate, small shapes are limited and abstracted - and it reads.
As fall sets in, my memories are taking me back to those sun - drenched shores, and painting adventures that included cappucinos, more than a few cold beers, and the company of some wonderful painters. I'll post a few sunny paintings in the weeks to come to help keep you warm. :)
Meanwhile, back in Canada, I will be doing a warm, indoor painting workshop entitled "Oils, Fast and Fresh". It will be all about making light filled paintings indoors, painting wet in wet oils. The information is below:
What: Oils Fast and Fresh
Where: Gallery 204, Langley BC
When: Dec 2,3, and 4th
Class limit: 12
Paint on pilgrims!
August 10, 2016
This is my most recent studio piece, a 30X40" oil of a scene captured in the Great Bear Rain Forest, northern BC. I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk to you creating the illusion of light.
I often hear this question from students: "Why can't I get the light into my paintings?". It is what many artists yearn for and often find baffling. There is this wonderful alchemy that can created by the juxtaposition of paint mixtures on canvas that can create the amazing illusion of light.
I have good news and bad news for those of you that pose this question. The good news is that capturing the illusion of light in your paintings is really pretty simple. The bad news is that simple does not mean easy.
Light dances, bounces and leaps. It is the most ephemeral of elements in the landscape. It describes form, atmosphere, and surface within the structure of your painting. Here's the simple part: get the color, value, and temperature relationships right, and you have captured the light. Viola. Presto. Abracadabra.
Here's the part that is not easy: you have to get them VERY right. Comparing the relationships between these elements and transferring those observations on to your canvas takes a good eye (which comes from practice) and a great deal of focus. If the tonal value is not quite right, it won't read. If color temperature is off, you will miss the mark also.
Painting well takes as much effort and concentration as your best chess game. If you want to get better at it, you must bring your "A" game level of effort and concentration to your painting sessions. And practice....a lot. There is no way to escape the easel hours required.
Hold the results lightly; if you get it wrong, your eye will tell you. Try to articulate what it is you got wrong and repaint rather than indulging in self-deprecation which is a luxury you can't afford. It will drain you of your mojo.
Pay attention to what you are seeing and what you are doing, and the Force shall be with you. Always.