June 12, 2014

The 91 Days of Summer - paintings four and five

number four (Smithers)

number five (Smithers)

I have just returned from a painting/teaching trip in Smithers, BC.  Many thanks to my host and avid fellow painter, Poppy Dubar for a wonderful experience.

What I loved most about being in Smithers is that the forms, atmosphere and subject matter were unique to the area.  Snow capped mountains dropped in the background of nearly every scene.  Dandelions everywhere - groves of aspen trees dancing in the meadows.

I had never painted a flowered field before.   These were dandelions.  Here what I learned:
-paint flowers in groups rather than trying for every single flowers.   The result will be "polka dots" if you go for too much detail here.  I know, because I tried it, then wiped it out.  Go for the edges of the larger unified shape of the groups of flowers.

There was a LOT of green.  Something to note here - try mixing your greens rather than squeezing them out of tubes.  The temptation with pre-made greens is that you will tend to paint the greens too close in value and temperature.  If ya don't break up and vary the greens, green will have you (and your painting) for breakfast.  It will be both garish and boring.

Some trees lean and twist more than others, and generally are not straight up and down. Perhaps the occasional lodge pole pine tree is growing straight up and down, but aspens - never. They are also very unevenly spaced, and of different sizes, growing in different directions.  Look for negative spaces.

I leave for the Great Bear Rainforest in the morning to paint - I am so excited.  I have a few more Smithers paintings to show you, then some Tofino paintings, followed by the paintings from this upcoming week. This project is proving to be very stimulating as well as a lot of fun.  Stay tuned.

Keep your brushes wet!


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