Friday, October 17, 2008

Let There Be Clouds!

I seem to be constitutionally incapable of taking a straight square photo of a painting. Oh well. These clouds are PINK ... yes, believe it or not. Pale, pale pink, to be sure. I think they give a lot of life and dimensionality to the painting.

The sky is cutting into the foreground for the time being, so that when I reinforce the tree trunks they will be in front of the sky.

What a Difference Value Makes!

While this sky is currently "chalky" and too flat, it brings the foreground to life by showing the trees against a light sky. While it dries, I upload and share with you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Aspens in Process and Progress

This is the painting now. I have re-applied a very dark green background for the trees. Why did I bother putting in all that red-orange, you ask? It is there, it is just not consciously visible. Like nature*, a painting has underlying colors to give strength, body and impact to the ones on the surface.

A portrait of the painter as an old pirate.

Making a nice green ... out of red, yellow and blue ... ah the magic!

Yes, blue and yellow make green, but it is not nature's green yet!

All these tones appear in the painting, in what is technically known as "the central blob of color", the aspen leaves.

*in nature, leaves are red under all that green. In the fall, the green is stripped away to reveal nature's underpainting!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Aspens in Progress

I am in ecstasy during this part of the process. You can still see the ground in certain areas, but I have used mostly complementary colors for the underpainting, so that scraps of those colors will enliven the mostly yellow, green and blue of the image.

By the way, this painting is 36"H x 24"W x 1 1/2"D, on heavy cotton canvas and heavy stretcher bars.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Genesis in the Studio

I took this photo on vacation, and I really like the contrast of the white aspen trunks against the dark evergreens. I manipulated it in Photoshop to emphasize that contrast in the printout, which I will use to paint from. The road entering from the corner is something I really like, although it sometimes can be a dangerous placement, because it can lead the eye out of the painting, unless used carefully.

Here is the printout with my gesso mixing container and brush.

There is something very satisfying about making a canvas. This one is a recycle, so it already has a hanging wire on the back.

Tabla rasa ... the canvas before the application of the gesso.

Sign of the Cross ... the first application of the colored gesso is done out from the center to the centers of the four edges in order to prevent pulling the stretcher bars out of square. The gesso, acrylic paint and water are very strong and the canvas drooped toward the center, as though it might not tighten up, but I knew it would, from past experience.

The Ground of Being ... the deep blue-violet will be a nice place to begin. All the lighter colors will "pop" from this deep background. For me, this part of the process is exciting; it must be accomplished quickly before the gesso begins to tear the canvas.