Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Leaning Gourd

"Leaning Gourd"
8 x 10 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

Since the holidays is around the corner I wanted to paint a festive theme. Some people might argue pumpkin is not very festive for this time of year, which is a valid point but I think the colors are fitting.  I want to thank everyone who stops by my blog and takes the time to look at my work. Thank you for doing so. I enjoy sharing my process and thoughts on painting. I know the journey of learning this difficult medium can be long and stressful, if I can share my knowledge to help some people with their journey then I feel I have accomplished something. I am so grateful for the artist I reached out to when I started out on my journey for helping me. I wanted to create a blog where I can do the same and share my knowledge as best as I can. We are all on the same boat trying to decipher this complex language of painting.  Thank you everyone and Happy Holidays!

I started with a thin application of raw umber for the drawing stage. Once the drawing is complete I paint the background and wooden board. I keep colors general in this stage and really thin. 

I start painting in darker value forms to the wooden board. Once that is complete I paint in lighter value forms.

Once the wooden board is complete I start painting in the pumpkin. I first lay in a thin application of the general values, somewhat a big form modeling stage. I go back and forth with the brush without lifting it, I keep the pressure pretty light to control the values. Once that stage is working well I move onto the smaller middle to darker value forms. I apply the paints a little thicker to cover the thinner application but being careful of not getting to thick. I am also conscious on the pressure I am applying to the brush. At this stage I start dabbing the brush for the areas that need finer rendering and when the edges need to get softer I go back and forth with the brush with a very light touch. I like to go back and forth with dabbing and keeping the brush on the canvas. Usually in the later stages I tend to lightly render the areas by dabbing on the brush and then going back and forth with out lifting the brush. This approach allows me to control the values and the level of rendering, it also gives me options with the type of textures I am trying to get. 

I then paint in the middle to lighter forms in the pumpkin. I apply the same rendering approach as mentioned above. Once the pumpkin is complete I start painting the gourd. I first paint the big form modeling by painting in the general values wrapping around the form. At this stage I am not worried about the smaller forms or "details". I am just worried how the value and chroma wraps around the form. 

Once the big form modeling is working well I then paint the smaller middle to darker values forms. I then do the same with the smaller middle to lighter value forms. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! Cheers!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Green Heirloom Tomato

"Green Heirloom Tomato"
5 x 7 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

I have not painted these little gems in a while. The color of this heirloom caught my eye right away. They have such intense pure colors. What I enjoy most is the subtle values between the colors from one area to the other, painting that is challenging and rewarding once it's achieved. Painting light wrapping around this form is challenging but very educational to try. After painting this tomato my wife added it to our dinner which was as delicious as it looked. 

I started with the drawing stage by just using a bit of raw umber on the brush. Thinking of it as one would draw with a pencil. The pressure you apply to the brush it effects the value and intensity your marking will be. Once the drawing stage is complete I add local colors to the whole painting. This allows me to see how the painting will look in the completed stage with the colors I am thinking of. The next stage I then start to fill in the middle to darker values to all the objects in the painting, from the wooden board to the heirloom tomato. Then I add the lighter value forms to tie everything together. With this technique, especially being in alla prima, one has to has to be careful with the amount of paint being applied from the initial stages. Remember fat over lean, you want to start thin and get progressively thicker towards the finishing. I am also conscious of how many pressure I apply to the brush, as stated before I think of it as drawing with a pen or pencil. The lighter the pressure the lighter the value will be, the harder the value the darker the value will be. This also allows you to control smoother transitions. 

Thank you for stopping by and viewing. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Forelle Pear

"Forelle Pear"
5 x 7 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

I haven't painted pears in a while and thought it was time to re visit these beauties. I also wanted to go back on how I painted pears when I first started to do alla prima paintings a couple years ago. It's minimal amount of paint on the brush kind of like drawing with a pencil, you do not want to put a dark hard line with the initial mark. This painting is an exploration of my technique old and new.

I started with a thin application of raw umber for the drawing stage.  I am not worried about details just the placement of major shapes and the lineation of shadow shapes. Then I painted the background in. I usually like to paint this area first, this allows me to now worry about it when I am painting the main object in the painting.

Once the background was filled in I then painted in the wood, I applied a thin amount of paint to cover the base. I think of it as how one would when drawing with a pencil. I do not paint in the darkest darks or lights lights, just an in between value to give form to the object. Then I paint in the darkest values. I still have not applied any lighter values just concentrating on the middle to darker values.

Once the darks are painted I then start to paint in the middle to lighter values. Once the base is at a level I am satisfied with I move onto the pear. The initial stage of painting the pear I apply a thin layer of paint in the shadows, I do the same with the lights. In this stage I am only concentrating on big form modeling, how light wraps around the form. I mesh the lights into the darks to make the form turn, softening edges to show more of the turn. I am not worried about details at this stage just worried on applying a thin layer of paint and making the form turn with generalized colors.

Once big form modeling is working I then start to work on middle to darker values. As I mentioned before I am applying the paints very thin, this allows me to control values the same way one would control a mark with a pencil. I like to build into my darks as well into the lights.  This approach is time consuming but gives you control on how much subtle values shifts you're needing.

Hope you enjoyed this painting, thank you for stopping by! Cheers!