Friday, March 28, 2014

Desert Creosote and Ocotillo

Oil on panel, 8"x10"

Here is the finish of Desert Creosote. I have added quite a few Ocotillo, probably more than I should have. The foreground is much improved from the last post. I adjusted color and value all over the painting. 

Detail images from Desert Creosote and Ocotillo

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hills Near Bandera

Oil on panel, 8"x10"
OK, so... I know I said this painting was done last time I posted it but if you know anything about me from following my blog, it's that nothing is ever really done until I sell it. There were things I didn't like about it such as the dominant hill on the left was just to rounded with no character. I also felt the values were still to weak and it also needed more warmth. So here is what I hope to be the final, final version.

Detail of "Hills Near Bandera"

Monday, March 24, 2014

Desert Creosote (in progress_3)

Oil on panel, 8"x10"

I thought I would be done with this piece after the third session but after repainting the sky I didn't want to paint the Ocotillo into wet paint so I decided to put it aside until it dries. I may also unify the foreground elements a little, I'm thinking I may have gotten carried away with rocks and small bushes. The eye should not get caught in this area, it is not a focal point of the painting and should not be overly detailed. In the final session I will extend the Ocotillo into the sky, add a few more of them as well and remove some of the foreground detail. I'm thinking I will push the mountains back a little bit too. That should complete this piece.

Detail of "Desert Creosote"

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sunset in the Bend

 Oil on panel, 6"x6"

I made a few adjustments to this piece and I can't say it's any better than it was but it is different.  I was searching for an ethereal feel to this piece, not so much heavenly but light filled. It's a small piece so I will call it done and move on.

detail from "Sunset in the Bend"

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hills near Bandera

Oil on panel, 8"x10"

I have made the values of the hills darker and it definitely works better for me. Of course it is art, which is very subjective and everyone likes something different. I kept this piece pretty loose and resisted the urge to tighten up in the hills. I think it has a nice overall feel and will now call it done.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Desert Creosote (in progress)

Oil on panel, 8"x10"

I have completed the second session on this piece, about an hour again. I have not yet added the Ocotillo plants that I mentioned in the last post of this piece. It needs the verticals elements to break all of the horizontal lines. They will need to be carefully placed and the shapes need to be interesting but not to dominant.  I will also repaint the mountains and sky in the next session. I can't say exactly what it is but I just don't like them and know they can be better. We will see. I also think I will add a few larger rocks in the far right foreground.

Hills near Bandera (in progress)

 Oil on panel, 8"x10"

I may have lost some dark values in the hillside to the left under the cloud shadow. I will most likely repaint that area along with the larger hill on the right side. I think placing the trees on the left foreground in shadow helped quite a bit. I made the patches of sunlight on the hills more prominent and totally reworked the sky. I'm not sure the sky is an improvement over what it was but its not a focal point and should not draw to much attention in this piece.

Detail from "Hills near Bandera"

Friday, March 14, 2014

Hills Near Bandera (in progress)

Oil on panel, 8"x10"

Session 2 on this painting and I am moving right along. It's coming to life nicely but I am still seeing a few things I would like to adjust as far as color and value. I am thinking I will darken the trees in the left foreground and place them in cloud shadow. A few other adjustments here and there and hopefully it's another completed piece. Below is a detail of some of my brushwork on this piece.

Sunset in the Bend (in progress)

Oil on panel 6"x"6

Session 2 on this painting and it has changed quite a bit. I am liking what's happening even though I had no idea it would progress in this way. Sometimes you just go with the flow and hope for the best. I thought the start was nice but I am feeling even better at this point. I think a few touchups and pushing my values in a few spots will complete this painting.

Below is a detail of brushwork in the painting.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Late Afternoon near Marathon

Oil on panel, 6"x6"

I think I can call this finished after spending some time backtracking on it this morning and toning down the sky. I will need to try to clean some dirt out of it after it dries a little, it fell off my easel and bounced around on the concrete floor before settling face down. I removed what I could without disrupting the paint but have more to clean in a couple of days. That is a slight glare at the top center of the sky in the photo, not actual color.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hills near Bandera (in progress)

Oil on panel, 8"x10"

Another start this morning. I love the hills around Bandera. This was started from photos I took in the spring about 7 years ago. The area was very green at the time and saturated with color after some early rain showers. I am going to keep this loose and painterly and if when complete it is worthy I will take some detail shots. Not sure where I am going with this yet but I do love painting these hills.

Late Afternoon near Marathon (in progress)

Oil on panel, 6"x6"

This is the second session on this painting. I spent about 45 minutes on it this morning and I may have gotten to intense on the blue in the sky, so I might go back and gray it to tone it down a little. I will also add a small amount of warm detail to the bushes and grassy areas but not much. Simple is better in this case and detail will detract from the overall quality of the piece. One more session and I will call it complete.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sunset in the Bend

Oil on panel, 6"x6"

Another piece started yesterday. I threw this down pretty quick, this represents a little more than an hour of work. Some of the best stuff happens when you don't overwork or over think things. Planning ahead is a good thing but when it comes to execution, spontaneity adds looseness and enables the intuitive process to take over. I am going to try my best to not ruin the good start I have here but without risk comes no reward!

Late Afternoon near Marathon (in progress)

Oil on panel, 6"x6"

I started several of these little pieces yesterday. Again, about an hour of work actually created entirely from a thumbnail sketch I made. I think this piece has some potential if I can make the lighting more dramatic. I think the key is to increase the value relationships and make the land forms darker.

Desert Creosote

Oil on panel, 8"x10

This is just over an hour of work and little more than a block in at this point. I am sure I will make major adjustments to this as it progresses. As it stands it is quite boring, so it will be a challenge to make something interesting and captivating out of it. I will most likely ad several Ocotillo plants (it needs some verticals to break the horizontal monotony) and some rocks in the foreground for interest. I will definitely ad more interest to the sky as well.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Morning Light

Oil on panel, 8"x10"
This painting is now complete. I added a little more detail than I had planned but I have still kept it pretty loose. I don't generally feel like I am a colorful painter, though some may argue that point, but this is definitely one of my more colorful pieces. It almost painted itself and came off fairly easy without any major problems.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Road through the Blues

Oil on Belgian Linen Panel, 12"x16"

I am finished making corrections on this piece and therefor calling it complete. I did wind up adding more detail to the foreground after stating that I would leave it alone, but I felt it needed a few more elements to alleviate the line created by the second layer of foreground plants. I kept the detail in those minimal as to not stop your eye or draw to much attention to the area. I added more detail and interest to the background hill to help pull the eye down the road, between the tress and and into the distance.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Morning Light (in progress)

Oil on panel, 8"x10"

I worked on this for the second time this morning for about an hour or maybe a little less. I kept the pace quick just as the beginning was. Sometimes you get lucky and things happen intuitively for you. This piece is one of those, it has a beautiful feel to the light, the photo just doesn't capture. I will do one more short session on this piece then call it complete, and hopefully not spoil the fresh overall feel to this piece.

Road through the Blues (in progress)

Oil on Belgian Linen Panel, 12"x16"

Kevin Macpherson says that painting is a series of corrections. When there are no more corrections to be made, the painting is finished. Well, I have a few more things to fix on this piece before I can call it complete. I am hoping by the end of this weekend I will hit the finish line and move on to other things.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Blue in the Hills

Oil on panel, 10"x8"
After making a few adjustments to color and composition, this painting is now complete. I think I will add to previous posts while working on paintings in progress rather than a new post for each session. I don't know if anyone actually reads my posts or not. Hey, if you do and have an opinion on that one way or the other, please let me know what you think.

Oil on panel, 10"x8"

I spent a couple hours on this piece this morning and only want to do a few touchups and minor adjustments before calling it complete.

Near Dusk (in progress)

Oil on panel, 8"x10"
I've made more adjustments to this and getting very close to complete, I will adjust the shape of the light on the trees and the intensity of the color in a few select spots. The sky is not yellow at all and I don't know why it appears that way in this photo. It is actually an orange and a light blue-green variation. I will try to get an accurate photo when it is complete.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Road through the Blue (in progress_3)

Oil on Belgian Linen panel, 12"x16"

After repainting the large mass of trees on the right a couple of times it finally dawned on me that I didn't like how large and dominating that mass was so I painted sky over much of it and started that section over once again. I am getting closer to what I was wanting but will have to repaint the sky again, the trees I covered were so dark I couldn't get them to totally disappear as my paint was to transparent to cover them. I will no doubt add more cloud detail to that area of the sky as well. I also have pushed the hills back further in the distance but now feel I may have gone to far so I may bring them forward a little. One additional note, I made the road disappear as it moves into the picture allowing the viewer to decide where it goes. That one single adjustment adds mystery to this piece.

Near Dusk (in progress_2)

Oil on panel, 8"x10"

Continuing the work on this piece I have made more adjustments and see a few more things I would like to do before calling it complete. I think my photo has some glare that is killing the darks and they don't look dark enough in the photo making the values look a bit odd. I think the values are a bit better in person. I'm still not happy with the overall balance of warm vs. cool in this piece and may kill more of the warm color. We will see if my vision can come to fruition or maybe the trash pile.