I am working on two portrait commissions. To brush up on my people skills, I pulled up this photo that I had on my challenging list. This reminds me that I need to sketch hands more, especially waving.
The current exhibit at the Burlington Art Guild is of abstract paintings by Tim Laffey. Every good composition can be abstracted and hold up. That is what challenged me to infuse somewhat abstract nature scenes into my animal art. I dropped this painting into Photoshop and applied a filter called cutout to test my painting.
After looking at this I am wondering if adding a small cow on the hillside might improve the composition.
I started this plein air and had to quit early to make it to an opening reception. I tweaked it later, changing the foreground some and working on the waves. It was a very windy day and I could not really make out the waves.
12" x 9" oil on canvas
I did get this small study earlier. The bark came off the tree exposing the wormholes that I imagine led to the demise of this evergreen.
Just after painting the river plein air, with the sun low on the horizon, this scene appeared. One of those scenes that pass by too quickly for me to capture, leaving me to rely on my camera and memory.
I started with a pale burnt sienna wash followed by ultramarine and sienna mixes for this rough in.
Such a nice day that I took the dog out with me plein air painting. I know that sounds like he paints :) What he does do is wade in the water as soon as he is off the leash. I take about a couple of hours to paint so he should be dry by then. Unless he goes back in for one more dip, which he did. Oh well, we both enjoyed the weather.
This is from last year's project AWARE, i.e. A Watershed Awareness River Expedition.
Sponsored by the DNR, adventurous volunteers, spend 5 days in canoes and kayaks picking up trash along Iowa River ways. Most anyone can do it; all you need is some free time, a strong back, and a weak gag reflex. You will, in return, enjoy the company of like minded individuals and be treated to a show of some of Mother Nature's finest work. Described as RAGBRAI on the river, this is definitely on my bucket list. The volunteers in these painting were cleaning up the Des Moines River, by Bonaparte, Iowa. In 2017, from July 10th through the 14th. Project AWARE will be cleaning the Cedar River to bring it back to its natural beauty.
I had fun with these two. I decided to get a little detailed for the sake of those shiny coats. The original photo did not have a distant horizon just grass all around. I have been experimenting with Prussian Blue for the greens. Often adding a hint of brown or red to the hansa yellow and prussian to tone down the "electric green" it creates.
14" x 11" oil on canvas panel
Started with blocking in the horses. I always find it hard to position the legs of partially hidden horses, so I procrastinate. The two horses were from two different photos. I use Photoshop to cut out the horse on the left and place it into the photo of the other one. It works if the photo of the two horses were taken the same time of day.
Once the horses were fully complete I used a palette knife to create the background. Trying to create a feeling of depth I added a bit of gray blue to the front greens.
This is an oil painting of a previous scene I did in pastel. The local art center is having a themed exhibit titled "Many Hats". My take on that is to paint the same scene in different mediums, pastel, oil, acrylic and watercolor.
I have a commission to draw the nominees for the sports banquet. This job was given to me at the last minute and I was also expected to write the short bio from stats in outline form given me. I guess the bios are right but if they aren't it is because I don't know what they are talking about.
This was an update originally the front legs seemed natural.
Back to painting from photos. This time challenging myself to fix an image by filling in the background with something I made up. I also edited the main image mostly to make it easier by simplifying it. You don't have to paint every spot unless it is a commission.
12" x 6" oil on canvas
I cut out the background to make it easier to concentrate on the horse shapes.
This is from a photo taken after plein air painting. The fleeting moment when the sun is low on the horizon. I don't think I can capture that before it changes.
12" x 12" oil on panel
Again from a photo but not because the light changed but because I am just not tough enough to set up in the cold. Photos do not capture the subtle colors. This was of a stand of evergreen trees in a local park. I may have to go back there and plein air paint.
I had this framed long format painting that just did not work. It sat on my "fix it" someday pile. I finally just threw it away and made another panel. This was from a photo reference looking down at the water overflow from the Oakland Mills dam. I wanted a challenge. I was not sure if this should be up, down or sideways, I guess it is any way the client would want it.