Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Klodt Barn

Last Saturday was the J40 Tractor Crawl in Van Buren County. Plein air painters were invited to set up at sites along the route. Practice on perspective was my goal here. I showed this to a friend who commented that she did not like the dark on the left side of the building. Even when she understood that is the shadow side and she did not have a problem with the shadows on the front. She said she would prefer the light red all around. I don't know what to make of that. 
14" x 11" oil on panel

Recent Plein Air

One Morning at Rodeo
The sunrise changes quickly, so I had 15 minutes on this one and a small panel.
6" x 6" oil on panel

Where's Wylie?
This was along a gravel road across the river from Farmington, Iowa. There were signs warning of falling rocks. Which explains the large rock at the bottom. 
10" x 8" oil on canvas

Shimek State Forest
The same limited palette used on the one above.
6" x 6"

Hannah and Duncan

My granddaughter went to Horse camp and won a second place riding Duncan. 
11" x 14" oil on panel

Limited Palette

I received a sample pack of three watercolors. I squeezed them out and threw away the tubes which means I don't remember the brand. I do remember that the red was Opera. There was also a blue and yellow. That was the only colors I used on this painting. The paper was a soft Arches printing paper.

Parade Spectator
Another painting using the three colors. Both of these were painted on the Arches Velin BFK Rives paper mentioned on a previous post. The paint picks up nicely as noted on the highlight on the nose and area above the lip. It is also nice for interesting effects created by dropping water into the background.
Thanks to Jessica for the watercolor samples. I have always wanted to try Opera. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Trail into the Woods

I had time to get out for a couple of hours today to work on my greens.
12" x 6" oil on canvas

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Hats Exhibit

The Fort Madison Art Center is having a theme exhibit titled, "We Wear Hats". The only photo reference I had was of a band. The entry is due today. 
16" x 20" oil on Amersand panel

Started on a white ground, then painted burnt sienna and ultramarine, wiped off the light areas.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Clock Tower

The clock tower in Dubuque

I started with an oil gessoed panel applying pthalo blue and wiping off where I wanted the lights.
Close up detail of sky. I wanted the rough surface to show so I did not sand after applying the oil gesso.
Painted just the darks. 
6" x 12
Painted the lights adding white paint to the colors. 
6" x 12" oil on panel

Hannah painted using the same method..
Rough in.
6" x 6" oil on panel

Father and Son

I took several photos for this commission and even though this pose is not going to be the final, I wanted to paint it. It was the challenge of this perspective that did it. I needed to do a few practice sketches anyway before I start the final pose.
14" x 11" oil on canvas

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Early Morning on the Walking Trail

Early morning plein air painting in Rodeo Park is a great way to start the day. A lot of friendly walkers, some with dogs, one on the phone and some talking and getting their exercise with an encouraging friend. 
14 x 11 oil on panel

Watercolor on print paper

I bought 10 sheets of Arches Velin BFK Rives paper not knowing how it would work with watercolor. The label said "Art Publishing" with uses listed as lithography, screen printing, colotype, intaglio, relief engraving, letterpress, linocut, blind embossing and gold tooling but nothing about watercolor. The price was right for experimenting. 

The surface was soft lending itself to gradient effects. The soft surface also worked well when scrubbing my brush into the paper pushing the paint out of the way. This worked to give the clouds the dark edges. The azure blue paint is Holbein "Irodori" Antique watercolor(another bargain) containing pigment PB15 pthalo blue and PW6 titanium white, which is opaque. I often use this when I get carried away with the ultramarine in the sky. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Farm Scene from the Garden

This is from a reference photo of the view from the garden tour. The gardens were in the country giving you more than just flowers to paint.
12 x 9 oil on canvas

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Dog portrait commission. A breed I had never heard of  also known a PBGV. A scent hound, bred to trail hares in the bramble-filled terrain of the Vendéen district of France. 
8" x 10" oil on Raymar panel

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Recent plein air

Two plein air events two weekends in a row. The first was Paint Van Buren with this scene of Bitternut Lake in Shimek Forest. This painting took first place.
12 x 9 oil on panel

Nasturtiums from the flower shop in Farmington during Paint Van Buren.
10 x 9 oil on canvas 

The following weekend was the River Bluffs Paint Out. First year for this event that starts in Canton Missouri then onto Quincy, Illinois and ends at Hannibal, Missouri. 
Painting done at Canton 8 x 10 oil on panel

This is from Quincy. The view of the railroad bridge from All American City park.

This is the stone bridge in South Park. I started with a white panel and painted Prussian Blue on it wiping off my lights. Basically experimenting to get cooler shadows. This painting won 2nd place.
9 x 12 oil on panel

Onto Hannibal with this view of Lover's Leap. I had to take this photo from my phone because this painting sold. 
12 x 9 oil on panel
All of the host communities were very hospitable. We enjoyed the many inspiring landscapes. A bonus was seeing the original Norman Rockwell illustrations for Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Fin".

Monday, May 29, 2017

Barn commission???

This weekend I participated in the second annual Paint Van Buren County plein air competition. The weather was great and so were the paintings. The committee put together a nice event with community support in the way of sales. I thoroughly enjoyed the company of the other artists. I would encourage others to participate for a good time and camaraderie. If you are just learning; the more experienced artists are always helpful and supportive  A great group of friendly artists.
I was approached with a offer to paint this barn. I could not get it done in time for the competition so, after dropping off my paintings off, I went back to finish the scene, completely missing the awards ceremony. I did learn a little about the barn. Over a 150 years old built with wrought iron nails and hand sawn lumber. The missing boards were not the result of weather but thieves taking the siding. Next to the barn is a 200 year old burr oak. All very interesting, but was this a commission or just an offer to paint a scenic location? Haven't heard from the owner. This being the Midwest it could easily sell, so I am not worried.
16" x 8" oil on canvas panel.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Peach Rose

We have had a lot of nice days for plein air painting. Last Thursday I went out with Jessica to paint in the Bentonsport rose garden. Two paintings, one a keeper the other not. It is easy to blame the painting panel; this one started with a orange pink ground on a canvas panel. The other was a white gessoed hardboard panel painted with a ground that seemed to soak up the paint. I could not get the value range I wanted or maybe it was me overworking the painting.
9" x 12" oil on canvas panel

Saturday, May 6, 2017

This and That

Martin Pond in Shimek Forest. The green stuff I think is slime algae at least according to my internet search. Most of the sites are dedicated to getting rid of it. I kind of like painting it.

Another location in Shimek Forest, this one near Bitternut Lake. I brought my dog along for some exercise with the condition he stays close enough I can see him and if not, comes when I call him. I got halfway through this painting and he did not come when called. I packed up and when he finally came we went home. If he can't behave we are going home maybe next time he will listen to me, then maybe not.
11" x 14" oil on canvas

I stopped along the road to take the reference shot for this pastel. I then combined two photos. The problem with that is getting the scale correct. I had to brush off the cows on the left and redraw. 


Portrait commission.

Rough in with ultramarine and burnt sienna.

Working on the flesh tones

I kind of like the unfinished look, but the client wanted more.

Finished portrait.
14" x 11" oil on linen panel

I have heard an artist complain "Why paint a portrait you are not going to sell?" Painting a this was a challenge and a learning experience. I had a hard time with the finer details working with a brush, 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Walnut Tree

I have not posted much lately, it's not that I have not been painting just not finishing the paintings on my easel. I had a chance to plein air paint at the home of fellow plein air artist, Carroll Michalek. Joined by several other artists this gave me the opportunity to learn and exchange ideals.
10 x 10 oil on canvas

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Three White Hats

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.
10" x 8" oil on canvas

Monday, March 13, 2017

Landscape with Cattle

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.
10" x 8" oil on canvas