Thursday, May 31, 2012

Work in Progress-Water's Edge

Day 1
I finished this painting a long time ago, and never found the time to write about it.  I thought of explaining every step in the process since this painting was an exercise to study trees.  The only way to get them right is to keep practicing.  It does get frustrating at times.  And I do admit that, many of my studies in the past have been a disaster.  But this time after several attempts, I felt like I had nailed the trees!.  So here is the process

Day 1
I blocked in the large shapes with basic colors.  If I remember right I have used just the primaries (cool & warm).  The thumb rule of painting:  Start with  large shapes and then move to detail.  I have this obsession with detail, and sometimes that kills my painting.  I get stuck with detail so much; that I forget the larger picture.  But this time, I kept reminding myself, to keep away from detail at this stage.  I always work form very thin paint to thick paint.  So in this step my paint is very thin, almost transparent.  As you can see, the painting looks very flat at this point.
 Day 2
Added some more foliage and volume to the trees.  Developed some depth by laying in the darks. I also underpainted the water. At this stage my paint starts getting thicker.  Again, not much detailing, just the basic shapes
Day 2
Day 3
Here I begin to add detail.  Darkened the darks, developed shadows.   Now, the foliage begins to get new dimensions.  And it finally stops looking flat. yay!

Day 3
Final Day
I continue to add more and more detail. Basically, repeat Day 3.  Introduced some trunks, branches, limbs to the trees.  Darkened my shadows and darks. I finished the water. Until the final step I was just glazing it.  Now I lay in the reflection.  And before I know, its all done! yay!

Water's Edge 16x20 oil on panel
I had a great time studying trees.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May Update

The month of May has been quiet busy. Specially with the workshop and my regular painting schedule.  Here are a couple more painting I managed to finish in this month.
Evening Sky 18x24 oil on panel
Evening Sky  I made this painting primarily for the love of the clouds.  The sky was so dramatic that evening, that I had to paint it.  Again, its not a famous location.  This was in fact the parking lot of a mall near our house.  I edited the original photo a little bit and added the foreground from my imagination. 

Water's Edge 20x16 oil on panel

Water's Edge  This painting was in fact a study to learn trees better.  I have said in the past that I'm intimidated by trees.  So this painting was only focusing on trees.  I struggle a bit initially, but then eventually nailed it.  So glad  got the trees right.  I will soon make a speed video of this painting.

As always I enjoyed making these paintings.
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Adding a pinch of Science to my Painting!!

I always thought that painting is all about just color & value.  As a beginner I struggle to see color, shape and value in nature.  The mind is so persuasive that an obvious thing like color becomes indecisive. However my struggle with color,value and shape continues and hopefully I will win this battle some day.
Off late I have been reading a few art books (bibles for me) and as some of you may know I have also been taking "Landscape Painting"classes with renowned artist Craig Srebnik.  In these last few weeks I have learned that apart from these basic components(shape, value, color)  there is a lot of Physics that goes into making a painting look realistic.  When I say Physics,  I am referring to the way light touches/bounces on/off different objects.
Here are  few points I noted.
  • On a bright sunny day, the light is considered cool and not warm since the scattered color in the atmosphere by the sun's rays is primarily blue.  Hence morning light is cool light and NOT warm light!! The light begins to get warmer as we approach sunset.  The landscape may look well lit and warm but the light from the sun is cool light.  A new thing I learned.
  • Again a cool light casts warm shadows.
  • The early morning and late evening light is warm light.  Primarily because the eye sees a lot of the longer wavelengths like reds/yellows/oranges.  A sunset/sunrise may feel or look cooler but the light is very "warm".
  • A warm light casts cooler shadows.  
  • It is the shadows that tell the time of the day in a painting.
Morning Glory(study) 8x10 oil on panel

As an exercise to study light, I did this small study painting "Morning Glory".  My aim in this painting was to emphasize the light .  I wanted the painting itself to spell the time of the day.  This was during Sunrise, and as you can see, the painting looks very calm and cool.  There are no sharp shadow contrasts and the landscape is very pleasing.  However, the light is very warm.  There is a conspicuous presence of warm palette in this painting...Cad Yellow, Cad Red Light, Cad orange, Burnt Sienna, Warmed Gray Purple, Cad Red Deep (shadows).  I did a lot of thinking while painting this one.  Of course I had to pay attention to shape and value, but I also had to remember a little bit of Physics :)
I probably would have painted this it exactly the same way even without knowing about the Physics of light.  However  this time I knew WHY I was leaning toward warm colors even thought the landscape looked so cool.  Every brush stroke had a meaning! Adding a pinch of Science makes painting even more involving.  It makes you think ... even more!!
As always I enjoyed making this painting.  I'll probably go bigger with is one.
Thank you for visiting my blog.  I hope you had a good read.  We can keep in touch on Facebook and Twitter... Google+  and.. Pintrest