Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mundane Beauty !

"Harvest Moon" 22x28 oil on canvas
As a painter I'm constantly looking for compositions to paint.  I always have my sketch book on me so that I can quickly put down my thoughts before they sweep by.  It's not always feasible to visit scenic areas to get reference materials for my paintings and so I'm always on the look out even if I'm just driving to a grocery store.   I have in the past made paintings from a parking lot of Fred-Meyer.  Of course the painting looks nowhere close to a parking lot...but that's from where the idea came.
Construction Site
There is a construction site close to my house.  It's always cluttered with huge bobcat tractors and several other huge equipment.  Not a place that one would call "beautiful". However, a few weeks ago I happened to walk past that area closer to sunset.  And this time the area transcended into a scenic location for me.  The entire area was drenched in the orange glow of the setting sun. The same old trees looked dramatic in the yellow-orange light and it felt like a new place to be in.  It looked like never before.  I spent a few minutes there just trying to absorb the colors and the landscape, something I would never do at a construction site.  The place was still messy with all the construction work but this time I was able to see beyond the clutter. And right there I had my composition !! I knew right then, that I was going to paint this. It's just amazing how light can change the look of a scene so drastically and make mundane things look so spectacular !!

The next morning I began working on this painting.  I introduced the moon to the right to add a little more visual interest to the scene.  And here you have it!

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Happy Painting! 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Stepping Aside

Sometimes it so happens that I just don't get the color right in the very first attempt.  And I realize this only as the painting starts to take shape.  Once I start a painting I usually try to paint as quickly as I can so that I don't loose the spontaneity.  I don't put the painting away or start working on a new piece unless I'm done with my current painting.  It helps me to stay connected with the piece until it's done and signed.   I like to think about the scene all the time, try to visit the place in my head and just relive the moment as I paint.  But sometimes; no matter what I do, how thoughtfully I establish the values, the painting just doesn't work for me.  And I do not sign off a painting until I'm very well convinced about it and feel like I've done justice to the subject.  So what do you do when a painting fails ??? Well, I wont lie, I get very frustrated when I'm not able to nail a subject.  Mainly because most of the times, the subject is so compelling that its just too hard to stop thinking about it.  It will keep lingering in my head all the time.  Its like a bug that to just needs to be fixed.  Since nothing good can come out of frustration,  I step aside from the painting for some time.  It's just a way for me to buy some thinking time.  These paintings sit in my closet until I get back to them.
First attempt 18x24
"Road Trip" turns out to be one such painting that sat in my closet for almost 2 months.  I connected with this scene because of the bumpy turning road, the electricity poles (something I was painting for the first time) and the shape of the tree.  So there was more than a thing that kept me glued to it.  The first attempt was on an 18x24 panel, not a square composition.  The second time, I tried changing the composition to a square and guess what, it worked !!

Finishing this painting was such a relief.  Although it took 2 whole months of thinking time, it seemed worth the wait once the painting was done.

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 

Happy Painting!
What do you do when a painting fails?  Do you have a method to cope?  Share your experiences in the comments below.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wandering in the Meadows--A successful attempt.

A couple weeks ago we planned a trip to the west coast of OR to see Roosevelt Elks.  It was truly blissful to watch them roam around freely. We got a pretty decent view of the elks. The purpose of this trip was to get more reference photographs, more inspiration and of course to see the majestic Elks up-close.  I plan to return to this location more often, next time I shall carry my easel for sure.
In my earlier post I mentioned how I was so desperate to introduce wildlife in my paintings.  Well, after several creative disasters I think I nailed one painting finally.  I can't tell you how satisfied i feel to have got this painting right.  This was a major creative block for me.  Every time I had to give up on a deer, I felt very frustrated. This time I attempted a bull elk,  simply because I had a ton of pictures from the recent trip.  I must say painting animals is like portraiture.  Its not just the color & values but also the anatomy of the animal that one has to worry about; and that is was made it tough for me.  Hopefully i'll ease into painting wildlife over time.
This time the process  was a little different from usual.  Generally I start with a basic sketch and then begin my painting. This time, just the sketch was not enough.  I had to practice drawing the elk before I drew/sketched it on my panel.  It took quite some time.  It is such times when I realize how important it is to stay in touch with drawing.  Once I sketched the elk on a paper I transferred it to the panel using a carbon paper. Thereafter the painting continued as usual.  It just felt like it took forever to actually begin the painting.
Transferring to the sketch to my panel

Ready to paint.
Wandering in the Meadows 18x24 oil on panel
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 
Happy Painting!