Saturday, January 24, 2015

four for the road

gotta run with an early tee time but i wanted to post these plein air pieces from last week. more to follow....narrative and everything....the whole shootin' match(never did understand the derivation of that saying).

Friday, January 16, 2015

further pursuits of the plein air, no less

i got my act together earlier this week and got outside to do some plein air painting. granted it wasn't any further than just off our driveway, but such is the environmemt around our abode, paintings in all directions.

i decide to do our neighbor's house as it was simple and convenient, if not terribly interesting. when it was done, my observant spouse joan noted that i had made that "p-o-s" look way better than it actually did (look). who's to argue? at least i tried. so here is the first plein air of the year: " casa borrego nos. 22 and 9"(don't ask).

"casa borrego nos. 22 and 9" (10"X14")

Sunday, January 11, 2015

values, values, values.........and did i mention values

i think it always bears re-stating that values carry a painting. colors are nice......sort of like the sauce on a meal while the values are the "meat and potatoes." when a painting just isn't working for me, i almost always discover that there is a problem with interpreting and rendering the values. the problem sometimes comes in translating values to colors and vice versa. there are some gizmos that help in "seeing" values like a red lens or tinted viewer. one thing that i do to help in the interpretation is to work almost exclusively with black and white photo references when i am in the studio. this leaves only the reproduction of the desired values onto the painting. for this (and admittedly somewhat after the fact) i sometimes resort to taking a photo of a partially (or almost) finished piece, download it into i-photo, and change it to black and white.....voila a value study. this clearly shows me where the values are and whether i have rendered them the way that i intended.

in this cityscape the first time i thought that i had finished (or gotten pretty close to finishing) there was still something that bothered me about it. thinking it was the values i did take a photo and translated it to b+w. this showed me as the first pair of photos depicted below that the values in the mid-page were not strong enough (at least in my opinion).

so back to the easel and i added some darker glazes to the right mid-painting area. i also thought that the darks around the windows and doorways was too i lightened them. this resulted in the pair of photos depicted below.

i think it is better. what do you think? so, whenever you are in quandary about values this technique may help sort it out.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

"labradoodling" (11"X15")

shortly after arriving in borrego springs, i managed to get everything set up and painted a small "portrait" of my sister's dog. i usually try todo a lot of experimentation while out here on the desert. i'm not sure this is much of an experiment, but i did just splash and sling much more randomly and with abandon than usual. as usual, though, just after i decided i couldn't improve on it by further painting, i really didn't like it. however, also as usual, it grew on me with the intervening days and now i actually think its alright.

"labradoodling" (11"X15")
my sister and her empty-nest family are arriving shortly for a two week stay at the local state park campground. i'd love for them to stay here but we can't have pets and, as you can see, a large, sloppy, but lovable labradoodle just isn't going be okay. if my sis likes the painting i will force it on her as she departs for points east