Saturday, February 23, 2019

16 Brushes

When I clean up after a day at the easel, a quick glance at the number of brushes I've used is a good indication of how well the painting session has gone. Two to three and I'm probably just touching up a couple of areas. Five to eight and the painting has gone smoothly. Over a dozen brushes and the piece could be in trouble.

As I looked at the 16 brushes I had to clean, it was clear there were some issues.

 I want that special look to the northern lights. Above I've used all my large blending brushes until they are saturated with color and no longer blend the colors easily. It sort of looks like northern lights but the sky is not terribly exciting.

After throwing in some abstract blocks in the night sky, I've moved to the bear. My first run through with him produced a muddy look so blues have been added.
Below, the last bit of highlight on the bear has been painted.

As I was lying in bed that night, I tried to convince myself that the abstract nature of the sky was what I wanted with the more realistic bear.
Nope, I just wasn't buying it. I had to figure out the color I could see in my head. It seemed every combination of blues, greens and yellows just wasn't quite right. The sky needed to glow.

Then all of a sudden, it came to me. I could mix the Gamblin Phthalo Emerald with Rembrandt Lemon Yellow. The next morning I was eager to return to the studio and use those much loved blending brushes to finish the painting.

Light Show
7.5" X 13.5"
Original Oil

Sunday, February 17, 2019


Below is the finished painting. I wanted to wait until it was dry to scan it before posting. While my camera can take excellent photos, it is not a substitute for a quality scan.

 Beach Combers
7.75" X 11.25"
Original Oil

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Building Waves

I really enjoy painting water, except at the beginning, some parts in the middle, and toward the end.
Fortunately, I know that and can work through areas and stages which don't look "wet" at all.

This small piece (7.75" X 11.25") is a good example of what I mean.

 At this stage I am blocking in the colors. To me it doesn't look like much at all and the painting is truly in one of those ugly stages.

Using a very soft brush, I blend the edges of the colors together. Sometimes I am a bit heavy-handed and need to add more color blocks. This is also a good time to adjust the depth and hue of the colors.

At this stage I like the painting again. I see form and direction. The addition of the light blue (which is a shadowed highlight) really helped.

The highlights are the fun part. Here is where the wave starts to come together. The "white" is titanium white and cadmium yellow deep. My brush moves around the painting adjusting each section. Sometimes an area which I thought should be light looks better darkened and vise versa.

Near the end of the painting I reach another difficult section. The wave is nothing without a convincing watery stage. Introducing blues and sand colors, I weave them in among the foam.

The birds and sand will be the final segment.

Thanks to my blog followers for your patience. It has been a busy show season and my blog fell among those things which did not get done. I'll strive to post more regularly. Thanks for following.