Friday, April 17, 2015

Playing with Cad Red

Wearing Red
6x6 oil on panel
I wanted to try something different, to experiment.  I've often toned my panel with earth orange, this time I tried Cadmium Red. I liked the way this turned out and I know I will try it again.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Demo at GSAA

On Thursday I did a demo for GSAA. I explained that my paintings proceed in three steps.  The first is planning and design and involves taking my own reference photos, creating thumbnails using three values. I use a golden section grid and rearrange objects to suit my composition, I then transfer the idea to a mounted pastel paper limiting my design to five basic shapes.  All of this was done before the demo. Next I chose hard pastels for my under painting paying attention to values with cools in the background and warmer in the foreground. This was quickly washed with alcohol to create a toned surface. I love having some of the deep red violets peek through the green. I then quickly added layers of pastel to suggest the scene without being too literal. When I start to feel the tendency to overwork I stop and take a break to observe and make some decisions. This is how the painting looked at the end of my demo.

Back on my easel I put the reference photo away and made some observations:

  • Add some bright golds to the foreground field to invite the eye in. Some of these should overlap the next layer to create depth.
  •  Soften the back layer of trees to break the barrier to the mountain and add variety to this edge.
  • Make the right hand distance tree more dominant and minimize the left so they don't compete for attention.
  • Adjust the brush to allow access to the field.
  • Reshape the front and center bush and adjust the other two so they do not mimic the first.
  •  Add wild flowers in the field to pull the eye in. Add blue violets in the foreground just for fun.

This is how the painting looks after this step:
Just a few more corrections needed:
  • Soften the ridge line to the left of the left tree
  • Break up the rows on the left
  • Make the large tree even more dominant