Saturday, February 20, 2016

Snow Scene

Snow Scene
9x12 oil on panel
Landscape #3

My obsession with painting water and reflections needed a break so I found this reference I took on a trip to visit my daughter last winter.  I loved the way the light hit the edge of the shed and the trees in layers surrounding this barn.
I may do a little more work on the fence posts and snow.
Umber sketch

Block -in

Marsh Grasses

Marsh Grasses
5x7 oil on panel

I struggled with the larger version of this scene, I still haven't resolved it.  I thought I would take it easy and do a small version - it wasn't.  I struggled with this one too and finally decided to blame my reference photo. It looks like the water in the upper body might spill out.
Landscape # 3 of 100

Cape Cod Light

Cape Cod Light
11x14 oil on panel

This still needs some tweaking but I am happy with it so far.  I like it better than the alla prima version I did last week of the same scene.

Landscape #2 in my goal of 100 oil landscapes

Friday, February 12, 2016


Cape Cod Light

Marsh Grasses

Two starts today, both done with raw umber/ burnt sienna grisaille. I can't wait to add the color.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Marsh Grasses

Marsh Grasses
5x7 Pastel 

I did this study on a 5x7 mounted piece of U-Art that had been used and washed off.  My aim was to see if the pastels I loaded into my Heilman box would be enough for a landscape like this.  The box and it's set up on my tripod worked beautifully.  The colors were enough, I only added two.  The Ludwigs seemed to work even better broken in half.

  • I started with too deep a pink for the sky and it was difficult to tone down.
  • The line of trees in the background is the same width as the marsh grass in front of them, the tree line should be narrower.  
  • The distant marsh grass is too vibrant and pulls the eye and doesn't receede.
  • The mid ground grass band is too uniform, it should be wider on the left and the right side should fade into the distance
  • The reflection on the lower left should dip down more
  • The floating reeds should not follow the exact direction of the grasses and should not be centerred.  They also are too uniform

Monday, February 8, 2016

My New Heilman Sketch Box

My new Heilman Sketch Box arrived today.  It is beautifully designed and made. The box snaps onto the tripod my son-in-law found for me and the easel slides into two holes in the box.  Very light weight and sturdy.  It even has a snap on tray for the pastels in use.

I plan to fill it with my Terry Ludwig Stan Sperlak set and a few of my favorite Gireaults.  Now I can't wait to go plein aire painting.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Landscape #1

Landscape #1 
I love landscapes but my oil landscapes are not good yet and it frustrates me but I know the reason and I have a plan.
3 years ago when I got back into oil painting my still life's were not very good but after about 300 paintings they got better. I can say the same for my pastel landscapes.  So the plan is paint more and see what happens. This is #1 of 100.

I did two pastel studies to decide which image to complete in oil and I chose this one.  My plan was to complete one version alla prima and do the same scene again with a grisaille. This was complicated by the fact that I switched to oil primed canvas rather than my usual acrylic primed panel.

The only thing that kept me from wiping this completely was feeling that I could not count it as #1 if I did not salvage it. I like some of it, the suggestion of houses by the far trees, the touch of marsh water reflecting the sky but overall it has none of the sophistication of the pastel version. Well actually I pretty much dislike it.

My next step is to use the same reference for a grisaille version, maybe I will get to it tomorrow.

Cape Sky
9x12 pastel 

This is the pastel version

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sunset on the Pink House

Sunset on the Pink House
12x16 pastel on Pastelmat, maize

On the way home from Plum Island we saw the sun setting behind the pink house.  Of course we had to stop and photograph it even if it was only with our phones. I would love to see this landmark restored, there is even a "save the pink house" group.

This is soft pastels, Girault, Ludwigs and Senneliers.  I have been working on pastelmat lately and really enjoying the smooth surface.
This is the graphite underpainting

Monday, February 1, 2016

30 in 30 collag.

Well I started the 30 in 30 to get  painting more, I especially wanted to work on landscapes.  For the first week or so I did small pastel studies but then the desire to do larger works took over.  I painted and forgot to post and painted some more. In the end I did 29 finished pieces of all different sizes.

I sent five in to a local gallery show, have one to enter in an upcoming pastel show, painted plein aire in the winter and have a new plein aire friend. A very successful month and now I am headed to the studio to paint some more.