Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sketchbook from Deep Creek Lake

Got a few sketchbook pages from our travels last week to share with you. 

(Mark's hands on the wheel while driving to MD)

(A little boat house/shed on the lake)

(The vacated former restaurant/inn next door to the condos we were renting)

(This is Anna Joy, my cousin's almost-two-year-old, wanted to help out with filling a few pages of my Summer Challenge Sketchbook. Drew her portrait from a photo on one of the pages when we got home.)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Paintings from Deep Creek Lake

When painting is your job as well as your passion you take work with you on vacation. In fact the thing that most excites you about vacation is "working" in a new location.

Last week my husband and I joined my extended family for a family reunion at Deep Creek Lake in MD. The week usually involves water skiing, tubing, sailing, sun burn, a lot of good food, staying up late and catching up on everyone's lives.

Of course I also brought my paints. Between the activities I managed to squeak out a few paintings, including my first nocturne. I chose simple compositions to paint and focused on capturing the color of the moment. This enabled the essence of the scene to be captured quickly so I wouldn't feel like I was spending hours upon hours away from all the family festivities.

Take a look:

Edge of the Water
5x7, oil

Day's End
6x6, oil

Clouds Float By
9x12, oil

 Crimson Glow
5x7, oil

8x10, oil

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Break in the Rain, 6x6

Break in the Rain
6x6, oil

This was painted on location at Sunday Park in Midlothian. It was a cloudy day & I was hoping the rain would hold off long enough to get in a morning of painting outdoors. I got a few drops through out the morning before the skies opened up again in the afternoon. The Swift Creek Reservoir was reflecting so many beautiful blue-grays. I caught a flock of ducks out near that peninsula as a bit of sun tried to peek through the clouds between the showers.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Inspiration from Howard Pyle

"Project your mind into your subject until you actually live in it."

"Your subjects have had a history – try to reveal it in your picture."

"Art is not a transcript nor a copy. Art is the expression of those beauties and emotions that stir the human soul."

"Throw your heart into the picture and then jump in after it. "

"Paint your picture by means of the lights. Lights define texture and color – shadows define form. "

 Howard Pyle
American Illustrator of the 1900's
Father of the Brandywine Tradition

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A nocturne

8x10, oil

It's no Fredrick Remington, but it is my first nocturne en plein air. Those reds are definitely brighter than I could sense while out painting this scene.

An in-action photo. The camera flash makes everything look brighter. I set up under a security light and it was quite a challenge to see my color mixtures. This is when it pays to set up your palette the same way every time, so you can paint from instinct, in combination with sight.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The trees are not green...

"Art education changes the way our brain perceives everything."
Carolyn Anderson

 Tree on the Bend, 6x8, oil

The trees are no longer just green and the sky is no longer blue.

You realize there are no rules to how something is made.

You realize more than ever the vast gulf of creative ability between yourself and the Creator of the Universe, who simply spoke these intricate forms and exquisite colors into existence.

Take an art class this summer, read an art book, watch an art demo, observe what you really see, create something from the beauty you see around you...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What's going on with the Summer Sketchbook Challenge?

  Well, it's going! 

Head over to the Summer Sketchbook Challenge blog to see everyone's progress.
Carter Stuart is also plugging away & producing some really fun & beautiful pages. Take a look at her blog as well:

Below are a few pages from my sketchbook:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Boxwoods at Watkins, 8x10

Boxwoods at Watkins
8x10, oil

Watkins Nurseries owns acres (upon acres) of gorgeous land in Amelia where they grow their landscaping "stock". Paintings will never paint themselves, as much as us artists dream that they will, but I definitely felt like they came close while I was out in the Watkins fields.

Rows of shrubs, trees, winding roads, sever small ponds. Oh, and some very interesting bugs.

(jeans tucked into the socks = negative points for fashion, but plenty of points for keeping the ticks and bugs OUT!)

The painting, as the title suggests, was painted from among the boxwoods shrubs & finished at home in my studio.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"Cleo" - Black and White to Color

I know I've been MIA for the past week or so, but that doesn't mean I haven't been painting. If you're on my Facebook page, you've seen I've been doing a bit of painting on location as well as sketching for the Summer Sketchbook Challenge. In addition I've been working on a number of commissioned paintings. I hope to share a few of them here over the next few weeks.

Below is one that took quite a bit more effort than most. I don't typically paint portraits from black and white photos, although we did quite a bit of that while in art school at VCU. I wouldn't even consider myself a portrait painter. This commission was a tough one to tackle, but I am happy with the result.

16x20, oil

I recorded each step in the painting's progression:

I started with a 5x7 "study" to make sure I could handle it.

Here I set up the underpainting with burnt umber, then added the dark areas of the hair, eyes and eyebrows.

My palette and the flesh tone mixtures.

Here is the reference photo next to the study. Flesh tones were being placed and the blouse painted. The request was for a blue blouse. :)
A loose block in of the flesh tones, and some refining of the tones & transitions.

Finishing up with the eyes & then painting in the background.

Now I'm ready (as I'll ever be) to paint the full-size piece - 16x20:

After laying in the underpainting, I decided to start with the eyes this time.

Here I'm beginning to lay in the skin tones & clothing.

Finalizing the facial structure & defining the hair.

Here, the reference photo with the study & final after the background was added.
The finished piece. 
16x20, oil.
She loved it. :)

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