Saturday, April 5, 2014

Foggy Afternoon

Study for Foggy Afternoon, oil on panel, 6 x 8

This little study started as an exercise in atmospheric tonalism.  There are two key ways to create atmosphere:  close values and low chroma color.  I picked one color (green) to use as my jumping off point for all the values and masses in the painting.  All the colors are mixed off of the one green puddle of color.  I was careful to keep the values separate but close.  I like the brushwork in this study.  I also like the underpainting showing through in the foreground as it adds a little sparkle and interest.  After spending the last several months painting in an indirect manner (lots of glazing and waiting) it was liberating to start and finish a study in one sitting.  I used a larger pastel painting of this scene from a few years ago as my guide to composing the sketch.  I may take it a bit further and create a new composition for a larger oil.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sunset Along the Shore

"Sunset ALong the Shore", pastel on sanded paper, 6 x 6

I finally broke out my pastels to do a few studies today.  I usually can't use my pastels on the boat (too messy!) but we are on land for a couple of days so out they came.  We can't see the sun set because of the mountains so it is really more about trying to capture the way the changing sky affects the colors of the trees and land.  I like this piece and may work it up into a bigger size lair.  The back mountain probably needs to be darkened a bit to push it back.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Think Green

"Spring Greens", 12 x 12, oil on panel

I don't usually post works in progress but I felt we needed a little break from the rain and snow!  This painting is based on several sketches and some photo references of one of my favorite spots in Ridgefield, CT.  It has some great trees.  This was a misty morning in late spring/early summer.  This is an example of the indirect painting process I am using in some of my landscapes now.  It has several layers of glazes, scumbles and opaque and translucent passages.  At this point it is a matter of adjusting the values of the rocks and emphasizing the misty quality of the atmosphere which I will do with more glazes and probably some opaque areas to tone down the bright green areas down a bit.  As I've said before, it is a time consuming process!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Annapolis Rain

"Annapolis Rain", 9 x 12, oil on linen panel

I've been working on several rainy day scenes and cityscapes over the past few weeks.   I haven't been able to post anything because they have all been in different stages of development.  This process just takes a lot longer than direct alla prima painting.  I am trying to create a mood with these paintings rather than just presenting a scene.  I like all the different textures of a rainy day in the city:  reflections, wet pavement, misty atmosphere and the patina of old buildings.  It's a struggle to suggest all these different textures but that is part of the process.  So I guess these paintings are as much about the process as the actual subject matter.  Hopefully there will be a couple more paintings ready to show by the end of the week.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Beach Dune Study

Beach Dune Study, 6 x 8, oil on panel

This is a quick study for a larger painting that I am planning when I get back to my studio in Saratoga.  It is based on sketches and photos of the dunes in Cape Cod.  They are really very soft and gray in color when you look at them closely.  I will do a larger pastel version and then decide how much bigger I want to go with the final painting.  A larger version will require some refinement to the composition particularly in the foreground area so I have some work to do before I attack this project!  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, February 24, 2014

View From the Cockpit

"View From the Cockpit (BVI)", 6 x 8, oil on carton board

This is the view from the cockpit of the boat in our marina in Tortola.  The islands in the background are St. John.  Sorry to rub it in to all you snowbound people up North!  This is a quick oil sketch done on carton board which is a substrate that the European Impressionists used for their studies.  It is ultra absorbent and a little scratchy which makes it a little challenging to paint quickly.  I like the warm undertones that show throughout the sketch.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

After the Rain

"After the Rain" (Road Town, BVI) 9 x 12, oil on panel

I had a fairly unproductive month due to the fractured foot incident but things are on the mend!  I have been working on some small pieces while laid up on the boat.  This is one of a few paintings currently in progress though this one is pretty close to finished.  There may be a scumble here or a glaze there before it is all done but I am leaving it for now.  I will post the remaining few pieces as they get closer. . .