Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Week in Winter

Pregnant Model, Oil on Canvas, 16x20
The painting to the left is a portrait done at Kate's Studio Portrait Session painted a week ago.  The painting is, of course, in need of finish in at least a couple of ways.  First the three-hour session did not allow me enough time to completely "cover my tracks", i.e., correct mistakes in drawing and/or color.  (Above the model's painted head color was muddied due to earlier drawing corrections.  Upon the paint drying this error can be corrected easily enough.)  Another indicator of finish is evidence of edge control which is not complete in this case. 
   Although the model posed nude, I chose to focus in the upper third of the figure, featuring her lovely face.

Overcast by Bissel's Cove, Oil on Board, 10x10
The small oil sketch to the left was done on an overcast day.  I was pleased with the general tone that mirrored the tranquility of the place, although further corrections will result from incubation in the studio.  The view looks out to Smith's Castle, a Rhode Island landmark.

In the Village, Oil on Canvas, 12x16
The oil sketch to the left is slightly more developed than the one above, primarily due to the fact that the weather was much more cooperative on this day than the last.  It was a sunny day with temperatures near 50 degrees.  Such days, especially in January are especially welcome to plein-air painters in these parts .  The fingers do not require gloves and, more importantly, observation times can be extended.  Moreover, the light did change but not so radically as I feared it would during this transition from late morning to just after noontime.

Path by the Cove, Oil on Ill. Board, 11x13
To the left is an oil sketch done on illustration board, done plein-air about a day after the previous effort.  I was interested in the play of light emphasized by shadows across the path and by the birches lining the bank of the cove.  Between the trees one can see boats still moored there on this January day.  The day was cold but the sunshine was enough to keep this artist fueled and on task.  The view of the treeline across the cove gave that feel of winter.  I found the scene an absorbing challenge -- and I will be back there when the sun shines again!  Incidentally,  this location is a short walk from the site of the previous painting of Bissel's Cove.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

These Unpainterly Times

The abstract-looking mess to the left is an image of an oil sketch I had done yesterday.  It was intended to be a snow study in a park -- you can see that the dark lines represent trees-- but it began to rain!  The small board, about 8 x 10 in in size was fastened to a clip board.  The rain etched its way into the oil sketch in small rivulets , cutting through the block-in I was furiously attempting.  I did admire the etched tangles; if I followed their courses with some fine brushing of an orange- and transparent oxide red, I would have a richly-vined scene reminiscent of a forest interior or at least a thicket.  When I considered the piece in the comfort of the studio, however, I wanted to follow my original intent of showing the majesty of these trees and their soft shadows on the new carpet of snow.

The short-Lived Snow, Oil on Board, 8 x 10
The picture on the left is actually the same board (dried) and worked upon in the studio using memory and a little "artistic license".  One can see in both the original rain-etched abstract as well as the painting on the left, the indication of a stone wall marking the edge of the field.  Also, the placement of the trees is essentially the same.  The additions, not noted in the original is the winding path and the figures in the distance (on the left).    It is always good to work up the studio painting not long after the original plein-air sketch so that the scene is recognizable by people living in the area-- at least that is often my intention.
Here, one correction I will make is the sky.  The color in the original sketch is truer-- less blue, more lavender.

                                                                   As painters, we must forge ahead regardless of the vicissitudes of the New England weather!