Thursday, June 7, 2012

A White Bowl

When I woke up at 7:00 this morning, the sun was shining and it looked like we were finally going to have some good plein air painting weather.  I had a cup of coffee, ate some breakfast and started thinking about just going out in the back yard for the first outdoor painting.  Then all of a sudden it was as though someone turned the lights out.  The clouds arrived and the rain wasn't too far behind.  I could hire myself for fighting forest fires.  I could just show up with my new painting box and rain would be guaranteed.

It was time to do a painting from life, so I pulled the light box out and set up a white bowl with a blue background and green surface.  The purpose of the exercise was to paint a white object without using pure white and make it believable.  I gave myself another challenge by only using two colors and titanium white to tint them.  The palette consisted of ultramarine and cadmium yellow pale hue.

I am used to drawing the setup and then painting it with pastels.  For this oil painting, I negative painted the background and table surface which left the outline of the bowl.  I was surprised how it turned out.  Not perfect, but not too bad.  I also used a small viewfinder that came with the Thumbox.  Dumb as it may sound, it was the first time that I can remember using one.  What an idiot I am.  They work like a charm!

Anyway, this is painted on a 4 x 6 canvas panel and is painted from life.  I used Windsor & Newton Artisan water mixable oil colours.  It took about half an hour to paint.  Thanks for looking.



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Shady Path

Or is is a shady past?  Either way, I am not sure I like it.  I seem to have problems painting this type of scene.  I don't know if it is because of the value change from sunny to shaded areas or it is the wall of trees.  I think it will take a stab at painting something like this from life for me to have any success.

It was raining out all day and there was no way I was going to be able to get outside for the maiden voyage of plein air painting.  It is supposed to rain for the next three days, so it is photo reference time.  I might try a still life tomorrow.  It has been a while since I have painted from life.  Maybe I can get a couple of paintings done tomorrow.  We will see if I am up to it.

This is painted on a 4 x 6 canvas panel, using Windsor & Newton Artisan water mixable oil colors.  I used the same palette as yesterday.



Monday, June 4, 2012

Breaking in the Thumbox

After taking Larry Seiler's course and chatting with him on WetCanvas, he inspired me to try plein air painting.  I figured painting in public couldn't be any more intimidating than posting paintings online for the whole world to see.  After a few years of doing that, I don't even think about it anymore, but I still remember the first few times I hit the send key.  So I know it will be a little scary the first couple of times, but hopefully it will become an addictive habit.

The first thing I needed was a painting box.  After doing some investigating I settled on a Guerrilla Thumbox.  This pochade box is very compact and suits my needs for painting 4 x 6, 5 x 7 and 6 x 8 panels.  Small paint tubes, short handled brushes, a palette knife, a small brush cleaner, a small oil tin and a few other objects can be stored inside the box below the sliding palette.  I hope to be able to mix my paint on the palette before going out to paint.  That should cut down the time needed to be in view of the public.  It also will also allow me to get right to painting when I get to the painting location.

I thought it might be a good idea to use the Thumbox in my studio to give it a try before going plein air painting.  It was a little different at first, but after a while it was just painting as normal.  There will be things to learn, but the only way to learn is to do it.  Maybe my next post will be a plein air painting.  We will see.

This painting is done on a 4 x 6 canvas panel and I used Windsor & Newton Artisan water mixable oil colors.  I used a split complementary palette of ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow medium and cadmium red deep hue along with titanium white.  I really like the greens you can make with this palette.

I am including a photo of the Thumbox with the painting.  Thanks for looking.


The Guerrilla Thumbox