Category Archives: Landscapes
Sometimes I am compelled to paint something that I didn’t plan. Circumstances intervene and inspiration strikes. I had intended to paint another cat today with a more involved background but as I listened to the radio with the storm reports from Sandy I went in another direction.
We didn’t experience the storm here in Georgia although it has been very windy and cold here the last couple of days. It is the wind and the storm that inspired today’s painting. I wanted to paint something that captures the feeling of a windy day….the clearing of a storm with promise of a new day.
It was with a sense of urgency that I searched for that last piece of black sandpaper that I had been saving. I knew the black smooth surface would work for the mood I wanted to create. This painting is from my imagination and is more an emotional response to the weather rather than a depiction of an actual place.
I’ll get to the cat painting but sometimes there is a painting in you that you just have to get out. It may not even turn out well but it is the process of creating that is important. Don’t ignore that voice in your head that tells you what to paint. It is this voice that helps you put your emotions into a painting. It is no longer just a painting exercise. You are painting from your heart.
I love texture! A great way to introduce texture to a pastel painting is to use a textured surface. Most commercial pastel papers have a smooth and even surface. Even the roughest sanded paper tends to have an even surface. That is why I love using my own prepared surfaces. I can make them as rough and irregular as I want. I don’t use my own surfaces that often because I don’t take the time to make them. It isn’t hard to do so I really need to make them more often. I love painting on them! If you would like to see photos of the development of this painting visit my Daily Painting blog here.
I have seen the light! Never has the benefits of painting outdoors been so clear to me. There are so many lessons I learned at the 1st Annual Plein Air Convention. It was inspiring, informative, motivating and just fun to be around so many people with the same passion for painting that I have. I will be sharing some of the wonderful things I learned over the next week but I would like to begin with the most important lesson. Painting en plein air really does help you see better.
The term “plein air” (derived from the French, “open air”) is used to describe painting that is done outdoors, directly from nature. Plein air painters seek to capture the varied, shifting effects of light and atmosphere on the landscape.
I have always enjoyed painting outdoors but I just didn’t make enough time to go out. I figured my photos would be good enough. But I know now that if I really want to become a better painter, I need to paint outdoors more often. If you would like to see more plein air paintings from my trip to the 1st Annual Plein Air Convention visit my daily painting blog here.
The landscape of the Southwest is calling to me! I am so glad that I decided to attend the 1st Annual Plein Air Convention in Las Vegas. Next week I will have an opportunity to paint in Red Rock Canyon and I can’t wait. Not to mention all of the wonderful artists who will be there…both the instructors and the attendees.
I am working this week on desert landscapes so I can test my pastel box of colors that I plan to bring. Yesterday I did a painting that depicts the red rocks with intense late afternoon light. I was going for the glow on the rocks. You can see the painting HERE. For today’s painting I wanted to capture the more subtle colors of the desert. I did need to add a couple of new colors to my box so I am glad I am testing this week!
If you would like to see a step by step demo of this painting, visit my daily painting blog HERE
“Pretend you are dancing or singing a picture. A worker or painter should enjoy his work,else the observer will not enjoy it. It is not good to wear lace that was a drudgery to someone to make. The lace, as well as the picture, should be made in joy.” Robert Henri
Robert Henri’s The Art Spirit is a book that every artist and art lover should have this book on the shelf. It is a book filled with the wisdom and advice of Henri who was a revered teacher and artist. The book is a collection of his teachings, notes and critiques. Read more about Robert Henri here http://roberthenrimuseum.org/
Not only does the book give Henri’s technical advice to painters, it is full of inspiring words of wisdom about life and art. It is the kind of book that can be picked up and opened to any page. Every page has a pearl of wisdom and gives food for thought. It is a book that can be read over and over. I keep my copy on my night stand and pick it up whenever I need a bit of inspiration. The quote about singing a picture is typical of the little gems on every page of the book.
Every Spring I am faced with the same challenge…. How to capture the beauty of the Spring landscape successfully in my paintings. On my daily painting blog I discussed the challenges we have in trying to paint the Spring landscape. Read more here. Today I’d like to share some things that have helped me meet the challenge.
- Do some advance planning. Do thumbnails to help you SIMPLIFY the busy Spring landscape.
- Decide on a FOCAL AREA and develop it while leaving other areas with less detail. This is especially important when trying to paint flowering trees and shrubs….simplify the background by using colors in the same value so that they are soft and out of focus.
- Try to focus in on one area of the landscape rather than trying to fit in all of the excitement into one painting. Plan on doing several paintings instead.
- Try to zero in on one bush, flower or branch for a more intimate view of Spring.
Are you new to pastels or looking for a way to simplify your work? Why not try this simple method for starting a pastel painting. There are so many choices and options available to pastel artists these days…new papers and pastels open up great possibilities. It can be overwhelming. What paper to use? Underpaint or not? Sometimes it just feels good to go back to basics. When I first started painting with pastels I was taught a very simple method for starting a pastel painting. If you’d like to read more about it and see my step by step demo please visit my daily painting blog here.
Are you a Squinter? I am a ‘sometimes squinter’. I try to remember to squint when I am painting but it is not as much of a habit as I know it should be. I do know that when I remember to squint I end up with a more successful painting. Why? Because squinting helps me simplify. And squinting is a free tool that goes everywhere with me! I can plan a painting based on strong simple shapes and value patterns because squinting helps me to remove the clutter of details. For this painting, I squinted as I did my initial block in. If you would like to see my process, please visit my daily painting blog Painting my World.
Do you need a good reason to use an Analogous Color Wheel? How about Harley’s Law for Color? If you are familiar with Harley Brown ‘s work and books then you may have read about his ‘Law for Color’ in his book ‘Harley Brown’s Eternal Truths for Every Artist’. The entire book belongs on every artist’s book shelf and the chapter on color is a must-read. Harley’s color wheel is based on the Munsell theory of Color. Using an Analogous Color Wheel will help you follow Harley’s Law. Read more about the Analogous Color Wheel in my post HERE. I used an Analogous colore wheel to help me select the palette for this painting.
I’ve got my shipping down to a science. Since I have been a member of Daily Painters.com for 6 years and now Daily Paintworks, I have shipped many pastel paintings to their new homes. And the method I use has not failed me. My paintings arrive safe and sound. I only ship unframed paintings. If I ship a framed piece to a show I use an airfloat box. So what is my shipping method? I make a foamcore sandwich! To read more and see photos of my shipping method see my post on my daily painting blog here.