Tuesday, July 30, 2013

103 Degrees

6" x 8" Oil on Panel.
A week and a half ago the weather was fairly hot - 103°F in fact. And my car was in need of repairs. The day, however, had skies generally free of clouds or smoke so in spite of the challenges I went painting. The car was being disagreeable, but I also have a bicycle, and there's a lot to paint within a short distance of home. With a 6" x 8" pochade box, and other painting gear in a couple leather bags, a small tripod, and a day pack with extra water and some "Clif" bars (apricot and carrot cake - yum) I biked out west of town. There I found a shady spot along a bike path that follows the river and made the painting shown above. Here's a photo of my setup that day:

The car's been fixed since then but that day, hot and car-less, I still had a good day!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Vietnam "Flashback"

12" x 9" Charcoal Pencil on Paper
Actually, I'm too young to have served in Vietnam, but I remember seeing images of that conflict in the newspapers, magazines, and on the nightly news. There are a few 'Nam vets who come to the weekly drawing sessions, and one or two of them served in the marine corps there. One of the marine vets has collected some military gear of the same kind he was issued back then. Last week his grandson modeled for the class. He seems the same age as those who served during that war back then, so he wore his grandfather's Vietnam-era USMC outfit, complete with authentic helmet, flack jacket, and harness for pack and canteen. Some wanted to draw him sans helmet, but when I saw him in that helmet, flack jacket, and the rest of the gear and clothing it took me back to those media images I remember seeing as a child. He looked like those images and that's how I wanted to draw him, so I convinced everyone to let the helmet stay.

For more about drawing sessions, go to "Labels" on the side bar and click on "sketching" or "drawing."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Timp from the Bench

12" x 16" Oil on Panel
Here's another of the paintings I did back in May before trees had fully leafed out. Mount Timpanogos is THE landmark towering over both Utah Valley and Heber Valley. This limestone and dolomite mountain rises dramatically from the 4500 ft (MSL) floor of Utah Valley to 11,752 feet above sea level. The view in the painting is looking north along a section of the bench trail that stretches from Slate Canyon to Slide Canyon. My painting gear and lightweight easel have been carried with me on a number of painting trips along this trail. You can read more about the trail here.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Last Week's Drawing Session

14" x 11" Charcoal on Paper
At the weekly drawing sessions I usually set up for three-quarter angles and sometimes profiles. Last Thursday was a rare opportunity for a straight-on portrait. This kind of portrait requires attention to how the face is balanced yet asymmetrical. The picture above was drawn with charcoal and "white charcoal" pencils on tan-colored sketchbook paper.

For more about drawing sessions, go to "Labels" on the side bar and click on "sketching" or "drawing."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Some More Local Landscapes

9" x 12" Oil on Panel
These plein airs were all painted west of the interstate in Springville. They, along with a number of other paintings, were made in the weeks leading up to the Midway plein air competition.

11" x 14" Oil on Canvas Panel
These scenes are all within a quarter mile of each other and only a few miles from where I live. I do enjoy traveling and painting places different from here, but there certainly is a lot of good subjects close to home. It's good to take advantage of local painting opportunities, not simply because they're convenient, but because the subject matter is so rich and varied.

9" x 12" Oil on Canvas Panel
A small creek flows through this quarter-mile stretch. One evening after finishing a painting I was able to enjoy some fly fishing in the creek. No real lunkers came to my line that evening, but I enjoyed the gathering dusk as swallows darted and swirled through the air, and a loon on a nearby pool in the creek preened it's feathers. Occasionally there would be a sploosh as a fish took my dry fly. That evening, my catch was all returned to the water.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Knit Hat

Here's another portrait sketch done a few weeks ago at the weekly drawing session. Maybe it will provide a break in this blog between a whole lot of plein air landscape paintings and a bunch more plein air landscape paintings yet to be posted. This was drawn with charcoal and "white charcoal" pencils on 14" x 11" toned tan sketchbook paper. The subject was wearing a knit hat and is the daughter of a painter who attends the sessions.

For more about drawing sessions, go to "Labels" on the side bar and click on "sketching" or "drawing."