Monday, June 29, 2015

Wasatch Plein Air Paradise 2015 Part Deux

11" x 14" Oil on Panel
It's day four of Midway's plein air competition. Pictured above is my third painting, made today. The weather for the competition has been hot, but Heber Valley - where the town of Midway is - isn't as hot as Utah valley, down at the other end of Provo Canyon. Temperatures there have been 100° or higher for the past few days. Mornings and early afternoons along the Wasatch Back have been partly cloudy with lots of sunshine. Thunderstorms boil up during the day and by late afternoon the sky becomes mostly cloudy. No rain yet, though. Not bad painting weather, really.

11" x 14" Oil on Panel
The second painting shown here is also my second plein air for the competition, painted Saturday. It looks like it was painted somewhere in Southern Utah, but I found this redrock formation a few miles east of Heber City.

Paintings are due framed and ready to hang tomorrow afternoon. I'll try for one more painting tomorrow, then decide which three to put into the show. Show opens tomorrow evening. For more information you can go here.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Wasatch Plein Air Paradise 2015 is ON!

12" x 16" Oil on Panel
Today is the first day of the WPAP outdoor painting competition. This morning I drove to Midway, Utah, paid the entry fees, got my painting panels stamped, and went painting. It's not a good photograph, but the picture above shows my efforts for the day. Painters have until 2:00 PM Tuesday to turn in up to three paintings in the main competition. I plan to paint again tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday. I don't know if I'll be in any of the "quick paint" competitions next week. That will depend on my schedule.

The show opens Tuesday evening June 30th and runs through Saturday, July 4th. All the paintings in the show will be for sale. For more information about the show you can check out Midway Art Association's website here.

Or here:

Friday, June 19, 2015


10" x 14" Charcoal on Gray Paper
Thursday's live portrait model came with his hair done in a way I've never drawn before - dreadlocks! It's always fun when the host studio provides new and different challenges for us to draw. As far as I'm concerned, the live sessions aren't to learn how to draw, say, noses, eyes, hair, or even an entire face for that matter. The sessions are to practice putting the darks and lights in the right places relative to each other. Then everything takes care of itself. If, when you stand back and look at the portrait from a little bit of distance, and the facial features don't seem right, take a good look at the model. Then instead of thinking "nose", "eyes" or "hair", see where the light and dark areas are and place them on your paper (or whatever you're drawing or painting on) in the right shapes, proportions and distances to each other. Getting those right is a matter of hand/eye coordination and takes practice. Just as a basketball player needs regular time in the gym practicing layups and free throws, and a concert pianist needs to practice scales, painters need time practicing drawing and painting from life.

Of course, just what is "right" in a drawing opens up a whole 'nuther can o' worms. That's a subject for another time.

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

Friday, June 12, 2015

Charcoal Blonde

12" x 9" Charcoal on Paper
This is a charcoal sketch from a portrait session just over a week ago. The model's hair was so long, it would have taken a sheet of paper twice this size to fit it all into one drawing - keeping the face the same size as on the 9" x 12" drawing. Some of the other artists want her to model again, mainly so they can paint her hair.

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

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Half Moon Over Ridge Top Cedars

9" × 12" Oil on Pane
The last several weeks have been generous with their rainy days. I really didn't feel like going painting earlier this week. However, I determined to get out and paint, rain or shine. I drove up to Bridal Veil Falls, but sat in my car as outside it rained and rained. I gazed out of the rain streaked window and up at the towering cliffs surrounding the falls, turned dreary by the weather.  Or maybe the weather had turned me dreary. Either way, I decided to move on.

A few miles up the canyon is Vivian Park. The weather had improved a little by the time I reached the park, so I thought I might try and paint there. There was a little spot on the ridge above the trout pond that caught my attention, so I set up a pochade box near the parking lot and set to painting. As I painted, the weather cleared just above the ridge I was painting, revealing a quarter moon.

The park was crowded with picknickers and fathers taking their kids fishing. Several people stopped to visit and see what I was painting. I never mind short visits from people as I paint. In fact I generally enjoy their visits. The image above shows the day's efforts from the park.