Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Painting Big Again, and a New Video.

Most of the paintings I've made this year have been on the small side, mostly 9" x 12"s or 8" x 10"s. A few 12" x 16"s have been as big as I've done all year. Because of that, I was wondering if I should "ease" into making much bigger (24" x 36") paintings this year. But then I thought, "Nah - just do it!" So late last week I did. The photo above shows the 24" x 36" painting on location on the easel. I haven't photographed the painting by itself yet, but as soon as I do it'll be put on this blog.

Last year around this time I was painting large plein air pieces in the same area and was filmed by one of the local residents. The video shows me adding some final touches to the painting pictured at the top of another blog post. He put the video up on a website called "Springcreek Conservation." Here's a link to the video on their site:


Or you can see it on their Vimeo channel here:


If for some reason the links don't work, you can copy and paste those web addresses into your browser. While you're on their channel, check out some of their other videos. They've got some neat stuff there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

From a Wiped Painting to a Buffalo Sketch

8" x 10" Oil on Panel
Saturday I went to a place west of Springville to paint. Halfway through the painting I realized this was one of those few times when the painting was out of control and couldn't be corrected. When this sort of thing happens, the best - indeed the ONLY - thing to do is clean all the paint off of the panel and start over. Discouraged, instead of beginning again I decided to move on.

Wiped Panel
After wiping the painting I drove through Lake Shore - an area of ranches, farms, hay fields and scattered residences. I was on my way to West Mountain but became distracted when I drove past a herd of buffalo.

One of the photos I took of the buffalo herd.
Buffalo? Who put the buffalo here?

I pulled the car over, got the camera out and started snapping photos of buffalo. While doing that, I remembered the little piles of paint still on my palette and the freshly wiped panel from earlier. Why not try to do a study of buffalo in oil paint?

Another one of the buffalo photos.
It's a good thing my pochade setup is so portable. As the buffalo herd roamed around the field they were in, I had to move up and down my side of the fence to keep up with them as I painted. The result is shown at the top of this post. Oil studies of live animals is something I haven't tried before. The sketch was kind of quick, but I'm happy with it. Progress can't be made unless you make a start.

Friday, August 14, 2015

More Purple Hair

14" x 10" Pastel on Gray Paper
Recently a model for the Thursday evening portrait session had lavender colored hair. Too bad I had brought only charcoal to work with that day. Yesterday evening's model also had purplish hair, but this time I had my pastels with me. Charcoal was used for the initial drawing. Faber-Castell Polychromos Pastels were used to lay in the initial color, then Conte pastel pencils were used to finish the sketch. The picture shown above is of my sketch for that evening.

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

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New Drawing, Old Charcoal

12" x 9" Charcoal on Paper
On occasion when visiting relatives I discover small items that once belonged to my Dad, who passed away several years ago. Sometimes my interest in Dad's old possessions is more than just sentimental. I can use them. For instance, a couple years ago in my Mom's basement I found some of Dad's old fishing rods, which he had made. With them were some home-made fishing lures. I asked for them, put new fishing line on the old reels, and with the old tackle have caught myself a few fresh fish meals since then.

Another item I found (or it was given to me, I can't remember which) was this old box of charcoal sticks. Dad dabbled in drawing, and so had some sketchbooks and other assorted drawing supplies; pen and ink, pencils, watercolors, etc. Apparently, this old box of charcoal had never been used and was still in excellent condition.

Inside the box, besides the charcoal sticks, is an advertisement for another of Grumbacher's products, spray fixative. These things probably date back to the 1960's. Some of the attitudes and sensibilities back then were different than they are today, and it's fun to look back into those times.

Among other things the advertisement says the spray fixative is good for are "layouts and comprehensives," also "originals and carbon copies." It doesn't mention the old mimeographs. Those must have been too low end or something.

I enjoy the little graphics used in the advertisement. I even like the "politically incorrect" touch a couple of the images have (even if I do have Scottish ancestry myself).

This old box of charcoal travels with me to drawing sessions. Charcoal pencils are used for most of the drawing I do at the sessions. The charcoal sticks are generally used to quickly and uniformly tone white paper before I lay into it with pencils and kneaded eraser. This combination of charcoal sticks and pencils are what I used at last Thursday's live drawing session to make the drawing shown at the top of this post.

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