Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summer Session 3 The Yellow Chair

The DPC gathered again for our weekly meeting, this time at school. I was taking the Painting Interiors workshop with Peter van Dyke this week and figured why not kill two paintings with the same brush. After searching a bit for a subject to paint, I along with Dave settled on the yellow chair again. I had painted it earlier in the week, but once again that chair just sung out to us to be painted. It would be one ugly chair to have in your house, but it's great to paint in that environment at school.

Eventually Joel and Lexi showed up and we spent the afternoon painting away before the light changed too much. As always we have lots of fun with jokes flying about as much if not more than paint. Its also funny how the school can become a different place and subject when you are not in class.

Dave's chair painting.

My painting of the Yellow Chair.

Joel looks at Dave's watercolors, you can see some of them over on Dave's blog. Next week we move into our group studio!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Across the Delaware

My painting of the Ben Franklin Bridge across the Delaware River. 10x 20, oil.

Yesterday the Dirty Palette Club had our second weekly meeting of the summer at a nice park along the Delaware River in Philly. This time it was just me and the gals as the other male members were busy or away. Lucky me!

It was a nice day, hot, but I found a great spot under a nice tree and got to relax the old mental muscle from the stress of the weekly commercial grind in my studio.

I picked up a few landscape proportioned panels at the last sale at Dick Blick and tried out one of them. I packed a pic-nic lunch and just enjoyed painting as the tide rolled out and the ships rolled past.

My feeling with plein air is to hunt for a scene fast, pick it, stick it and paint it as the sun gives you 3-4 hours.
Alina choosing her shot.

Here is my palette set-up and my pencil rough in of my painting.

Here is my painting after about roughly 30 minutes when things started to change like the tide going out.

Yesterday the lighting did change and it became a bit more overcast and that diffused the lighting a bit and probably gave us a longer time to paint, also I planned the suns change and figure what would change fast earlier in the paint and what would change later. I however hadn't taken into account that the tide would go out, which it did about half way into my painting. This ended up giving me a much more interesting foreground to my painting--and I leapt to get it down fast. The tide started coming back and then some big cargo ships moved through and their waked really changed everything--the driftwood logs and interesting details.
Lexi and I take a lunch break.
Alina and Lexi brunching under the trees.

The more I paint in nature I realize how much forethought and planning you need, how much you have to focus and think as everything is 'live". I also and concentrating on altering things for the sake of the painting more, eleminate a tree, change a shape of a rock, bush, etc.

It is always great to have company and to watch and see what everybody else is up to and how they solve their problems and interpret the same or similar scene. Alina and Lexi paint away.

Here is Alina and her painting, this was only her second time painting a plein air landscape.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Plein Aire Sketch

Here's my best effort for the week. I did this at Smithville Park near where I live in NJ. Its about 12x16 in oil.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dirty Palette Summer starts!

Hey, well its been a while since I've posted anything here but the Dirty Palette is back in full swing with our first summer outing at the Markward Recreation Center off of 27th street in Philly. The boys and I met up at school and then we trucked it over a short car ride to the park which is near the South Street bridge which is under construction. Sue biked over later and joined us for a little while.

The park is a really awesome little spot with lots of good stuff to paint nearby including plenty of old "Joker Hideouts" as i call the variety of abandoned or run down old buildings and factories which dot the city.

Once in the park we split up to find our spots, the sun gives you maybe 3-4 hours tops to get in whatever you are gonna do before it changes on you. It was a great day full of that silvery sort of light that Philly has, perfect temp too. Lots of people stopped by to watch or comment including a gaggle of school girls from a local school. They were all fascinated with seeing me paint and with the fact I had included Joel in the painting, "Hey you painted Joel!"

I found my spot and went at it quick, set up my palette based on what I saw. I always try and put down colors that are really close to the big color masses I see when I take my glasses off. I was using an old canvas that somebody had left in school, I sanded it down and re-primed it, it was still a bit chunky in spots and that added to the textured surface I wanted on this one-shot painting.

Using a 2B pencils I quickly sketched out the compositing and then using the biggest brush and one of those foam wedge brushes massed in the big shapes quick. I was also thinking a pre=planning the end of the painting as I knew the light world shift a bit and tried to take advantage of that. I also tried to really balance the interest, the red car vs Joel, so your eye would jump around and move. Sometimes nature hypnotizes you, and I have to stop and think and not get seduced by some glorious detail. I re-massed the foreground more than once to not end up fracturing that plane and unite that shadow mass. I would try and remember what Sargent would do in this case--each stroke counts, plane, color, value....

Here is a shot of the painting in the middle stage, here I could either go forward and make a decent painting or ruin it...

Here is the finished painting.

Joel found a great spot and did a great little Plein Air.
Sue broke out her sketchbook.
Dave did watercolors but refused to show them to me...

Joel and I take a break.

Will and Dave with Will's painting.

Joel painting away...