Thursday, August 4, 2011

THE DPC takes in a Demo

Yesterday the DPC made a little road trip over the river to Willingboro, NJ and took in a portrait demo by John Ennis. It was a short demo where Ennis demonstrated his underpainting technique.

Working with an burnt umber mixture he toned the canvas and then basically did a modified wipeout. Ennis went a little further than he would in the studio for the purposes of the demo for the crowd last night.
Ennis stopped along the way and answered questions from the audience and then gave a nice slide show talk about his work and career as a national portrait artist and his transition from being an illustrator.
Will and Alina squint like good painters...

Ennis' painting gear.

Afterwards the DPC stopped a diner for some dinner and discussion about what we saw and about the issues with painting we all have gong on. then we parted ways in the rain looking forward to our next painting outing as a group.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


With the break in the current heatwave which had been baking almost the entire country it seems the DPC or Alina and I decided to hit the road and paint. I decided to drive down to the Brandywine and along the river in Chadds Ford, know for being the homestead of the Wyeth clan. in fact we were just a short distance from the Brandywine River Museum. We came along Brandywine Picnic Park and set up and got ready to paint.

Alina checking out the spot. We couldn't have asked for a better day really, just perfect blue, blue summer skies and it was cool in the shade. We saw several people canoeing or floating down on big inner tubes.

There was so much good here to paint it was more of a choice of what not to try and paint, so many good views--so we'll deninitely be going back!
Alina searches for a composition and settled on the bridge.

Alina painting away.

Alina's progress as the day wore on. She say right down on the river bed because the water level is pretty low due to the fact we have had so little rain.

I settled on the dynamic composition of the two trees arching over the riverbank, and here is my initial block-in.

Here is my final painting. Since we kind of got a late start we had less time before the sun changed the shadows too much, but I'd say we still got near 4 hours of painting time in. I'm really trying to both add more paint and more color into the shadows to really paint the light. Looking at Sorolla and Sargent to really see the masters at work and to try and take their lessons into my own thinking, yet I always want to be open and responsive and if I find if I get unclear, I wipe it off or scrape it off or re-mass it all back. I am also really looking at and studying the Russian Social Realist painters too, I love how they handle light and the dash of their paint application.

The stream makes and handy wash if you remember to bring soap!

Alina with her wonderful painting, her best yet.

A close-up of Alina's painting. So it's back in the studio for a few days but I am really charged and plan to head back out next week and engage nature again!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Goodbye Darby Road

The DPC returned to our spot this week, though only Lexi and I made it this week. The bugs were not as bad but the day heated up and got hot by the end. I decided since the light was so striking to paint the creek again. Lexi decided to paint the horse barn.

Lexi blessed the days painting events with a bubble pipe.
Here is my initial wash-in, trying to keep big shapes and an interesting design.
Here is a shot of my palette, I guess it's really a primary palette, my usual approach is to look at what I see and choose colors that match pretty close to start off.

A happy Lexi with her painting.
Lexi's awesome final painting.
Here is my final painting, this was more of a race that last week as we got started later and the sun's position changed earlier. I think we'll take a break from this spot for a bit and move to a new spot next week.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Return to Darby Road

The DPC headed back out this week and a few more friends came along this time, our friends David Wilson and Diane Feissel joined in for a gorgeaous Saturday's afternoon of painting. We returned back to our secret spot on Darby Road and everyone quickly made the rounds to find a spot to paint. Alina was here for the first time since she was back in Toronto for the past few weeks.

The Jeep was full of gear this week! Try as I might I still end up carrying extra stuff which always seems to come in hand--like baby oil, which is great for removing oil paint and much better than using terps as that pushes the paint right into you skin...

Everyone picking their spot and setting up.

Alina framing her composition.

Diane set up in the meadow across the road.
Lexi set up on the bridge.
Dave had a little trouble with his easle so Alina gave him a hand by finding a few flat rocks--the McGiver or Toronto!

Dave eyeing his painting.

Alina painting away!

I decided to try painting a small painting of the horse barn and knew it would be a race with the sun.
Here is my block-in...
Dave's handsome painting of the Darby Road Bridge.

My painting at the finish line, I wish I had an extra 45 minutes on this one as I ended up havng to re-mass and repaint a lot of the trees in the background as the light changed by the end so much.
Alina's bold-brush landscape.
Jane decided to draw this week instead of painting.
Diane's cool small canvas hiding inside of a carryout bag from pod.

It was a great day and we had a great time despite the bugs, we ate our llunch at our usual spot the Llanarch Diner. I can't wait to go back out next week!