Acrylic Painting – Ocean Study 4: A Study based on Winslow Homer’s Weatherbeaten


Winslow Homer, an American artist, loved Maine and many of his paintings originated along the coast   A favorite spot of his was Prouts Neck, a southern peninsula along the coast of Scarborough, Maine – this a place that I’m very familiar with.  When we first moved to Maine some years back it was winter during off-season, so we rented a tiny place on the water right across from Prouts Neck- the spot where Homer painted Weatherbeaten and many other scenes.  Both his technical skills and understanding of the landscape was not to be beat in bringing stormy Maine coastal scenes alive in his paintings.  I choose Homer’s to study for this next acrylic ocean scene.

Ocean Study 4 (acrylic, hardboard, 7 x 14):  A study based on Winslow Homer’s Weatherbeaten painting.  Homer’s painting had so many interesting aspects to study:  stormy atmosphere, scumbling in the sky showing a foggy sea-foam spray, stormy sky in the distance, sea-foam patterns, energy and movement of the water, and rocks.  As I studied Homer’s work I formed a greater appreciation for his style, technical skills and intricacies in his work.  The slabs of rock were formed by glaciers sliding across the land millions of years ago – I studied these actual slabs during a field trip in a geology class with the University of Southern Maine.  How cool was it to paint this same spot some 25 years later – loved it!!

It was great fun reliving history through this one painting.  Click onto the image for a larger view.

Study of Winslow Homer Weatherbeaten

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Thursdays Drawing: Takakkaw Falls, a Pictorial of the Drawing


Today is a day of rest from drawing.  At the end of a drawing project I usually post a pictorial of the drawing process so you can see how the scene developed through the stages of drawing.

Here is Takakkaw Falls (graphite, 12×9) ~ you can see where dark values were backed off with a kneaded eraser and the base of certain details added back in.  This adding and taking away process slowly continued as the rock and trees were developed.  Can’t forget the wolf, look at all the changes he went through.  Overall the drawing took about 26 hours to complete.

Takakkaw Falls #1 - #3

Takakkaw Falls #1 – #3

Takakkaw Falls #4 - #6

Takakkaw Falls #4 – #6

Takakkaw Falls #7 and Final

Takakkaw Falls #7 and Final

 

Have a great weekend!!

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Acrylic Paintings: Ocean Studies 1, 2 and 3


Experimenting has never been more fun ~ this past weekend I decided to set aside oil pastels and try my hand at painting ocean scenes using acrylic paints.  These scenes are studies that I plan to paint each week as I learn the nuances for painting with acrylics.  My goal is get familiar with brushes, mixing colors, brush strokes (regular strokes to scumbling) and finally techniques.  Mixing colors is a blast, the incredible range of subtle tones you can achieve is awesome nothing like oil pastel sticks, and there was no fighting with trying to lay down layer after layer (as there is with oil pastels).

Click onto the images for larger and better viewing of the paintings.

Ocean Study 1 (night scene):  acrylic paints (10×8) on a hardboard.  This was an attempt to paint a night scene using blue/green as overall tone.  I left the dark area at top-left of clouds, it was a study and I didn’t want to waste paint mixing for more clouds.

Ocean Study 1Ocean Study 2:  acrylics (8×10) painted on a hardboard.   Goal was to paint cliff hillsides receding into the distance as the surf came ashore.  Rock details were left at minimum.

Ocean Study 2Ocean Study 3:  acrylics (8×10) painted on a hardboard.   The attempt was to paint rocks taking a pounding from the incoming wave.  I left rock details to a minimum, this was more about mixing my own greens and light browns, and working the surf/sea-foam.

Ocean Study 3

Ultramarine blue is the only acrylic blue in my painting box, it’s not my go-to blue to use  – Phthalo and Cobalt blues are my favorites that I need to buy.

Talk about buying – Nebraska Furniture Mart had a huge sale last week on Vanguard Tri-Pods, regularly $130 on sale for $19.99!  Can you guess what I bought to use for photographing my artwork?  Making a big difference in clearer shots already – although for my blog, I’m still not posting high-resolution images of my work!

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Thursdays Drawing: Takakkaw Falls, final


Today was the final workout for Takakkaw Falls and I’m happy to say that the drawing has been completed ~

Takakkaw Falls, a graphite drawing (12×9) was done on Bristol Vellum paper using two graphite pencils 2H and HB, for blending a tortilum, a kneaded eraser and a Pentel click eraser.  The erasers were key to building, subtracting and rebuilding layers of graphite for the waterfall.  I’m a bit disappointed that I was unable to utilize the Sfumato (smoke effect) within the drawing, it’s not that it wouldn’t work in this scene – I need more practice to achieve the look I’m after.  So the technique will be used another time.

The wolf, as you know, made an appearance early on in the drawing and was a neat addition to the overall scene.  The natives of the Canadian region where this waterfall is located would appreciate his role in looking after the Falls.

Thank you for checking in on this project – it was another fun scene to develop with the amazing graphite pencil.  Click onto the image for a larger view.

Takakkaw FallsBased on reference images from LJ and Nicola both incredible artists and photographers with pmp.

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Hillside Fiddling, oil pastel


It’s been a busy around here I apologize for not visiting everyone’s blogs, but throughout this afternoon I will do my best.

Hillside Fiddling, an oil pastel (9×12) was painted on heavy card stock paper.  What started as a quiet field with an incredible cloud structure, soon turned into something quite different.  The textured paper had a bit of a slick coating on it, which didn’t allow the oil pastels to adhere properly and led to much bleeding.  Thank goodness there are only 8 sheets left in my supply – this paper is not a good surface for oil pastels.

Well plans changed as the cloud structure didn’t pan out, so I decided to take an opportunity to paint this fiddler and her violin.  I don’t paint figures that often, let alone a violin – ha, a good exercise but that’s about it.  Click onto the image for a larger view.

Hillside FiddlingSeveral reference images from Rosemary Clark and Freda Nichols Austin both are artists and amazing photographers from pmp.

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Sunlit Forest, oil pastel


Have you ever seen a forest where you can see through the trees a sunlit portion?  For me, I’ve always wondered how can one small area be so beautiful.  Where the sun shines so bright the strong rays highlight the tree branches and their tips and all else behind and around that area are shrouded in shade – now that would be a cool scene to try and capture with oil pastels.

Sunlit Forest, is an oil pastel (10×8) painted on a gesso-prepared hardboard using Senneliers, Holbeins and Neopastel brands.  The tools used to spread the pastels were my fingers, clay shapers, a painters knife and a razor.  I started with an underpainting of ultramarine and white acrylic paints – love doing value study underpaintings.  I rarely paint sun-streaked forests, mainly because the subject seems a bit complicated for OPs whereas smearing the pastel to create the illusion of sun streaks can quickly turn to mud, but when I saw this scene I wanted to give it a try.   So I went for it ~

Summer is quickly closing out, best wishes for a wonderful weekend.  Click onto the image for a larger view.

Sunlit Forest

A lot of liberty was taken with the reference image, taken by Thomas Habemann, an incredible watercolorist from pmp.

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Thursdays Drawing: Takakkaw Falls, #7


Today most of my drawing time was spent on developing the trees in the lower portion of the drawing ~ ah the drawing is getting very close to being completed.

Takakkaw Falls, #7 is a graphite drawing (12×9) on Bristol Vellum paper using 2H and HB graphite pencils along with, a kneaded eraser and a torilium.  Most of the time was spent filling in the rest of the trees and developing their thickness and the appearance of a thick patch of trees (I can still see some areas that need a little more work).  In addition the wolf was adjusted slightly to make his fur a bit more prominent and I went back into the rocks closest to the falls to toned down their darkness, so they don’t come forward this should allow the trees to be closer to the viewer.

Next week will be all about finalizing the waterfalls, in the drawing they are wider than the actual falls so time will be spent narrowing the sides and making sure they have the energy one would expect from a waterfall of this size.  And then, perhaps the drawing will be completed – all depends on if anything else jumps out at me to be worked on.

Have a great weekend and thanks for checking in.  Click onto the image for a larger size.

Takakkaw Falls #7

Takakkaw Falls #7

Posted in Drawings, Thursday Drawings | 33 Comments

Garden Rose, oil pastel


North Texas gardeners have lost countless rose bushes to a killer disease called Rosette.  Have you heard of it?  There is no known cure and there’s no rose-bush to date that’s resistant to the disease.  Well wouldn’t you know it, we found out early this summer that the area we live in the bulls-eye of the disease – yes, our town and the ones surrounding us have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bushes, resident gardeners (us included) have also paid the price.  Today roses are only a dream until the researchers find or develop a disease resistant rose .   .   .  today my painting is my wish for a garden filled with roses once again ~

Garden Rose, an oil pastel (8×10) was painted on a gesso-prepared Ampersand Board using Senneliers, Holbeins and Mungyo-Gallery with an acrylic underpainting.  I continue my quest to learn how to paint a convincing rose in oil pastels – perhaps later this summer I’ll do a 10 or 15 painting series on just roses.  I’ll bet there would be some real challenges, and valuable lessons learned in an exercise like that.

Thanks for stopping by ~

Garden RoseMy liberal interpretation of a beautiful rose photograph from Heidi Anderson, an artist and photographer with pmp.

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Thursday’s Drawing: Takakkaw Falls, #6


Work continues on Takakkaw Falls for Thursday’s Drawing project ~

Takakkaw Falls, graphite drawing (12×9) is being drawn on Bristol Vellum paper with 2H and HB pencils, using a kneaded eraser and tortilum for blending.  Today’s work was spent mainly on developing the trees with the intention to build the trees with enough bulk so they are substantial enough in size and value that they hold their own against the falls, but also to balance out bottom portion of the drawing with the rest of the scene – I want them to hold their own.  While they aren’t the focal point they play an important role in creating interest aside from all the rock and water, and to eventually provide the perspective of the sheer size of the falls.  In addition the far-right side of the waterfall was worked on.

Next week the trees will continue to be added on and developed, and then it is smooth sailing to the finish.  Thanks for checking in – click onto the image for a larger view.

Takakkaw Falls #6

Takakkaw Falls #6

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Working Dinghy Boat


Working Dinghy Boat an oil pastel (8×10) was painted on a gesso-prepared hardboard with a gray/white acrylic underpainting. Dinghy boats are always out and about along shorelines, in Maine particularly there are tons of these working boats, it’s how folks get to their larger boats/sailboats anchored in the coves or bays.  Each had their own personality, the one in my painting was perfect – old and used!

I’ve only painted several water scenes with reflections, so I was happy for the challenge this scene gave me – producing a believable reflection of this boat.  Also you’ll note in the scene there is only a reflection of the harbormasters’ building, I was going to leave it out, but decided to make it a secondary point of interest.

A frustrating aspect of oil pastels is that they are not conducive to painting with a brush, so many times you want clean, smooth forms/lines but with this medium it doesn’t lend itself so.  The tools I use to spread OPs are my fingers, tortiliums, clay shapers and a painters knife – the oil pastels are too thick to be painted on with a brush.  I only wish, such is life ~

Working Dinghy Boat The reference image was from Jacqueline MacDonald a photographer of pmp.

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