Sunday, June 27, 2010

From the Window

    This painting is from our trip to Seattle to visit Rich and Jen this past May. One afternoon we read about the "Old Wooden Boat Museum". Of course this was right up John's alley, him being interested in all things wood. There was a wealth of interesting vessels, most of them on the water still. As part of the museum there was a building that housed a boat makers' library and classroom. The classroom looked out over the water, where students could learn about everything from navigation to canoe building.

    The ideal situation would have been to set up my easel right there and paint. Unfortunately I didn't have my supplies that day. Painting from a subject live is a great way to get some excitement in your painting right from the start.  If I don't have that I do everything to create a positive studio atmosphere, such as use a clear, large (8"x 10", at least) reference photo. The other thing I do is create "a situation" in the first layer of the painting. The underpainting washes shown here are the opposite color that they will be in the finished painting. This gives me a direction, in this case I need to work away from what is here.
  Why would I do this? It's not enough to just move forward copying objects the way they look, that is a boring way to work - why not just blow the photo up and call it good? What excites me in other artists work is to see how they handled the paint, how they translated what they saw, so wanting my painting to be something I want to look as well, I try and cause some trouble for myself that I can work out of- or not.

     Here is the painting after some initial paint application. In these large wood areas I am putting every tone of brown from blue/brown to yellow/brown to achieve some variety. The colors I am using are Cadmium Yellow light, Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Cadmium Orange, Burnt Sienna, Terra Rosa, Ultramarine blue, Cobalt Blue, Manganese Blue and of course Titanium White. At this point it doesn't matter which brown goes where, just getting an interesting surface started...

1 comment:

  1. It does look as if you were looking out of a window, towards the water on a typical, rainy, Seattle day. Makes me cold just to think about it!