Saturday, September 10, 2016

Oak Tree in Autumn

I stumbled across this image while going through some pictures and I thought it'd be an interesting one to try and paint.  I'm not disappointed.

Acrylic on 11x14 canvas


It was the first time that I looked and knew exactly how I would go about creating this image.  It would be a matter of working slowly, in layers.  I made sure to have a couple other projects on the go, since some of the steps were fairly short and if I'm going to sit down to paint, I like to be at it for at least an hour or so.

Step 1:

I started by filling in the sky with a wash of cerulean blue, if I recall (either that or cobalt. Can't remember offhand.)  I allowed myself to be pretty messy with this step, since about 90% of it was going to get painted over, but I wanted to make sure there were enough bits of visible blue sky peeking through.

I had started on step two before I got the idea to document my progress, hence the blotchy white in the corner.  Like I said, I let myself be very messy with this step.

Step 2:

Once the blue layer was fully dried, I went over it and filled in a good portion with some Titanium White, using a scumbling brush to make puffy, semi translucent cloud forms.  I added some neutral grey here and there to add lowlights to give the clouds some dimension. I tried not to fill in the entire canvas, as again, I wanted to make sure there was a good amount of visible sky.

Floofy clouds. Too bad most of this is getting covered up too.
Step 3:

Using Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Yellow, Raw Sienna, and Bronze Yellow, I added a layer of leaves. The main light source is coming in from the bottom-right corner, so I tried to make those leaves lighter and more translucent than the ones in the top right, which I gave more shadow and deeper coloring.


Step 4:

Using a combination of Burnt and Raw Umber, and a lot of retarder for flow, I blocked in the trunk and branches of the tree.  The original photo has more going on with some background trees, and a few branches that had fallen horizontally across the picture, but I left those out.

I seriously considered stopping at this stage. I really liked where it was, and was afraid of screwing it up. I'm glad I didn't though.
Step 5:

Lastly, using Unbleached Titanium, Raw Umber, Prism Violet and some Cobalt Blue in various mixtures, I added the texture of the bark, including some of the scars on the tree trunk.

Voila!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hell on Wheels

I am not a very good roller-skater, a sad fact I attribute to lousy balance, and weak, fat-girl ankles.

But every so often I try it.

Acrylic on 4X4 Gessoboard

Monday, September 5, 2016

Girl and Dog

I took my girls on an impromtu trip to Quebec City a few years back, over the Labour Day weekend.  Quebec City is a little over 900 km from where I live, so it required at least one overnighter.

A friend and former co-worker offered to put us up for the night at their house, which was also an operating dog kennel and breeders, so there were Australian Sheepdogs all over the place.

I snapped a picture of my youngest in the field with one of them.

Acrylic on 8x10 Wood Panel
I did this one very quickly, I think all told it took about and hour and a half. I just wanted to practice some techniques I had seen in a few books, mostly to practice getting depth through lighter backgrounds, darker foregrounds.

I link that it has a kind of impressionist feel to it.  The day was rather overcast so I don't have a really good light source, so that was kind of a bummer.

I like how the dog turned out though. Animals are a new thing for me, so I was happy with that aspect.  Overall I rather like this piece.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Another Evening in Tiny

I think I am eventually going to have an entire collection of Tiny Beach sunsets.  The problem is that there are so many of them. I really need to make a point of remembering which beach I am at when I take which reference picture. 

Acrylic on 10x8 Wood panel
I don't quite remember which beach this is.. I want to say that it's possibly the 11th concession again, but it could also be the 13th. 

Getting the texture on the surface of the water was difficult, to say the least.