Tag Archives: unfinished

Back of the Dunes painting update

The sky, background dunes and trees are finished. The water has one coat of paint on top of the underpainting but still needs another layer. The sedge is still in the underpainting stage. I need to work on the sedge before I finish the water.

It took a while to mix the colors I wanted for the gray and brown dunes. The greens were easier to mix but still took some time. When I get the right color I still take more time to work the paint by adding drops of Terpenoid and mixing it in until the paint is evenly runny. Mixing and working the paint is half the job.

A piece of cut grass is sticking to the wet paint but it will come off when it dries.

The real fun part is blobbing down the paint with my palette knife then smearing and scratching through it with the palette knife.

I’m excited about how this is going. I think it will work out!

The first 3 times I was there getting started on this, it was cloudy but the sun finally came out and really brightened the scene. I like the bleak look of the cloudy days, but the sedge is freakin’ gold with the sun on it. Maybe I can finish the painting this week. Tomorrow is supposed to be cloudy then we get more sunny weather for a couple days before it rains again, if the forecast is right.

Tide Pool painting update

I didn’t start on the water yet because I need to plan a few hours to get it going and it would be easier to see with the sand painted first. I’m excited I got this far. This is probably over half finished but I need to go over the whole thing again, not sure about the sky and sand but they might be ok like this. I was planning on putting some marsh grass on the sand in front of the big tree on the left.

Every time I go there the water is different. Today it was calm and reflections were on the water but most of the time when I’m there I don’t see a lot of reflections except on the closer shallow water on the left .

When I started the background a couple weeks ago we didn’t have as much fall color and now more is showing. The first time I painted it I used a light gray green and yesterday I added some shades of orange on top of the green. I want to brighten up the orange a little more and do more on the whole background then when it’s dry, make a thin glaze to go over the whole background and try to give it some aerial perspective. Still a lot more to do on the background but this is ok for a start.

You can hardly see the little boy working on his sand castle but he’s under a layer of sand colored paint with a coat of masking fluid over him. That’s the top of his little round head on the tan tinted canvas paper. When I start on the water I’ll cover his head with light blue and when it dries peel up the masking fluid and it will be like Christmas if it works and my little boy becomes visible. I hope you can see what I’m talking about. I think it will work and I can pull my little figures out. I think it will work.

The grays and brown scribbles over her head are wet sand and it will have bright reflections of water. Then the tan paper will be blue and I’ll be able to take the masking fluid off her too. Sand is sticking to the masking fluid and it’s all over the painting. The more layers of paint you put on top of masking fluid make it harder to peel off and the more time you let it on the paper makes it harder to get off too. Sometimes when you try to peel off the masking fluid the paper rips. We’ll see. Everything’s an experiment and might not work out as hoped. I did a little masking fluid and acrylic experiment before and it wasn’t bad but this is still iffy.

bay painting update

This is a 24 x 30 canvas. Now I wish I had a 24 x 36 so I could paint more ships out there. They look huge when they come into the picture on the right but you can see them far away too. Sometimes if you hang around there for a couple hours you can see 12 or more boats of different kinds.

I’ll go back tomorrow and paint the sky when we get some nice clouds. Today it’s sunny and only a little haze. I’ll paint the fence when I get the clouds in then I’ll have to go back with my sketchbook and do some ship sketches. I want to paint people in the scene too. The water’s still too cold to get in but the kids are working on their sand excavations in the afternoon.

It was cool with a strong breeze out of the Southeast this morning. I had to keep a hand or foot on the canvas or it would blow down. Sand got all over it and into the paint on my palette.

wave close up with sandbar

A man came over to check my progress and he said he didn’t notice the sand bar until he saw it in my painting.

OH NO! Look at all those little lines I painted! Yikes! The jurors would h8 it! You’re supposed to use big brushes and simplify! Not spend hours painting lines!! hahahaha When some well meaning person tells me to use bigger brushes I say, “Yeah, I should use big brushes.” Then I use whatever brush I want to use.

swamp painting update

I’m excited about my progress on the swamp background. It needs more work because I didn’t paint the Spanish moss in the background trees yet. I started on the foliage in the middle ground and didn’t start on the edge of the water which is in the foreground. The cypress branch in the foreground is almost lost because I painted background trees right over it in places. I can bring it back. That’s one thing I enjoy about oil paints. You can start out with thin glazes and slowly build up more opaque thicker paint and cover your previous lines.

I’m taping my brushes to yard sticks and standing way back to paint. There are places the brush went out of control but it’s ok. I’m getting better at controlling the brush from 3 feet back.

Here’s a close up of some background trees with a texture added to represent bark on the closer trees. It was fast and easy to paint that texture with my modified fan brush.

I don’t know how well my grays show up in this photo. The grays don’t look flat to my naked eye. This is something that a lot of artists don’t enjoy, all the gray in the landscape around here in the winter, but I like it and I’ll try to capture it. The way to keep your grays nice is to mix equal parts burnt umber and ultramarine blue to make black. Add more brown and you get a warm black. Add more blue and you get a cool black. Then to get the pearly effect you alternate warm grays and cool grays, lighter grays and darker grays. You can add some gray to your background green and it makes that green recede compared to the green in the foreground which doesn’t have any gray added. Knowing how to work with grays can help give the illusion of depth in a painting. I mean if you’re interested in creating that illusion, but I realize it’s an effect not appreciated in modern art and every artist does their own thing. I bet out of the few thousand students that ever attended YAA I might be the only one following the old ways and I am trying to mix it up a little by taping my brushes to yard sticks and sometimes playing around with mono prints.

background for my collage / oils

This looks busy, doesn’t it.? I’m not sure if it will work. Maybe I should swamp it with terpenoid and see if that improves it.

I’m excited about the collage plan that started with mono prints using these colors and I added violet for this step. The mono prints were thin paint so I decided to use thick paint for the background and smear it on randomly with palette knives.

Most of this will get covered when I put the mono prints on top. It will take forever to dry. I could work on it again tomorrow if it partially dries. At least I made a little progress on it because the weather isn’t good today, cold, rainy, windy yuck out there.

Anyway, the collage idea is inspired by “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” It’s going to be fun!

Can this painting be saved? goldenrod

watercolor and Inktense pencils

I was undecided if I should post this. On the one hand, the painting might work but on the other hand, I don’t know exactly how to proceed and it might be a huge waste of time. But if any bloggers with more water media experience want to give me a tip, it might help

I did my sketch in plein air then started blobbing in some yellow flowers without drawing them on the paper in plein air. I thought I didn’t need to draw the flowers a second time. I painted on dry watercolor paper. I drew in the stems and leaves that day with pencil but came home and put a thin layer of green down on dry paper for the leaves.

I took a few watercolor classes long ago but never mastered it. I remember a few things, like, start out light and go darker.

I wanted to paint dune grass around the goldenrod but that took some time since I went over the whole background one section at a time between the leaves. I first made the paper wet in a few areas at a time, then drew lines with the Inktense pencils to make grass. Then I rewet the grass areas to blend the Inktense lines down a little. That’s 3 times over each little area. I broke that job up over a day and took frequent breaks to do other things.

Last time I was there, a bunch of guys were fishing and people were walking past me. I was sitting on the sand next to the path. I’d like to continue working on this in plein air but it might be busy there today because the weather is so nice. I picked some goldenrod to help me visualize the next step so I can finish this at home.

On the painting above, I left some blank lighter areas in the flowers. Those spaces are going to be the shaded parts of the flowers if it works. I need to go darker there. I tried to pick some colors with my color charts when I was there, but I don’t know… And I think the leaves need to go darker. Then, last but not least, I want to go over the yellow flowers in the sun again and try to define them a little. You can see from the photo, my flowers in the painting don’t look like the ones in the glass.

windswept tree painting progress report

This is how far I got on it after 4 mornings of going out on the dune to paint and staying for 2 or 3 hours each time. It was sunny and not hot so, very enjoyable out there. My Gluteus Maximus had a workout 4 mornings in a row hauling my art supplies up the dune on the deep soft sandy path. The beach cart makes it possible but not easy. And I have a dark tan, which is really only a darker shade of red because I don’t tan well. It doesn’t feel sunburned. They’re calling for cloudy and rainy days all week. bummer, because I’m almost finished with the painting. I could finish it this week if the sun comes out. I hope they change the weather forecast. I guess there are plenty of things for me to do at home that I neglected lately because this painting took a lot of energy last week.

The tree is still only roughed in. I had to work on the background first. I considered finishing it at home but most of the time when I work on a painting at home, when I get back to the scene I don’t like what I painted at home.

begonia cubed / update

The background was easier to paint than I thought it would be and I like the blue, but now my dark green leaves look too dark and because I taped my brushes to yardsticks the blue and green smeared.

I might work on the leaves again today. You can see some smears in this close up. I’m not sure if I’ll go over the background again or not. Darn it. I should make that decision before I repaint the leaves.

I wish I could ask Matisse for advice. I don’t want advice from Picasso. hahaha What would Matisse say?

sand dune painting update

It was windy but nice to be out after a lot of days that were too hot and humid and rainy to paint in plein air. Finally! I could go back down there to work on this again. The wind was around 20 to 25 mph I think. It almost blew me down when I stood up. Last time it was windy too. It felt good but the blowing sand got in everything.

the wind was blowing my brush around because I had it taped to a yardstick and was sitting back a yard away from my painting, like Matisse did. It’s a lot of fun but you have to give up some control. Can you see the craziness in this close up? Sand in my paint? Scribbling because of wind and sand? I doubt anyone could call this painting “tight” hahahah

I enjoy it a lot but maybe other artists wouldn’t.

That big dark slash there, that’s a blip of the brush because of wind and sand. I’m not sure how I’m going to fix that but I fixed the bad place in the sky so I’ll do something to break up that dark blob. Note the sand getting bad by the time I got this far with it.

I’m trying to decide if I should brush the sand off when this dries or leave it there. Some of it won’t come off.

Just as I was packing my things to leave the wind blew my canvas paper off the drawing board and it flipped back with the paint in the sand. I thought that was too much but it didn’t wreck it any worse than it was already. I had to quick slap more tape on it before it started flapping in the wind. This is the kind of plein air experience that might deter a lot of artists. I’m not fighting nature. Let her mess up my painting. I should care but I don’t.

Too much sand on my palette. I had to quit working on it or else clean my palette out there because I couldn’t mix up another color on top of that mess. The blue colors on top are what was left over from the sky and they’re covered with little pieces of plastic wrap to keep them workable, so maybe that much paint is still ok.

I’m not sure about finishing this. I might go back in a few days after this dries a little or I might finish it at home.