Thursday, July 30, 2009

Colors on my Palette

Carole posed a question from my last blog post on art supplies about what colors I use in my palette. Early Morning Oyster Boats, pictured above, is an example of a limited palette painting. I used only three colors: yellow ochre, ultramarine blue and white. Using a limited palette unified this painting by forcing me to mix colors and think about their relationship. For many paintings these days, I use the following colors: cadmium yellow light, yellow ochre, cadmium red light, alizaron crimson, ultramarine blue, dioxazine purple, and viridian. These seven colors are my personal choice which may change over time, but are a comfortable start for most paintings.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Art Supplies

Sometimes I am asked about the art supplies I use in my paintings. My goal has always been to create museum quality oil paintings. With that philosophy, I look for the best quality components that will stand the test of time. I have certainly experimented with different materials over the years. Currently, here is what works for me.
  • Canvas - SourceTek linen on birch wood boards. Well worth the price. They are almost impossible to damage and the texture of the linen on the board is the perfect hard surface for painting.
  • Paints - I use Alkyds which is a Winsor and Newton product. They dry quickly which is a must for plein air painters. Plus, they travel well and have a buttery consistency that works nicely with the way I like to move paint around my canvas.
  • Brushes - Daler-Rowney flat brushes in sizes from 2 to 8 provide the quality and variety I need.
  • Pochade Box - I have three outdoor pochade boxes from Open Box M along with various sizes of carrier boxes. Depending on the box, I can paint to as large as 20 x 24 on location. They're easy to set up and take down and extremely well made.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Artistic License

I recently discovered Soul Food Farm in Vacaville. They raise pastured chickens for both eggs and meat. The taste of fresh layed eggs by chickens that roam free and eat bugs for part of their natural nourishment is amazing. They also grow lavender.

Last week, when I went to pick up my eggs and chickens, I found this lavender field scene to paint. I'm showing the photo above as well as the finished painting below to illustrate artistic license. You'll notice I turned the tractor in the upper right portion of the photo into a red barn. In addition, I changed the color of the trees in the upper left portion of the painting. I believe both of these changes add greater interest. Your eye travels from the cart to the man picking lavender to the barn and then back again. This triangular effect is meant to move your eye around the painting. Lastly, I eliminated the white pipes in the foreground. It is important for artists to know what to add and what to leave unpainted in a composition.
Lavender Field 20 x 24

Friday, July 3, 2009

SouthwestArt Magazine

I received an unexpected telephone call this week from SouthwestArt magazine. In their August 2006 issue, I was highlighted as one of their Artists To Watch. For their September 2009 issue, they want to include a feature article on me. I will be sending them 15 photos of my recent work and be interviewed by one of their reporters in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned....