Search This Blog

Friday, November 29, 2013

Staircase to the serre des cactées au Jardin des Plantes (Paris)

Floral Staircase Block in, 24x30, oil on board
We are still in Paris for this next exercise. This painting has the visual approach of "equalization" which is being used as an element here. ie, each potted plant has a pattern within it that is relatively equal in size and shape. This top photo seems a bit garish, especially compared to the bottom one but I was using bright colors to block in. The truth is somewhere between the top painting and its exaggerated (but not overly) color and the more washed out look of the second photo. 
Day 2
That being said, I really am finding out just how tedious "equalization" can be. I am attempting to not get too caught up in details, but even so, Lots of small flowers are involved here! In the block in I was attempting to get larger blocks of color as placement and flow, and the overall dark light/pattern of the sunlight and shadows.
The next day I started paying more attention to the actual patterns in each potted plant. I want them to be distinguished one from the other . One of my pet peeves as a gardener is to see paintings of flowers where you really cannot tell what they are. I don't need it to be perfect, but plants have their own personality and structure. I do want people who know flowers to at least have an idea of what the plants are, not just that they are plants.  The next post will show more fine tuning. It is good for me to document progress as a photo shows me things that I may not have noticed until I photograph it. Just as an example, the top "step" looks canted as the little step is not defined enough by the strip of nondescript greenery. I have since fixed that but it had not jumped out at me prior to taking the photo. Stay tuned for the next step in the process.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Rainy Day in Paris - where is it?

A Rainy Day in Paris, 30x20, oil on linen
Here is the completed painting as a dark/light pattern. The dark/light pattern is considered the visual approach. Just to refresh, that means that there is two values and every value must either tie itself to the light group or the dark group. This painting has the pattern in the dark group. So, technically if this were more "true to life" there would be a third value, in the middle. For example, the buildings behind the umbrellas would be much grayer and more one overall middle value. As they stand now, I lightened the buildings themselves so they would tie into the light group and in that carve out the darker umbrellas;  and darkened the roofs o they would be part of the dark pattern. In the clothes, especially the green rain coat, there would be more reflected light from the areas that are so wet, but I kept the overall value of the jacket so it "reads" as more one value and not obviously separated by light and dark.

I put off posting this painting because I kept thinking I would go back into it and add the middle value, but I just like it as it is, so finally decided to leave it alone, at least for now. What I may do instead of messing with this one, is redo it as a local tone. I really enjoyed the challenge of this exercise. I do not normally paint in two values, but it really does make a bold statement. The reactions to this painting so far have been overwhelming positive.

This view is taken from a brasserie right across from the department store La Samaritaine in Paris. The bridge closest to us across the way is Pont Neuf. We had a great breakfast there that Sunday morning. We had attended early Mass at Notre Dame, gone to the bird market after that, then we were on our way, walking in the rain, to the Louvre. I believe this place was called Richard's. Here is our breakfast. I still remember it as being one of the best in recent memory. Fresh eggs, toasted baguette, fresh squeezed orange juice and wonderful cafe au lait. Yum. Perfect for brunch on a chilly rainy day in Paris! And yes, I ate all three eggs!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Walk in the Park - Winter; is it finished yet??

24x18, oil on panel
Over the past several months I have been reworking or finishing up paintings instead of starting too many new works. Because I have become more critical of what I deem "finished" I have not really posted many of them yet. Here is a painting I posted in January and February of this year while it was in progress; Wow, it has really come a long way. It was one of those paintings that I was just never quite satisfied with. One of my friends had written me a very in-depth critique of this after I posted it in February, and she was so spot on. It just took me awhile to get it all formulated in my head and then down in paint. I basically reworked the whole darn thing. It is heading to The Framed Image for their "All that Glitters" show coming up the first Tuesday of November. Hope you can stop by.