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Monday, April 27, 2015

Pears - for the fun of it

Pears in Blue and Green, 6x6, oil on panel

Pears in Red and Green, 6x6, oil on panel
Remember back in January when I signed up to do the 30 paintings in 30 day online challenge? Well, this week I had these two charming pears in the fridge and I painted them on two different days before work. That was one of my goals for doing the challenge; To see if I could paint before or after work during the week. I don't even mind if I don't do it often, but it is nice to see I can get to my easel if only for 30," from time to time during the work week.

Recently, while reorganizing in my basement to find room for some new canvas's I ordered, I came across some very early oil paintings. So early that they are painted on cardboard. We were cautioned to not spend money on high end supplies while doing the basics. It was our first foray into color after using only black and white while learning values. They have been kept all these years because I really liked them at the time, and believe it or not, I still really like them. They are simple in shape and color but they work. Finding those old paintings made me want to paint simple shapes and color for the fun of it and so voila. Here you have it.

Also while cleaning up for above said new canvas's I realized I need to have a studio sale. It is time to clean house. There will be small studies such as these pears as well as plein air pieces and other studio works. I will keep you posted.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Studies in 3 Values - Local Tone

Study for Line at the Louvre, 9x12, oil on canvas panel
Here is a quick study using light, medium and dark. I like how it is working but after seeing this cropped version of the scene, I decided to open it back up to show the scope of the line. It was phenomenal how many people were actually standing in line to get into the Louvre on this rainy, gray day. I believe it took us 35 minutes. By this time we were almost half way there! On second thought, what better place to be on a rainy day in Paris? The Louvre is certainly large enough to take in this crowd without much of a problem.

Back to this little study above. The hard part is deciding what to tie each value to. When using only three values it limits your options in some ways and then there are loads of choices to make at the same time. I originally had the umbrella peaking into the image in the upper left corner as a medium  gray catching the color of the sky. It just seemed too blah. Making it black helped the composition remarkably. The arch was almost as light as the sky so in the photo, the trees in the arch showed up much more. But if the arch is "white" then it blends into the sky and we don't get the nice band of gray we now have in the middle or the play of patterns in the dark and light umbrellas standing in front of the arch.
Line at the Louvre, 30x30, oil on panel
 I decided to see what the square format would look like doing three values before I started to paint. As you can see, I divided up the umbrella of the main figure but it is not as effective as it is in the study. I do think the square format gives more of the depth and breadth of the line snaking into the Louvre so I am glad I opted to change the format. It also added more public art into the scene. There is a sculpture right above the woman with the white umbrella and another to the right of the arch.