Monday, February 9, 2015

A snowy winter and painting process

It's been a good winter for cross country skiing, but we are getting a little tired of shoveling and snow blowing. I feel sorry for the birds too. Any time I put out seeds, they get covered by the snow, or the squirrels dig them out first. Anyway, I still like snow and cold weather, but I'll be happy when the seasons change too.

Meanwhile, I have been enjoying painting.  I have started on the 4' x 5' canvas for my art project with Friends of Art Manchester.  We are painting big panels for Webster House.  It has been interesting just figuring out how to paint this size canvas since it is not on a frame or stretcher bars. We tried curtain rods (and that is how they will be hung when finished).  I took down paintings I had on the wall in my studio and stapled the large canvas up.  The wall already had some holes in it and needs repainting anyway, so I will do that in the spring. We bought the primed canvas online. I posted a review (before I started actually painting).

This is the same scene that I have at the top of the blog.  The top painting is 16" X 20".  In my last post I think I wrote about scaling up from 8" x 10" to 16" x 20".  I did a grid for those studies.  I borrowed a projector to scale my original photo up on this big canvas.  It was much easier than doing a grid and I'm thinking about buying a small projector for myself (although I am happy with 16" x 20" and don't know if I'll go much larger with my painting).

Meanwhile I signed up for an oil painting class (continuing education) at New Hampshire Institute of Art and I'm back to doing still lifes.  I don't actually enjoy them, but I'm determined to learn how to paint with the water mixable oils so that I can eventually do more plein air painting (that's very hard to do with acrylic paints as they dry so quickly).  I am not going to post that first painting here since I was very unhappy with it. I'll try harder this week and hope to get the proportions and colors correct. I did learn one very important thing to share - do the darkest darks first. (With acrylics, you can always add layers). Because the oils take so long to dry, you really can't keep going over them to make them darker. Hope this helps some of my readers.

I'm also working on another urban painting scene, but this one has to wait for me to finish the big canvas first.  Here is a little glimpse of this work in process. I have been taking photos of this painting along the way and I will post some of the steps when it is all done.

And a few more winter scenes from cross country skiing in Auburn (NH). The top scenes were in Hooksett, NH at Dube's Pond. It was a much sunnier day on the trail in Auburn.

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