Thursday, August 6, 2015

Traveling and Landscapes

I finished my painting from our June trip to Canada. Athabasca River, oil painting on stretched canvas, 16" X 20". My website now offers T shirts, tote bags and some other items as well as cards and prints. Fine Art America has partnered with to print these items.  This view of the river is right before the water falls. I loved the trip to the Canadian Rockies (Alberta) and will probably paint more views from my photos. (Click on image to enlarge)

Meanwhile, my son's band was playing on a boat in Portland, Maine. I had never done a harbor cruise before and this was great. I've been to Portland many times (great museum there as well as fine restaurants and interesting downtown), but just cruising around watching the boats, old forts, lighthouses was very enjoyable.

Portland Harbor is also an oil painting on 16" X 20" stretched canvas. I enjoyed working with these colors too, quite a change from the colors in the Athabasca River painting.  This is the first time I've attempted an oil painting of a harbor with boats. I liked the way it came out. I did a small acrylic study of the sailboat first (image below). Then I decided I liked it enough to attempt a larger painting, but I liked the full scene for the larger painting, not just the sailboat.

Portland Harbor study, 8" X 10", acrylic on canvas board. I find that I'm enjoying working with the water mixable oil paints more as I get used to them, but I still like the acrylics too. Many times I use the acrylic paints as an underpainting. That helps me with colors as well as composition.  In composing the scene for the larger harbor painting, I moved the small boat in front from my photo (using scissors and tape on my printout, not Photoshop!) and placed it off center. The original photo showed it too centered for me. I also print out my photos in black and white as well as color. That helps me both with composition and values (light/dark).

In between the serious paintings, I also played with paints, trying a night scene on paper.
Night Study, acrylic paint on Strathmore acrylic paper. This one just came out of my imagination and some views I had seen on the internet. While Manchester (NH, my home town) is on a river, it certainly doesn't look like this, day or night!  I liked the way the sky came out, but that's about it for this painting.

Then I tried a self portrait, using the water mixable oil paints again, this time on Arches Oil paper. The nice thing about doing a self portrait is that I could make myself look much younger. The hard thing was mixing the colors. I need to learn how to make shadows better with these paints. Anyway, it was a fun experiment and I learn something new each time I paint. I'm just posting a little clip of this one here as I really don't like the full portrait.

By coincidence, thinking about my last posting on titles, Jason Horejs posted a good video on the same topic recently.

I bought a used pochade box (portable paint box) from an artist friend. These are very expensive to buy new, but I wanted one for plein air painting (painting outside). I would like to practice a bit before our next trip to Israel (next year). We will be staying at Ein Hod (an artist's village) for a full month and I plan on painting outside, not just from photos. I definitely need more practice with that. I've tried it out in my studio, but not outdoors yet. Looking forward to that too.

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