Friday, February 17, 2012

Garrett Mountain in Winter

Last night was the last art class of my 4-week session, and we were supposed to paint a winter scene this time. Sort of funny as some of the students are Florida natives, and one admitted she'd only seen snow about three times in her life. I've seen it plenty of times though, LOL. This is from a photo I took up in New Jersey at Garrett Mountain. I tried so hard to vary my background hills, and now that I see the finished product they just look like three identical lumps! Anyway, as per Lyn's instructions, I didn't use any white at all in this painting.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Crisp Maine Autumn

We're still painting the seasons in my art class with Lyn. Tonight our topic was fall. Since I now live in Florida I had wanted to do a Floridian scene. And, believe it or not, I actually have some photos from this past fall that show some lovely autumn colors. Maybe I'll try to paint one this week. But I was still irresistibly drawn to this scene of a lovely red-orange tree at the height of the fall colors that I took up in Maine in October 2010. I painted another version using the same reference photo here.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Fort Mose plein air (two)

Yesterday was certainly a fabulous day. But as it approached midday the sun began to beat a bit strongly on me, even though I was wearing a billed cap, and just a T-shirt and light cotton slacks. I had pretty much done all I hoped to do with my first painting, so decided to try to find a somewhat shadier spot and do something else.

So I came back down the boardwalk, and ended up at a covered picnic table right by the boardwalk entrance.  I did this painting from there, of the roadway into the Visitor's Center at Fort Mose, and the trees lining the road. There was still a lovely breeze blowing, so between the light shade and the breeze the painting conditions were just about ideal.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Fort Mose plein air (one)

Today we had the plein air paint out  of the First Coast Pastel Society, at Fort Mose Historic State Park. I had never been to Fort Mose before, other than a brief flying visit a few days ago to snap a few photos for my blog entry announcing the paint out, so I had no idea how totally gorgeous it was. It's both a painter's and a birder's paradise. There are a couple boardwalk trails that take you out to the edge of the marsh, a trail that takes you out into the marsh itself, a couple trails in the woods. The marshes are lovely, and there is an amazing rookery in view from one of the boardwalk trails. It was a sunny day, with temperatures in the mid 70's F, and a light breeze blowing. One could hardly have asked for more perfect weather.

I was totally overcome by the marsh, so spent most of the morning at the end of the boardwalk trail, looking out at the marsh and the trail that led out into it. Eventually the sun did grow a little hot on my head, even though I was wearing a brimmed hat, and I had to stop. But my then I had done the painting above, and felt I'd gone about as far as I wanted to go with it.

But I loved it there and can't wait to go back. A new Florida discovery! In addition to my painting I also saw 22 bird species while I was there.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Warm and Cool

When talking about the seasons in class we talked about the warm and cool colors and what they conveyed.  Lyn also talked about how the background color can also affect what you see. So in class last night she gave each of us 4 small (about 3x4) pieces of Wallis paper, and we underpainted each of them, two with a warm background color and 2 with a cool background color. I chose orange and blue-violet for my two colors. They we were supposed to pick out both cool and warm pastels, and experiment with each on the two backgrounds. I first selected a set of cool colors - a cool lighter and darker blue, a cool lighter and darker green, a cool red, a cool yellow, and a cool purple. Then I tried to pick the same colors, with similar values, but using warmer shades. And did my experiment.

The example above is my cool colors done on the warm orange background.

Here are the exact same cool colors done on the cool blue-violet background.

Now we see the warm colors done on the warm orange background.

And last we see the warm colors done on the cool blue-violet background.

Sometimes I wonder if I really have a subtle enough eye to be an artist. Yeah, I can certainly see the difference between the cool and the warm colors. But I struggle with seeing any difference made by the background. Okay, I've seen it in works by other artists. But I'm the sort who is not happy with my own paintings until every little speck of the background is covered by pastel. So if the background is totally hidden how can it make a difference what color it is? I guess it can affect *you* as you paint.

In general I'm more a cool color fan than I am a warm color fan. Yet my favorite background for painting on is Art Spectrum Colourfix Rose Grey, which is a nice slightly warm mid-tone color.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Guana River in Spring

We continued discussion of warm and cool palettes in class tonight, and how they can help convey the mood you want to present. We did some fun experiments too, which I may post tomorrow, trying little samples with warm and cool colors, on warm and cool backgrounds.

It was fun, so I decided I would paint the same scene that I painted last week, but instead of using the warmer summer colors I used last week I tried to choose cooler colors that would indicate the Spring season.