Work In Progress

The drawing and the block in . . . .

All blocked in . . .16 x 20 stretched canvas . . . .

Starting to establish form and a some degree of texture and detail. The sky holes are in . . . may need some changing . . . the grass field needs edge work. At this point, I am happy with the effort so far. Now it is a matter of building up the paint, establishing the textures and fiddling with the tree trunks . . .they will need value and color changes in each.
Having painted this subject before, I think I know what needs to be done . . . . we'll see if I can do it . . . . . .
Thanks to David Darrow a few months ago, he referred Smartflix to his blog readers. It is a DVD rental company which handles all sorts of “how to” videos. I rented a few of them in order to watch someone else paint and see the methods they use and how they get the paint from the palette to the canvas. I have to say it is might interesting and very instructive.

Seeing Richard Schmid paint a landscape in May was a revelation! No kidding! Watching him, I finally understood why they say thick over thin. Just so MANY effects can be achieved by doing so, not to mention all the beautiful variation with clear, clean color that can happen. I also showed me how my thinking had wandered off into a corner and gotten stuck there.

Last night, I watched Matt Smith paint the Sonoran Desert (Arizona). That guy blew my mind. He is simple, straight forward and an excellent painter. Let me just say that I have been wondering HOW edges are softened . . .in terms of brush technique . . . .there are always vague answers, but this guy made it as plain as day. Also, if anyone who reads this has ever tried to paint a field of ‘weeds’ . . . .no kidding; weeds! . . . .they know that it can be overwhelmingly difficult. This guy laid in paint on top of paint on top of edges on top of paint on top of more . . . no shapes . . .did not paint ‘things’ or objects . . .just put in strokes of color and value. Stroke, soften, another stroke, re-stroke, add another, soften. I had to watch it twice.

Then the final piece fell into place to help me learn to use the palette knife. Seems easy enough, right? Nope! But watching Matt (and using the rewind / slow mo buttons) was just perrrfect.

I went to the dentist this morning and had a few errands to run, which kept me out of the studio till 2:30 in the afternoon. In two hours I tackled a fairly ‘detailed’ painting of those Monterey Cypress trees again. What a difference in my attack and how the painting is going together.

I am posting a few work in progress shots to show where I am, so far. I have to hand two shows in different towns in the next few days. So, the rest of today (and a good part of tomorrow) is going to be spent doing that. Hopefully, I will be able to finish this painting, before it dries out.

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