Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sharing the Painting Process

Earlier I posted a series of photos taken while I painted "Tomales Bay Tangents."  The process of painting a landscape has been, for me, a bit different than painting a floral.  With the florals I tend to work less from top to bottom, and paint all over the surface of the painting throughout the process.  However, I still am always thinking, "Back to Front," to be sure that I don't have to work too much around foreground aspects of the painting, while trying to place the background.  But, I have to say that I am still adding to the background a fair amount, all through the process.  This ensures that the colors I use in one part of the painting, I include in other parts, too, so there is a more cohesive look to the finished painting.   As I choose the pastels, I set them aside, in a "working palette," so that I am not always having to search for them, when I want to use that particular color again.  Sometimes I set up the initial palette at the outset, judging from my photo which colors I think I might use, then I add as I go.  This helps me to be able to just jump right in.  In "Sincerely Yours," below, you can follow the progression, and see some of these aspects.  Another thing that I like to do is to add depth by making the edges on the focal point much more crisp than those in other areas of the painting.  You can see that the petals in the background, and even the bottom left foreground, are slightly out of focus.  Then, the pinks in the background are very blurred, to just hint at other flowers in the distance.

Enjoy following, below, the process of painting "Sincerely Yours."  I invite you to follow my BLOG to see more of my paintings in process.

"Sincerely Yours" - The process of painting.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fibonacci numbers - The Fingerprint of God

 Here is a little sample of the amazing Fibonacci numbers.  It is so evident to me, when I am driving around, taking photos, that I am not simply a witness of chance happenings, but of real design.  As an artist, and being very aware of design in my own work, it is difficult for me to understand how folks can see the design around them, and attribute it to chance.  If you were to happen upon a painting, sitting in the middle of a forest, you would immediately say to yourself, "Someone was here."   This little Utube snippet just reminded me again, that when I look around and see the beauty that I hope to capture, the answer for me, is a resounding, "my creator was here."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tomales Bay Tangents: The Process

I set up my camera on a tripod, and snapped a photo every 10-20 minutes, or so, to capture my painting process.  This is something I would like to do on a regular basis, and I would love to hear from you, if you find it interesting or helpful.  I first lightly sketched the composition, which you can't see too well here, and then began just laying some color, starting from the distance, forward.  I have typically done most of my landscapes in this same way.
Not only do I begin with the distant portion of the landscape, but also with the color that will be the under-painting. 

Just blocking in more color to define the composition, and to get some of the deeper shades, in the foreground.  I also have added the highlights on the hills in the distance, to give them their shape, and have added the darks for the group of trees sitting on the point.  I added a mid value gold to the bushes on the hill.

Here I went back to the hillside and cliff in the background, and began adding more layers of pastel on top, to define the give definition to the rocks, bushes and grass. 

Just more definition on the rocky cliff, and hillside, and I am beginning to define the water's edge, and the reflection in the water beneath the cliff.

I have begun to add more color to the middle ground, and am continuing to add more detail to the hillside.

Have added texture and middle range values to the grasses in the middle ground.

I have added the deeper values of green and blue for the pools of water in the foreground, while I am defining the various, random shapes of grass and land in between.

More color and definition of the water and grass in the foreground.  I loved capturing the colors in this water, from deep blues and  greens, to teal and even purple!  This stage is just adding detail and cleaning up the little spots of paper still showing through (I didn't want to touch the pastel too much with my fingers - it mixed the under-layers together too much - so I used a tortillon, which is a tightly rolled piece of paper, with a pointed tip)  I actually left some of those places showing through, which look like sparkles on the water.  I also begin adding the faint shadow in front of many of the little grass clumps, which defines their shape, and makes them pop out.

Adding more highlights and small details to the grasses and clumps of earth in the middle and foreground.

Foreground rivulet, and some of the little pools get just a tad lighter.

Tomales Bay Tangents 14x20 on UART sanded pastel paper - Completed!  Questions or Comments?  Send me an email.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Join me as I journal and share my experiences in art.  As I become more acquainted with the BLOG world, and find ways to assimilate this communication tool into my art journey, I hope to be able to share with you my vision, discoveries, and images, chronicling my growth as an artist. 

My hope is that this will become a place where I can "try on" new ideas, and connections that I make between my art and other facets of my life - particularly my faith in Christ, and journey as a Christian.  I see that for most artists, their experiences with their creative self really bring out the urge to want to connect with their spiritual self, and I have seen that this can take on many forms.   For me, it has to be grounded in Jesus Christ, and Him as creator.