Juneau Mini paintings

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These are each 2.5×3.5 inches. They are so much fun to paint! I guess I have always liked detail. The fun thing is, they look very detailed (they are for the size) but in fact I do have to minimize how much detail there is.

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Frosty Mendenhall Evening

Frosty Mendenhall MorningThis is the view from my dining room windows. It is not always visible because of all the low clouds and rain that we get, but when it is, it is spectacular! During winter the low sun creates the most beautiful lighting effects on everything. On this evening the frost was really thick on everything. It tends to build up because the sun doesn’t get high enough to melt it off things. So the hoarfrost almost seems to grow. This made everything seem so cool and gray and soft compared to the bright warm glow on the mountain peaks. I cannot seem to get a photo of this painting that really shows the coloring well, but this isn’t too bad. ¬†As with a few of my paintings now, I have painted this a couple times (or pretty close to this) and it gets a little better each time.

Gesso Board Trial Piece

First Pic on GessoThis is a 6×6 painting, and it is the first painting that I have done on Gesso board. I have been wanting to try this since my first post. I read in Carol Marine’s book that she uses it and likes it. There are several artists whose paintings have a smooth flowing brush stroke style and I have been unable to get that in my paintings. It seems like they must either use gesso board or a smoother canvas than I do. To save on cost, I have given into using an inexpensive canvas board most of the time for these small practice pieces. But it does not help to practice what doesn’t work for you. I need to begin either using Gesso board or prepping my canvas in a different way to create a smoother finish. I have recently found another brand of canvas board that is not too expensive and does have a wonderful smooth coating. (the brand is Art Advantage) I cannot get it here in Juneau, and shipping is always expensive to Alaska so I have not used it on a regular basis. But I am beginning to think I should. I will have to get a bunch when I travel back to Maine next month.

Anyway, I did enjoy the Gesso board. It is a little tricky to learn a lighter touch with the brush so you don’t pull paint off with a second stroke, but I especially like that the brush strokes remain visible. This is merely a preference, and many people do not like this look. I do look forward to playing around with it more.

Soft Low Light

Juneau ViewThis is a view looking down the channel towards Downtown Juneau and the Juneau/Douglas Bridge. I made a stop on the side of the road, probably where one really shouldn’t stop, but I just had to get a few shots of this beautiful scene! One thing that I learned and applied here is to paint the sky and then make extra of that color. Then use that color to blend into the mountains to give you that nice atmospheric look. It is much better than just adding white. It unifies the whole thing much better. I am looking forward to doing this on a larger canvas very soon.