Foggy Morning at Mendenhall

This is another 10×8 oil of Mendenhall Glacier. I love this view from a large stream up the road as you approach the Glacier. There is often fog here and sometimes you can only catch a glimpse of the glacier itself, but it is very interesting to me when it is like this. There are always wonderful reflections in the areas of water around the glacier and this is one in particular that I like because of all the dead trees in the water, giving it a nice textural quality. As a note though, I find these trees extremely difficult to paint. I have found them very challenging. So in order to overcome this, I will be painting them quite a lot for practice ( =

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Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier has become one of my primary subjects. It is only 3-4 miles from my home and always a beautiful place to take pictures. We have a lot of tourism here in Juneau so it also makes for a perfect painting subject to sell to tourists. Hence, my newest paintings are of the Glacier. This one is from a very clear bright day and very different than most days here. But I really liked this shot. All the colors are quite cool, but I tried to add a few touches of warmth in the green grasses and around the base of the most forward area on the left. I also used Pthalo blue in the Glacier, which is a rich, warm blue. (this is an 8×10 oil)

Minis Continue

So recently I had the privilege to join the local Artist Gallery here in Juneau,AK. And I have lots of these little minis. So I’ve decided I’d better keep on painting them. There is no shortage of great, inspirational scenery here to paint. I almost never go out without my camera to keep lots of great photos on hand to choose from for painting. So the next several posts will be of more minis of local Juneau scenes.                                                    

Dune Grasses

Dune GrassesThis is an 8×10 oil painting done from a photo I took down in Cohassette, MA while visiting my parents. On this particular day it was misty and overcast. I wanted to try painting this because of those weather conditions. It is very different to paint bright sunny day as opposed to a gray overcast day. It takes practice to see things in different light. I think that this is why I like to paint. I like the challenge of portraying the certain feeling a scene takes on in different lighting conditions. I really spend a lot of time observing the changes in light and shadow as well as colors under different conditions. It is really amazing to me.

Beams in the Woods

IMG_9741 (800x548)This image caught my eye because of the contrasting light and dark. I really enjoy being in the woods, and this scene is a good example of why. I love how the sunlight can just break though a small area and make it glow while the rest of the woods stay in the shadows. This seems like a happy little spot to enjoy a walk.

One More Underpainting

Into the woods (3)IMG_7703

This will be my final example for now of how useful a more detailed Underpainting can be. This is another wooded scene where my trees could easily have all gotten lost or run together as I went along. By having my Underpainting sort of map out my values, it was much easier to keep track of where my trees were separated. This also was helpful for me to see whrere it was important to perhaps place a darker tree next to a lighter one in order to distinguish it or make it more focal. It really is nice to be able to play around with your composition and value at this point before you have invested too much time. For me, it is invaluable when the painting has much detail.

Second Attempt of Lincoln Island Rock

IMG_8376I think that the first painting was too cool. I did add a bit of warmth to it but thought that I would try it again. You know that ‘repeat, repeat’ thing. ( =  Well for this one I also used a  canvas that was toned with burnt sienna. If you remember, the first one was toned with a pale blue hue. I do believe that this one came out much warmer simply because I started out with a warm undertone. The blue of the last one was strong enough to influence my whole painting so that it leaned toward very cool in the end.

Usually my preference is for a warm painting, but I do like the idea of trying different things to see where it leads. So I learned from this…I can either be very careful to warm all my colors if I use a cool toned canvas, or I can start with a warmer tone. I have seen paintings of fog or overcast days that have been done on a blue/ gray canvas that I really liked, but again, I will practice. In the end, I really prefer this warmer painting.

Playing with colored canvas

Lincoln Island BeachThis little canvas was underpainted with a pale blue hue. I think this was the first time trying blue. I liked it a lot. The overall tone of the painting came out cool even though it was a very sunny scene. After taking this photo I did tone down the blueness of the rocks in the shade. It was a little too blue for me. But I really enjoy painting on a canvas that is underpainted because it gives you a mid tone color to start with which can help you read your colors better. It is also interesting to play around with little bits of color you leave showing. If I did this same painting with the pale orange underneath, it would have taken a totally different direction. I’m almost interested enough to try that in order to compare the two.

Many people know exactly how they intend their painting to turn out. At this point for me, I sort of let it tell me where it is going to go. I try to read it as it progresses and see how it feels. That part is still fun for me. If I have a direction in mind and it doesn’t go that way, well that will be frustrating. But for now I am learning what may cause certain outcomes. And I am enjoying the process!