Juneau, AK in Miniature

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I am continuing my miniature landscape series of Juneau, AK. I’ve taken so many wonderful photos of the beautiful scenery here and now I am getting to use it. It would be nice to have a set of 4 of them displayed together, maybe 4 seasons or just 4 different areas of Juneau. The pic on the left is a view from Harris Harbor. I just loved the light vs. shadow on this. The other picture is Point Retreat Lighthouse. I particularly liked the lighting on the mountain in the distance here. These are both 2.5xx3.5 inch stretched canvas and painted on the sides as well. (I actually sold the lighthouse this seek, the other is for sale)

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Sky Practice

Sky PracticeThis is a 5×7 oil painting of a point outside Juneau, AK. When I took this photo, I just loved how the blue reflection on the shady parts of the rock seemed so blue and complemented to bright, vivid green of the grassy knoll. But when I started this picture I was really intending to practice my skies. I have trouble keeping them light enough, and I’d like to be able to get better blues into them. So on this one I was trying to use some Cerulean Blue…I usually use Pthalo. I used both here, starting with Cerulean near the mountain peaks and gradually going to Pthalo as the sky got higher. this is not how my photo looked, but I was happy with it. After the sky was done I figured I’d just add the rest…and here it is. I think I will try to do some quick practice though of mainly skies. Because I started with the sky I ended up running out of the proper proportion of water at the bottom. I think this would be much more pleasing to the eye if it had a couple more inches of water, but there’s always next time.

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.

Mendenhall Loop Road II

IMG_0806This is the valley in Juneau where I live. It is the main road that goes to the glacier. In the summertime there is a constant stream of tour buses that run from the cruise ships downtown out to the Mendenhall Glacier. This is the road they take. On a clear day, when you get to this point it can be so beautiful that it makes your heart leap! Tourists must have their jaws drop as they approach. It is about 4 miles from this point but you cannot wait to get there to see it when you are given this glimpse beforehand. I have also painted this a couple times trying to get the values just right. The mountain is difficult to get just right. It seems darker than you have to paint it in order to put it into the distance. I’m learning ( =

Buoy’s Glow

Buoy 's  Glow  This is a 5×7 oil painting. I took the photo used for this on the back of our boat. It was early morning and the sunlight was extremely low and intense. In this study I was trying to work on creating the intense glow of the bright orange buoy. It fascinated me to see how much it cast its brightness onto the surrounding items. I did a workshop last year where we were challenged to do the same thing. My results on that painting were not quite as successful as this one. I definitely learned a few things from that workshop. This is just another example of how it can be very helpful to do the same picture more than once, or at least something very similar.

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.

Detailed Underpainting

Maine woods (3)Maine Woods

 

This is an example of a two tone Underpainting where it was extremely necessary. I felt like there would be no way for me to keep track of my distant trees without a basic guide layer down first. This gave me a clear idea of my values before I started and also acted like a map for me to keep from having my trees get lost in the forest (so to speak).  You can see that an Underpainting can be quite vague or extremely detailed. It is very interesting to play around with.

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.

Pond Reflections

IMG_8019This is a little 5×7 that just looked like a challenge with all the foliage and the upside down reflections. You can almost turn it upside down to display it as well. ( =  I am finding that greens can be a challenge, especially when there are so many different shades in one painting. This is probably another thing I could practice…the many different greens.

Sunny Bend

Auke Rec PointI continue to find trees extremely challenging yet I am seeing progress. It is a challenge to know where to begin some of these pictures of the woods, but I felt like I at least had some direction this time. I still feel like this could be improved on if I did it again, but I’m happy with it for now. I’m still feeling a strong attraction for painting woodland scenes and especially trees themselves, in fact I found a guy that paints ‘tree portraits’ yesterday on Pintrest. His name is David Langevin. His stuff is amazing. It may be a similar direction I’d like to go in eventually. You can check out his work on whiterockgallery.com. Just search his name.