Thursday, August 22, 2019

Plein Air Landscape Paintings: Summer 2019

These are some plein air studies done this summer, as a warm up to my plein air painting trip planned for this fall, with Dean Fisher in the Dordogne region of France.

I learned a few things during this trial run:

1. Do thumbnails before you start. So much information in the landscape, a simple value sketch will help. I didn't always do it, but the painters I admire all do.

2. Get the right gear. After struggling with a heavy and bulky wood pochade box, I finally broke down and bought a Strada mini and a lightweight tripod.

3. Don't chase the light!  Put the shadows down, and leave them -- better to come back a second day, than to mess up your shadow pattern.

Experimental Figure Painting: Raven

Experimental figure painting workshops with David Fox are always fun. We worked fast (30 - 40 minute poses), large (30' x 40' and larger), using acrylic paint and charcoal on heavy paper.

For this series, I began by painting abstractly on the surface, just to get things going, then defined the figure as I went along. I think my last was the most successful.

Fashion Series: Collaboration with BOND Hardware

I recently had a great opportunity to create a fashion series, inspired by BOND Hardware photo shoots.  It was fun collaborating with BOND founder (and daughter!) Dana Hurwitz -- she has such a good eye.

I rendered each photo in color using a combination of compressed charcoal and acrylic paint on multi-media paper. Color and clothing choices were made on the fly; in all but the last, the model is wearing BOND Hardware:)

Fashionable Pug (wearing a necklace): Acrylic on paper

Here's one of the fashion drawings done in collaboration with BOND Hardware. Being a dog lover I had to give this fashionable pug his own post:)

Fashion Series: Collaboration with Randi Childs

For the paintings above, image credit belongs to Randi Childs.

Randi is a long time Chappaqua friend, as well as an extremely talented photographer. I love all her NYC street photos, and she gave me permission to paint this one for AAT.  Follow her on Instagram!

Palette Knife series: Flower, Martini, sunset, still life, tree

Recently, I tried painting with a palette knife. I loved it, and plan to do more!

The great thing about knife painting is that it forces you to simplify, which can lead to a bolder result.  In my experiments, I mixed acrylic paint with molding paste (modeling paste?) and oil paint with cold wax, for more texture.

Here are a few knife painters I really admire: Mary Bentz Gilkerson and Cynthia Rosen.

LIfe Drawings, Summer, 2019 (short poses)

An assortment of drawings done at King Street Studios this summer ... mainly short poses.

Sometimes, when you least expect it, the 1 minute gestures, 2-minute left-handed contours, or 5 minute pose turns out special. Happy accidents:)

Life Drawings, Summer, 2019 (longer poses)

Life drawings done at the King Street Studio this summer. I really like doing these longer (10 - 40 minute) poses ... 

I love the look of pastel on gray hahnemuhle paper (top) -- learned this from artist Martin Campos, who I follow on Instagram. The reclining one is just done on cheap kraft paper. The next is a drawing of a classmate painting the model, and the bottom one is Conte compressed charcoal on white paper (wet the charcoal, it turns into paint ... learned this technique from Melanie Reim).

A few more drawings, below:

Sketchbook: Falmouth Harbor

I include this little sketch to remind myself that there is no reason not to draw every day. I have the time, never do it ...

I did this sketch while waiting waiting for a friend at a marina, in Falmouth. Happy that I recorded the moment ... not a great sketch but better than a photo:)

Workshop Study: NYC Street (Pastel on Paper)

Here's another study from the pastel workshop with Tony Allain.  He showed us a simple way to render crowds of people, and I chose a photo from a NYC street to try it out.

His advice not to eliminate the lime green shape on the right margin was spot on. I was going to leave it out, thinking that drawing attention to the edge of a painting would just distract -- at least that's what I've read. In this case, it adds a nice unexpected pop of color, proving that sometimes it pays to break the rules about composition.

Workshop Study: Falmouth Night (Pastel on paper)

Here's my favorite study done during the workshop with Tony Allain.

I shot this photo while driving around Falmouth, Massachusetts in my car, one rainy night. In doing the study in pastel, I was inventive with color ... sometimes that technique works, and this time it did!

2019 Workshop: Tony Allain, Falmouth Mass



Here are a few pastel studies from Tony Allain's Pastel Workshop on the Cape. I love Tony's work, so it was great to see his demo's and get his advice.The biggest takeaway was to simplify values, in order to paint bolder, with fewer strokes. Tony's a master of this -- everything from his
sketchbooks to his demo's drive this point home.
    We did several exercises:
  • Exercise #1:  paint an object in 100 strokes (paint tube). 
  • Exercise #2: paint a crowd of people using a technique he shared (NYC street scene). 
  • Exercises #3: (night scene, marsh)... can't remember the specific point, but the result is bolder, and I guess that's the goal!

Tube of Paint: Painting exercise in 100 strokes (or less) - Pastel on paper

In this workshop exercise, Tony Allain had us choose a nearby object and render it in no more than 100 strokes. I grabbed this Cadmium Red tube of paint. I like the simplicity of it:)