Friday, October 28, 2016

Sheep Studies

My art group took on an exercise in top lighting. We painted barns and sheep with amazing results. The group is very good in using light source and there were plenty of sheep pictures to view today. It was enjoyed by all. In addition, this painting was done on watercolor paper wrapped around spreader bars. Many are interested in getting away from glass and matting for their watercolors.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Flyway

Was at the Sacramento Wildlife area to witness birds moving along the flyway. The day was sunny and the trees are just starting to turn. The sky was covered with thousands of birds coming to land in the ponds. The ponds are filled with all kinds but each section had a distinct species. Some had standing room only. With all this activity, I chose to paint the hillside or coastal range and a beautiful tree among the reeds. I debated painting the birds but they just wouldn't sit still.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Drone View of the Vineyard

Fall weather has arrived in northern California. The grapes were all harvested and instead of feet stomping, a major action was taking place with huge vats, fork lifts that also turn the tubs of grapes upside down and hoses with grape juice. Lots of action. It was chilly at 8 AM but the tasting room of Matchbook winery was open to warm the three of us up. I painted this from the wide veranda overlooking the hills and vineyard. The sky had high clouds and was bright but without sunlight to cast shadows. I felt like a bird looking down. Last week I met an artist with a drone camera and he had wonderful pics of the river in Sacramento, so this could fall into the drone view. This was our monthly Ag-Art group but there were not a lot of artists there. It is repeated on Saturday with music, food and wine. Maybe...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Backlit Watercolor

This painting example is something done in class as an example of backlighting. Most photographers are very familiar with this form of lighting for their compositions. Unless we are doing plain air painting in the very early morning or late afternoon light we are not that aware. Figures can be silhouetted with strong backlighting as can trees. This is quite remarkable with water or marine landscapes done with back light. The lighting makes a strong statement of anything in the foreground. By using rim lighting it is even more accentuated.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Road 29 Slough

It was a muddy water hole on Road 29 that was great for cast reflections. Unfortunately, the shadows moved in when my painting began. I had made some sketches so returned to them when I got to the slough. It started off cool and windy but got better as the morning went on. The other painters all found something in the area to paint. There were old pipes and tractors. Everyone did a good painting of the scene. The sun was very bright and made it difficult to judge values. I did turn my easel so my painting was not in direct sunlight and that helped. I had my bungy chord to hold down my palate so I was ready for the wind. For me, there is nothing more difficult than painting on a windy day.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

After the Rain

Using the photo that I did value studies on yesterday, I decided to try again with a very limited palate. I used only 4 colors and a very wet paper. You know how bright it can suddenly become after a rain storm. I wanted to use this light to create an eye path to the house and use some silhouetted figures on bicycles for cast reflections on the wet road and added interest. I never know what is going to take shape when working wet into wet. I did put some pencil marks for the horizon and house. With wet into wet there is little control and lots of drips since I paint on a vertical plain.