Thursday, October 11, 2012

Turtle Beach

Painted this from a picture.  This was another example of direct glazing of the 'growies' up on the sand bank.  The value change is evident with the diminished intensity of the palm in distance and lighter sand color.  There is back lighting so the shadows cascade down the beach.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

California Oak Tree

It was a beautiful morning for plein air painting.  At first, a little nip in the air, but then warmed up so that you would be most comfortable in shorts.  I was painting out on the levee of Cache Creek.  The creek has little water but the oak trees are magnificent.  They drip like candles or like willows.  There was a bright blue sky with only a cloud or two.
I painted this wet into wet.  I started with the sky followed by painting the leaf canopy in raw sienna, then direct glazed with sap green and then direct glazed with ultramarine blue.  When still wet I put in the trunk and limbs using wet lines and adding colors.  When all dried I finished the leaf canopy with an indirect glaze of cobalt blue and added shadows. 
The shed had a horse who showed only once and I kept waiting to put it in the painting but it never showed again.  What a great feeling to be out painting.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Family Outing

This painting was done in approximately 45 minutes.  The adage, 'the fewest strokes wins' is not only good for golf but for watercolor.  You simplify or edit the scene to only essentials and proceed to painting in as few brush strokes as possible.  There is some direct glazing done, which is using a wet transparent color over a wet color.  It gives a more painterly impression.  Careful attention is paid to value change which occurs with every plane change.  By using a gradated wash of the ocean going from dark in the distance to lighter in the foreground, it brings the eye to the focal point which are the figures.  All the whites are connected up rather than isolated.  It is always good to practice these rules.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

San Francisco Bay

Here is a switch from my Italian travels.  This landscape is seen while in bed, looking over my toes at San Francisco Bay.  It is a one point perspective so that the closer objects are seen from above and the distant ones tend to be more righted.  Kind of fun to paint this and it was a very quick painting, since I left the water in the Bay unpainted.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Morning Light in Italy

I sketched this Italian scene with a flood of morning light coming down the street between buildings. It was in a hilltop town in Tuscany.  Many people were up and the coffee bar was busy.  The cast shadow from the two tourists was magnified giving them gigantic proportions.  My quick sketch didn't note any of the colors, so, when painting, I chose a group of earthen colors that would be in harmony and typical of the village.

I feel right back in Italy as I work on these sketches and paintings.  Accompanied with music from the Italian tenors, all that is missing is the magnificent food.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Vertical View

This is the view from my hotel on the coast.  I took the elevator down to minus 6 for my room.  It was down another few levels before reaching the walkway that wound further down to the water.  Quite a spectacular view.  The vertical format was chosen to emphasize the vastness of the stone wall.  I painted the road and tunnel above to give an idea of how exciting the driving is on the Amalfi Coast.  The house was there and I  included it in the painting to allow something for comparative size.  I left the beach and water inlet white or near white to give the painting a focal point.
By the way, the water was warm and I did plenty of swimming.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Atop the Slopes of Amalfi

The Amalfi coast is spectacular especially when viewed from above.  The traffic curls around very narrow roads.  The buses barely squeeze by each other and the daring motor scooters zip in and out.  One cannot set up an easel but quick sketches and photos are very helpful for later paintings.  I wanted a sense of height and some sparkle from the perched buildings.  The hills were given different values and warmed as they came to the foreground.  This creates some depth and height.