Monday, May 28, 2012

Value Thumbnails 2

Top: pencil, 2012
page 11" x 8.5" (27.94cm x 21.59cm)

Bottom: Black ink, 2012
page 11" x 8.5" (27.94cm x 21.59cm)

Here are a couple pages of thumbnails.
The benefit of thumbnails is you can immediately see the stronger designs, throwing out or improving upon the weaker ones.

The idea is to use only 3 values and focus on the design or arrangement of lights and darks as a whole.
A dark, a mid tone and the white of the paper usually, although sometimes I will use a fourth value by indicating the next value from white.

A couple of the pencils have 4 values which is ok provided you don't lose sight of the original purpose of doing them. In this case it was to identify where the brightest lights would be, the sunlit sides of the white tanks in the third row down and bottom left last row. In this way I am refining the lights a bit more and can be sure the shapes within the lights work against the compositional whole.

The bottom nocturnes, painted with a brush in ink, force you to work very thoughtfully and direct since ink goes down dark and permanently. I like doing these for that reason, it exercises a different set of (mental) muscles. The challenge is to not over think them and lose the freshness.

Using a brush means I can lay down wide swaths of blacks quickly and not get too fussy. Perfect for doing nocturnes.181

Click on images for larger view.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Junk Yard Dog

"Truck at Rest"
watercolor on paper, 2012
8" x 11" (20.32cm x 27.94cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

Here is another recent watercolor, very different from the last.
When I saw this old rust-spotted, well used dump truck it begged to be painted and in a manner that gave it some reverence for years of service, although it is not yet done.

So I painted it almost matter of fact, almost.
Instead I represented it in its natural environment, gave it plenty of air or space around it and a nice big dramatic cloud overhead. It deserves this bow of appreciation.

It reminds me of a loyal junk yard dog, not pretty but always anxious and ready to go.180

Click on image for larger view

Update-Available Art

In case anyone has wondered why available art in the pages section top of right hand column is a little sparse I still have to update it

The idea is to show a pic of any framed art work along with those specs too.
I simply need to make the time to photograph and make a document in Apple Pages.
This will take some time. In the meantime that information is listed directly under each image.

July 27 2013
I am updating my update here:
All available art is now on DAILY PAINTWORKS.
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

No House of Cards

"Catalina Pacific Concrete (Storm)"
watercolor on paper, 2012
8" x 11" (20.32cm x 27.94cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

Here again is the old shut down concrete plant, with its gangly proportions, facing an incoming storm.
I sometimes find that a subject can have different faces, a persona about them that can shift as I see it from different views and/or in various lighting or weather conditions.
I then have to decide how to present that perception through design of composition, value and other art elements.

As I said in my post of this similar view, the building seems precarious when seen from its narrow side.
The difference here is I've bracketed it between the railroad signal and power pole which support it and hold it upright, the verticals providing a stability to the shaky structure. And shown it in a 3/4 view so the side adds some solidity, giving it more of a sound brick feel. Shifting the perception from a house of cards to one that can withstand anything.179

Click on image for larger view

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ponto Storage

"Ponto Storage #1"
oil on panel, 2012
5" x 3.5" (12.7cm x 8.89cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

This building looks like it once was the original Ponto Storage office. Although the business moved next door into a newer building this one stands out because it sits on an otherwise empty lot.
I do a lot of these types of images shown late in the day, a metaphor for its end.
It appeared to have been shut down for some time yet curiously, its green light still glowed.178

Click on image for larger view

Saturday, May 5, 2012

iPad Painting

"The Lookout" (in progress 1)

"The Lookout" (in progress 2)

"The Lookout" (in progress 3)

In addition to the oils, several watercolors and a commissioned piece, I have been working on a large watercolor recently. It's bigger than I typically work in watercolor so I am presented with a different set of challenges to overcome. Although it hasn't won every skirmish we are at a stand off right now, a stare down, the art version of OK Corral. When I am victorious and the dust settles I'll post it.
For now...

I recently got an iPad and picked up the Brushes app which is basic enough I won't be overwhelmed learning the digital medium. So here is one of the first few experimental digital paintings. Of course I need to keep it pretty simple in the beginning.

I will use it primarily to experiment, have fun, do quick location studies when I'm out and about and stuck waiting. Maybe I will use it for compositional studies too... who knows. First I have to learn how to use the thing, it is both fun and frustrating.
Working in other mediums is good though. It has a way of feeding and strengthening my work. Especially when struggles ensue. At times of struggle it is a way of stepping back from the fray and relaxing without losing any momentum.

One advantage of digital is not having to photograph it. In fact what is up on the screen is more faithful to the actual work. I am usually disappointed in some way in the photos of my non-digital art work.

There is always something that isn't right. Color, more often than not, is the culprit. Other times it is the texture of an oil painting catching those pesky little highlights which read like little white specks... drives me crazy since it is time consuming eliminating them all.

Another advantage is saving progress shots. I don't have to grab the camera and mess with lighting to take a progress shot, just save it.

I'll post a final shot of this digital when it is complete. Not much more to do. Just some little tweaks here and there.177

Click on images for larger view

Friday, May 4, 2012

Apparition-like Flash

"Amtrak Bridge Oceanside #3"
oil on panel, 2012
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

I painted this after a visit to Oceanside California in the late afternoon.
The bridge passes over the Loma Alta Marsh near the Pacific Ocean.

The late afternoon light makes for a dramatic image with the landscape dropping into shadow and the bridge catching full sun.
I added the train after watching several pass by and noticing that at this time of day they move so fast they appear as a quick, almost apparition-like flash, a nice contrast to the earthy landscape.176

Click on image for larger view

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Studio Pics 2 - Built like a Bridge

I recently picked up this old vintage metal cabinet from a second hand store for my studio, from the 60's or 70's, probably out of an office or commercial space.

It is solid heavy gage steel, well built, double thickness doors and drawers, WELDED, and they fit like a glove.
The sheet metal doesn't 'oil can'.
Tap the open drawer and it closes all the way and doesn't bounce back.
You can hear the ball bearings in the drawer glides click like they should. Ball bearings should be heard and not seen.
Thick adjustable shelf that won't sag.
Hinges, handles, clasps, shelf clips... yep... all metal, but the good stuff. The only 'plastic' on it is the clasp rollers, and they are tough nylon plastic, still work like new, no signs of wear. They are not the modern cheap plastic that is soft like brie cheese!
The doors open and shut with a whisper... gentle like a baby, yet they don't rub, sag, flex, shimmy or shake, warp or wobble.
The top is a laminate veneer, but made back when it was thick and tough and durable.
It was outside in the back exposed to the weather buried under junk yet is unfazed. Try that with MDF.
It has been through spills, chills, and no doubt thrills.
It wears it's scratches with well earned pride and no apology.
It was probably built by the same guys who built skyscrapers and bridges and yet weren't afraid of color.
It is industrial construction and practicality with simple plain proportions and designer sensibilities.
As my Dad would say, It has an honesty to it.
It is glorious.

I knew it was mine the moment I saw it. It was made for me.
Now it is home again.
If you look you can see it is 'right up my alley' in color palette.
It's amazing how the right things, the most simple addition can make a space more inspiring...

I also found an old used chair for my desk,  solid wood and iron , remember that? It weighs a ton, it's the real deal.
... and some flat files in solid metal, used (NOT previously owned!) used, before 'used' was a bad word.

For the price I paid for each, I would not be able to find this kind of quality new.
I wonder what will still be around in 50 or 100 years from now for future vintage shoppers. Actually these here will, just not as much will survive from today, there still is quality being produced but it is not as commonplace and is expensive. Where did we go wrong? Cheap means more consumption, not good for the planet.

No plastic, no particle board. Thats it!