Friday, January 2, 2015

HAPPY 2015!

 Goodbye Summer (48x60) o/c

Late in the year I painted "Goodbye Summer" -- it was a large canvas (for me) and actually the first painting that our daughter, Lily posed for.

Evening Garden (8x10) o/c

I had been visiting this large community garden near our home over the summer, doing several sketches (like the one above) to get the colour I wanted. Although it's not easy transferring information from an 8x10 inch sketch to a 4x5 foot format, I think I captured most of it... The biggest challenge is transferring the loose and spontaneous brush strokes; it's not just a matter of using bigger brushes and more paint...

Study for "Goodbye Summer" (8x10) o/c

There is a comfort zone that is in direct ratio to the size of your arm that dictates the application and execution of paint. Brushes can only hold so much pigment and pull only so long of a stroke; once you go beyond those limits, you have to then "patch and section'" larger areas to develop that scale in a style that reflects your smaller, looser plein air sketch... Pretty hard to do unless you go thinner with the pigment and/or break up the information into comfortable portions, using broken colour to convey the looseness on a large scale. 

I also came back over areas of the painting with a 'dry-brush' (thin pigment with no medium or solvent) to drag on a rougher effect -- this too helps convey looseness...

At any rate, it was good practice and reason to pursue more large canvases in 2015...thanks again to Lil for being such a trooper for daddy!

Happy 2015 everybody!


  1. Beautiful light in your paintings, I love the brushwork in your sketches. Do you use any medium in your paint to get it that thick, and to leave those brush markings? I am trying to load on my paint, but find it 'settles' and smooths down, and I don't see my bristle markings anymore. Thanks for an informative post!

  2. Hi Judy -- no medium to get the texture; that comes from heavy loaded hog bristle strokes with synthetic dry-brush strokes on top (the paint beneath has to be slightly tacky or dry for this optical texture effect to work). Paint with pigment straight out of the tube for this -- the "settling" you're talking about probably comes from too much medium or solvent. Thank you for your kind compliment about my work too -- Happy New Year!