Thursday, August 9, 2018

Details! Close up images of a 10 foot painting!

Figure Detail from Bayou Bend Pathway (56x120), oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018

As I shared after Giant Painting #1... Giant Painting #2 ALSO needs to be experienced close up and personally! The camera just can not capture the brushwork and presence that this painting has. 

Have I mentioned that I really wish you would drive to Houston and see it in person??? Well, I know that is not practical, so these details are as close as I can get to showing you the brushwork and movement in the painting. Click on images to see them larger. 

Bayou Bend Pathway, 56 x 120, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018
10-Foot Commission for Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas
This is the big one again, just so you can place the close ups... ;)


Tree Detail 1 (top middle) from Bayou Bend Pathway (original piece is 56x120)
Oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018

Figure Detail 2 (right hand side) from Bayou Bend Pathway (original piece is 56x120)
Oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018

Azalea & Signature Detail (bottom right) from Bayou Bend Pathway
Oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Study for 2nd Large Commission

Bayou Bend Study, 8 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018
Study for 2nd large commission for Methodist Hospital in Houston

You might be interested to know that the idea for my second large commission was designed, submitted, and approved in the mini-version above. Through that study, my client was able to get a sense of the composition, color, and value direction I would take with the big one. Once approved, I stuck as close as possible to the overall "feeling" of the small piece.

Keep in mind that the study is approximately 50 times smaller than this larger, final piece. Just for comparison, here is the large one...  


One reader asked how I was able to keep the overall perspective correct on such a large piece. The short answer is that I backed up... often and a lot. Every time I worked an area or passage, I would back across the room and make sure it still "worked" overall. 

Another thing that helped was to use a projector to transfer the image of my approved study onto the large canvas. This allowed me to capture directional lines and outline major shapes from my design. Once those were in place, I could develop the painting with confidence that the perspective would be in tact. 

Tomorrow I'll share some close ups of the large piece so you can see the brushwork and detail... please stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Bayou Bend Pathway - 2nd of Three 10-Foot Commissioned Paintings

Bayou Bend Pathway, 56 x 120, Oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018
Commission for Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas
First of three 10-foot paintings to hang in new North Tower

If you have been following along with my blog this year, you know I have been working on a giant, 3-part commission for the Methodist Hospital in Houston. It's been all-consuming! The second 10-foot painting (of three) was delivered and installed in early June, but I got distracted by the third one, and life in general, so my posting about it got delayed! Better late than never, I say! 

Today, I will begin by showing several process shots, so that you can see how the painting developed from the beginning to the end. I'll be sharing different aspects of the overall process as the week goes on (including close ups and the smaller study I worked from), so please stay tuned!!!!

I began with a sepia tone painted block-in. This first step established my composition and value patterns of light and dark. It became my road map for the rest of the process.

Because the canvas was so large, I worked in sections to cover the canvas. At this phase, I was trying establish the best average value and color range, and focused on large shapes and masses rather than detail.

The middle section... more large shapes and masses.

The last section... shapes, masses. As the canvas filled up, I started comparing areas and thinking about how I would adjust them.

In the final stage, I painted broke up the masses with subtle color and value shifts. This is when the details emerged and final pops of light were placed. The photos are painfully small for such a huge subject, so it's hard to see what I am talking about, I know. 

This gives you a sense of the scale... AND a sense of my joy at being finished! 
Click HERE to see painting #1 of 3.
Two David Sorg Easels set up side by side hold my 10 foot canvas.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Bayou Bend Pathway - 2nd of 3 Ten-Foot Commissioned Paintings

Bayou Bend Pathway, 56 x 120, Oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018
Commission for Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas
First of three 10-foot paintings to hang in new North Tower

If you have been following along with my blog this year, you know I have been working on a giant, 3-part commission for the Methodist Hospital in Houston. It's been all-consuming! The second 10-foot painting (of three) was delivered and installed in early June, but I got distracted by the third one, and life in general, so my posting about it got delayed! Better late than never, I say! 

Today, I will begin by showing several process shots, so that you can see how the painting developed from the beginning to the end. I'll be sharing different aspects of the overall process as the week goes on (including close ups and the smaller study I worked from), so please stay tuned!!!!

I began with a sepia tone painted block-in. This first step established my composition and value patterns of light and dark. It became my road map for the rest of the process.

Because the canvas was so large, I worked in sections to cover the canvas. At this phase, I was trying establish the best average value and color range, and focused on large shapes and masses rather than detail.

The middle section... more large shapes and masses.

The last section... shapes, masses. As the canvas filled up, I started comparing areas and thinking about how I would adjust them.

In the final stage, I painted broke up the masses with subtle color and value shifts. This is when the details emerged and final pops of light were placed. The photos are painfully small for such a huge subject, so it's hard to see what I am talking about, I know. 

This gives you a sense of the scale... AND a sense of my joy at being finished! 
Click HERE to see painting #1 of 3.
Two David Sorg Easels set up side by side hold my 10 foot canvas.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Fruited Valley - Haggin Museum Show with American Women Artists

Fruited Valley, 24 x 30, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018
American Women Artists Museum Show
SOLD

I am so proud to be part of the American Women Artists exhibit at the Haggin Museum in Stockton, CA, which opens on tomorrow! Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the opening, but I'm thrilled that my piece sold in a pre-sale! It will be on display for the duration of the show. 


American Women Artists Illuminate the Haggin Museum
Haggin Museum, Stockton, CA
August 2 - September 16
Reception August 2, 6-8pm

A little bit of information about the show...

"For this exhibition, members of American Women Artists (AWA) were asked to create artwork that was inspired by a selection of 11 paintings from the Haggin Museum’s 19th – 20th-century art collection including works by William Merritt Chase, Albert Bierstadt, Rosa Bonheur, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and other notable artists. AWA artists have taken their inspiration from the work of art, the artist’s greater body of work, or the theme of the painting."


My own piece was inspired by the simple, but powerful composition of Jan Monchablon, a French painter from the late 1800's...
Early Afternoon by Jan Monchablon, 1886

See the entire AWA show HERE

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Heavens Rejoice - Eternal Hope

The Heavens Rejoice - Eternal Hope, 18 x 18, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018
SOLD in Davis Gallery "Reflector" Exhibit

Last night's opening at the Davis Gallery was a wonderful time! It's always so much fun to see and celebrate the work of the gallery artists all hanging together; and it's also great to have friends and family come out to support us. I was delighted to discover that this piece sold before the show opened last week! YAY! It was shipped out immediately, and consequently, it is not on display anymore... but I can still show it here! :)

Here are some pictures of the party with some dear artist friends...

with Tammy Brown

with Chris De Dier and Joe Hammer

with Lynda Young Kaffie



Friday, July 27, 2018

The Heavens Declare - Divine Presence... and a group show!

The Heavens Declare - Divine Presence, 24 x 30, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018

I am pleased to be part of the summer group show at the Davis Gallery! This piece and another are on display. Please join me at the opening reception tomorrow night!

Reflector - A Group Show
Davis Gallery, Austin, TX
July 28 - September 8
Reception July 28, 7-9 pm

Sorry for my recent silence - it's all due to my ongoing work on the three 10-foot commissions. They are keeping me busy... brushes moving, pigments swirling! I will have more to share on that soon. 


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Trailing Color

Trailing Color, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018
Click to purchase $120 + $16 s/h

I started this painting as a demo at my last workshop, but didn't finish it in the class. Sometimes that happens. It was one of my favorite gardens that we painted in and I did love the scene, so I finally got back to it this week. The flowers pouring over the sides of that turquoise window box were deliciously abundant, while the sunlight angled in just perfectly... it was a fun morning to revisit! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Morning Search

Morning Search, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018

I titled this painting "Morning Search" for two reasons.... 1) as a nod to those hungry sea birds, who were clearly on a hunt for their breakfast, and 2) as a reference to MY OWN pursuit of the perfect place to set up and paint. My search ended at a narrow beach access, which opened up onto this breezy, ocean scene. I have said this before I know, but the serendipity of discovering hidden, new places is one of my favorite things about plein air painting. I rarely know exactly where I'll end up when I leave the house in the morning. It's like a fabulous treasure hunt!


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Garden Pond Reflections


Garden Pond Reflections, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018

I am always grateful when people open their personal spaces to me to paint in; and my week painting on St. Simons Island was chock-full of kind generosity in that way. This lovely garden pond is situated at a Bed and Breakfast on the island, and thanks to Debi, I was able to spend a morning there. It was quiet, shady, and offered shimmering reflections that were delightfully irresistible!! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cabin Shadows

Cabin Shadows, 8 x 10, Oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018

I have been spying this little cabin for years and never managed to get to it when the light was right. Actually, I really didn't believe that the light EVER touched it, due to all the surrounding trees. Well, an unexpected, late afternoon painting opportunity revealed otherwise. As it turns out, the sunlight hits this darling front door right around 3:15, and plays quite dramatically on it's face for several hours. It was a delightful surprise and a good lesson that "timing is everything". 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Beachview Garden

Beach View Garden, 8 x 10, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018
SOLD

While I was on the Georgia coast teaching, I had some free time to roam about and do some plein air work of my own. It felt good to be outside painting after so many months inside. I loved these little cottages when I came upon them... brilliant, colorful gardens in front, with the big, beautiful ocean in back. What a day!!


Monday, May 14, 2018

Judy's Hydrangeas - workshop demo with process shots

Judy's Hydrangeas, 8 x 10, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018
Workshop Demo - Sold

I just finished teaching a workshop in St. Simons Island, GA. It was an plein air class, and we had pretty much perfect weather. I love it when that happens! We focused on "garden vignettes" and tried to capture a sense of place, as we considered the basics of painting outside. Each day we met in a different, private (and very beautiful) garden. This is my demo of one little corner at Judy's house from the first day... Thank you, Judy!

Compose/Block-in large Shapes and Values          

Mass-in Upright Planes – Shadow Family 

Mass-in Upright Planes – Light Family

Mass-in ground plane and details.

Break up background mass to add light. Add spectral highlights.

Workshopping in Georgia with a great group of students!
Many thanks to all!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Giant Commission DETAIL - with process shots of detail area

Roses in Hermann Park (DETAIL)
This is an approximately 24" x 18" section of 
the 10 foot painting seen below.

Roses in Hermann Park, 5 foot x 10 foot commission
Detail is of bottom left corner.

If you have not been following my recent blog posts, I painted this 10 foot painting for Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. It's the first of three, and all will hang in the lobby of the hospital's new North Tower. One frustrating thing for me is showing this work in such a drastically reduced, postage stamp size. While the internet is great, and without it I couldn't share at all, the painting is meant to be experienced in person. I wish, I wish...

So... these detail shots will bring you closer in, where you can see a little more evidence of my brushwork and color nuances that just can't be captured in the photo of the whole painting. The camera has to be set up too far away to get those details.

Below are process shots of the flowers on lower left side... I thought it might be interesting to document the roses as they emerged. (You will also notice that the figures changed at the very end!) 

Working so much larger requires a more deliberate and controlled approach than when working small, simply because of the scale. I wanted this area to have loose, expressive marks to indicate the flowers. Without getting too detailed, I treated them as a mass, with simple lights and darks. I stained the flower spots pink as place holders, to remember where I wanted to put them.

I built up the color with simple shapes, and loose lights and darks.

Developing a passage that would "read" and still feel expressive is tricky. In a small painting, a "pop of light" can be indicated by a single stroke. Not so, at this scale. That same pop of light requires many more marks to say the same thing.

An artist friend and I were discussing this challenge (sometimes frustration?) of adapting our mark-making for working in such a large format. We concluded that it's best to simply accept it as a completely different animal in that way. AND... these big paintings? They really do want to be seen up close and personal! ;)

Friday, April 27, 2018

Roses in Hermann Park "Study" - the design for my first huge commission piece

Roses in Hermann Park (Study for large commission)
8 inches x 16 inches, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2018

And just for fun, you can compare the small study above,
 to the large finished piece below...

Roses In Hermann Park (Finished Commission)
5 feet x 10 feet, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2018

Yesterday, one of my blog readers asked, "Did you do small to-scale paintings for the client first?" Such a great question!

The answer is yes. I painted an accurately scaled, proportionally correct, mini version; and got approval on it before starting the commission. There were also many conversations. The plan was to come up with a Houston scene that would be calm and inviting, but also distinctive of the city. So I visited. I drove around. I took pictures. I painted on location. I got suggestions and made suggestions. When we finally settled on the IDEA, I gathered my resources and fleshed it out.

You can see the 8" x 16" study in the first image of this blog. That is about 50 times smaller than the final piece, but it got the idea across. Since the client already knew my work and style, the study mostly represented what subject matter would be included. My main concern was design, composition and color. 

I stuck pretty close to my original design, and the feeling of it, when I did the big piece. Once approved, that is just the smart thing to do! Throughout the entire painting process, I kept that study nearby. And... I checked and rechecked it constantly!

My next post will include some "up-close" process shots with some of the details INSIDE the painting. Please check back!