Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sunny Bluebonnet Patch - Plein Air Demo

Sunny Bluebonnet Patch, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

The day before my plein air class started this week, I went to the Art School at Laguna Gloria to scout out a good place for my first demo. These lovely bluebonnets were WAY too far from our meet up location, but they were so compelling that I abandoned my scouting expedition and painted them anyway. (We must follow our hearts, mustn't we?) I took photos with my iPhone to document my process and demo'd a different scene the next day. (I can never take pictures while I am doing an actual demo.) 

All to say... here are process notes for my students and for any other painting friends who might enjoy seeing how I "get there".

Blocking in - use a dark neutral mix of French Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. Look for "layers" in the landscape, and break down passages in the painting accordingly. 

Massing in - begin to add large masses of color. Remember that the "layers" will change as they recede in the distance... (elements get cooler, lighter, softer, muted, smaller.)

Continue with massing - pay attention to light and shadow families. Correct/adjust values while bringing colors together and closing the composition.

Break up masses - add form and detail with subtle value and temperature shifts within the masses. Adjust composition and add final finessing of edges and highlights. 

Final painting... Sunny Bluebonnet Patch

Monday, March 25, 2013

Arbor Wisteria

Arbor Wisteria, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

On Saturday, Plein Air Austin gathered at West Lake Beach for a paintout and spring BBQ. It was one of those perfect days... the sun came out right on time, the winds were calm, the food was delicious, and friendships were deepened. To top it off, in the middle of the picnic area an old arbor was completely covered with wildly, blooming wisteria. The scent in the air was like sweet perfume. 

Many thanks to D.D. and his family for having us out!! We loved being there.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Redbud Path

Redbud Path, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

I had to take a little break from my Hawaiian painting adventure and get outside to paint a Redbud tree here in Austin. Yes, a little dose of "be here now" is a good thing, especially when there are pink buds bursting out of bare branches in every direction. It's a sure sign that spring is here in Texas. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Morning Sky

Morning Sky (study), 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

Another beautiful morning on the Kaneohe Bay... A wild cloud coverage masked the morning light in a moment of true drama. To stop everything and simply watch was the only proper response. I never cease to wonder and be amazed.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chinaman's Hat

Chinaman's Hat, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

This little island is actually named Mokolii but it is called Chinaman's Hat because of it's shape. Apparently, it's possible to swim or paddle over there at low tide; and there are some sea caves and a couple of beaches to explore. (However, the brave explorer would not want to get stuck there if the tide begins to come back in!) The trade winds were blowing fiercely the day we were there, so viewing it from the beach park was good enough for me. 

Monday, March 11, 2013


Daybreak, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

This is the view from my daughter and son-in-law's condo. Every day we woke up in Hawaii to a new sky with amazing colors and clouds. It was not hard to rise and shine! 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tropical Moon

Tropical Moon, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

Palm trees are so seductive. The angles, the liveliness, the whimsicality... everything about them is interesting to me. But silhouetted against the full moon, it is all about the shapes - so unique and so recognizable. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rocky Inlet

Rocky Inlet, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013 

Here is another "postcard" from Hawaii from me to you - sent from my home of course! On a trip up to the north shore of Oahu we discovered many beautiful beaches. Some are famous for great surfing (Sunset and Pipeline) but this rocky inlet is a favorite spot for sea turtles to hang out. Unfortunately, we missed the turtles but we did get a dose of that gorgeous, warm afternoon light!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bending with the Wind

Bending with the Wind, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

It has been exactly one month since my last post. Time flies! I never meant to be away so long, but February flew by with a big celebration for my parent's 60th wedding anniversary followed by... a two week vacation in Hawaii!!! Our daughter and son-in-law moved to Oahu in September and we finally got over to visit them. 

Time and scheduling didn't allow me to paint while I was there, but does it count that I dragged my easel all the way to two islands and back? I was planning paintings in my mind the whole time. Every view is a painting in Hawaii. Over the next few days I will be posting some of my favorite scenes. These are my postcards to you. Aloha, my friends!!