Friday, May 30, 2014

Ashantilly Wildflowers

Ashantilly Wildflowers, 8 x 10, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2014

I so enjoy discovering new places to paint and explore, and this is one of those places. Ashantilly, or "Old Tabby" is a historical homestead in Darien, GA. It was originally built in 1820, and was the "mainland" home of Thomas Spalding, an early Georgia planter, legislator and landowner. It sits right on the marsh and was quite elegant in its day. A group of historians are committed to seeing the place restored, and hopefully that will happen. It's quite a gorgeous setting. I chose this intimate side yard as my subject… the garden had gone to seed, but the wildflowers were stunning. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Beckoning Path

Beckoning Path, 12 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2014

St. Simons is a barrier island connected to the mainland by a causeway and bridges that cut through the marsh. The causeway has great views of wide open marshland and ever-changing waterways; and it's a favorite place of mine to paint. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sun Struck Villa

Sun Struck Villa, 12 x 12, oil on panel, L.Daniel © 2014

Slanted morning light can be so dramatic. When I came onto this scene in a quiet island neighborhood, I was captivated by the slivers of light outlining the home and it's garden. I quickly set up my easel to try and catch the mood before everything changed. And it did change fast! What works best for me is to indicate all the dark values on my canvas first thing, before the shapes of light and dark shift. Then, it's important to hang onto that information and not chase the light as I finish the painting. Easier said than done! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Garden Square - Demo and Process Notes

Garden Square, 12 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2014

Today I did a painting demonstration at the new Anderson Gallery Annex on St. Simons Island, Georgia. Since the demo was indoors, I decided to replicate this plein air painting completed on location yesterday. Having the finished piece is a great reference because it helps students/viewers get an idea of where I am headed with all my process decisions.  (And it's a great reference for me as I paint the image again!!) I even remembered to take pictures to recap it here for them and for you. Many thanks to all my attendees!

The scene from my easel...
This  is a garden park named Hanover Square in Brunswick, Georgia. 

Block In...
Line and mass sketch establishes composition and value relationships. 
Paint color is a dark neutral mix of Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna.

Upright Plane…
Dark and light families in the upright elements adjust as they recede into the distance - values come together (darks get lighter and lights get darker).

Ground plane…
Since the ground plane reflects the sky, it is usually the second lightest element in the landscape (the lightest element will be the sky, where the sun is). 

Sky Plane and Final Highlights…
Once all elements are working together, add details and final highlights. This is a serious exercise in delayed gratification, but it always, ALWAYS works best to leave those details until the very end!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tree Veil

Tree Veil, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2014

The afternoon glow through these trees was impossible for me to pass up. The silhouetted tree trunks provided a perfect juxtaposition for the streaming light behind the veil of foliage, and it was quite striking. The tricky part was hanging on to the darks in the silhouette… they were so necessary to establish the right drama and contrast. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Island Club Breezes

Island Club Breezes, 12 x 9, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2014

Jekyll Island is one of the barrier island on the Georgia coast and the Jekyll Island Club Hotel is at the heart of it's history. Designed by Chicago architect Charles Alexander in 1888, its turret, extensive verandas and bay windows are typical of the Queen Anne style. It was the scene of many important historical events; including the very first transcontinental telephone call in 1915, and the founding of the Federal Reserve Act win 1913. It also offered a lavish southern playground for the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts back in the day. It must have been quite spectacular… Oh, if walls could talk…

By the way, it's still a wonderful place to stay. Those verandas are available for afternoon reading and the front lawn is set up for some serious croquet, so bring your mallet. :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chapel Light

Chapel Light, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2014

This is the backdoor entrance to Lovely Lane Chapel on St. Simons Island. Surrounded by live oaks and Spanish moss, "Lovely Lane" is full of romance and southern charm, and the scene of many weddings. It's gorgeous on any morning when the sun shines on it. :)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Marshside Palms Demo - Georgia Workshop

Marshside Palms Demo, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2014

This is another demo from my workshop last week. I want to thank one of my students, Joan Vienot, for taking a few pictures; and for sending them to me so that I can share them with you! Did I mention what great students I had?? We had a wonderful time painting together on St. Simons Island. 

Pencil drawing in sketchbook for composition and visual idea…
it always helps me to think things through ahead of time.

Outline on canvas for placement…
I keep it light and sketchy at first to make sure I have achieved my composition plan before adding value or details (easy to change if needed).

Blocking in the dark masses…
I always work dark to light and front to back. Yep, I do the sky last.

Palette with mixed color piles…
I try to maintain an organized palette, keeping families of color together. My only medium is refined linseed oil, so I use a lot of brushes - about one per color.  

Finished painting - Marshside Palms