Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Scattered Clouds Study

Scattered Clouds Study, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2014

This little study is a classic Texas Hill Country scene… the big skies and the wildflowers never get old. And those wildflowers? When they arrive each spring and fall, they always dress things up a bit. I just finished a big version of this one, so it's time to let the study go to a new home. 

These small paintings make great Christmas gifts, so if you have some names to check off your shopping list, visit my small works site to see what is available...

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Egret Reflections Study 2

Egret Reflections Study 2, oil on panel, 6 x 8, L. Daniel © 2014

Egrets spend a lot of their time foraging for food (fish, crayfish, snails, insects). The beach tide pools are a perfect hunting ground for small fish. It's fun to watch the birds hunt… they stand very still in the shallow water waiting for their prey to swim by. When they do make the "strike", it is fast and precise. 

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Egret Reflections Study 1

Egret Reflections Study 1, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2014

I have a new obsession with these beautiful white Egrets that live in the marshes and hunt on the beach. When they appear in the landscape, they add a little bling-like sparkle of brightness and life. Since I'm working on some larger pieces that include some of these guys, I started out with a couple of small studies. It helped me to play around with the color and forms on a small scale before jumping in. 

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Three Palms - Demo and Process Notes

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

This weekend I taught a workshop in Austin to a group of wonderful, hardworking painters. I promised them that I would post process notes from my demo from the first day, so here goes… a step by step explanation of how the painting came together. 

Step 1 - Sketch/Composition
This is a simple sketch of the scene using a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. The triangle in back indicates how the forms work together to create a pyramid type composition. (Putting in the triangle also helped me reign in the elements as I blocked them in.) 

Step 2 - Block in large Shapes and Values
Using the same dark neutral mix, I established a range of values in the composition. At this point I kept the paint fairly dry and thin. 

Step 3 - Mass-in Upright Planes
Working dark to light, I painted the uprights planes, adjusting the values to cooler and lighter as they receded into the distance (color becomes muted and contrast softens as elements recede).

Step 4 - Mass in Ground Plane and Sky Plane
The sky was overcast and grey; but rather than go straight to those muted tones, I laid down a foundation of warm peachy tones that I observed in the atmosphere. My hope was that those warm tones would bring some life into the misty sky. 

Step 5 - Break up Masses and Add Highlights
Once the values of the planes were all working together, I began to break up the large masses. I added the grays of the sky and the brighter greens of the ground plane, using subtle value and temperature shifts. I saved the little details (like the fence and house) and the brightest highlights until the very end. It's always an exercise of restraint to hold off on those final marks!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Boat Launch

Boat Launch, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2014

Boating through the inter-coastal waterways on St. Simons Island always begins at this funky, old boat launch for our family. My father in law had a boat for years and this spot came to be associated with the joys of summer outings. He knows the maze-like waterways like the back of his hand… knowledge acquired through of a lifetime of experience. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Beach Cottage

Beach Cottage, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2014

There is nothing quite like being on the beach at sunrise. It has a distinct and undeniable lure. This cottage was simply aglow in that brilliant morning light; and I loved the privilege of witnessing it all with paintbrush in hand. This is one of my favorites!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Creek Flight

Creek Flight, 8 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2014

On a recent trip to the Georgia coast, I was able to get onto an old plantation to paint. The morning was clear, and the marsh was full at high tide. It was very quiet except for occasional appearances of local birds stopping off for breakfast. When one of the egrets flew low through the reeds, I quickly (and gratefully) added him into the scene. I love the hint of life and movement.