Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Palmetto Lace

Palmetto Lace, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2017

I was blessed to find myself back on St. Simons Island for a few days over the Memorial Day weekend. It was a short visit, but I managed to get out painting (how not to?) Little studies were in order and I had to work fast; but I find we have to catch these things when we can!!! In this piece, I wanted to capture the feeling of those lacy palmetto branches fluttering in the breeze. The soft colors of the marsh created an awesome backdrop, drifting in and out behind the palm fronds.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Turkey Bend - Texas Lifestyle Magazine Article

Turkey Bend, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2017
Private Collection

I am very pleased to be featured in the spring edition of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. The article talks about my inspiration and process, and how the Texas landscape impacts both. See story in magazine by clicking HERE. Scroll to page 66.

Many thanks to Editor, Julie Tereshchuk, and Texas Lifestyle Magazine!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Iron Gate

Iron Gate, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2017
Click to purchase $120 + $16 s/h

This is another painting of the beautiful grounds at Laguna Gloria, where I teach painting in Austin. It's no surprise that this is a popular wedding venue, as well as an art school and sculpture garden. The main building is modeled after an Italian Villa. It is surrounded by gardens and just a few steps away from Lake Austin... one of my favorite places! 

This is my favorite sculpture on the grounds...
"Looking Up" by Tom Friedman, stainless steel

Me, standing at the foot of the giant!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Big Commission - In Situ!

A Capitol Evening (detail), 60 x 72, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2017
Commissioned for the Dell Seton Medical Center, University of Texas

Those who followed my posts at the start of the year will remember that I painted my largest painting ever, for the new teaching hospital at the University of Texas. It was a terrifying, but wonderful challenge for me. Well, I have an update. This past weekend, the Medical Center threw a grand opening party for the public to view the new facility. Below are pictures of my painting "in situ". That grin on my face lasted all day! (Okay, I am still glowing a bit.) I am honored and grateful beyond words to have my work showcased in this great institution of healing. 

Click HERE for original post on this piece. (The other two paintings I did for them were not viewable at the reception as some areas were closed off... no pics of those.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Villa Cypress - Demo 3

Villa Cypress, 12 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2017
Click to purchase $145 + $16 s/h

Choosing a subject... what to include, what to leave out? That is the question. This demo is about choosing between two interpretations of the same scene. The composition on the left is all about the statue as the main idea. The composition on the right is all about the tall cypress trees as the main idea. Both are valid, but I felt that they were two different paintings. 

To accentuate the cypress trees in today's post, I needed to focus on their height. Therefore, it was important to show that they were taller than the Villa (which has three stories). Using a tall, skinny format helped to further "push" the idea of height. I chose to leave out the sculpture completely, so that it would't distract from the main idea.

One scene, two ideas...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Garden Watch - Workshop Demo 2

Garden Watch, 8 x 6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2017

This is the second of the demo ideas I worked up for my recent workshop. (To see block-ins of all four ideas, click HERE.) I love this little angle on the garden and the sculpture adds an instant focal point! Below are several process shots so you can see how the painting developed. 

Blocking in with Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna.
 I tried not to worry about the details on the sculpture at this point... just the shape of a figure on a block. Keeping it simple at the start actually helps me avoid over painting it. 

Building the darks in the upright plane.
Depicting the statue was accomplished by painting both the shape itself AND its negative shape. In other words, I started with a general form and then carved into it with the surrounding background color. I go back and forth between the two (negative and positive) to help me hold the form.

Again, the finished piece. 
I wish I had taken more pictures showing how the sculpture element evolved. I just got going and forgot. :(

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Courtyard Entrance - Demo

Courtyard Entrance, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2016

A couple of weekends ago, I taught a plein air workshop at The Contemporary Austin Art School. The focus of the class was all about working smart in the field. It's easy to get outside and flail. What works best for me is to carefully invest in my initial block-in (see below). In this block-in stage, I focus on composition and the value placement. Getting a good foundation in the first sketch has a direct impact on my happiness with the final result. I try to resolve most issues in that sketch before moving on. 

This demo shows four different ways to interpret the same subject. It helps me to consider different angles before I begin. Selection of a subject can be hard when choosing from 360 degrees in every direction! I am often surprised and delighted, by a not so obvious second or third idea. 

Composition #1 - 6x8 Block-in
I chose this one for the finished demo because I wanted to include a few more details on the building. 

Composition #2 - 6x6 Block-in
I liked this one for its simplicity, and how it worked in the square format. 

Composition #3 - 8x6 Block-in
Another angle on the courtyard - same building, opposite side. 
Please stay tuned (next post) for the finished version of this angle! 

Composition #4 - 8x4 Block-in
Another format for second angle on the courtyard. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Shrimper's Row - Georgia Coast

Shrimper's Row, 12 x 9, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2017

These shrimp boats are docked along the marina shore in Darien, Georgia (just up the road from St. Simons Island). Those tall, vertical arms on the boats are towing booms with nets attached. The booms and nets come down when the boats are out in the ocean trawling for shrimp. It is usually a nighttime or early morning gig, so catching the boats docked up during the day is not unusual. They make quite a fine sight, all lined up. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sailor's Delight - Georgia Coast

Sailor's Delight, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2017

The last few days I was in St. Simons Island, I found myself wanting to paint boats. This little sailboat was sitting on the causeway, ready to be taken out for a spin. I'm sure its owner was ready (or at least wanting) to go too... it was a perfect blue sky, sunny day!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Cottage Balcony - Georgia Coast

Cottage Balcony, 12 x 9, Oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2017

The morning light on this Jekyll Island cottage added an irresistible warmth to an already charming scene. I can't help but think of Romeo and Juliet when I see garden balconies. They add automatic romance, don't you think?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Grazing - Wild horses on the Georgia Coast

Grazing, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2017
Click to purchase $120 + $16 s/h

My last post was all about Cumberland Island and the ruins of an old mansion there. (To see and read about that, click HERE.) What I didn't tell you is that the island has a band of wild horses that freely roams its forests, beaches, and dunes. It's always a treat to catch a glimpse of them during a visit there, and this time they sauntered in and posed! This horse must have found something pretty tasty in this grass because he stayed around long enough for me to finish this little sketch! 

Side note: The band of horses is probably left over from when the English started settling the island in the early 1800's; although some popular myths date them back to the Spanish Conquistadors and the 1600's. Though once domesticated, they are are now thoroughly wild and it's smart to keep a healthy distance. Seeing them is another great reminder of the island's colorful and romantic past.