Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Chapel Solitude

Chapel Solitude, 12 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2017

Painting at this little chapel on a quiet Sunday afternoon offered sweet solitude, yes... but also, the simple joy of putting brush to canvas. Every half hour, Carillon Bells rang out beloved church hymns, and a light salt breeze was in the air. Delicious sights, sounds and smells were all around! 

I did remember to take some process shots to use in my upcoming workshop which starts Friday (I always like to have fresh material for my handouts!) The images below show how I built the painting.

 Block in large shapes and values (ultramarine and burnt sienna)

 Mass-in Upright Planes (work dark to light)

Mass in Ground Plane and Sky Plane (cover canvas with simple shapes0

Break up Masses with subtle value and temperature shifts...
Add Highlights at the very end!

Monday, October 16, 2017


Seaworthy, 16 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2017
Available (click for purchase info)

This past weekend I made a quick trip down to St. Simons Island, and that almost always means some good painting time outside! It's fun to just start driving and see what inspires. Boats always catch my eye and sailboats have a special romance. Even though I don't even know how to sail, I sure do love the look of them! This one was docked and ready for a run... fortunately, it stayed put for the duration of my painting. :)

For those of you who have kindly inquired, ours and our family's homes were all spared any damage in Hurricane Irma. There was quite a bit of flooding on the island, and many trees were stripped and burned by the salt winds. The island was closed for almost a week, but I am happy to report that all is now calm. These storms are scary. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Garden Cuttings - and a process demo

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

In a recent still life workshop, I promised some of my students that I would post a process demo to reinforce our sessions. It is so easy to be intimidated by a blank canvas, and I find that it really helps me to take a systematic look at my subject matter. First I look at the overall silhouette, then I study the darks and lights, and compare, compare, compare. How does the cast shadow compare to the form shadow? How does white in the shadow compare to black in the light? 

Below are shots showing my basic process of taking those observations from my eyes and head and getting them onto the canvas...
Rough sketch for placement and composition.
Using a mix of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna.

 Block-in of large masses, indicating a range of 3-5 values.
Still using the dark neutral mix of ultramarine and burnt sienna.

Mass in the dark family (including cast shadows and form shadows).
Maintain simple shapes and avoid detail at this stage.

Mass in the light family, keeping simple shapes and avoiding detail.
Break up large masses with subtle shifts in value (within value families).
Last - Add pop with spectral highlights and reinforced darks.