Monday, May 29, 2023

Tree and Moss - with Process Shots!

Tree and Moss, 10 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2023

This another demo from my last workshop. We were painting at a location that was OVERwhelming in it's bounty of big giant trees and lots of Spanish Moss! What to choose? This was lesson in simplicity. Often a small segment of a huge scene can say all that needs to be said. 

Choose the Scene and Composition.

Sketch Shapes.

Lock in Values.

Simple Masses.

 Break up Masses with subtle value shifts, maintaining overall light and dark pattern. Save highlights until the very end! 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Ranchland - Fix It Friday!


Ranchland, 8 x 10, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2023

After this demo in a recent workshop, I looked up and immediately saw that my whole subject matter was squished into the bottom left corner of my canvas! I had been talking so much, explaining how to create distance with scale shift and atmospheric perspective, that I forgot all about my composition. 

There is a design rule that says, "Never stop your subject at the vertical OR horizontal midline. Make sure it crosses over to avoid cutting your image in HALF." Well, this ranch tree breaks that rule completely. The canvas is cut in half both vertically AND horizontally. Turns out, this was a demo on what NOT to do compositionally and a good lesson in humility for me. ;)

So, here you go, a demo do-over...




Problem - Subject matter is squished into the corner.
Fix - Made subject taller and wider to cross mid-lines of the page.

Problem: All the weight is on the bottom left.
Fix - Added two more trees along the fence line to add weight on the right. This also helps to pull the eye further into the frame.

It's a fact of life that sometimes when we are focused on one thing, we completely miss something else! This was a great reminder to stop and assess before getting too far along... whatever you are doing. And, take a do-over if you can! 

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Beach Yucca

Beach Yucca, 8x6, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2023

You can tell I am thinking about the beach! Going soon! :) This is a study from one of my walking photos. I don't know about you, but when I head out for a little exercise, my "art eyes" often take over. The iPhone makes it easy to snap away and snap, I do! I'll admit that I can be annoying to walk with. Oh well. (Sorry, Honey.)

Monday, May 15, 2023

Ocean Point and Workshop Process Shots!

Ocean Point, 8x10, Oil, L. Daniel © 2023

Last week I taught a workshop in the Golden Isles of Georgia. So much fun! We spent most of our time on St. Simons Island, but on the first day we went to Jekyll Island. My students were wonderful, and this is my demo from that morning. 

For students and painting lovers everywhere, the following images illustrate and explain my process...

Starting with a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna, I make a quick outline sketch. This helps me place and contain the elements of the scene I want to include on the canvas. 

With that same mix of Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna, I indicate values within those elements, keeping it thin and dry.

Working dark to light, I paint in the dark uprights in the foreground and background planes.

I mass in color and value for sky plane and ground plane. 

Once large masses of each plane are in place, I begin to break them up with subtle value shifts.

My final marks are saved for the highest highlights and finessing edges. 

Beautiful day... perfect for a little plein airing! :)