A new painting challenge: 3-A-Week

When a series of commissions and design projects came up toward the end of summer (including a Basset Hound portrait), I took a little sabbatical from landscape painting. I found that these projects left me mentally and creatively drained, and trying to cram in painting would have felt like a chore. Even though I missed painting, it was kind of cool because it gave me a little perspective on what I want to do for my next art challenge. My primary painting guidance is coming from the Matt Smith mentorship program from Tucson Art Academy Online. It’s a 1-year program…

Limited palette color study

“Early Summer Serenity”, 8×10.5, oil on canvas panel After a couple of weeks away from my easel, I was itching to get some painting in today. I’ve been doing more sketching and working on engaging my right brain during the process, which makes me enjoy it much more. My favorite way to sketch these days is gesture drawing because I approach them in a much more loose and carefree way. Yesterday I pulled a photo of a local park out of my reference photo stack and did a quick sketch of it in two values. The foreground wasn’t very interesting,…

Limited palette color mixing study

Limited palette color study, 5 1/2 x 7, oil on canvas A couple of months ago I purchased one of Barbara Jaenicke’s excellent monthly lessons that was about color mixing for oils. It also included color palette selection for soft pastels which was great because I could see her thought process on both mediums as well as a demo from start to finish to see how her process differs between oils and pastels. Purchasing the lesson includes an opportunity to submit a painting to her for personalized feedback. And I was really impressed with the thought and care she put…

Day 20 of notans

Notan sketches of a waterfall, Yellowstone National park With this set of notan sketches, my focused practice project is complete! It feels good to have created 100 of them and to feel energized by it, not burned out on them. Having the 3-minute time limit definitely helped with that. Without it I would have certainly fussed around for a long time — not that spending more time on them wouldn’t be useful. With more time, I could make them better, increasing the potential for making better paintings with them. My original goal with this project was to design better notans…

Day 19 of notans

Notan sketches of Schwabacher Landing, Grand Teton National Park For today’s notan sketches I revisited a setting I loved at Grand Teton National Park. Schwabacher Landing has everything: water, views of the mountains, trees, meadow. And beavers if you’re lucky enough to spot them. I had used this same photo as reference for the first day of my value thumbnails challenge back in May. I explored the reflections of the trees and mountains on the glass-like surface of the water, but I don’t really care for the symmetry created by the reflection. At least not as the main focal point of…