straight line block-in warmups

Still life warm-up sketching

My focus for quite awhile has been on painting landscapes, but recently I’ve become frustrated by my progress. And when I’m frustrated more than not, it’s a sign to take a step back and reassess. I think what’s going on is a combination of a few things: feeling rushed when painting outdoors not having enough outdoor painting experience to be able to enjoy working from photos struggling with making the materials do what I want trying to paint fast when indoors Reflecting on this made it pretty obvious to me that a good next step in my painting practice would…

low key light study oil painting - featured

Study of landscape in low key light

Overcast days are common here in North Carolina, and I’m drawn to the quiet moodiness of the low key light when the sun is hidden by clouds. But so much of the teaching I’ve followed has been about how to address brightly-lit landscapes. That’s one of the big things that Impressionists often capture — the sun and its effect on color — and most of my virtual mentors have been in the Impressionist camp. Lately I’ve been exploring Tonalism, and along with that how to handle more diverse light situations related to the landscape. I purchased several lessons from Dianne…

STL design assignment 3 Oct 18 2019

Design study 3 (3-A-Week Challenge)

I used a photo from our Yellowstone trip as inspiration for this study. The photo is actually horizontal, but when I did the notans during the planning stage the vertical format was more interesting to me. I forgot to do the main value masses — my system is breaking down! lol When I started blocking in the main color shapes it was looking super chaotic and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull it together at all. But for the most part it’s making sense. The bright yellow flowers in the lower left could be placed in a better…

Design study 2 (3-A-Week Challenge)

I chose a photo from our Yellowstone trip for this study in design. The full photo is an amazing view that stretches for miles and includes a dramatic cloudy sky, but for this study I cropped down to the land and put the focus on the road leading back into the scene. It’s hard to tell, but the blue at the top isn’t sky — it’s another layer of mountains turned blue from atmospheric perspective. My focus was to move some elements around in order to create a visual path that zig zags from foreground to background. I used saturation…

Design study 1 (3-A-Week Challenge)

This week I’m focusing on the next topic in Matt Smith’s online mentorship program: design. For this study, I used a reference photo that I’m just crazy about because of the way the low sun is casting long blue-violet shadows across the snow, with the contrast of the warm-colored shrubs. The designing of this one involved removing our old car that was in the shot and rearranging some of the brushy elements to help move the eye around the visual path I was going for. I also made note of where I wanted strong value, color, and saturation contrast as…