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View Diary: ArtKos: Saturday Painting Palooza Vol. 402 (37 comments)

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  •  Coming along nicely, Boran (12+ / 0-)

    I finally got started on another painting this morning, using an old photo taken on slide film many years ago. The subject is one of the many centuries-old oak trees scattered around the Genesee river region, legacy of the plutocrat family that owned most of the land and made preserving a few oaks in each field part of the terms of their tenant farming contracts.

    This shows how I clip the print to the ceiling beams in my dungeon/basement/"studio":
    Oak at sunset

    I started by painting in a range of blended blues and some gentle yellow/violets at the horizon to get the right sky colors. I then wiped out a few areas using solvent on a rag stretched over a brush handle for clouds:
    Oak at sunset 1

    Then I painted in the clouds using some neutralized blue grey for the shadows and some yellow/orange/pink for the highlights:
    Oak at sunset 2

    Finally I painted in the dark green distant tree line over some dark violet shadows, and the shadows that will underlay the cornfield in the next stage. I've changed the perspective a bit to open up the foreground; in the photo it felt a little cramped. I'll get to start on the oak next session. I can also see that I'll need to soften the clouds a bit.
    Oak at sunset 3

    •  Wow! (7+ / 0-)

      It is coming along very well.  This is going to be a beautiful painting.  I love the colors.

      I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

      by boran2 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 06:31:06 AM PDT

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    •  Lovely work! (7+ / 0-)

      Do you have any favorite books about oil painting technique? I'm just starting out and am learning by doing and taking classes, but do want to read around a bit too!

      There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

      by srkp23 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 07:11:54 AM PDT

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      •  There are a couple I really like. (5+ / 0-)

        The most practical and useful starter book is
        "Oil Painting for the Serious Beginner" by Steve Allrich. It's far better than the usual inadequate books for newbies, yet still friendly and approachable. I have several copies, because I've found it so useful I always want one handy.

        I also really like Mitch Albala's "Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice", which shows examples of many different contemporary painters' approaches as well as discussing materials and basic principles.

        Once you've been at it a while, the best advanced guide hands down is Richard Schmid's brilliant "Alla Prima: Everything I Know About Painting". It can seem a bit intimidating until you've been painting a while, then it all starts to make much more sense. This is not to be confused with Al Gury's "Alla Prima", which is a much more 'academic hipster' type book, still interesting but a lot less practical or useful.

        Finally, "Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting" is a Dover reprint of John F. Carlson's classic from the 1940s. It's still terrific, with a brilliantly simple theory of dark to light value design and very practical advice on composition. The only downside is that all the reproductions are black & white.

        •  thank you so much for this! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boran2, old wobbly, RiveroftheWest

          I have posted a pic of one of my first attempts a little further down in the comments.

          Art was my first love and passion, and then I gave it up early on, for regular college (parents didn't want me to go to art school). I'm glad anyway because I ended up having an academic career, but now ... I'm returning to my first love! I feel like oil painting will keep me interested and engaged forever!

          There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

          by srkp23 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 07:45:02 AM PDT

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        •  I just realized I actually have the first one, and (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boran2, old wobbly

          read it. It is excellent! I am going to look for these others you suggest.

          There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

          by srkp23 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 08:28:30 AM PDT

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