It sure is fun painting all these shiny surfaces! I’ve finished a “first draft” of this little still life, and I like what I have here, but I might like to take it further. I’ll let it dry for a few days while I think on it. I have some fun ideas for a new still life tomorrow. (Incidentally, I llightly Photoshopped the background of this image to eliminate glare.)
It occurred to me that this object is really more a pitcher than a “pot,” as I wrote last time. Anyway, I continued with the picture, this time focusing on one of the glasses behind the pitcher. I had only about an hour to paint, but I made decent progress. On to the other glass tomorrow.
I posted some compositional sketches for this little pot last week, and today I finally got around to painting it. It’s a challenging subject, so I’m not close to finishing, especially as I haven’t even begun painting the two glasses in the background. But it’s a good start. Here’s a look at just the pot:
And here’s the whole picture, with placeholders for the two glasses behind the pot.
Thanks to my lovely family, we have lots of yummy fresh vegetables in the fridge. I decided to paint three of them. I like the result, except that I wish I’d put them on a plate or bowl or something, to provide context. But it sure was fun to paint all those reds and greens.
I painted this exact scene two years ago, but I did not look at that painting again before stepping up to the easel and trying again. I didn’t want to be influenced by the earlier picture. One thing that changed was my canvas: I chose a wide surface this time. Another difference is that this time I painted it all in one go, in about two hours; last time I worked on the painting for three full afternoons! So the “old” one is somewhat more detailed and refined, but the “new” one has its merits too. Here’s today’s effort:
And here’s the painting from two years ago. I blogged about it, briefly, here: https://www.geoffwatsonart.com/blog/2017/8/2/boat-on-the-rehoboth-lewes-canal?rq=Lewes
I spent more time working on the flower pots at the pool, this time adding … flowers. And water to the pool.
Vacationing is trumping painting, but I still managed time to sketch a couple things, and I started a little oil study. First there was this scene, on the main street in Rehoboth. I drew this in about 10 minutes, while sitting in an outdoor table at a Mexican restaurant.
I also started this little oil sketch of flowers at a swimming pool. Uh, I didn’t get to the flowers! So yeah, it needs work. We have one more day here, so maybe I’ll return to it tomorrow.
Just for grins, I wanted to see if I could recreate the mysterious filter I inadvertently added to my beach scene yesterday. Maybe?
It was a day at the beach! I sat with my family on busy Rehoboth Beach, and I dug out my oils and sketched the scene in front of me. I didn’t want to lug an easel or tripod, so I just had the linen panel and palette on my lap.
Given the challenging circumstance, I wasn’t expecting to paint a masterpiece. My plan had been to put in a few basic strokes, photograph the scene, and finish back at the house later. But I got enough done that I decided just to leave it the way I painted it on location. Neither of the two photos below quite does it justice, but they should give you the basic idea.
When I was photographing and editing the picture, I inadvertently applied some sort of filter to it. Here’s what it looks like. Kinda cool!
Our rented house in Rehoboth Beach looks out on the Rehoboth-Lewes Canal. It was raining all day, but that didn’t stop me from setting up under an awning and painting the scene. I wanted a better view of the canal, so I “pruned” a few bushes with my brushes.
Again it was too hot to paint outside during the day, so I waited until evening and then took another run at the house across the street. I had more time this evening than I did when I first tried this subject, so the drawing is a bit more careful. I’m getting closer to the look I want, but not there yet.
A big challenge is seeing the canvas and the palette. Sometimes I just couldn’t see what I was doing, and I lathered the paint on too thick. I do have a nocturne easel light, but I cleverly left it at home, so I had to make do. Great fun, in any case.
We arrived safely at Rehoboth Beach, which is suffering through a blistering heat wave. I can’t really paint inside our rented house, so much as I’d have preferred to do a still life in the air conditioning, I had no choice but to look outside. I waited until it was a mere 88 degrees, at 10:30 pm, and then painted this little nocturne. It’s not as dark as this photo suggests, but I hope you get the idea.
I set up an interesting still life scene, and then I spent two hours ineffectually trying to find a good composition. Here’s the scene itself:
I sketched various combinations of these objects, and I still haven’t found an arrangement I like. (I also need to wash the glasses!) I couldn’t include any live objects, like fruit, as we’re about to leave on vacation for a week. Anyway, here’s one example of a possible composition:
Here’s an earlier start, focused on the pitcher with the other objects receding into the woodwork. It’s okay, but I think I’ll go with the vertical composition above. I have a week to think about it, as I’m not bringing these objects with me on vacation.
I will, however, be bringing my paints. Tomorrow will be a busy day, so at most I’ll post a quick sketch, but starting on Sunday I’ll be painting Rehoboth, Delaware in all its glory. Weather permitting. :)
Painting these sculptures is great practice. I often find it harder to get a likeness with a sculpture than a human figure. I think part of it is the tiny size of this sculpture; the tiniest error is magnified. But part of it is that living, breathing models seem easier to draw, even though they move. I wonder why that is.
Anyway, this one is coming along. I may continue tomorrow, or I may start another still life. One thing’s for sure: I won’t be going outside to paint in the 98 degree heat.
I had very little time to paint today, as I had other obligations, so this was a pretty rushed start. Next month I’ll be getting busier, so once I get to daily painting #100, I’ll probably declare victory and work on longer-term painting projects.
Anyway, I started painting a tiny little 4-inch statue of Caesar. Here was my lay-in, with just transparent red oxide, using a small round brush, in about 20 minutes.
I made progress on this still life, but I’m not sure I’m finished yet. Everything could use a bit more polish. Then again, polish sometimes sucks the life out of paintings. Will think on it! (Photoshopped the background to get rid of glare.)
I set up this composition so that the objects are almost at eye level. It gives them a somewhat dramatic cast, I think. I’ve got work to do, obviously, but it’s a pretty good start. Back for more tomorrow!
This statuette is even smaller than the statue I painted a couple days ago, but I couldn’t resist the colors and pose. The composition is a work in progress, but I’ve had fun with it so far.
I painted this view of the Potomac from Swains Lock campground. A couple of nearby campers took an interest in what I was doing, and they seemed to like it, even though I was hogging a good campsite for a couple hours! I was especially interested in the strange little tree that seemed to be growing in the middle of the river.
Also, I found some relatively inexpensive linen panels, so I’ll be using those a lot over the next few weeks. I think I paint better on linen, but it’s ordinarily prohibitively expensive, so I’m excited about the switch.
Time to renew my annual visitor’s pass for Great Falls National Park! It was a gorgeous day today: sunshine, low humidity, no clouds, and a strong breeze that is unusual for Washington summers. I hiked from the Visitor’s Center to the overlook trail, then found this view of the river. It was one of the few times that I didn’t have to alter the scene to suit the composition: everything was already placed just so.
That said, the conditions were a bit challenging. I painted “contre jour,” into the sun; you can see this from the angle of the shadows. As the afternoon wore on, I had increasing difficulty seeing my canvas. Bugs were biting. And I was set up on a somewhat rocky slope, and my feet hurt after a while. So when I got back to civilization, I found a few stray marks on the canvas that I hadn’t noticed. But to maintain this piece’s status as a pure “plein air” work, I have left those marks where I put them. :)
Today I started drawing and painting Wisconsin Avenue looking south toward Chevy Chase Acura and downtown Bethesda. Here’s the oil painting, still in its early stages:
And here’s the preliminary sketch I did, in black carbon ink and purple water-soluble ink. I hope to return over the next few days, but parking is difficult there during the week, so I may not finish this for a while!