Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ocean piece from plein air study

Here's an piece I just completed in the studio ...

"Pacific Shimmer", Pastel, 12x16

 ... using this plein air study:

"Coastal Repetitions", Pastel, 9x12

My goal was to try shifting the focus away from the bright rocks and move the focus out further into the painting.  I wanted to highlight the water and pull the eye out towards the horizon.  About half way into the painting I put the plein air reference aside.  It's interesting to see the extent to which they organically deviated from each other as I let the painting go where it needed to go on its own.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Large Commission

I just finished and shipped off this large commissioned painting:

"Intersection of Elements"
24 x 48
It was interesting because I was asked to make a larger piece based on a plein air painting I had done earlier this year.  The plein air piece was done during the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival under very unusual lighting conditions when a layer of fog was undulating in and out right on the edge of the coast.   Because of the conditions I never got any decent photos, and because it was painted a few hours away I couldn’t easily return to the site (and the odds of returning and getting comparable weather and lighting were virtually zip).

"The Tales They Could Tell", Pastel, 12x16
Painted Plein Air

Lousy reference photo

 Given the relative lack of reference material, I was forced to draw heavily on my visual memories from the day.  The size (24”x48”) was also larger than I usually work in pastel (although I used to paint large oils).  To top it off, I started with an oil underpainting which is something I have only tried once before.

Turns out changing all these factors made the painting process really enjoyable and I was very happy with the final result.