Saturday, July 13, 2013

Painting classic French Architecture

This was the scene during an April trip to Paris. It had rained all day which didn’t stop me from walking the streets. Late in the day, the rain finally broke and revealed this scene. The lower sun, clouded sky just starting to open up and the wet streets created an amazing array of colors and textures.
The columns featuring the winged horses are located at both ends of the Pont Alexandre III bridge, widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in Paris.
A very special thanks to Kimberly Saunders who took the extra time to photograph what turned out to be a very difficult painting to capture with all of its varying textures and paint surface reflections.
Along the Seine, Pont Alexandre III
Oil on canvas
36″ x 24″

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gerber Daisies Painting Demonstration

Here’s an oil sketch of some Gerber Daisies I painted as a demonstration during one of my Thursday night painting classes at Eva Reynolds Fine Arts Gallery.

Painting is worth the struggle

Painting can sometimes be a struggle, but it’s always worth it.  Kimberly and I came across this scene in Central Park a few years back. I was taken by the patterns of light and textures throughout the scene, but also the activity of the fashion shoot taking place at the moment. We shot a number of photos with the intent of creating a studio painting.
What you see here is my third attempt at interpreting the scene. There are a number of reasons I found this scene difficult to capture. I could have easily chosen two areas as the focal point – the figures engaged in the photoshoot, or the figures at the top of the stairs. There are also a number of areas that could draw interest away from the focal point if not properly handled. The Minton Tiles that make up the ceiling are a work of art in their own right. The stairs could easily draw interest away from everything else. The stonework of the wall that runs up the stairs is also filled with interesting patterns.
My challenge was to suggest all of these elements without overpainting any of them. I chose to use the contrast between lights and darks to drive the focus to the figures of the photo shoot. To further drive this importance, the difference between the warm and cool colors of the painting is at it’s most intense where the light goes into shadow around these figures. To keep the viewer’s eye from being drawn quickly to the right of the picture, I chose to play down the structure of the stairs as they move to the right. The ceiling was the most difficult challenge. It was important to suggest the tiles with a minimal amount of rendering. I painted and repainted them multiple times.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Oil sketch of sunflowers

Here’s a painting of sunflowers I created as a demonstration for my painting class at Eva Reynolds FIne Arts Gallery. I had a lot of fun making that glass vase happen without drawing the edges.