Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Branching Out

© 2013 R.L. Delight, Stacked, 6"x6", oil on copper panel.
I started this painting en plein air in October. It was a bit challenging for several reasons. I needed to go back to get the detail but the weather changed, as it does so often here. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to get more detail due to the fact that what some people build, others enjoy knocking down. This rock stack wasn't as easy to see and was one of the more beautiful ones I have seen built. Much to my relief, I finally made it back, after a failed attempt, with my sketch pad.

© 2013 R.L. Delight, sketch for stacked. Graphite on paper
Of course, this was drawn on a different day around the same time as I wanted to catch the right lighting. I painted it not long after but wasn't happy with it. Something was off so I set it aside to think about it. Oh, and sure enough, the rock stack was knocked down a week later.

Over the past couple of months, I have had a lot of thoughts and ideas about how to grow and improve as an artist. Some thoughts due to reading and studying and some from thoughtful suggestions by artist friends. I have been studying hard and doing a lot of reading. Two books in particular, Composition of Outdoor Painting by Edgar Payne, and Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting, by John F. Carlson. I have also been reading several wonderful blogs and am currently making my way through Stapleton Kearns' blog.

With all that I am learning, I went back to this painting and changed a few things. Mostly a bit of the values (tone, or lights and darks in the painting) and a bit of the color temperature (warm or cool). It is working much better now. I learned quite a bit on this painting. I am going to put the brush down on this one and move on.

The seascape studies are slowly continuing in the background. The weather has been too cold and intense to do much these past couple of weeks. I have decided to expand my painting subjects a bit. I mainly want to focus on coastal landscapes in addition to waves and seascapes. I also have been working on still life painting during the days when I am not able to get outside to paint.

All of it is good for honing the skills. I want to make a leap in my skills for 2014 which is why I am studying more and will be taking a workshop. The studying does cut into painting time temporarily and I know I also need to put in the brush mileage. With that in mind, I will be participating in another 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. Those that have been reading this blog a while will remember I did this last January too. It will be very challenging this year as I will be working three days a week for the month of January at an outside job. I am getting prepared and hopefully will be more prepared than I was last year. I did manage to complete 30 paintings in 30 days last year!

Wishing everyone a wonderful winter holiday!

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