This is an experiment and a block-in start. The experiment is I painted this on a smooth hard board so it requires some different brush techniques. The unpainted white area will be water with a sky reflection. I will let this half dry and tomorrow night I will work in some cloud color and brush strokes. We will se if it works, I sort of ran out of time tonight.
This a colored pencil sketch of a Rufous-sided Towhee. He is part of the backyard crew we sometimes get here in Maryland. I have three sketchbooks for sketching all the birds I have seen and identified. Not all have been sketched yet but I plan to sketch them all.
The start of a Snowy scene with I think a Maple tree. I plan to add more branches and texture to the trunk. Back to the day job grind tomorrow which is fun since I had to go into the grind for part of the day today. Soon I will switch over to painting full time. I cannot wait.
Continuing the string of studies, this is the start of a beech forest, in spring especially since today os chilly and not too spring like. I can see now how I need to vary the background and work on the roundness of my trunks.
I am reading a book called, Hawthorne on Painting. It is from 1938 and is based off of instruction provided by artist and instructor, Charles Hawthorne. Part of the book recommends painting and doing many "starts" of paintings. I have been doing a lot of 5 x 7 inch small paintings. This is a "start" of a Breech tree Hillside study.
Larch Trees are native to northern climes, I first saw them in Scotland. I had not seen them before and did not know "pine-like" tree needles changed color in fall and then died or fell off. I could not figure out why a whole forest was dead until it was explained to me. This is a small oil study.
After a little break, I am back painting and I am going to do as many small studies as I can. This a a study of a meadow with fall foliage. This is the block-in of the basics colors and this will need better depth in the tree foliage. More to come.
I did these quick sketches of passing Western Grebes out in Utah at Jordanelle Reservoir. We were fishing and a pair of these swam by a few times and I quickly did colored pencil sketches to capture the basics of their colors and shapes. I would like to work this into a painting but that will have to wait.
This is tonight's study. This is the start of a Boreal Forest sunset. The Boreal Forests are in the far northern Arctic regions of the world. This is the block-in but is mostly complete. I will make some small changes to the sky and miss add some branch detail, but not much more.
I am practicing my Ala Prima painting, so this oil was done as close as I could to mixing the paint and then applying it. I am improving but still need practice to make the tree better and more believable. I will probably go back and mess with the foreground grass and I will add definition to the branches in the Fir tree.
Tonight's study is a small oil study of praise grasses, a lone cottonwood, and a cloudy sky. This is the initial block-in of colors. I will redefine the foreground grasses to give this more depth and I need to add contrast to the clouds to give it some aerial perspective i.e. to make the horizon clouds recede into the background more.
I have blocked in the basics design of these Chickadees on the berry covered branches. I will dry brush in some feather details this weekend and add the eyes, while continuing to refine the berries and branches.
I like to group my learning experiments of paintings to try different types of common themes. This is another block-in of trees in a forest setting. I blocked in the basic shapes after drawing and outlining the design. I will need to add foliage and square away the foreground reflections better. It is a decent start to another learning and practice oil sketch.
These are more practice drawings of hands. These are from the Andrew Loomis book on Heads and Hands. I have hundreds of these drawings. They are like practicing scales in piano or other basic skills one does on the way to mastering a skill.
This is a small oil sketch I blocked in this evening. I started it the other night with a simple drawing and outlining the drawing. I let that dry and tonight I put the basic colors in. Tomorrow, I will refine and define the foliage, the trunks and the foreground to add depth and shape. Painting a forest is not the easiest and this is one of the first I have tried. Practice, Practice, and Practice.
I experiment around with different things and tonight these are some celtic designs. I used a compass to get the circles but I penciled in the basic designs and then went over them with black, grey, and gold markers. These are classics from long ago and they are still interesting and unique style.
Andrew Loomis is an old school Illustrator and Artist from the 1930s and 1940s. He produced a series of Art Books which an classics. Any artist worth their salt gets his books and works thru them to improve their skills and to challenge their thinking. I have worked thru them and continue to do so. Above are some copies of his work from Heads and Hands, and from Creative Illustration.