Thursday, March 16, 2017

030917 S 24x36 Fall Forest Fantasy, Part 2

This blog is Part 2 that features the execution of a gorgeous fall painting in the studio.  You can see Part 1 HERE where I write about and show the process and influences leading up to the start of this studio painting. 
I do an initial sketch with a brush dipped in oil, picking up a little magenta and cerulean pigment.
I start by fleshing in the darkest dark values mixed with Cadmium Red Medium and Ultramarine Blue.  For the blackest black, I use more Ultra Blue.
I start "carving" in the hills and woods mixed from cadmium red, primary red-magenta, cadmium yellow, and a smaller amount of ultramarine blue and/or cerulean blue.
For the burnt golds in the creek and hillside, I first mix a red-violet from magenta and cerulean or ultra blues.  Then I mix cadmium yellow light with cadmium red light(orange) and/or magenta to get a mostly yellow-orange.  Then I mix a third color with the mostly yellow-orange, pulling in some of the violet. I use the burnt gold in the creek and again in the treeline.
Then white is mixed with some of the violet, with a touch of the yellow-orange, to make a lighter value for the distant space.  I often use complementary color systems in a painting, all of which are mixed from the basic primary colors.  I have a very simple palette with two blues, three reds, one yellow, and Titanium White.
The greens in this painting were mixed with Cadmium Yellow Light and Cerulean Blue with a touch of red or orange to give it the tinge of autumn and cut the brightness of the "summer green".  This makes a nice moss green color on the rocks.
A dark green/rust is popped into the sky area for the canopy of the forest.  A luscious turquoise for the creek is mixed with Cerulean Blue, a touch of Cadmium Yellow Light and Titanium White.  I may also add some Cadmium Red Medium for the parts of the creek with rocks just under the surface of the water.
The sky color is mixed from Cerulean Blue and Titanium White.  I use the lightest value at the horizon line and make it slightly darker with more Cerulean toward the top of the painting.
The light sky color is popped into the creek which is reflecting the sky.  The burnt orange leaves and tree branches are added to the reflections in the creek.
Tree trunks are mixed from Cadmium Red Medium and Ultramarine Blue (leaning more towards the red) and the major trees are added.  The trees really start to define the depth of the space.
In a very loose, organic way, using a rubber tipped implement, I dash in branches, thin tree trunks, and reflections across the entire surface.
Smaller trees are added as well as branches and limbs using the palette knife.
I started adding green and yellow-green leaves on the left side of the painting. 
More leaves are added across the entire painting.  The leaves are mixed to gradate from green to yellow-green to orange-yellow-green to orange and yellow.  The leaves tumble down onto the surface of the creek.
Some of the tree trunks and branches are pulled back out in front of the leaves adding to the dimensional qualities of the painting.  The distance space is tweaked and highlights added to the water.
A few final bright yellows are added in the areas in the foreground and some spots of sky are added back in.

And the final painting:
"Fall Forest Fantasy", Code # 030917 S 24x36, oil on panel, c. 2017, by Charlene Marsh

This painting captures the extraordinary beauty and peace of the deep forest on an autumn day and would be excellent to enhance the Wealth & Abundance energy of the living space as well as the Core Health & Family Relationships and Spiritual Growth energies.  



Here's the link to Part 1 again so you can see the genesis of how the painting evolved.

Thanks for following along!

Cheers,

Charlene 

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

030917 S 24x36 Fall Forest Fantasy, Part 1

I am going to break this blog into two parts.  The first part will cover the seven, plein air, oil paintings that were created on location in the forest over a period of five years and used for inspiration for the finished studio painting.  The second part will focus on the step by step evolution of the studio painting.
In this plein air painting created this past fall on November 1, 2016, http://charlenemarsh.blogspot.com/2016/12/110116-12x16-warm-day-late-fall.html, I particularly love the background hills and trees and colors as well as the sky reflected on the creek and the fallen leaves on the water.  I frequently referred to this painting while working on the background elements and the creek.
In this plein air painting, dated October 22, 2016, http://charlenemarsh.blogspot.com/2016/11/102216-12x16-early-autumn.html, I really liked the creek in the left hand side of the painting.  That golden color, rusty reflections, and smattering of fallen leaves was really enchanting.
The turquoise creek, due to the shale rock, was absolutely gorgeous in this painting.  This plein air painting was done on October 24, 2016, http://charlenemarsh.blogspot.com/2016/11/102416-16x12-turquoise-water.html.
This is another plein air painting, dated November 1, 2013 with the turquoise water which is flowing this time.  Interestingly, this painting was done on the same date as the top one above only three years earlier.  I love to compare the unfolding of the seasons from year to year. 
In this painting dated November 3, 2013, I really like how the color of the leaves changes from green to yellow green to orange-green to oranges and rusts.  These last three paintings are done in one of my favorite spots to paint out in the forest.  I love the composition of the creek receding into the distance.  Last year, several trees fell across the creek in this location, obliterating the view.
This painting dated October 12, 2012 shows the beginnings of the fall colors but is still predominately green.
Just two days later on October 14, 2012, the colors have already changed dramatically.  Some years, fall comes early and some years, like in 2016, it comes quite late.  We did not even get a frost or freeze until mid-November.  I love how the paintings document the unfolding seasons year after year
So I print out photos of all these paintings and mount them on my "inspiration board" that I could refer to as I worked.  Here is my set up, ready to go.  

This is the end of Part 1.  Sometimes setting up the painting and deciding what to do is the biggest part of a project.  Part 2 is available HERE that shows how the painting is executed now that I have determined what I want to do.   

Thanks for following along!  

Happy Trails!

Cheers,

Charlene 

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Friday, February 24, 2017

022118 S 18x24 Key West Boats, Version 2

As I wrote in my last blog, I had a collector who wanted a boat scene painted in oils.  I did the first version with brushes and the second version, presented here, with palette knives. 
I started with a detailed drawing on a pre-tinted panel that I had made in advance.
Like in the first version, I mixed up the dark values using Cadmium Red Medium and Ultramarine Blue.  The rust red on the bottom of the boats used more Cadmium Red.
I added a touch of Yellow and Cerulean Blue for the backsides and shadow areas of the boats.  The dockside building was made with a mix of mostly reds and yellow with a touch of blue to tone it down.  I started working some of the middle values into the reflections on the water.  The red rust on the bottoms of the boats is worked into the water.
For the lighter, brighter sides of the boats I mixed Cerulean Blue with Titanium White.  For the highlights on the boat roofs and the edges of the boat I use mostly Titanium White with just a touch of red and yellow mixes.  The warmer highlights contrast with the cooler colors of the blues on the boats and in the water and sky. 
The sky colors were mixed with primarily Cerulean and White with the Cad Red and tad of yellow mixing in.  I am always cleaning paint off the palette and mixing it into the next batch of paint which helps create a unified, cohesive painting.  I always mix relatively small batches of paint and use it throughout the painting wherever it is required.
As I painted in the sky, I popped the color into the water as well.  After all, the sky is reflected on the water!  Sometimes the sky crosses over the masts of the boats and then the masts are pulled back in front.
The entire surface is covered and then details are added.  The rigging, the movement of the water, and the various values are all added and adjusted until I am satisfied.
"Key West, Version 2", oil on panel, 18" x 24", c. 2017, by Charlene Marsh

Thanks for following along!

Happy Trails!

Cheers,

Charlene 

P.S.  So which is your favorite between the two?  You can see the first version here.  I have my favorite but I want to hear from you first. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

021817 S 18x24 Key West Boats, Version 1

I had a collector who had a Key West boat scene that he wanted as an oil painting.  The scene had a great deal of detail and was not a subject matter I normally paint, so I decided to do this painting with brushes.  I ended up doing a second version with palette knives and will detail that painting in my next post.  So, stay tuned!
I started with a detailed drawing on a pre-tinted hardboard panel that I had made.
I mixed dark values using Cadmium Red Medium and Ultramarine Blue.  In fact, these two colors formed the foundation of the palette for this painting.
 
Once I had the dark values in place, I mixed up the medium range values using the same Cadmium Red Medium and Ultramarine Blue.  I also used some Cerulean Blue, Primary Red-Magenta, and Cadmium Red Light. 
 
A sky color was mixed using Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue and Titanium White.  For the slightly darker storm values I added a little Cadmium Red Medium and Cadmium Yellow Light.
As I paint the sky color, I also paint some into the water that reflects the sky.
I continue painting in the sky and water adding in the reflections and movement of the water.  I paint in the rigging and other details.

The finished painting:  "Key West Boats, Version 1", 18" x 24", oil on panel, c. 2017, by Charlene Marsh.

Next post, I will show Version 2 done with palette knives which is my preferred tool for mixing and applying paint.  Should be fun to see the different results!

Thanks for following along! 

Happy Trails!

Charlene

P.S.  I love to hear from you so please leave a comment!   I respond to everyone.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

020417 S 24x36 Late Afternoon in the Forest

This oil painting is inspired by a 12" x 12" plein air painting I did last winter. We have had almost no snow this winter here in southern Indiana so I have not done even one, new, plein air, snow painting!  Anyway, my field notes on the back of this plein air piece reads, "COLD, mid-20 degrees, some sun, thin clouds, 3-6 p.m."  I absolutely love this plein air painting and wanted to work it up into a large painting.  Here's the painting I did on location, a good mile back in the forest, hiking through deep snow:
"Twilight in the Forest, January 21, 2016", plein air oil on panel, 12" x 12", c. 2016, by Charlene Marsh

I edited a photo of the painting in Photoshop to change the dimensions to a rectangular format that would have the same proportions as a 24" x 36" painting.  Here's the "stretched" version I used as a reference when laying out the new painting.
I set up my panel with an "inspiration board" to the right where I have posted some past paintings for reference
  I start with a tinted panel and sketch out the "bones" of the painting using a brush dipped in cold pressed linseed oil and magenta and cerulean blue pigment.
I went back and forth adjusting the hills in the background to get the right height and layers. 
Finally satisfied, I mix a deep black using lots of Ultramarine Blue with Cadmium Red Medium.  Cadmium Red is a very strong, intense color so a little goes a long way.  The creek is like a black ribbon in the snow.
Once I paint in the darkest values, I mix dark blues and violets for the shadow areas in the snow.  I mix the violets with varying combinations of Primary Red-Magenta, Ultramarine Blue, and Cerulean Blue.  I mix small amounts at a time and pop the color in all over the painting.
Knowing I want to go with a golden twilight color in the sky and reflections, I lean the violets more towards red than blue so I can avoid turning the snow green as the painting progresses.  I mix a neutral for the background hills from Magenta, Ultramarine Blue, and a touch of Cadmium Yellow Light.
I mix a delicate golden color for the late afternoon sun warming the sky using lots of Titanium White and a hair touch of Cadmium Yellow Light and Cadmium Red Light and/or Primary Red-Magenta.  I mix the orange, secondary color first and then add tiny amounts of the yellow-orange to white.  The same sky color is added to the black creek for the reflection and to the one hill where the waning sunlight hits.
I mix Cerulean Blue with ample amounts of white for the sky and then gradually mix the sky blue with the salmon twilight to get a wonderful neutral color.  The cerulean blue sky color is  painted at the top of the painting and the neutral mix is used in the middle, transition space. 
Finally, once satisfied with the "muscles" of the painting, I start adding the "skin" with elements and details like the trees, branches, and leaves.
 Branches and trees are added in with lots of frenetic knife work.
The pale salmon leaves from the ash trees that cling all winter are added. 
Tree branches and trunks are pulled forward and then pushed back.  Some of the sky color is added back in, too.  I use both a palette knife and a rubber tipped tool to add the squiggles of branches.  The closest trees and branches are pulled out to sit in front.  I felt like the leaves were taking over and pushed them back by pulling out some trees in the front space of the painting.
And, finally, the finished painting!
"Late Afternoon in the Forest", oil on panel, 24" x 36", c. 2017, by Charlene Marsh.

This painting is finished with a gorgeous, 4" wide, silver, Omega, plein air style frame.  A dark wood, plein air style frame would also look great on the painting.

Thanks for following along! 

Happy Trails!

Charlene

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