This is from a reference photo I've had for several years afraid to tackle the detail and the shadows. I finally decided to jump in and I'm glad I did. This worked out better than I expected and pops right off the page/screen.
This is from an old photo from the late '40s or early '50s found in one of those caches of "found photos" becoming popular on the web these days. When I thought I was done I felt the buildings in the background were too dark and intense, demanding too much attention. So I used one of John Lovett's tricks and added a very thin layer of white gesso over them and the most distant car to tone them down and push them back. Worked like a charm.
Just another barn somewhere. I made up Edgefield because the barn is on the edge of the field and I couldn't think of anything else. I may continue to use Edgefield as a fictional place where all sorts of art lives.
I called this one Church Street Church because it isn't a church anymore; it's an Italian restaurant. I couldn't find the original name of the church that occupied this building. Beyond that, I'm quite happy with this one.
I haven't done Virtual Paintout in a couple months. This month we're in Ghana. As is evident from many paintings on this blog, I'm drawn to church buildings. So, while I wasn't looking for a church in the Ghana Street View images, I did happen across one that just happened to be having a funeral at the time the image was taken with a Buick hearse parked out front.This checked a couple things off my favorites list -- it's a car AND a hearse (to cover the horror theme). One of the few late model cars I've ever done. The original ink drawing is below.
I might have rushed the details on this one a bit. My father was an avid bass fisherman, so I've seen lures and all other manner of fishing equipment my whole life. But it wasn't until I started painting them that I realized just how much detail is put into making these things look as realistic as possible. I guess fish are smarter than we think. And, maybe the chrome hooks are actually invisible underwater.
This is another piece from the same day as last week's painting. I'm still on the fence with this one. It's loose, but not loose enough. Where it's tight, it isn't tight enough. I liked the composition and idea as soon as I saw it. I'm just not sure about the execution.
This is from a photo I took during a Sunday afternoon food truck rodeo in the area. Not exactly my normal scene, I thought I might see a thing or two worth painting. I was right. I'm pretty happy with the looseness of this portrait. I'd like to go a bit looser with the color, but the drawing itself works well and retains a strong naturalism/realism.
Below is an ink drawing I did as a preliminary.
This is a little sketch of a church not too far from my home, but done from a Google Maps Street View image. My biggest issues with this one is, of course, the trees, with which I'm never happy, and the small suggestion of a graveyard. I should have made that a bit more prominent. The shadows on the building could have gone a bit more cool or warm; it doesn't matter which. They just need to have some color. The red door color was a change from the original to add pop and an obvious focal point.
Not much to say about this one. Just another ink and wash classic car. I really like the graphic nature of Buick's old vertical grill. The ink on this one has a unique look because I used Arches cold-pressed watercolor paper instead of the smoother paper I normally use for inks. The paper texture made for a lot of skipping -- or micro-skipping -- in the ink line. I like the look a lot, but I'll probably stick to the smoother papers most of the time.
When I saw this historical re-enactor (and real blacksmith) at an event at Bethabara Park early last fall I wanted to get shots of him doing blacksmith stuff; you know, hammer, fire, red-hot metal. I circled for a good half-hour. But he was talking a group of kids showing them some nails and hooks he'd made. I settled for a shot of him leaning on his anvil. The pose, costume, actor and accessories all work just as well as an action shot. And, I'm pretty stoked (get it;) about how this portrait worked out. Bethabara Park, by the way, is a partially restored and preserved 260-year-old Moravian settlement in Winston-Salem NC.
This is from a shot taken during our one decent snowfall last year. It happily breaks one of the cardinal rules of composition -- actually, almost two. 1) There's a heavy line running up the center of the painting. 2) the horizon line also is in the center of the space. The second problem is easy; the actual horizon line is mitigated by the curved line of the tree line. The first problem is ignored because of the graphic nature of the image. Not all images conform to rules (and why should art have to?). Besides, everything else about this image follows other rules like leading and unity. There are five leading lines pulling the viewer into the painting. The line the tops of the trees make against the sky mirrors the tree line on the ground. There's also unity of color in that only four colors were used. So, breaking the rules is OK if you have a good reason and the image calls for it.
This is a portrait of my late brother-in-law attempted in the loose, impressionist style I've been chasing. Frankly, I think this is the most successful portrait/figure I've done in this style. It has it's issues, though very minor. But it's right on target and the things I would change are greatly outweighed by those that are just right.
A loose view of the front of the little Baptist church in Danbury, NC. I wasn't sure about the warm light reflected back into the shadow areas of the eaves and under the porch. But it works pretty well. The reference photo was taken very early one June morning, a nice contrast to January's usual chill.