...tells me there is a place I need to see, it always puts a smile on my face. The ensuing explorations usually turn into future paintings. This Sunday proved no different, with a little help from the trusty ladder, even trustier Subaru, and of course with Lauren as my guide!
…Sometimes I forget things, like finishing a painting once it has been painted.
But with a glaze, a varnish, and a frame repaint, this one is done, done, done!
This is the full view of untitled landscape 135 (dream the wheel) 24 x 24” oil on panel 2019.
And finally a detail view!
...to finishing this painting, so I figured I’d post five photos for you to see what six weeks of painting looks like. Scroll down back through to the first layer of paint.
...on this painting, I’m sanding it smooth for the second layer of paint.
From here it becomes glass-like, which is perfect for focusing on the details.
Finally, the palette is set with a wider range of color to capture water.
...of paint is finished, and now the fun part begins: focusing in on the details to make this painting really sing.
...referencing Jasper Johns, Kenneth Nolland...” said Carl Belz. If only he was talking about my painting, but this was part of an impromptu art monologue on the packaging of Lucky Strike cigarettes. Holding about a dozen slightly shivering art students, myself included, transfixed on a Boston sidewalk during a smoke break, it was one of those little lectures on art in the everyday that stuck with me. Carl had an amazing way of making art relatable and immensely exciting at the same time. If you ever see one of his books on art, do yourself a favor and buy it. And so some twenty years later, I am painting a painting that was partly inspired by that little lecture.
...when people walk through my studio is probably how long it takes for me to paint what I paint.
I don’t keep track, but this is an hour time lapse of a circular area with 2.5” diameter. Using some internet math, and at this perfectly focused painting rate, the two layers of this 2x2’ painting will take me 235 hours. Yikes! Back to work, as I still have a lot to go...
...in its humble beginnings. Seven colors so far in this spare palette will make two feet by two feet of swirling water.
...is completely done!
Drop by RLS to see it anytime... ul 134 (this is it) 3x52” oil on panel 2018 $10,000
...new paintings up on the easel.
...to being finished.
...gave me the opportunity to study a few shapes that are not native to the Lowcountry. Perhaps there is a painting in one of these...
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...of paint is going down, which means brighter mid-tones will lighten the sky and hopefully make it much deeper.
...the first layer of paint to get ready for the next layer of paint.
...the first layer of this long skinny painting.
...this painting a while back, I forgot to post a picture of the finished product. “us 28 (can’t look away)” 12x18” oil on panel $4,500
...my wife and I didn’t see a single soul, but were treated to a few lovely vistas while biking the northern edge of Lake Moultrie. Normally I bring my big camera when we go out, but this time I forgot it, so I used my iPhone 7+ instead to capture two panoramic images, which I blended into one:
It is a neat process, made possible by the people who make Adobe Photoshop, and in case you’re into this kind of thing, I decided to describe it here.
I start with the first panorama, increasing the canvas size to give me room to grow the image.
Next I pasted the second panorama into the image, roughly lining it up with the bottom pano. The goal is to have two separate exposures, one set for the ground and one set for the sky. So when I was shooting the scene, I used the AE/AF lock (tapping on screen where you want to set the exposure/focus and then holding down your finger on that spot) to keep what I wanted exposed correctly.
Then I switched the layer order and lightened the foreground (by reducing its opacity) so that I could see through it to align the two layers.
Next I used the flipping super cool “Camera Raw Filter” to pull the black out of the under exposed foreground and transformed it (free transform then warp) to almost match the foreground. You don’t have to be perfect because in the next step Photoshop takes over.
When you do most of the work above manually, I’ve found that Photoshop’s “Auto-Blend Layers” does a much better job getting the rest right, combining the two images together. A simple “Free Transform” and some guides help to straighten up landscape.
Finally, the biggest decision of how to crop what you’ve captured comes in. I usually copy and paste several crops into new documents so that I can toggle between them to choose a favorite. Then one more “Camera Raw Filter” and a “Levels” adjustment in this new document cleans up the colors and eliminates the lingering grey. If you then save the two separately, you can have one process document and one final. That way, if you ever want to go back and re-crop or color edit differently, you have the option.
Now I may never decide to paint this image. I would guess that I paint one out of ten panoramics that I build. But either way, it is a fun process because in the end you get to see a landscape in a similar way that you would see it if you were standing there. And in the end, especially when it comes to painting realistically, it is the little things that make all the difference!
...and little islands in my latest long and skinny painting.