Here’s a crow that I finished this afternoon.There’s a noisy crow family that regularly visit us. I recently got some beautiful Caran d’ache watercolor pencils that I heard about from James Gurney. They are much more pigment-rich than the Derwents that I was using and they’re fantastic combined with Niji water brushes when hiking or painting on the road in plein air.
I have a month off before school starts back in September, so I have a chance to do more recreational art and art discovery. Last week, Eastside / Evergreen Association of Fine Arts had a little painters get-together where some painters did demos of plein air outside, while others painted a model.
It was fun.. a real painting party. I don’t have anything to show you from this – I’m still getting a handle on landscapes, but here’s Steve Whitney’s little demo. I’m enjoying Mitch Albala’s Landscape book.
We also had a surprise visitor out by our pond yesterday. I don’t think he’s just admiring our koi. Fortunately the fish are now too big for him and the fishing line keeps other predators away.
In these exercises, we had to select works of art that reflected techniques of atmospheric perspective or ways of rendering depth or distance by tone, hue, or detail. Here are my comments on the paintings as well as my painting of Bracketts Landing near my home in Edmonds (last, exaggerated colors).
Caillebotte: Closer figures are darker than the ones in the background. Compare the dark dog and figures in the fore grand compared to the light building and person crossing the road in the back. More precise detail is given to foreground figures than those in the distance, mimicking human vision. There is strong one-point perspective composition. The side opening bridge create the illusion of depth. The railing also shows much more detail closer than farther.
Michael Orwick: Michael Orwick is a painter from Oregon that my mom recently interviewed. In Misty Morning, atmosphericperspective convey strongly by both the relative sharpness of closer trees and the relative lightness of farther trees. This painting also is a good example of how hue can be used to convey sense of depth. The close trees are orange and brown and trees in the distance behind the fog are more lavender.
Bierstadt: In Bierstadt’s painting, atmosphericperspective is conveyed by fine detail in the foreground figures, using shadows and sharp contrast (look at the use of white on the figures). It’s also possible to see details like the fringe on the mats that are being made. In the mid ground, the mountains ad less distinct with a narrower range of contrast between colors. Also Bierstadt show masterful use of contrast differences between the waves close to the viewer and far to convey atmosphericperspective.
Seurat: In Sunday Afternoon, atmosphericperspective is conveyed by detail and contrast. Examples of detail and contrast to create the illusion of depth are notable for instance in the woman with an umbrella in the foreground (strong dark garment and light face) vs. mid ground (more subtle differences in contrast). Analysis of hue in this painting is more complex because figures are in sun or shade, but what Seurat does seem to do is have bands of hue at depths that connect characters at that level whether they are in sun or shade, creating a more uniform illusion of depth. Examples include row of people in the foreground in shadow vs. a little farther back in sun, and then still farther seated in shadow.Brackett’s Landing in Edmonds, WA.
EAFA seems to be a really good organization for fine artists in the greater Seattle area. For emerging fine artists, too they have lots of opportunities to exhibit such as Overlake Hospital or a gallery at the Seattle Design Center.
I’m going to post another update with my papers from last quarter and then a little from what I’m doing now. Perspective class is the intense one for me now but it’ll help me with environments.
Here’s blue kangaroo that I finished from my trip to the zoo. I found out that I’m probably using too little water and paint in my gouache. I had assumed that letting the paint dry up was fine as it can be reconstituted with water, but I found out that that’s not the case. I’m working on a portrait now and hope to have something to show soon.
I’m color mixing more now.
This beautiful Cooper’s hawk was on our neighbor’s roof this morning. Coopers and sharp-shinned hawks are pretty similar except I think this is a Cooper because of his big head. Here’s a close up of his head. I wish I had a little larger zoom lens, but this was still pretty cool.