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Archive for the ‘Paintings in progress’ Category

I was going through my pictures in storage last night and I came upon this. Followers of this blog (are there any) will recognize it as this piece that I was working on back last summer. 

This is a bad image that I photographed this morning with my cell phone.

Anyway, back then I was getting rather frustrated with this picture as I couldn’t get it to go where I wanted. Now coming back to it, it looks fine to me and I may even declare it officially finished. Well, that was easy to complete…

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2009_04280001-400What you see here is progress of yesterday evening. From a blank canvas to this took about two hours, maybe a bit less.

I started with a phthalo blue underpaint wash (which you can see poking through the shady bit of the path at the bottom). I then started from the top down. Soon I realized this was not going to get me where I wanted to go (too regimented) and I started just blocking in color over the whole canvas.

Build it up and this is what came out. It is not finished yet, but the challenge now is not to lose the spontaneity of the picture when I add in finer, more careful detail.

My palette was sap and olive greens, burnt umber, ultramarine blue, titanium white and oxide black.

I must say I was pretty amazed at what came out. It’s that feeling of the painting flowing sub-consciously from my fingers, working instinctively and not really knowing how I got there. It is now about half a year since I last picked up a brush and I was not expecting this.

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Quite a lot to report.

I have been busy painting this week and I finished up the Huleh Valley picture as you can see on the right. I like it a lot. It has a lot of depth and that misty distance came out fantastically. My only reservations may be in the row of trees at the front which I spent quite a while on and revising. I think I got them right in the end.

The predominant color in the picture is cadmium yellow, with trees mainly in olive green, some phthalo blue and a bit of yellow ochre here and there.

After getting this one out, I turned my attentions back to the pool that I had been wrestling with a few weeks back.

After getting some of my self confidence back, I decided to give this another go and so far so good. I’ll see if I can get some more time on this during the coming week though I will be going to bed early in order to get up for Selihot (penitence prayers) all week which start at something like 6:00 every morning (BTW, that’s only half and hour earlier than I would get up anyway).

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As you can see the Hulah Valley picture has been coming on nicely. Unfortunately the photo is still with my crappy camera on my Nokia 6123 phone (which is not bad as two year old phone cameras go… but all the same not quite up to notch in terms of picture quality) as I haven’t had the opportunity yet to get my real camera back from its repair in Jerusalem.

The picture certainly has all the right depth and that misty morning look. I have been working on the foreground trees and there is still a way to go to integrate them truly and make them harmonize more with the rest of the picture. I hope to get some more time on this tonight and maybe even finish though in all likelihood I’ll make the final touches at the beginning of next week.

The underpainting here was quite a strong cadmium yellow as opposed to my usual mild underpaintings. I have read recently on several blogs including Larry Seiler (and here) and Empty Easel on Jenifer McChristian where they have been using quite garish pink and orange underpainting which benefits the picture as a whole and ties it together. I’ve got to try this out and be a bit more daring with my underpaints.

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More progress last night. Again a crappy picture because my camera is in for repair. The picture is shapping up well and I am quite happy with the progress.

A few technical details. I started on an underpaint of cadmium yellow light (I bought cadmium yellow instead of azo yellow by mistake but they match pretty well). I then started blocking in with dilute phthalo blue and titanium white. Against all the rules I use “opaque” titanium white for glazing… Last night I added some ochre into the distance, some burnt umber and started using olive green for the mid-ground trees.

Now I need to concentrate a bit more on the right hand side and then continue working forward. As we get closer the colors are going to getting darker and stronger with probably some black mixed into the green of the trees for emphasis.

The big challenge here is keeping the gradation of the distance, the light and the mistiness. All an interesting challenge.

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A bad photo of the progress I have made on the Sunrise in the Hulah Valley picture. As you can see I have blocked in a whole lot of stuff with underpainting.

The photo is bad because my camera is in for repair and I took this on my phone.

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Behold, my next picture!

I just started on this last night. There were several contenders for which picture from my recent vacation would make it to be my next piece. After my last piece that I haven’t finished, I decided against doing anything watery, thought there were some contenders. What was left in therunning was this, another misty view, the cliffs of Nahal Gush Halav and a nice shot on the circular summit path on Mt Meron.

This one in the end took the majority vote of my family art advisors. So far I have stsrted with a lurid lemon yellow underpainting.

In case you don’t know, the Hulah Valley is a valley in the far north of Israel (how far north can you go in a small country?) between the highlands of the Galilee to the west and the Golan plateau to the east. It has nothing to do with Hawaian dancers or strangely named children in New Zealand

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