Tuesday, December 30, 2014

MORNING HAZE

This will be one of my entries for this years Plein Air Southwest Salon.

MORNING HAZE
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
11x14 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Monday, December 22, 2014

NEW GALLERY REPRESENTATION IN FREDERICKSBURG, TEXAS!

I am very pleased to announce that my paintings are now represented by Fredericksburg Art Gallery.  This is a beautiful gallery space nestled in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, located on the 300 block of East Main Street.  The gallery has been in its current location for seventeen years. If you enjoy traditional and contemporary representational painting, you will like Fredericksburg Art Gallery.


WINDY COVE
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
8X10 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Sunday, December 21, 2014

THE "OLD TURKEY" EXERCISE

We've all got 'em, right? Plenty of "Old Turkeys" in our pile of past paintings. Well here's a little exercise you may find useful, when you can't get outside to paint.  Pull out one of your older plein air studies that just didn't work.  Especially an "Old Turkey" like this one. Ugh!  (I'm almost too vain to show it to you.)

Anyway, the distance in time from having painted it, and the fact that you've probably learned a few things since then, make it a good subject for this process.

First, sit down with a pad and pen and make a list, critiquing your "Old Turkey" for everything you can find wrong with it.  Don't get anyone else' opinion on whatthey think it needs.  The point here is to work from what you know, things you've become aware of that you think will improve your work.   From that list, make another that is your plan for how you will try to improve the "Old Turkey".  Composition, focus, shapes, value plan, color, edges, paint quality, etc.  Do some thumbnails, and make some notes about what you plan to do.  I don't always use the same painting procedure but, here's how I handled this one.  








Working quickly, and alla prima, just as if I were outdoors:
Step 1_ The "OT" seemed very crowded and poorly adapted to the 8x10 format, so I went to 9x12 to spread things out a bit.  The "OT" had been done on one of my old gessoed panels that really drank up the paint.  I decided to do this one on an oil-primed linen, since I love the way the paint can be moved around on that surface.  I began by staining the linen with Transparent Earth Orange to provide a warm, neutral, mid-value for my three value plan.















Step_2  I thought the composition felt jammed-up and klutzy, so I introduced more of a feeling of openness with better size and variety relationships in the shapes.  See how I made the tree on the left smaller?  Now there's no question about which is the dominant tree.  It also gets me a more interesting sky shape.  Although I thought that I had tried to capture a coherent value plan back when I painted the "OT", it really didn't do anything for me, now. It felt random and disorganized.  So, that's the reason I began this with a monochrome attempt to resolve those problems.   I created the darks by adding some burnt umber, and wiped out with brush and rag to create the light areas.  Very rough, no real drawing, everything soft edged.














Step 3_  The bright, garish color didn't do a thing for the painting, so I wanted to try using color to describe the bright light and depth of the scene.  In this stage I'm not concerned with local color.  I'm thinking about the warmth or coolness of sunshine and shade, along with the fact that warmer colors come forward and that distance generally renders them cooler, grayer and lighter.  This step also shows me where I have the opportunity to juxtapose warm and cool colors, something I like very much.















Step_ 4  Now, I give attention to the local colors, but I will carefully adhere to my decisions about value and temperature relationships as I mix paint for each area.  Beginning in the dark shapes, I introduce some deep local color and further develop the dark structure of the value pattern.  Next, I connect the dark shapes with the mid-values.  I want to lay these colors in with simple direct strokes, leaving bits of under-color showing through to give sparkle.

I'm also keeping in mind that I want to do a better job of establishing my focal area where the road bends under the big tree. So, I know I will be providing my darkest darks, lightest lights and greatest contrasts in color and edges in that spot.  The photograph doesn't accurately show it, but at this point I am withholding placing darkest accents or brightest lights.  The painting needs to be built on more closely contained values.  Later, the accents and highlights will give it snap, like well chosen jewelry.















Step_ 5  (see the finished painting above) With the basis in place that forms the working relationships of the painting, I'm in a position to give some finishing attention.  Checking out edges, mostly soft and lost, while reserving a few hard ones for the focal area.  Popping in a few bright color sparks there, too.  A bit of bold, fat paint is fun, and then some calligraphy to give scale and suggest a little detail.

As I was considering how successfully I had achieved my goals to improve my "OT", I saw I had created more feeling of deep space in this one, and I couldn't resist dropping in a few brushstrokes to suggest an old farm house and windmill back agains the hills.  Done!

Try it yourself.  I think you'll find it's a fun way to apply what you've learned since you painted the "OT" and build more confidence for your future efforts.

AROUND THE BEND
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
9x12 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Saturday, December 20, 2014

LOOKING BACK_three phases

Here's a three phase look at one way I approach a subject that requires a bit of accurate drawing.  The old farm house with its entry and porch make up the focus of the painting.  I want to get that down right up front, so I don't have to wrestle with re-working a drawing error, like size, proportion or construction, after committing it to color and thick paint.  This process is done in oil, alla prima, not waiting for the layers to dry.

STEP ONE:  Using a mixture of raw sienna and transparent red oxide, I scrubbed in a very loose, transparent arrangement of the
 main shapes (house, trees, walk, sky).  NO WHITE, so that it's easy to scrub out or move things around and keep edges soft.  Working from my plein air study I give attention to balancing the arrangement and giving emphasis to the focal area of the steps and porch.  I establish a pattern of three main values: dark, light and mid-value. Greatest contrast of values and shapes surround the focal area.
STEP TWO:  I loosely cover the shapes with relatively thin, semi-opaque mixtures of colors that approximate temperature relationships rather than local color (warm foreground darks, and growing cooler as I move into the foreground and distance.  These colors not only help me establish the tone of light and atmospheric perspective, but will make an interesting underpainting for the next application.  I'm careful to retain the three simple value relationship of the shapes.
STEP THREE:  Keeping to the three values that make up the composition, I mix thick opaque colors that now approximate average local colors.  Rather than scrubbing into the under layers, I'm careful to lay the paint on with light strokes.  By being careful to mix the value and color I want, I can leave the strokes without working back into them, so as to not dirty the color by disturbing the under paint.

With these steps accomplished, I can give attention to the focal area, adding a bit of detail, strengthening contrasts of value and color, placing a few dark accents and hi-lights, and adding a hard edge or two to attract the eye.

LOOKING BACK
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
12x16 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Thursday, December 11, 2014

THE 80/20% APPROACH


This one was started on site, and finished in the studio.  I've been reading a book by the late landscape painter, Paul Strisik. It was his common practice when painting outdoors to do an energetic start full of the feeling and color he wanted.  When about 80% finished he'd take the painting back to the studio to complete the last 20% later.  After a little time he would pull out one of these and using his memory of the feeling of that day and any photos he may have taken for reference, he would give reflective thought to what the painting needed to become a finished work.  That's pretty much the way I approached this one.

I enjoyed making the outdoor painting, working larger than usual, and not being under pressure to "finish" while in the field.  Then it was a pleasure to revisit what I had started and to do whatever I could to make the most of that.  It's amazing how the memory of the feeling while the painting was started undergoes an editing process that feeds the decisions made in the studio.



NOVEMBER MOOD
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
12X16 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

CFAI JURIED COMPETITION AWARD

Pleased to announce that Contemporary Fine Art International has awarded my entry "THE OTHER SIDE" Second Place in the CFAI.co Fall 2014 "The World Outdoors" Juried Competition. Last year, CFAI granted me Master Signature status, and I am proud to be a member of this organization which is dedicated to the promotion of fine art and member artists.

THE OTHER SIDE
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
8X10 oil on canvas panel




Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings


MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

REAL GOOD BARNS


Occasionally, I'll take an old painting and see what I can do with it. This one was started on the spot, two summers ago.  I found it in my "too be considered pile" last week, and decided to turn the sunshine on.  The owner of the property had found me painting these late 1800's barns and wistfully commented while I was painting them, "These was real good barns".  Looking back over the past year, I'm thankful for another year of getting to do the thing I love most. I wish you all a joyful Thanksgiving.


REAL GOOD BARNS
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
11X14 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Thursday, November 6, 2014

RED CARPET AND BRISK SALES AT EPAT INAUGURAL

 San Angelo wants to make En Plein Air Texas one of the best plein air events in the country, and last week was a start in the right direction. We painted four days in historic San Angelo, on the Concho River, and surrounding ranches. I turned in eight paintings for the show and they all were red-dotted within an hour and a half!

Peaceful Pond_14x11
Splendor On The Concho_14x11
The Sunnyside_9x12


Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings



GALLERY LINKS




Friday, October 24, 2014

EN PLEIN AIR TEXAS INAUGURAL JURIED COMPETITION

PACKING TO LEAVE tomorrow for the Inaugural National Juried Plein Air Competition of En Plein Air Texas, in San Angelo. We will paint through next week in various locations, with the exhibit and awards presentation next Saturday. The artists are invited to bring 8 pieces other than the two we enter for judging in the competition. It's a bit humbling to be competing with such a select group of plein air painters, but I'm just going to do my best. I look forward to meeting and painting with them all.


Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

FROM SMALL TO LARGE

The original of this subject sold immediately at my workshop in San Angelo last month. Three individuals who saw the original plein air version contacted me to ask if I would do another. I agreed to do another, but at 24"x30". Thought some of you may be interested in seeing the results.

When I get a good result from an original study painting, it sometimes comes under consideration for a follow-up version.  Going significantly larger is fun, but requires some new strategy.  What works well in a small version can be easily lost in a larger.  Why?  Well, The aesthetic information contained in the smaller version may carry plenty of impact, but appear rather anemic in the larger because there is so much more "real estate" to develop.  This points up the fact that an interesting painting is not so much about the "thing" it represents as it is the treatment of its design opportunities and entertaining the eye. I've posted the original and the larger version.  You should be able to pick out  which is which.  Try to observe what has changed and why.

ON A BROKEN LEDGE
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
24X30 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings


GALLERY LINKS


Monday, October 20, 2014

WELL, HEY, IT'S BETTER THAN NOT BEING NOTICED!

I was notified today that my plein air painting "HILL COUNTRY CELEBRITY" was included in the FAV15% of the September BoldBrush Painting Competition. That approximately works out to being selected in a group of 240 out 1600 entrants. Hmmm. Okay, that's nice.
HILL COUNTRY CELEBRITY
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
11X14 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT…

The first day of the Kerrville Outdoor Painters Event was overcast and very still. It was the prelude to a weak cold front that was about to push through the hills. Moisture hung in the air, and only an occasional birdcall broke the quiet. I usually prefer to paint sunshine and shadows, but in a paintout you have to work with what you get. As it turned out, I'm still pleased with the quiet mood of this little painting.

CHANGE OF SEASONS
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
11X14 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Saturday, October 11, 2014

BEING PART OF THE DAY


This is another plein air painting from last weekend at the Kerrville Outdoor Painters Event.  The first little cold front of the season had moved through during the night with rain showers and left an overcast morning.  After lunch, the clouds began to disappear and left a sparkling, cool day, and warm sunshine.  Can't beat being outdoors painting at such a time.  The difference is in the feeling of participating in something so fresh and just being a passive observer. 
  

EARLY OCTOBER
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
14X11 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings


GALLERY LINKS

Monday, October 6, 2014

TWO WINNERS AT KERRVILLE OUTDOOR PAINTERS EVENT

I am pleased to have received the KERRVILLE OUTDOOR PAINTERS EVENT, Second Place award for "HILL COUNTRY PRIDE". I also was awarded First Place in the Quick Draw event for "EARL GARRET'S GOLD". Both paintings were purchased immediately!

HILL COUNTRY PRIDE
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
11X14 oil on canvas panel

EARL GARRETT'S GOLD
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
9X12 oil on canvas panel


Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings


GALLERY LINKS


Friday, September 12, 2014

"MULLIGANS"

I've been told not to do it.  Don't re-work a painting.  Let it be.  I've been told you can't improve them. Huh? I've been told, it isn't "plein air".  So,…what?  Sorry, I can't resist.  Sometimes, after I've "finished" a painting, I start seeing things I'd like to do to it.  I want to simplify something, tune-up the color, emphasize the focal area, or any number of things that I recognize as making it a better painting, and learning something.  Sure, I could paint it again on another day, and I've done plenty of that.  But, that's different.  That's another painting.  That one will have it's own needs. I'm talking about when a particular painting is working for me on a number of levels, but I'd like to see some changes.  Why not!?  They're my paintings, and I make the rules.

This one was re-cropped from its original 11x14 down to 9x12.  In my mind, composition was improved immediately.  It originally was done in a cool color scheme, and it wasn't "bad", but it seemed a bit lifeless.  I decided to warm it up and control the color relationships for more atmosphere, contrast, and a different feel.

Here's the original.  Some of you may be saying, "Ooh…too bad.  You lost it."  Well, I had a lot of fun re-doing it.  I learned some things, and …I prefer the new result to the original.  My point is, it's not a contest.  It's about trying anything that I think will make a painting better. Sometimes, a mulligan is just what's needed to get back on track.

ON SECOND THOUGHT
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
9X12 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

PERSEVERANCE

Here is another exercise in trying to tame a subject that is  a bit more complex than I like.  The exercise is worthwhile because it requires careful planning of shapes and values to avoid visual chaos. I try to work things down to no more than 3 to 5 major shapes.  It's dangerously easy to get caught painting "things" in a scene like this, instead of simple shapes, values, color and edges.  This one crashed and burned twice before I was satisfied with the study.  If you just quit because it isn't working out, you don't learn much.  Perseverance always pays in future dividends.

PERSIMMON AND PRICKLY PEAR
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
16X20 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Sunday, September 7, 2014

STEP-BY-STEP_ON A BROKEN LEDGE

Here is an abbreviated step-by-step of my procedure on this painting.  I don't always use the exact same process.  The subject and my objective usually dictate how I will begin and develop a painting.  This, however, is very characteristic of usual thinking.

1_The B&W is my NOTAN.  It's usually smaller than a 3x3 area, and done in my little 4x6 sketchbook that goes everywhere with me.  (One of my chief "art-o-vision" tools).  I like to use TOMBO brush pens, N65 for mid-value and N15 for my dark group. This is always my first physical step to doing a painting.  I think of these as little paintings, not sketches.  I've used pencil in the past, but I have a tendency to get "to cute" with what can be suggested with that tool.  I'm only after the most basic arrangement of my idea for the distribution of light, mid-value and shade.  Below the notan, you see my basic color idea that I'll use.  Often I'll only use one tube color for each hue, plus black and white.  It's a great way to develop mixing skill, and explore possible  color harmonies.
 2_My basic lay-in is done with a transparent, neutral mix of my dominant hue choice.  I like Liquin for this.  No white.  In this step, I'm just establishing my big division of light and dark into a pattern that interests me.  I'll usually wipe-out the light areas.
3_I like block-in my major shapes by indicating their relative values and temperatures.  I'm not very concerned about hue at this point, as long as it somewhat over-states the temperature relationships.  That's fun to paint on top of in coming stages.


 4_Here, I'm concerned with more clearly defining the overall value range and relationship of the shapes. I'm still not concerned with creating any defined edges at this point, and I'd rather they stay pretty soft everywhere until I'm ready to develop my focal area.
5_Next, I pre-mix a few of the colors for the major shapes, with fairly close attention to value groups, and a move toward the influence of local color.  I use the color in the scene as a guide, or suggestion, for the colors I will use in the painting, where I'm more interested in having fun with the harmony of my chosen hues.

6_In the finishing stage, I bring up a bit of detail mainly in the general focal area.  I'm paying close attention to edge relationships, cohesive value groups, developing my color idea, enjoying the quality of the paint, and some final touches of accent colors, hi-light and accent, and one or two crisp edges at the focal point.

ON A BROKEN LEDGE
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
16X20 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings



GALLERY LINKS
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX 

Friday, September 5, 2014

SELECTION: SIMPLE IS BETTER

This one is pushing the limits for how much I like to put into a composition.  When I'm deciding on what to paint, I try to keep this in mind:  Choose something that you can radically simplify, and visualize as a finished painting.  It doesn't take a lot to overwhelm me.  So, I try to make sure I've chosen one "star of the show" and eliminated anything extraneous that happens to be in the scene before me.  For instance there was a bunch of interesting rock and deadwood in the foreground, but I decided to ignore it in favor of keeping the idea simple.

PEACEFUL AS IT GETS
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
??x?? oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

TIME TO PAINT!

It's good to get back to painting!  I've been preparing a PowerPoint presentation for my workshop in San Angelo this month.  The workshop will focus on "Spontaneity and Improvisation in Painting".  I'm really looking forward to working with the group on the concepts and exercises that have made painting more and more fun for me.  I just heard today that it has sold out.

ON A BROKEN LEDGE
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
16X20 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Saturday, August 23, 2014

2014 OPA SUMMER SHOWCASE_ HONORABLE MENTION

I was pleased to have my painting, HILL COUNTRY CELEBRITY selected for Honorable Mention in this year's Summer Showcase.

HILL COUNTRY CELEBRITY
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
11X14 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel





GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Friday, August 15, 2014

GRAY DAYS_COOL LIGHT/ WARM SHADOWS

The light source of a plein air painting plays an important role in the look and feel of the outcome.  When the sun is shining brightly on the landscape, the colors in the areas receiving that light tend to be relatively warmer than those in the shadow areas.  The shadow areas catch the blueness of the sky being reflected into them.  The result is a beautiful interplay warm and cool contrasts.  On an overcast day, there is a subtle reversal of this phenomenon. Because the cloud layer filters the sun's rays, it sheds a cooler light source onto the landscape, and the areas in the light tend to display that.  There isn't a powerful sky-dome of blue to reflect light into the shadows, so they tend to show the more tawny hues of the material they're made up of.  The effect isn't always obvious, but it's well-worth examining the appearance of light and shade hue relationships, because they offer the opportunity to play off of beautiful subtle harmonies.  The effect has a kind of moodiness that can be very appealing.

BEFORE MORNING BURN-OFF
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
11X14 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

THE BIG FOUR: SHAPE, VALUE, COLOR, EDGES

Every painting problem comes down to four visual elements:  shape, value, color and edges.  Line, direction and size and texture are the other design elements we use, but they're actually dealt with in support of the big four.  This painting isn't so much about an oak tree, as it is the primary visual qualities that go into making the picture.  When I go outdoors to paint, I'm not hunting for "things" to paint.  I'm looking first for interesting shape arrangements.  Shapes may be the result of light and shadow, or the form of objects, and it helps to practice seeing flat silhouettes.

What makes for interesting shapes?  Well, first, it helps to be aware of what makes for boring shapes. The circle, square, and equilateral triangle are all "static" shapes, and tend to kill "dynamic" shape relationships by acting as a dead spot. The eye will go there, as to a target.  Trouble is they're just so self-contained they tend not to contribute to the interaction of the whole design.  "Good shapes" are usually flat, interlocking, varied, compound, and oblique. This is a huge key to improving our personal sense of composition, and I'll talk more about this in another post.

Although value is one of the three elements of color, it's so important that it's worth treating it separately when it comes to composition, and lighting.  Color is lovely in and of itself, however in painting it's most beautiful when placed in relationship to other color. Exploring and practicing color exercises is necessary to become familiar with the magical qualities of color, and developing your personal expressiveness.  Edges range from hard to lost, and they play a powerful role in the "feel" of a painting.  One or two hard edges is usually sufficient and it's worth considering the effect of using the whole hierarchy from firm, to soft, to broken and lost.  They can communicate form, create atmosphere, direct the eye, even affect the mood.  Whether abstract or representational in approach, these four are the main players.     


HILL COUNTRY CELEBRITY
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
11X14 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Monday, August 11, 2014

ATMOSPHERIC PERSPECTIVE WHENEVER YOU NEED IT

Standing before this scene, with my little sketch book in hand, I tried to see a pattern of shapes that would point the way to organizing a painting.  The values and colors of all the trees were so close that it presented a rather chaotic view.  I noticed there was the slightest shift in values created by the thickening veil of atmosphere as things moved into the distance. So slight as to make little difference, however…enough to put me on the trail to something visually exciting enough to make a painting.

With atmospheric perspective, of course, things become somewhat cooler, lighter and grayer as the move into the distance.  I chose to exaggerate all three aspects of the effect in order to create enough contrast to design the basic shapes.  First, I made a NOTAN sketch plotting my arrangement of the big relationship of light and dark masses.  Next, I worked out a simple organization of light shapes, mid-value shapes and dark shapes.  From this basis I try to mix color for the shapes that only belongs to the value group within which it appears, and this is the key to controlling an effect of light and color.

As subtle as atmospheric perspective may be in different scenes, it's well worth taking it into consideration when planning a painting.
  
AUGUST MORNING
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
6X12 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Friday, August 8, 2014

CHALLENGING YOUR SKILLS


A Good way to increase your skills is to very consciously select a subject that holds a challenge for you.  The challenge here was adjusting the values in the gate and its background so that it reads as a coherent passage.  This type of exercise requires careful analysis of what's going on.  When I get it right the result is pleasing to me as the basis for a larger painting. When I get it wrong, it goes in the trash, and it's on to the next canvas!

GARDEN GATE
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
8x10 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings


GALLERY LINKS



Thursday, August 7, 2014

PRACTICING SMALL PAYS OFF BIG

Painting small with a lot of paint keeps me from getting distracted with unnecessary details.  I try to stay focused on shape relationships, the value pattern, edges and color.  It's good training for engraining the most important skills for outdoor or indoor paintng.

TAKE ME HOME
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
10x8 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Friday, August 1, 2014

DEVELOPMENTAL EXERCISE

This one developed from a studio exercise exploring outdoor approaches I'm considering. I'm practicing getting the value relationships more accurately, right from the start, which frees me to give more attention to my brushwork.  This kind of experimentation comes from intuition about things that I feel need strengthening.  The results can be surprising, and at the very least I wind up learning and growing.

GENERATIONS
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
8X10 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Thursday, July 31, 2014

WORKING OUTSIDE OUR COMFORT ZONE


Forgive the corny title.  I'm easily amused.  This is part of a series of experiments where I'm teaching myself to work with much thicker paint than my comfort zone dictates.  It's a lot of fun to cut the ties with how I'm used to working and having to deal with what's happening with the paint.  It's so easy to get trapped repeating what has worked in the past, and just trying to go with that. Don't get me wrong, there's a place for developing what you know, especially when galleries are expecting you to deliver dependable, recognizable work.  But, there's also a time for doing what feeds our creative impulse to explore.  For that we have to go outside our comfort zone.


AUSTIN TOWERS
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
??x?? oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX