Thursday, March 27, 2014

PRE-SELECTED COLOR HARMONIES


This isn't plein air.  Just plain fun.  I'm getting ready for a one man show at the Art Center of Corpus Christi, that opens June 5th.  This is one of the paintings for the show.

I invent the composition for this type of painting from a number of my photographs for detail.  The color is developed from a pre-selected harmony where I choose only several tubes of paint, one of which is the dominant color, one is its complement, and one or two more are used as discord notes that spice things up.  Here, I used Cadmium Yellow Medium as the dominant, Ultramarine Blue as the complement, with Cerulean and Magenta as the discords.  The game is that every color in the painting must be achieved from these four, plus black and white.  Great exercise for learning color, and loads of fun.


EVENING SYMPHONY
©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
Austin Street Gallery Rockport TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Monday, March 24, 2014

DOMINANCE, CONTRAST, REPETITION, GRADATION

Standing before this scene, I knew I was faced with trying to make sense out of what was a complex tangle of trunks, limbs, branches, twigs and leaves.  I was attracted by the strong diagonal and the rhythm of the trees.  My first step was to design this in a very small, two value 'notan' sketch.  That done, I arranged it into three values and emphasized the large tree trunk.  The actual coloration was very much all over green.  I imposed a color plan contrasting yellow green and magenta, with accent colors of cobalt blue and Alizarin. In all stages, it helps for me to remind myself: Dominance, Contrast, Repetition, Gradation.  A coherent value design arranged with a view to these for design principles will usually yield something fun to play with.

SHADY RAVINE
©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
Austin Street Gallery Rockport TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Friday, March 14, 2014

FLEETING EFFECTS OF LIGHT


This was done from my sketch, by notes and a photo. A very difficult time of day to catch the sense of light. The sun is down and its light is refracted from the atmosphere onto the landscape below.

This is one of the times of day, like sunrise and sunset, that changes so quickly that only the most experienced and observant painter can hope to get a fairly faithful portrayal of light in a plein air painting.  No doubt that swiftly passing moment offers one of the most wonderfully gorgeous lightings on the landscape.  For me to attempt to capture it I blocked in my sketch composition and took it as far as I could in order to be ready once the sun went below the horizon.  Then, I tried to mix the color relationships and slap them in place as best I could.  Certainly not a painting that will make it to the gallery, but a worthwhile study. On another evening, I sat with my notebook and made observational notes about the effect I saw.  I also shot some photos that weren't particularly helpful except for recording where things were.  The camera's eye is not nearly as sensitive as the human eye, and you get very warped color results.  It all made for a fun time doing this version in the studio.
 

DESERT TWILIGHT
©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
Austin Street Gallery Rockport TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Monday, March 10, 2014

WHEN IT'S OVERCAST

I love the way the colors show off on sunny days.  We get the variations of how a color appears in sunlight and shade, which makes for wonderful harmonies of warm and cool relationships.  But what about cloudy days?

I admit I'm usually not thrilled to find the clouds have rolled in and look like they're going to dominate, but I know there's much to be learned by painting under this circumstance.  First off, color is far more grayed and subtle.  Value separations are much closer, and shapes don't jump out with interesting patterns to improvise with, as they do on sunny days.  Painting must have some kind of contrast for it to become interesting.  On a gray day we have to look more closely for these interesting contrasts.  Lacking the modeling of light and shade, form is reduced to silhouettes with enough value difference to play against each other by overlap.  The edges of shapes are softer adding a bit of mystery to the mood, but if we're not careful to rightly relate their qualities of hardness and incident they will drain the vitality right out of a painting.  I usually try to push the temperature differences of the colors a bit to add contrast since values can be so close as to make it difficult to distinguish one thing from another.

Every now and then, I will get something nice and moody with enough contrast to make it interesting to me.  The exercise of making such close distinction of contrasts in value, color, texture, edges and shapes is well worth the effort, as it does sharpen our observation skill, but I still look forward to the sun ruling over the landscape.

LONE YUCCA
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
8X6 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Austin Street Gallery Rockport TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Thursday, March 6, 2014

WORKSHOP_Putting Spontaneity and Improvisation Into Your Painting


I want to mention my upcoming, ONE-DAY PAINTING WORKSHOP in Corpus Christi on Saturday May 31st. We're going to focus on SPONTANEITY AND IMPROVISATION_Putting More Fun In Your Painting!
For more information, visit  http://www.artcentercc.org/

Nothing enhances spontaneity and improvisation like careful planning!  Contradictory as that may sound, having a clear idea of where you want a painting to go, and how you will get there is the key to you having more fun, and learning to paint better.  This workshop will cover essential information and skills necessary for your success in plein air and studio painting.  It is not intended to teach a painting “method”, but to provide the information you need to “play” and grow as a painter in a directed and meaningful manner.

  You will learn the working principle and huge benefits of using NOTAN sketches to prepare your painting plan.  You will learn how NOTAN can pave the way to a more confident understanding key design and composition principles.

  After presenting the basic subject matter, which includes the concept and logic of Notan and its relationship to composition, and color, I will demonstrate and answer questions.

  There will, then, be time for you to paint and receive one-on-one instruction.

I work in oils, but the information is fundamental to all painting media and approaches.  Painting skill is mainly increased by painting.  We tend to do more of what is fun for us, and that is the objective of this workshop.  You having more fun!

The introductory workshop is intended for beginning to intermediate level painters, and is designed for working indoors, from photo reference, so that we can more effectively focus on the concepts and skills. Those interested in making progress in plein air painting skills will find the information we cover to be invaluable.


DESERT RIVER
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
6x8 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Austin Street Gallery Rockport TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SANTA ELENA CANYON REVISITED

Two years have passed since I last painted Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park.  I stood on the exact same spot where I had stood before.  The new version was much more successful than the first, and I wondered why.

Here are my thoughts.  First, and foremost, I realized that rather than being lost in the overwhelming detail of the rocks, water and foliage, my attention was to the "big picture".  My approach was to design the several big shapes, the shadow shape, the river shape, the cliff wall shapes and the sky.  This made everything easier to manage than my first attempt, and much more satisfying.  Next, I clearly knew what was my subject this time.  I was caught by the beautiful color/temperature relationships, mainly within the shadow area.  For me, this painting was about the shadow story, and everything else was carefully made to support that intent.  Finally, I was intentionally putting a lot of paint down and trying to keep the brushwork simple and meaningful.  I realize these are a few of the things that have developed in my painting approach over months of regularly painting and seeking through experimentation to solve the things that frustrate obtaining the results I passionately want to achieve.

SANTA ELENA CANYON
©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
Austin Street Gallery Rockport TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX