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