Friday, July 27, 2012

Color Variation

On the Way Home (detail)
Color Variation is the use of a variety of color within a specific value range. This adds interest and realism to a piece. A key to color variation is not to overdo it, for you must maintain the local color of the object, and it's easy to shift that too much to another color.

In the detail above, of my painting On The Way Home, you can see all the subtle changes of color within the barn roof on the right, and the road coming in from the bottom.

Here are a couple more examples of my work for you to see how I use color variation. 

Near the Edge (full painting)
Overcast & Singing (full painting)
Overcast & Singing (detail)
Zhaoming Wu is incredible at pushing the limits of color variation within his pieces. Check out his color variations in this piece titled Pale Light, especially in the shadows:

Pale Light by Zhaoming Wu

Sometimes you can make it more extreme, and other times, you can make it pretty subtle. (I usually prefer the subtlety.) And remember, you can shift color variations subtly by simply changing the color temperature of your local color at first, and then you can add similar colors you have used elsewhere in the painting to push them even further.

Friday, July 20, 2012

On The Way Home

Since I usually do medium key paintings or low key paintings (night scenes) I wanted to push myself and do a higher key painting. The foreground is a series of washes (something else I don't normally do), with only a few places of some opaque painting. My intent was to paint over it completely with opaque paint, but I really liked the way it looked as is, so I kept it.

It's a 12 x 16 painting of a Door County farm that I passed on my way home from the 2011 Door County Plein Air Festival. (Though this one was not done en plein air.) I'll be taking it up to Cottage Row Gallery tomorrow along with a handful of other new pieces.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Art Camaraderie

A group of fellow artists and friends got together last night to hang out at a local Restaurant/Sports Bar. I got to catch up with friends who I haven't seen in years, some not since art school days, some new acquaintances who I just met last night. What a great time we had just talking art and shooting the bull.

It reminded me how important having an art camaraderie is to our well being as artists, not as a business endeavor, but simply to feed the artist soul. We weren't all fine artists focused on one medium or practice. We were illustrators, comic book artists, sculptors and modellers, teachers and painters. I learned a ton last night just by chit chatting and had a lot of laughs. And most importantly, it reminded me that while art is often difficult and keeps you busy until late in the night (or early, early morning), the rewards aren't always monetary, but can be personal. While we may not share the same political views, like the same things, or live a similar lifestyle, it's this connection with others — through something we all share and are passionate about — that makes it all worthwhile.

PS. Wish I had a photo of it all.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Fresh Start

I realize I haven't been keeping up with this blog the way I would like to do. In fact, I was shocked when I took a look and realized how long it had truly been. A lot has happened, and I will try to keep you up-to-date as best I can.

So, to start things off again, here is a recent 16 x 20 piece of a misty morning field. This was done in the spring, before the drought and had just rained the night before. Something we have seen very little of in recent weeks (months?). It's nice looking at this now and remembering the feel of the thick air — humid yet cool — and how you couldn't see too far into the distance clearly. I hadn't named this piece until just now. I believe I'll title it "A Fresh Start".