This is a digital painting study of a painting by Albert Bierstadt. I wanted to capture the epic nature of the space and how tiny the people were as compared to the rest of the landscape while keeping it dark and high contract. I think the high contrast flattened it out too much though. I’ve lost the depth and the epic nature.
Same method. Simplifying compositions down to their most essential elements. But this time I’m using movies as inspiration.
For the next few days I’m going to be studying painting that I love and simplifying them down to just three values. I’m learning how to simplify a composition down to it’s most simple form so that it can “read” well.
This painting might be finished. I’m not totally sure. I’m going to let it dry for a bit, live with it for some time, then see if I add something.
First thing in a morning I got to work blocking in the silhouette for my Starry Night painting. Then later in the day I went to the Tacoma Life Drawing group and had a great time. A full day of art!
I’m working on drawing out the silhouette of the foreground elements which are super important for this painting so I’m taking my time and doing it right. I don’t want to have to try and repaint the background around the silhouette.
Still working on the background and losing interest in this painting fast.
The rocks on the right side are done and this photo of the painting is absolutely terrible. You can’t see the detail in the rocks at all. I’ll do better tomorrow.
I needed to get a better understanding of the rocks and mountains in the background so I spent an hour and a half drawing it all out again. I also used my camera to take an HDR photo of the painting to try and get it to look like the original painting but it didn’t go well.
I’ve come back to this painting. After almost a month it is finally dry. I worked hard on getting the perfect glow of the star in the background. Although the image is not able to capture it well.
I spent more time adjusting the drawing for Epic Journey V1 today and focusing more on the rule of thirds. Then I began adding in the broad value areas. After that I realized that I had no idea what to do next so I continued working on environmental design study.
When you’re unmotivated the last thing you want to do is push yourself to do something you “should” do. Instead do something that is super fun. This is what I did.
Instead of pushing myself to get back to work on my Starry Night painting I changed to something else I’m a bit more excited about right now. A new series called Epic Journey. Well, I hope it continues to be a series.
I’m not sure what happened this weekend but I’ve completely lost my motivation. I’ve been doing daily art for so long now that it’s not new, it happens. I still got in hours of art time today.
I lowered my criteria for success today by doing something different and easier to accomplish. I signed up for a course on SVSlearn.com called Developing Great Visual Stories. This is the first and second assignment form that course.
There are a whole bunch of foreground elements that are silhouetted at the bottom that I need to draw back into the painting. I’ve started drawing them in digitally first then I’m going to compare this image with the painting and transfer by hand.
I’ve reached the point where I’m working on the background behind the figures and the best way to do that is to just paint over them and bring them back when the background is dry.
I don’t post every single day but I do art every single day. For this post I’m trying to remember what I was doing on this painting 4 days ago. hmm…
It’s helpful to look back at my previous days and compare. So, for today I’m working on the right middle of the painting adjusting everything that is right above the two figures at the bottom right. I’m excited to be close to finished with this huge painting.
When I work on a painting this long I get tired of it. I think many artists face this. How to keep the motivation going?
This is where my minimum helps tremendously. I don’t focus on what I “feel” like, that will just lead to apathy. I focus on the easy 30 minutes that I can do. Before I know it an hour and a half has gone by.
I’m picking out smaller sections of the painting and focusing to get it done one small bit at a time. I realized that I don’t paint the entire painting at once. I always work my paintings up in sections.
I’m determined to finish this painting this week so I decided to continue working on it every single day until its finished.
Today I decided to dust off the design process that I built from the creative composition class over at svslearn.com. I’m using it to work on a new series of paintings after I finish the 2 that I have going right now.
I’ve finished this painting today! Plus I’ve decided to change “Other Worlds v2” to its working title. The new title for this painting is “The Passage”
More work on the top swirl. I think I’ve got the shape of it down the way I want it. Now it’s all about refining.
I spent a ton of time organizing ideas for upcoming painting and current paintings that I only had about a half hour of real drawing time. To achieve something quickly I went digital and pulled out some compositions that I love from Artstation and studied them.
I changed the central swirl at the top of the painting again. I’m sure this won’t be the last time.
Today you can see real progress on the painting. Most of the left side is done. I just need to let the bottom dry so I can put in the foreground silhouetted elements.
Anyone looking at the progress on this painting would barely see any difference from session to session. Maybe in the future I will put together an animated gif to show the transition from beginning to end.
I’m working on the left side of the painting and I’m going very detailed here. I want every inch of the painting to have complex and interesting brush work.
I’m reworking the center sun again. This time it’s going to be brighter and more dynamic.
I’m waiting for three paintings to dry now. But I have 4 going at once so I’m always working on something that is ready. The great thing about this method is that I never get tired of one thing. And if I do, I can always switch. But the max is 4. More than that and I find that I have trouble finishing.
I’m beginning to transfer Other Worlds V3 onto the canvas. The initial stage here is all about setting up the light and shadow areas. I wanted to make sure that the composition was dynamic and the figure stood out.
I still made some changes to the digital version of this painting. I think I’m happy with it now. Then later in the day I went to life drawing for the first time in what seems like forever.
This is the digital piece that is inspiring my next Other Worlds painting. Today was the first day of edits on the composition and I’m not sure if I’m done.
Even though I had a great night of sleep my motivation was lacking this morning. I didn’t feel like working on this painting. I listened to my brain and body and just took it easy by planning to only block in some of the rocks at the bottom and not worry too much about details and accuracy.
I’ve started this painting with the background and I spent a long time trying to get the transitions in these very saturated colors right. I’m still not completely happy with it so I’ll wait for it to draw and using some glazing to improve it.
The very dark areas of the painting are not black. It’s a combination of burnt umber, ultramarine blue and alizarin permanent. But, I’m using a burnt umber from Geneva Fine Art Supplies and there is a lot of clove oil and other mediums that make the paint very fluid wet for a long time. Now I need to wait for at least a week, maybe more, to add in the top layers on this painting without the previous layers mixing.
I have so many paintings that I want to do right now that it’s not going to be a problem.
I was able to cover a lot of canvas today. These beginning layers of paint have been thrown on as thick as I can get them and I’m letting the brush and random hapenstance dictate of lot of the texture.
I was having a ton of fun today just making up a story as I paint of how these rocks and cliffs were shaped in this alien landscape. Possibly the inhabitants having some affect on the landscape as well. There is freedom in not reproducing exactly what I see.
I didn’t have much time to work on painting this morning so I focused as intensely as I could for the hour I did have. I’m slowly working from the distant landscape into the foreground. The hardest part is judging the values correctly for atmospheric perspective.
This painting has set long enough and I’m pushing myself to finish every painting I’ve started regardless of my motivation towards it. So, I jumped back into this one today and just like always my motivation was renewed through the painting process.
I focused on the top left corner of the painting today. I’m trying to get at least a small portion of this painting to a point I can call done.
I’ve realized that this second layer needs to start out with somewhat complex brush work to get the overall form of each shape in the sky establish. This determines the shape, how it flows and connects with other shapes and the depth of each shape. But, this can’t be the last layer. It needs at least a third, maybe even a fourth layer, of glazing to increase that complexity and interest. Every time I come back and add more glazing it compounds the dynamism.
Needless to say, I’m having a lot of fun with this painting and it’s going to take a while before I’m done. I’m cool with that as well.
The central shape in the sky here is that mass of swirling yellow and I’m struggling with it’s shape. I want it dynamic and impactful. I tried to make the center darker but I’m not liking it. I’ll keep working with it. The great thing is that these shapes look better with more and more layers of paint. As I increase the glazed layers each area takes on more and more complexity and interest.
There is a freedom when working on this painting. I working from an image generated by Ai but I’m only influenced by it so I’m free to come up with shapes and colors that I enjoy. It’s very liberating. Almost like I’ve gotten a pass to just let go and do what I want without any consequences.
This painting is a wonderful challenge! It’s the biggest painting I’ve worked on in 4 years and it’s a whole new subject. The great thing is that I know what I want to do with it and the method I’m using is working well. I’m using a combination of opaque and transparent paint to reach the super saturated colors I want. I’m also using flowing brush work to describe twisting and rotating forms. By the end I hope this painting is so full of depth and life that people can’t pull their eyes away.
One day at a time on this one and I’ll have other paintings going so I can take a break from it every now and then.
This painting is finished and I’m super happy with it. I feel as though this painting will sell very well. It’s bright with some amazing colors and gives the viewer enough space to dream. The great thing is that I have about 50 other paintings that I want to do like it! I’m not sure if all those paintings will actually happen but I have them ready to start.
I’ve figured out the balance of broken strokes and soft textures that I like. I wish the aurora worked with the energy that is produced with broken strokes but it really needs the soft shapes.
I’m continuing to refine this painting. I’m trying to figure out the right balance between broken strokes for energy and softness for depth.
Back to Other Worlds! I really do love this painting. Pattie was right though it needs more refinement. But not too much, I want the viewer to have their own say in this piece.
Day 7 and I’m realizing that if I want to try and finish a painting this week that I should jump back to the previous one and get the second layer going there. It’s much smaller and I think I can finish by Saturday.
Plugging along on this painting. It almost looks as nothing has changed but it has.
I’ve figured out the method that I want to use on this painting. Unfortunately it’s not fast but I think it looks great. I’ll be working on this painting for a while, but at the end I’m sure I will be very proud.
There are many things that can be done very easy in digital format but is super hard in oil. The best example would be color dodge. I’m using it heavily here for the outline of the figure, to get that glow, but I’m going to have to figure out how to reproduce it digitally as well.
I’ve begun a new painting. This time I’m starting with digital and figuring out all of the details because it’s a figure and I want the anatomy and composition right before transferring to canvas.
I’ve started on the second layer for this painting but I’m not totally sure if the way I’m painting it is going to work. I’ll figure it out maybe after the third or fourth layer.
I’m done with this layer for this painting. I’m going to wait for it to dry and come back and refine all the textures a bit more. It needs more refinement.
I’m enjoying the change in method for this painting. It’s progressing much faster but I’m feeling a need to tone down the texture. I’ll do this with multiple glazed layers so much of the energy can come through to the top most layers.
I realized that I was getting too detailed and smooth with the painting. I want more energy in these colors! This layer is all about broken color and injecting energy into the painting.
I finished this painting. My first every painting over a digital print. I’m super happy with it! But I wonder how it looks compared to the one that I painted without the digital print under layer?
This is my second day painting over top the printed digital version of this painting. I’ve been out and about all day so I’ve only did 30 minutes of painting time. I expect to finish it tomorrow.
This is a series of painting I’ve started called Other Worlds. This is the first version and I’m on day 3 of the painting. I’m working on the second layer for this painting.
The first layer of paint is complete on my Starry Night painting. I’m going to wait for this layer to dry before I start the next.
I also worked on an experiment. I’ve printed a digital piece that I’ve done on canvas and now I’m going over it with oil paint. I hope it sticks!
I didn’t get this huge canvas covered with paint today because I spent a lot of time figuring out how I was going to hold this beast while I paint on it. I really need to upgrade my easel to hold large canvases.
I spent a lot of time getting this digital piece ready and getting a huge 30″x40″ canvas prepared to paint this awesome digital piece.
I edited these amazing digital compositions for clarity after generating them with Midjourney.
I finished Valley Aflame today by adding my character and adjusting a few other things. Then I continued on my other painting.
This painting is a ton of fun. I know I have a wonderful composition so all I’m doing is playing with the paint and making sure I get the drawing close. Almost done with this one, I just need to add my character in the foreground.
The first layer for this painting is dry and I’m adding the second layer of paint. I hope to not need a third layer of paint to get the subtle transitions in the glow of the valley.
I’ve removed the solo artist from the title of my posts because of a conversation with Josh about the Solo Artist Curriculum. We’ve discovered that this monolith of a course is just not sustainable. I’m a super motivated person but it takes super human motivation to stick with this curriculum for the 3 years straight that it will take. I feel the only way that I can get through it is to come back to every now and then and slowly chip away at it. To use it as a guild for continued learning in art as well. If I lose motivation in one area of my art I can always return to the solo artist curriculum for ideas and ways to move forward.
For now I’m moving forward on the tons of painting ideas that I’ve gotten from playing with Ai generated art.
I finished this estuary landscape this morning and I’m super happy with it. As soon as it dries I’ll sign it and frame it.
I put my first layer of paint on this new 20×30 landscape. Even though it’s at it’s early stages right now I’m loving this painting so far. I’m sure to most people it looks like nothing but I can see crazy potential. I also got three quick head drawings in today. Very quick, so don’t look at how bad they are LOL.
I’ve started a 4th painting because It’s taking the other 3 long to dry. As soon as the others are dry I will begin the second layer. This one is a large canvas because I love the image I’m working with so much.
I’ve decided to do a series of landscapes that I’m calling Other Worlds. These are all Ai inspired works that will be executed by me in oil. This is the third painting I’ve started so far but I haven’t found one that I will do larger yet.
Back into solo artist mode for real now by doing a couple heads and I started a second Ai inspired landscape painting while I wait for the first to dry.
Today my brain just didn’t want to kick in gear so I took the day to have fun with art and took it easy.
Today was a crazy and very unorganized day for me. But I was able to accomplish some things.
A wonderful morning of art time and a hike with Pattie the rest of the day. I’m ready for the week!
Super awesome full day of art!
I had a wonderful AM session with the beach composition I’m working on. Very challenging!
Today I painted in oil for the first time in weeks.
Lots of art work today as I was focused with my time and planned my day well.
Studying a portrait and how to break it down into basic light and dark and still make it read.
Study of this landscape in gouache and digital and trying to get it to read well.
Another day all on digital as I try to get my schedule under control.
I spent a long time trying to get all the shapes in this painting to read well.
Most the studies I’m doing with the Schoolism course are directed at possible larger paintings in the future.
Today, the same as yesterday but with oil paint instead of charcoal.
The more I work on this painting the more I feel as if I don’t know what I’m doing.
I felt like I may have destroyed this painting after the session but as I edit the image… It’s not so bad.
I spent more time refining the drawing and defining some idea of shadow shapes before starting painting.
I’m so happy with the study of this painting that I’ve taken it straight to the larger canvas.
My problem is that I start new paintings without focusing deeply on motive first.
I’m on to a new painting after painting over the last two. This is taking my art into a brand new direction.
The Pear Tree is finished! If I didn’t start this painting over it would have taken 13 sessions less. But I learned a ton!
The shirt is moving fast I expect to finish this painting tomorrow. I haven’t had this many sessions on one painting in a long while.
Yes! I’m not sure what this technique is called but I like leaving the strokes bare, separate, no smoothing.
The more I try to smooth out the skin the less I like it. I’m going to keep it like it is.
One hour of painting this morning and and bringing the face up to where I want it.
I’m spending more time on web development for my site right now so this painting will go a bit slower.
I’m done with the background! Yay! I may change it a bit but for now back to the portrait.
Back to The Pear Tree and I’m still working on all the leaves for the tree.
This awkward looking painting is going to dry for a week before I fix it.
I covered a lot of canvas with paint today and tomorrow I’ll have fun with the light side of the face.
I only had time this morning to establish the shadow side of the face.
When I finish a painting I start a new one. I love to transition between them every 5 or so days.
This painting is just not working, I’m experimenting too much. Time to start over.
I Ended up wiping out everything I did yesterday and taking my time today with some success.
This painting is challenging. With such high chroma I’m struggling to get values right.
It’s been a long and exciting journey with this painting. I learned a ton!
I’m so close to finishing this painting. I’m almost certain to finish it tomorrow.