Lonely Bench

Lonely Bench

Today I’m doing something different. In my sad attempt to emulate James Gurney I’m going on location with my gouache paints and painting a landscape. My wife and I have been to this soccer field several time and I have never seen anyone sitting on this lonely bench. So I wanted to try to capture the idea of loneliness.

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Breisach Germany and Colmar France

The first stop on our rhine river cruise brought us to Breisach Germany and Colmar France. We docked on the German side of the river in Breisach and our excursions for the day were in both Germany and France. For the morning my family took a windy bus tour to the black forest while I stayed in Breisach to do a painting, mainly because I get motion sickness very easy and the cruise director warned that the trip to the black forest was very windy and if you get motion sickness to beware. So I opted to stay in Breisach where I found Robin Hood’s castle.

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A Clear Direction Yields Superior Painting Results

My painting plan devised yesterday worked like a charm. It may be second nature for most artists to have a clear direction before they put brush to canvas or pencil to paper and maybe I have even mentioned something like this before, but I feel it is worth stating again, if only to remind myself. Besides, repetition is a direct path to memorization.

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Losing Focus: Hotel Breakfast Table Painting

One of the best things about our hotel stay is the breakfast in the morning. Leipzig really knows how to do it right and every other continental breakfast we have experienced pales in comparison. Unfortunately tonight’s painting didn’t go so well and I must attribute the difficulty to losing focus during the painting while at the same time not having a clear plan before the painting started.

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Daily Art Versus Jet Lag

Wow jet lag is terrible. Currently it is the next day after I painted this still life and I have only had about 3 hours of sleep and this is after staying up all day yesterday after only 5 hours of sleep. I was so tired when I went to bed that I was sure that I would sleep for 8 hours straight, but as I write this severely sleep deprived I realize that the battle of daily art versus jet lag will continue for at least a day more.

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Focus on Planes of Value

Ok, I really like this little painting and I’m starting to really enjoy gouache now. After painting in oil for so long I have finally adjusted my thinking when approaching a gouache painting and I think these planes of value are a great representation of how to approach the medium.

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The Difficulties of Painting Popcorn

Some nights I know exactly what I need to paint or draw then on other occasions I wonder out loud, “what am I going to paint tonight?”. In which my wife responds with, “popcorn”. Yes painting popcorn is a bit random but hey, we needed a snack before dinner and I consider anything I can see to be a worthy subject for any artists. So, popcorn it is.

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Painting Sunflowers Using Gouache

Have you ever tried to paint a mass of foliage and make since of it? Well, its hard! I picked up this pot of sunflowers while at the grocery store today and it only cost $2.50. There are many posts on my blog of painting sunflowers but this is the first one in gouache. Although the mass of foliage I was trying to make since of really made this painting hard.

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Still life With Lemons in Oil and Gouache

When wife gives you lemons, paint them… twice. I wasn’t really sure what I should do for my art session tonight, but I did know that I wanted to try out the Richeson Shiva Oil Paints I just purchased. I also wanted to get a direct relation between using oils and gouache so the best way I could figure to do that was to create a still life with lemons in oil AND gouache.

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Still Life With Oranges in Gouache

I almost started a painting in oil tonight but the allure of Gouache convinced me otherwise. There is something about Gouache’s ability to force you into working slowly and methodically that I like. I’m sure at some point I will get tired of the tediousness and will escape to oil so I can barely look at my still life and throw some paint around, but for now I’m very happy with the Gouache painting that I completed.

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Gouache Still Life With Apple

I will say it again, Gouache is hard. I’m continually baffled by a medium that changes its value and color a few seconds after I apply it to the board. For a while tonight while painting this gouache still life I was wondering if I purchased bad paints, or if the board I was painting on was sucking up all the pigment. It was very frustrating but, I powered through it a bit and began to try and combat the issues with this simple still life.

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Monochromatic Still Life in Gouache

Gouache is hard, and it’s very different from oil. Gouache forces you to slow down, at least in my case with limited knowledge of the medium, and really think hard about the next stroke your going to make. I think it may be the best medium for training in painting, but to start out with I tried an easy still life in gouache only using black and white.

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Session #344, Work #337

Still more change in the still life tonight. Of course not near as much as the previous day but there is still some movement. Even with this small movement of the flowers I’m not sure how I’m going to continue with the painting without starting over each night and painting over what I did the night  before. I don’t want to start new each night, I want to catalog the decay of the still life over time in one piece. Although, I have already lost any work that I have done on the first session. I think after tonight I have a better idea of how Gouache needs to be worked so this will help me in figuring out how to move through the painting.

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Session #305, Work #298

There are always those days when any skill at art that I posses seems to be well out of my reach and frustration wins out. Tonight was such a night. But, one thing I leaned from this is how amazing the art of Andrew Wyeth really is. Tonight his ability with tempera, a medium very similar to gouache, seemed light years ahead of me and completely unreachable. I hope to learn more from tonight’s failure.

 

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Session #302, Work #297

I’m finding gouache very interesting yet difficult to work with. Its very similar to watercolor yet I feel like it wants to be worked in a more opaque manner. And for the first time I really have to think about the white of the paper and use it to my advantage. Which in tern causes a need for careful consideration before laying down paint. I have to figure out if I want certain areas to only have transparent layers and show the white of the paper through or if they should be opaque.

 

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