Sunday, June 22, 2008

Demo- Seaview Pier- 12x16

heres the finished painting.
sorry for the glare in the right upper corner

today i'll show you how i mix some piles of color and lay in the approximate color.i look at my study and i mix some colors that are similar. i realize that i'm putting it on magenta but thats what gives it all harmony. all the shapes have the magenta in common. light shapes have a little because the wash was thin and probably dry to an extent. the dark shapes have more magenta and this warms up the dark and if you arent too thick or heavy handed with the shadow shape darks, you get neat warm, swirly, shapes within shapes. most beginning painters lay darks in heavy and opaquely. this causes what i call the black hole effect. shadows are full of color and multiple values. if you paint it real dark it looks like it was cut out and pasted on and lifeless. here you see the big shape piles of color i mixed up with the palette knife and i added a little half thinner and half linseed oil mixture to make the color go on thinner and easier than stiff and sticky.i got the pre-mixed palette technique from Frank Gardner a great painter who lives in mexico now painting. i found that premixing keeps painting down to doing one or two things at a time versus five or premixing you nail down value and hue right off the bat. this way, now drawing is done, color and value is done and now you can paint to make the shapes closer to the study. i always put the study in a plastic sleeve so i can paint a dab of the premixed color on it so i can check its color and value. but just can veer from your study if you want to. heck, you paid for the canvas. you can do anything you want.
here's what it looked like after thinly applying the pre-mixed colors. this is just to get something close down so i can tweak lighter, darker, cooler, warmer, less blue, more red, more saturated color, less saturated. painted this all with the large 1" brushes in the palette shot.
look closely at the differences in the shapes between this one and the one above. see how i've cooled and lightened the shadow of the pier on the sand. i also changed the color from magenta/violet and made it more realistic by loosely (and boldly with that huge brush) painting in a lighter grayed violet keeping the underpainting peeking out in places. i do this with all the shapes. tweaking this way and that. putting cool into warm shapes the same value and warm into cool shapes. i am still using a 1" brush on a 12x16.
i'm painting away when i realize that the drawing was off on the canvas when i drew it. i must have mismeasured something. anyway the pier was too low down from the horizon line and looked weird. i thought it was going to be a pain to change but it had to be done, so i scraped down to the canvas on the part that needed changing. it wasnt bad at all. go back up to the blockin and see how crazy that thing looked. very weird. glad i saw it before i was on the final pass or it would have been a little harder to correct.
i'm really happy with this one. i made some changes from the study that i like better on the big one and there are some things on the study i like better. thats almost always the way it is when i do a bigger one from a study. each painting is its own entity. they dont have to even look similar if you dont want it to. what i wanted to do on this one was have it look as loose as the study and have the same color harmony. i was actually a little looser on the big one, so i'm smiling at the end of this two and a half hour painting (and that was sneaking peaks at the Sopranos every once in a while)

this painting will be in the New Elements show starting this Friday.


Pat W said...

Great demo, Mike. Liked the way you get half into a painting and then can't understand why you messed up on a dimension and have to correct-- because I do that all the time and blame menopause. haven't been doing plein air much because of the heat, but I'm using the techniques on my studio paintings and they're looking good. i love doing piers and yours is really sweeeet.

mike rooney studios said...

wish i could blame menopause or something! i guess i had a senior moment and put a line in the wrong place. glad i caught it early.
thanks for the compliment.