Friday, February 27, 2015

Skies of (Painted) Color

Sailing In5x7 Watercolor on 90# Paper©BEDeuel  Bronson Hill Arts 2008

When we see those perfect sunny-day clouds floating above us, we see white puffs moving across the horizon, usually against a bright blue sky. As painters & photographers & poets, we also know that those clouds are never just "white". There are blues, purples, pinks, even greens mingled in the vapor canvases up there. 
Vermont Sunset
11x14 Water Soluble Oils on Gallery Stretched Canvas
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2013

Painting a sky above a landscape is generally easy to capture, largely because it is put into perspective by the foreground. The colors of sky and land intertwine & reflect, but the differences in textures also help to create necessary depth.

Once you're painting upwardly, as if you are in the clouds with your subject, gaining depth, I find, is very different to portray. There are colors & shadows to help, but keeping proportion and perspective is not so easy for me.

This is the 2nd attempt I've made to paint a specific subject. And, even though I'm generally happy with the cloud formations on both pieces as they are, they will not work for the composition I want to create. 

This is what I did with the first attempt:
Start of Balloon...

Balloon Amidst Clouds
20x16 Water Soluble Oils on
Gallery Stretched Canvas
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2014

And, yes, I am very pleased with the whole piece with setting the hot air balloon against the clouds. However, if you look, you'll see that there is a lack of shadows to create a depth to the clouds. The mix of pink, blue & white definitely gives one the sense of clouds, but, the expanse of the cloud cover is limited. So, technically, this is the first "fail" to paint "in the clouds".

This is the second attempt:
Start of Mystery Blue Skies

Next Step of Mystery Blue Skies

Right now,the clouds are almost monochromatic: Prussian blue mostly, a touch of Cerulean blue, and titanium white. The base is somewhat "starred" with the colors being crosshatched. (I've discovered that I really, really like this effect. Maybe I like it too much!) The next step is to add some "shine" to it with some golden/yellow hues... after I fix the mottled clouds to the right-hand side of the canvas, that is. I like the depth of the shadows as they are, though. So one hurdle overcome since the last attempt. You can also probably tell that the 2 canvases were started from the same template photo. Hmmm....


The clouds are too small & distant for the subject I want to paint. So it's time to rethink what subject I can do with this canvas! 
High Clouds
6x9 Watercolor on 140#
Canson Paper
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2011

The encouraging aspect of all of this is that, each time, I see a breakthrough in executing a design. Always learning, learning, learning! Just looking back at this earlier attempt at clouds makes the point for me. I do still love this piece, but the flow of the clouds is not really there.

What discoveries have you uncovered with your artistic techniques of late? 
Ice Fog
7x5 Water Soluble Oil on Gallery Stretched Canvas
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2011
And, yes, it is still colder than any winter in memory around here. Hopefully, not so much where you are!

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Studio Detour

9x12 Water Soluble Oils on Stretched Canvas
©BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2014-15
Caught up in so many other "details" of everyday life & other such distractions, I have to force myself to go up the stairs & visit my own studio. 

Realizing that I still haven't done any new pieces (Grrrr!!!), I thought it'd be nice to bring you along on the visit.

When hubby & I designed the house layout, we had his 3 young girls staying with us regularly. We opted to make it a 4 bedroom house. And, in the process, we wound up having an enclosed loft area on the 2nd floor. After the girls moved on into adulthood, we also found that we have 2 oversized spare rooms upstairs.

Somehow, I've managed to fill almost 2/3rds of the entire upper floor with art materials & work areas. 

The loft holds a work table used for mat & paper cutting, an old artist table with a computer & paint supplies for glass painting. In between are rolling carts & Yaffe squares full of supplies & goodies.

The framed picture on the one rolling cart is a print hubby made for me for one Christmas that showcases our original logo design for Bronson Hill Arts! He is my best fan & supporter.

There are 2 large windows that look out over our backyard. This is the best spot for the drafting/painting table. Again, the table is surrounded by carts & tables. If I want to keep something on the tilted table, I attach some rubber feet to the bottom & that generally works. I've been using a small cosmetics holder for tubes of watercolor paints with the sticky feet keeping it nice and steady!
I've got several fluorescent lamps around the area which helps to give me better lighting at night for working & for quick photos.

My favorite part is the easel area, though. I have a large wooden easel on one side & a small metal easel. In between is an old desktop computer table that is great for storing oil paints, brushes, water buckets, & as a working area with its "keyboard" pull-out. 

The next room over is for storage & photographing paintings. After 4+ years of doing this, I'm still struggling with taking a good photograph of a painting. But, I think we're gaining on it! This set up seems to be working better than any other I've tried to date.

So, now that I've taken a solid look at all the fun to be had in these rooms, I have to force myself to enjoy it!

Hope you have a ton of fun, too, this week!

First Day of Spring & Indulging in Art

Rose-O-Shannon Progression Acrylic & Water Soluble Wax Pastel © BEDeuel Bronson Hill Arts 2015 With our part of the world being ke...