Saturday, February 8, 2014

Down By The River

Spent way too much time trying to find a spot to paint today. I started out in town and kept thinking I wanted to do an urban snow scene. I went to the top of the parking garage, I went all around downtown, I went back little dead end streets, all leaving me wanting...or I just wasn't feeling it?

So, I ended up driving out of town and down to the river to a spot I have painted before in the spring. Right now the river is up to flood stage and about to come over the bank. It makes for an interesting perspective of the towboats that are now nearly up to eye level, when normally you don't see anything but the pilothouse and radar antenna.

This is a pretty simple scene, so I wanted to really execute on my values and subdued color. The foreground snow was put in almost entirely with palette knife layers.

"Flood Stage and Frozen Field"
   9"x12" oil on linen panel

And here are some photos of the spot I painted.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Taking a Snow Day

We recently had a good amount of snow and school was canceled for the kids. Also, my wife, who has a 50 mile commute, took a snow day from work, so that left me free to hop on my bicycle and go out with my plein air gear and search for a painting.

I rode straight from my house and braved a few streets before I made it to the Greenbelt Trail. Once on it I had it all to myself, getting to lay down the first tracks in the snow from a bicycle. I made it to the Joe Ford Nature Center, a small patch of woods on the west side of town. For a quick escape, it's about as close as I can get around here.  About 3-4 miles from my house.

The sun had come out and was really lighting up the snow covered scenery and made it a little difficult to set up my view. But, I managed, and quickly got my little cigar box, converted to a pochade box, situated and went to work.

I gave myself an hour to get a solid impression of the scene on canvas. It turned out alright, then I returned home and performed some tweaks on it here in the studio.

Here's the finished work.

       "On Frozen Pond"
    9"x12" oil on linen panel