Monday, February 8, 2010

Snow Day in the Studio

Happy Snowy Monday everyone! While not my favorite weather, it does lend itself to a warm, cozy day for  some extra painting time in the studio.

I live just a few blocks from the beautiful Cherry Creek in Denver and so last weekend I decided to take a few landscape reference photos.  It can be rather "scrubby" looking this time of year, but with the snow drifts partially melting, I thought I'd find some interesting patterns and textures. 

Initially, I had in mind something very dramatic with light and shadow, but this quick oil painting study (12 x 12) didn't quite end up that way so I'm going to have to tackle that again today. 

That being said, I enjoyed playing with the color mixtures using a bold but limited primary pigment palette of one cool blue (Thalo),  two yellows (Indian, Ochre), one warm red (Perm Rose), and cool/warm white (Permalba).  While I like some of the color mixtures here, I think today I'm going use some Ultramarine for more cool/warm blue balance next time.

Also, I think the overall painting  will be more successful if I really exaggerate the complementary contrast between the warmer grasses/branches with the cooler snow patches and ground shadows.  Several of my current students really enjoy landscapes and I thank them for reminding me how relaxing they can be to paint, especially in the winter.  If you like landscapes, you may want to take look at the work of  Texas painter Nancy Bush, who I recently discovered thanks to a student. Amazing compositions and color palette.     

Before I go, a quick shout out to my friends and fellow artists on Daily Painters Abstract Blog for launching their new website Contemporary Fine Art International be sure to check it out.  For more information about my classes please drop me a note or visit me on Teach Street (search word: Scarlet Owl).

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