Last night’s sunset was one of those where I look at the sky and say, “Ooh, I must capture those colors!”
And then, five minutes later, the colors were even better, and then better, and so on… for the next 20 minutes. The hues were constantly changing, and I was right there, with a paintbrush in one hand and my camera in the other.
This oil sketch, at right, is small. It’s about 8″ x 10″ on canvasboard. In real life, I think it’s prettier than it looks in the photo. That’s how it should be; the actual work should have an energy that doesn’t quite convey in two dimensions.
Recently, I’ve learned to make the sky the biggest part of these paintings. It’s a landscape, not a peeking-through-the-window-scape.
I’m using more greys to contrast with where the lights and highest-keyed colors are. And, I’m working with a lighter brush (less paint) and softening the edges so it’s not one step away from fingerpaint. (Yes, I’m being harsh, but by being somewhat hyperbolic, I can explain exactly what I’m trying to move away from, as well as what I’d like to achieve as my art improves.)
I’m not 100% sure this is finished, but it’s close enough to post online. Really, I can hardly believe it’s been nearly a year since I’ve had something worth showing at this website.
Well, it’s been a year of big changes, and lots of accomplishments, offline.
I need to complete several writing projects for October, but some days are better for art.
Yesterday and today have been art days. This oil sketch was completed in about 25 minutes, last night, and I spent about 10 minutes on it today, tweaking it in the daylight.
In the past, many of my sketches have been a complete surprise. There’s been a lot of, “Hmm… look at that. I wonder how I did it.”
What’s different here is that I knew exactly what I was doing. The work wasn’t any less spontaneous, but I had a far better understanding of what I wanted to capture, and some of the best ways to do that.