Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Cloud Study

Occasionally I get in the mood to paint a mini.  Sometimes it's just to have the satisfaction of finishing a painting quickly, but even then I want to learn something from it.  I was in that mood yesterday and decided to use the opportunity to practice painting clouds.  Most of my paintings are mostly land, I rarely paint landscapes with a lot of sky in them, I decided to try something with a lot more sky and clouds in it for this experiment.

art painting landscape rural cloud sky barn

"Clouds Over Sanpete County"

Acrylic on panel, 5" X 7"
Original - $50

The painting is based on a photo I took west of Manti in Sanpete County.  Sanpete County is a somewhat remote rural area in central Utah, Manti being about a 2 1/2 hour drive from my home in the Salt Lake Valley. It's well worth the drive, lots of beautiful open space and big skies.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

TMS #5

Today's ten minute sketch is based on the same photo as the last one, just a different part of it.

art sketch pen ink cow pasture rural landscape

It's still trees, a pasture and some cows but a somewhat different composition.  I left the ditch out this time.  Instead of a tall group of trees in the middle I put the tallest trees at the left side and they more or less get shorter as you move to the right then I balanced it out with hills in the background.  I used only one foreground cow but put a few in the far distance to give the trees scale. I used the 0l Micron sepia pen again.

Friday, November 27, 2015

TMS #4

I took Thanksgiving day off and even today I didn't get to it until late but I did get my ten minute sketch in.
art pen sketch ink cows pasture rural landscape

This is a good example of how it's often possible to find multiple compositions in one photograph.  This sketch is based on a photo I took three years ago in Ogden Valley, Utah near Huntsville, but it's based on only a small portion of the photo.  The downside to this ten minute sketch's giving me too many ideas for paintings!  I used a Micron 01 sepia pen.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

TMS #3

Three days in a row now, the new habit is having a good start.  This ten minute sketch is based on a photo I took in the Middle Provo Restoration Area in the Heber Valley in northern Utah.

pen sketch ink art landscape tree field road

No barns in this one.  I think this one would make a good painting.  I guess that's another advantage to this daily sketch habit, it helps my find and test painting ideas, as if I needed more.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

TMS #2

I bit off a little more than I could chew with today's ten minute sketch.  I knew that going in though, so I focused on the most interesting part of the barn, even so I get less done than I hoped even though I actually spent about 15 minutes on it.

art pen sketch barn wood ink dilapidated

The reference photo came from one of the many taken on my day trips to the rural areas of northern Utah, unfortunately I don't remember which town.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ten Minute Sketch (TMS) #1

I've decided to try and get the daily ten minute sketch habit started.  The first thing I did when I came home from work was to blindly pull a reference photo from the middle of the stack sitting on my main art table and set the timer.

art sketch pen ink landscape house derelict tree rural

I used a Micron 01 sepia pen.  The reference photo was taken in Lake Point last year which is a small rural town north of Tooele and West of Salt Lake City on Interstate 80.

I'll admit I'm not good at sticking to ideas like this but I'll do my best.  I'm sure I'll miss some days and I'm sure I won't post everyday but I'll try to post every sketch I make, it just may end up being two or three or more at time in some posts.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Back to the Sketchbooks

I've been neglecting my sketchbooks lately, in fact I haven't taken them out this year much at all, geez, how lazy can I be?  Lack of time is no excuse, especially for me.  I decided I wouldn't waste another sunny autumn weekend day.  However, I got a late start, (that lazy problem again) and knew I'd have less than an hour before the sun hit the horizon so I just took a pen with one sketchbook and headed out to Wheeler Farm.  Using only a pen meant I couldn't get too fussy, my goal was to spend about ten minutes on each sketch.  I also had the goal of trying to quickly compose possible paintings.  I decided to stand while sketching as well in spite of my back problems, this forced me to sketch rapidly also.

art sketch pen ink barn wheeler farm
This is the main hay barn, along with my favorite old Dodge truck parked in front.   I modified the fence line to create a lead in.  Unfortunately the cows weren't out in the pasture today.

art sketch pen ink house wheeler farm

This is the old farm house, a fairly elaborate structure that was a challenge to sketch fast. The only real composing I did on this was just to pick the viewpoint and to eliminate a structure from the background at the right.  I liked how the big tree interacts with the left side of the house.  Yes, it covers some of the house and supposedly that's a compositional no-no but I don't care, I like it, and it adds a little mystery.

art sketch pen ink wheeler farm tractor Moline

Another of my old favorites, the orange Moline tractor out back.  This makes the third time I've sketched this tractor but from a different angle each time.  I eliminated clutter from the background and overlapped the tractor and tree more than what I was actually seeing.

Even though each of these sketches was done very quickly without editing this outing was very good exercise for both my drawing and observation skills.   These sketches combined with photos and previous color sketches give me plenty of information to make some new paintings, hopefully I'll get to them this winter.

I'm considering starting a daily ten minute sketch practice.  They won't often be outdoors since the weather is less favorable now and the days are short but sketching from imagination or photos is useful as well, it would make a good warm up for a painting session.  If I start doing the daily ten minute sketch thing I'll post the results here so stay tuned.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Going for a Walk

y favorite place for taking a walk is The Jordan River Parkway, a strip of restored/persevered natural space that runs through the middle of the Salt Lake Valley in Utah. In particular I enjoy the Murray-Taylorsville section, not only because it's the closest to where I live but because I think it is one of the most interesting sections.  One day in September I went for a walk there just before sundown and came across this interesting little scene.  In this small grouping of trees one had totally turned to it's fall colors and was even losing leaves, the others were only just beginning to turn.  This was the first definite sign to me that that autumn season was under way in spite of the unseasonably warm temperatures we were experiencing at the time.  I also liked the violet shadows cast by the tree behind me that created the perfect lead in, it was basically a composition made to order by nature, I just had to eliminate some of the background clutter, which consisted of bits of houses.

art painting acrylic landscape autumn fall foliage grass

"Fall Begins"

Acrylic on panel, 14" X 11"
Original - SOLD

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Roots and Rocks

I recently finished this small painting of a scene along a hiking trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains of northern Utah.  This canyon is only about a fifteen minute drive from my home so I visit often, the downside to that convenience is it's easy for all the rest of the residents of the Salt Lake Valley to go there too so it can get quite crowded.  This is why I usually go early in the morning and only stay until noon or so.  It was spring and the sun has just risen enough to illuminate this interesting arrangement of rocks and evergreen tree roots.  I did a sketch on site and only recently got around to painting a small study, maybe I'll tackle a larger version some day.

"Roots and Rocks"

Acrylic, 10" X 8"