Sunday, September 24, 2017

Charcoal Studies

I've recently started making charcoal studies before making a painting.  Charcoal allows for a very quick exploration of composition and values with a little more detail than a thumbnail and they can become finished works in their own right.

charcoal drawing landscape art mountain hay field farm
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"Rural Landscape Study"

9" X 12", Charcoal on paper
Original - $100

This study is based on a photo I took in rural Sanpete county in central Utah.  I think it's a good representation of the open agricultural land you find there.  I started a painting of this but it wasn't turning out, I might return to it some day and try again.  They can't all be winners.

art landscape nature marsh wetland drawing charcoal
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"Ogden Valley Marsh Study"

8" X 10", Charcoal on Paper
Original - $80

Late in the summer season Pineview Reservoir in Ogden Valley, Utah drops low enough that some of the outlying areas become marshes.  I took the photo this charcoal sketch is based on during autumn one year and there was a small stream meandering down to the reservoir through a marshy field, I knew I'd do something with that some day, so here is the sketch.  I've also done a painting based on this sketch and will share it at a later date.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Sometimes You have to Switch Gears

Do you remember that post from several weeks back?  You know, the post where I showed a work in progress photo of my latest painting and it was in pastel?  Here it is in case you forgot.  If you look below you'll notice the image here looks very similar but it isn't pastel.  That's right, I started over in acrylic.  I can't really explain why I switched mediums for this piece, it just seemed like the right thing to do.

art landscape impressionism tree fence painting rural
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"Fence Line Tree"

11" X 14, Acrylic on panel

I used both a sketch and a photo as reference for this painting.  The only thing in the photo that is also in the painting is the tree and even it's been altered a bit.  Even when I did the sketch on location on the Jordan River Parkway I added the fence and grasses, here's the sketch;

art plein air sketch watercolor tree fence
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Funny thing, that bush at the base of the tree was actually there but I didn't include it in the painting. The sketch saved me while making this painting.  I started out with only the photo reference and was getting frustrated with the tree, something about it just wasn't right but I couldn't put my finger on it.  Then I remembered I had done the sketch and so I searched through my sketch books until I found it and turns out it had the answers I needed.  This is a perfect example of how there is often information missing in photos.  I remember while making the sketch I thought an old tractor would look good parked under that tree, obviously I decided against adding a tractor, maybe in a later version.


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