Going small

Going small and focusing on experimenting and learning more about technique was the main thing I was doing in February and March. Due to unexpected time limitations that I had during those two months I was forced to change what I was doing. I had to abandon my big oil painting canvases and exchange them for small sketchbooks and gouache paints. I was not happy about it at first but it enabled me to see how much I can learn through this process. It has been great and I loved it all the way. Thank you the unexpected!

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Prague through my eyes

Below are sketches of Prague as they have been coming together one by one. They are part of a creative process for Radka’s new oil painting series ‘My city diary’. First oil paintings from the series are going to be released for on-line preview during next week!

Painting spring in winter

There is something refreshing in looking at images of nature in spring around this time of year. Prague seems to be so grey. That’s why my second session on a small oil painting of Zbraslav Havlin hill in spring was so energizing this morning. It originally started as a spontaneous oil painting. After I shared it the painting became a commission. That puts extra pressure on the creative process. It also makes me extra curious about the result! The image below is not a final version – I am excited about doing a third session next week. The images are already in my head and in the meantime this layer has time to dry.

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Sketching in freezing cold

Sketching outdoors when it is below zero can be very tricky and definitely it is not comfortable. But I can see one positive thing in this process. Since you are very cold you hurry to complete the drawing and hence you need to focus on what is the most important. You aim to capture the ‘Thing’. That is what made you stop and draw the particular scene and drop all the rest. You might not get it right but you will learn something about our chosen theme. I did that this week – the pencil sketching of Vysehradska street in the picture above. Later on being indoors I expanded on the captured idea and played around with color as well.

 

The importance of value

Yesterday when completing first layer of a new oil painting I thought that it  might be interesting to check the color painting in grey-scale to see how the values work. I uploaded a photo of my new painting to Pixelmator and turned it to b&w version. The result that is below shows me where light and dark areas are and how they work within the composition.

My usual approach to applying color when oil painting is more intuitive rather than rational. So doing this b&w check after some painting sessions might be a useful sense check to see if the painting is going in a good direction in terms of values. As Lori McNee, a painter and professional blogger, says in her article about value “Value is independent of hue“. That also is the reason why we might not always ‘see’ in the color painting the real relationship between dark and light and the contrast they create. To learn more about values, hues and tones you can check Lori’s professional website.

You can check beautiful Lori McNee’s Fine Art Tips: http://www.finearttips.com