Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm going to Carmel, California!

Not exactly earth shattering considering that I live in Sacramento, California. I'm visiting my mom who lives in the Carmel/Monterey area. My wife and I can hardly wait!! The weather during our entire three day stay is predicted to be "patchy fog and overcast". Yahoo!!! Do you know what it's like leaving the dry and hot Sacramento Valley and coming into coastal patchy fog and overcast? It's heaven!! I'll be doing a little pen and wash sketching there. I just have a small watercolor sketch pad, a Sharpie pen, and a Tombow pen and Waterbrush for the washes. Now just a few days ago, a fellow Sacramento artist, Terry Miura, whom I greatly admire, was there at a plein air event doing full blown oil painting on the sidewalks of Carmel. Have you any idea how many tourists are on the sidewalks of Carmel? Thousands!! Terri has got balls don'tcha think? The other photo is of me doing a watercolor sketch demo for about ten of my college plein air students. That's about as brave as I get painting in front of people outdoors!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Is it sticky? Is it more like oil than acrylic?

I have little experience with oil. Is it sticky like water base oil? I dunno. Is it more like oil than acrylic? Yes and no...yes it stays wet and brushable for for several hours if you use it somewhat thickly. I haven't tried thin yet. No, when it's dry, it looks like acrylic - kinda flat unless you paint with a gloss medium or brush on a gloss varnish after you have completed your masterpiece. Bottom line, it probably will not satisfy you oil painters. You acrylicers out there?... oh boy and hot tamales! can now plein air in breezy and warm weather without your paint crusting over. Now that's awfully snazzy indeed. But don't take my word for it. Go out and try Golden Open yourself. I'll be out there again with the park lawn sprinklers going on as I paint, with the gnats mosquitoes and flies, with the skunks, curious lookiloos, f--king painting umbrella, and lord knows what other distractions to continue and learn about this new product. Kinda fun!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I can't Believe It!!

Golden Acrylics has come out with a new product that to believe it you need to try it! It's just been launched into the art stores this month and is called "Golden Open". It paints like oils. I haven't measured the drying time, but yesterday when I tested Golden Open en plein air, not only did it not crust over on my stay wet palette, it took at least 6 to 8 hours to dry! I put several of my starts in the hot sun...wouldn't dry (I was out in the morning and put the paintings in the sun close to noon - temperature in the direct sun about 90 degrees). They glistened like oil paintings and even some gnats stuck to them like oil paintings. Pretty cool product. For my studio painting, I most likely will stay with standard fast drying acrylic, but for plein air painting, especially on breezy and warm days, nothing beats Golden Open. I know that Atlier makes a slow drying acrylic paint, but it seems a way too complicated system. Golden Open can be used right out of the tube. So all you acrylicers, run out and try this product! The first painting is on a 12"X12" gessoed masonite board and the second is on a 6"X8" canvas board. Both paintings are views of rice silos across the Sacramento River. The larger view has a little bit of Hwy. 50 bridge spanning the river.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Speaking of Myrna

I discovered Myrna Wacknov's blog several month's ago by reading a Mike Bailey's blog post. You know how that goes. We live in an interconnected digital village. Well Mryna, bless her talented artistic heart, bestowed on my blog an award that has been making the rounds. Yawn... I didn't sleep too well last night, so I'm now gonna wind down, have a cup of tea, and think about a good night's snooze. I'll go into this award sometime tomorrow. Yawn... Goodnight. Nest day and I'm bright eyed and bushy tailed. Mryna Wacknov has awarded my blog with the Arte y Pico Award. Arte y Pico is a blog from Uruguay who's blogger has come up with this award. It is being passed from blog to blog and is kinda of a cool way of slapping a fellow artist on the back and saying about their blog "good show!" So what the hell does Arte y Pico mean? Loosely translated from Spanish to English. it means "Wow" or "The Best Art" or "Over the Top". Oh yea, it comes with a few guide lines or rules, and herewith I delineate them: Pick five blogs you really dig for their creativity, design, interesting material, and for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what the language. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone. (I have no idea how to put my name on the award!) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given him or her the award. The award winner and the one who has given the award have to show the link Arte y Pico blog so that one and all will know the origin of this handsome award. The envelope please...tear and ripping sound...These are my five award winners of the Arte y Pico: 1. Milind Mulich, a wonderful acrylic and watercolor artist in India. 2. Car-A-Day, a Welsh painter that lets you feel the power and the speed. 3.Jennifer McChristian, an oil painter with a definite Wow factor. 4. Nathan Fowkes, a land sketch artist that will amaze you. 5. Silvina, another talented oil painter with a vicious dog named Cosmo. There you have them, five bodacious bloggers!...applause...curtain drops. Hey, I gotta whole lotta other fantastic blog sites I visit, but the Arte y Pico only asks for five, so I reluctantly stop here

This one's for Myrna.

There is a wonderful California artist by the name of Myrna Wacknov that you can link to through my "Fav. Links" section (can someone tell me how I can highlight a name or blog so that when one clicks on it, one is sent there?). She does some pretty incredible drawings, watercolors, and mixed media. She did a self portrait watercolor painting that is a killer...I mean sick!* Anyway, she has just recently posted a watercolor portrait of a black artist that also has water soluble crayon thrown into the mix. It's a fun medium to use and goes by a fancy smancy French name that if you stood me up against a wall and threatened to shoot me, I could not spell it!...sorry. This piece has prompted me to post my Koi illustration that I did for a rendering class that I taught several years ago at Sacramento City College. The Koi are done mostly in Prismacolor pencil over a touq. colored woven paper stock.The reflections in the water were done in the same water soluble crayon that Myrna used. * In Calif. surfer speak, "sick!" means "awesome!"

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Last Tug Post...I promise!

This is another daytime version. It's an acrylic on stretched canvas,16"X22". I'm comparing it to my first Tug painting titled "Scuffy" on 8"X16" stretched canvas. I posted it about two months ago. I think I'm getting better each time I paint this Tug boat. Guess practice does make perfect. Why do I keep painting this particular tug boat scene (with variations)? The small one here got sold in my Sacramento Gallery. Another patron of the gallery saw it and also wanted to purchase one. He collects maritime paintings... and... there is a patron of another gallery that carries my work that saw a gyclee print I had made of "Scuffy". They want one! Now I'm getting a little fatigued with the subject matter, but the extra money in my pocket is proving to be the perfect antidote.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Re-do On One of the "Rollin On The River" Paintings

I re-painted one of the "Rollin On The River" paintings, because two people whose artistic opinion I respect, told me that the dead tree trunk did not read as such. So I split the tree, as it went up the foliage covered levee, into branches. I think this gives more of an impression of a dead tree and has a less rigid look as compared to my first painting. What do you think? be honest, pretty please. I painted Highway 50 over the Sacramento river and I another (more lyrical) tugboat painting.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Two "Rollin On The River" Paintings

In an earlier post, I wrote about three Sacramento artists who were invited to take a trip up the Sacramento River on an old Chris Craft. We sketched and snapped reference photos for future paintings that will be in a show and sale at Archival Framing and Gallery here in town. I just completed these two acrylics, both on stretched canvases. The two waders painting is 24"X30" and Highway 50 crossing the Sacramento River (just south of downtown Sacramento) is 12"X16".

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fighting the Wind and Easy Goin

Bird's the word lately. Just completed these two Egret watercolors. The first one is an Egret fighting a stiff headwind. The background sky was painted wet on wet (I brushed on clear water and worked carefully around the Egret) and another glaze (after the wet on wet was bone dry) to darken the sky in strategic locations. The bird was painted wet on dry with a lot of graduated passages. Subtle value gradation here is very important. The second watercolor painting is an Egret in full flight with the sky painted wet on dry. Some granulation and blossoms gives the background character. The Egret, like the prior painting, has a lot of subtle value gradations with some very no nonsense strokes to give the impression of feathers. Both painting were done in preparation for a workshop next Wednesday. The Chinese symbol here meands "Peace" and not "Fook Yu"

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Brooster The Rooster!

The bottom watercolor painting is Brooster who always stands tall and has attitude to spare. This was a demo I gave in my college watercolor class about 2 or 3 years ago. My favorite part is Brooster's tail done with an aggressive dry brush stroke...ya gotta have attitude when painting in watercolor! The top watercolor painting is of Brooster's Chinese cousin. I am somewhat reluctant to post it because his cousin's name is Fook Yu. "Fook Yu" translated into English means "Have a great day" and anytime a watercolor painting goes well, you are having a great day!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Rollin Down The River

Last month, I and two other Sacramento artists, were invited by a local gallery to take a trip on a vintage Chris Craft down the Sacramento River to sketch and take reference photos for future art works that will be displayed and on sale at the gallery this August. The idea is to paint views from the river as opposed to from the shore. This painting hot off my easel is from a photo I took as we approached the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers about 6 miles north of Sacramento. The bridge crosses the American River and the old water inlet structure is on the Sacramento River. I first did a loose sketch on MDF board (8"X34") and laid in a rough sky color and ochre color I saw in the water. Next came a rough laying in of tree highlights/shadows and the sky reflecting off the water. Next was a little more fine tuning on the trees, a darkening of foreground river tone to contrast with the lighter water at the confluence. I also painted in the bridge structure. The next to last stage shows some dabs to represent people wading in the water and the beginning of refining reflections in the foreground. The top painting is the final with enough refinements for me to say to myself " David, put the brush down!"