Friday, August 29, 2014

An oil-painting a week

Where would we be without the internet? For an artist like me it's a great way to get in touch with my audience. It's one of the reasons to write this blog and to sell my video and oil sketches online. 

Today I'm going to launch a new blog: An Oil Painting a Week. I plan to present a new painting every week on Friday.  Each painting has the size of a picture postcard and comes with a small black aluminium frame. It can be ordered with a mouse click for a modest price. I'd really like you to check it out and let me know what you're thinking!

Beach with Cirrus Clouds, 10 x 15 cm (3.9 x 5.9"), oil on panel

In my July 18 blog entry I already told you I was working on this series. Posted an example, which I thought was finished. But you know how it is: after a few days your perspective  changes, so I started working on the thing again. Now I really think it's finished. If you like, you can compare it to the July 18 version. Did it get any better? Let me know!

A size like this comes with specific challenges. On a 3.9 x 5.9" panel (it's really tiny...) you can't maintain the level of detail of a larger painting. So I had to stick to the real important aspects: color, light and space. I taped the making of 'Beach with Dark Sky' and posted it on YouTube

Friday, August 15, 2014

Reflections 3

Sunset, oil on paper, 30 x 40 cm
Been working on some new oil sketches. Got a solo show in 'De Twee Pauwen' Art Gallery in The Hague next spring (one of the few Dutch galleries that still sell large works). Making sketches is a great way to find out if an idea has enough potential to turn it into a big painting.

Some of you may remember previous blog entries about painting reflections. In my sketches I use yet another approach. It's simple, but very effective. Might try it in a big one.

Reflected Clouds, oil on paper, 30 x 40 cm
Firts step is painting the reflections area in a midtone, in this case a greyish blue. Then I added the lighter colors (in vertical strokes) and the dark colors in the bottom part, all wet on wet. I slowly built it up to the right tone by adding lighter/darker colors. To smoothen the surface I used my badger hair fan brush.

For large areas I might have a problem. I use a fast drying medium (Liquin) and since this is method is wet on wet, I'll have to work fast. I'll keep you posted!

Check out my online sales page for bigger pictures:

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Sea

Been working on the centerpiece of my triptych. Added some detail in the sea and changed it's title. 'A Day at the Beach #3' is now 'The Sea'. It reminded me of the first time I saw the sea as a kid. Must've been five years old and I still clearly remember how overwhelmed I was.

The Sea, oil on panel, 32 x 64 cm

In this painting there is quite a difference between the surfaces. The sky and it's reflection are smooth and you can't see a brush stroke. The sea and the two figures show a different approach, whith dots of paint on top of a ground layer. This ground layer is painted much like the sky and it's reflection. In this stage the water showed little movement. The dots of the second layer changed that.

The color of this second layer is also pretty important. Seen from a distance you don't want the dots to stand out from the background, you want them to more or less blend in. There are to ways to achieve this. The first is to slightly change the color of the dots. Make it just a tad lighter or darker than the background. 

The second has to do with color contrast. In this painting I used Burnt Sienna, which is a warm color compared to the blue background. I toned it down to just about the same shade as the background. If you'd take a black and white picture of it, you'd hardly see the difference. Different colors of the same tone. Works miracles.

It's still magic to me how a painting that is almost abstract, with it's dots and small brush strokes, can change into a detailed scene, when seen from some distance.

I'm also still working on the 10 x 15 series. More about that later.