Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"The Undergrad"

This painting is a 3'x4' self portrait on canvas from life.  I painted it in the studio at the school in a very large mirror on the wall.  This painting took over 3 weeks to complete because I had to wait each night until the studio was completely empty to be able to have the lighting where I needed it to be.  All in all I am pretty happy with how it turned out.  I approached it differently than most paintings I do, first because of the size, second because I couldn't work the entire painting while it was still wet.  This ended up being a pretty big challenge and a lot of swear words were directed towards this painting but in the end it came together.  I liked the idea of painting myself doing a painting of myself. You learn quite a bit about yourself as when you stare in a mirror at all the details for hours and hours on end.  It was an awesome experience that I plan on repeating.

Figure Study

This one was another of my figure studies but was quite a bit bigger than the other one.  This one is about 16x20 charcoal on gray toned paper.  I really loved this pose.  The photo is a little misleading too because there is quite a bit of space above the figure that creates a nice sense of atmosphere.
This is one of many figure studies I have done over the last year.  I particularly like the foreshortened angle on this one.  I used to struggle with foreshortening but I have done it so many times now that I actually prefer to do foreshortened poses.
This was my favorite painting I did over the Summer.  It is a plein air study of Manzanita beach in Oregon.  Danielle and I went on a trip with my family and stayed in a beach house in this little cove for a week and I absolutely fell in love with the area.  This painting was done with me standing barefoot in the sand in the warm sun with the sound of the waves crashing and the smell of the sea in the air.  It was a surreal experience and probably the funnest plein air painting I've done so far and I was extremely happy with how it turned out. 

Doug, if you read this, I'm not gonna lie.  I freaking nailed the color and value in this painting.  Just putting your wisdom to use!

Golden Fields

This was another plein air study that I did at the beginning of Fall.  I really wanted to capture one of the many wheat fields when they were at there peak and looking like a field of gold.  As I was driving in to town I noticed this old barn that is out completely by itself in the middle of what looked to me like a sea of gold and I absolutely HAD to paint it. 

Summer Downpour

So I decided I've been a complete slacker with this blog and I haven't posted anything since the Summer so here goes nothing.

This painting was done for the Midway Plein Air competition and then later submitted in to the Peach Days Art Competition where it took 1st place in the oil painting category.  This particular painting was a lot of fun for me because I was painting with my friend Matt Larson.  I was painting this scene while Matt was painting me painting this scene(put that in your pipe and smoke it).  Oh yeah, and we were both getting completely drenched in rain the entire time.  It was a pretty crazy experience.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Value Study, back alley behind Dave Dornan's building in Helper

This is a value study done in a mix of ultramarine, yellow ochre, and alizarin crimson.  The idea behind this is to match your values as exactly as possible to what you are seeing.  Once you have done this, you can then color match over the top of the painting by matching your values and color.  If you have the underpainting like this exact, you have won half the battle and it makes painting the rest of the painting much easier to finish.

Old Home in Helper, Utah

This was my first attempt using color during the workshop.  I have included this painting in here because it shows where I was at painting wise when I arrived at the workshop in Helper.  I knew NOTHING about how to prioritize paint strokes and didn't know anything about color and value matching.  This painting really shows progression once you get down to the ones I did at the end of the workshop.

Clothing Still Life

This was done on the second day of our workshop.  It was crappy weather that afternoon so we painted inside.  I loved all the colors in the clothing and the composition as well.  It was kind of a breakthrough painting for me as far as stroke is concerned.  I really practiced priority strokes and subdued strokes in this one to try and make the clothing and boots feel further forward.

Abandoned Tire Shop

This is a painting I did just on the outskirts of Helper on the south east side of town.  It's an old, abandoned, tire shop.  I loved the colors on the door, the chipped, cracking, white paint, and I loved the yellow sign in front of it all.  It was a break through painting during the week for me as far as color and value matching go.  I almost completely nailed the color and the value that I was seeing.  The painting is on an 11x14 in. MDF panel.  It was a blast to paint!

Cliff face in the late afternoon

This painting is a litlle smaller than the other cliff painting I did and I did this one the afternoon before the other one.  We ran out of light as it went down behind the mountain that was at my back so I kind of had to rush this painting so that is why it isn't as worked out as the other one.  Dough shared some secrets about painting rocks and cliffs with us the next day that really helped as well!

Cliffs and Trees

This is probably my favorite painting from the workshop.  It was the second to last painting I did.  Doug taught us a few secrets about painting rocks and matching color with rocks.  I never realized that in rocks the under side facing the ground is warmer because it is reflecting light from the ground and the bottom side facing up towards the sky is cooler or more blue because it is reflecting the sky itself.  One of the many awesome little tips I learned during the week long workshop.  I love how thick some of the strokes are in this painting! 

Golf Course Painting

This is the last painting that I did during my workshop in helper. I'm putting it on here first so that when you look at them the one I did at the beginning of the workshop is the first one you see and the last one is this one.  Hopefully you all will see the progression that I was able to achieve in a weeks time.  I sure can.  This painting was really a challenge because I was up on a cliff overlooking the golf course and had to paint down below me.  I really liked the composition though so I had to paint it!  It's a really small painting about 5x7 or maybe a little smaller.

Green Grass and Old Houses

I did this painting for the Ogden plein air painting competition two weekends ago.  It was pretty challenging because I painted it in the rain.  I went with my friend Matt Larson(check out his work, it's amazing) and we drove around the bad parts in Ogden looking for someplace to paint.  We finally just ended up going behind an abandoned house and we painted whatever we saw.  I thought this corner of the backyard was pretty cool.  Lots of cool shapes and patterns and really loved how deep and saturated the green was due to the overcast light.  Second attempt in a painting competition, didn't place but was told my painting got some votes, better than nothing anyway! 

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Narrows

This is a knife painting I did of the tunnel in the Narrows in Zion National Park.  It's 11x16 in. on canvas board.  I hadn't done anything with a palette knife like this before so I was pretty happy with how it turned out.  Still think I prefer the brush but the knife painting does end up with a cool feel at the end from the thick texture you're able to achieve.

Spring Hollow Waterfall

This is the first of many plein air paintings that I will be doing this summer.  I did this one the week school got over at the beginning of last month and then started a class the week after, which has gotten completely in the way of my painting for a month now.  Good news is the class is over this week and I can resume painting if the weather will start cooperating up here in Logan! Rain, rain, GO AWAY!

This painting is of a stream that flows through a campground up Logan Canyon.  It has a series of small waterfalls that are completely covered in moss and vibrant green grass, and very canopied in by trees and foliage.  I just loved the colors that I found there and had to go paint it!  I did this small painting in about an hour and a half. It's just a study really on a 7x9 inch panel.

It's always fun to plein air paint because you inevitably end up with an audience on occasion.  I had a group of older women who hike a few times a week together stop and take a picture with me and admire my painting(which I'd only just barely started and looked like crap at that point).  But it came together in the end(when my audience finally allowed me to start painting again) and turned out pretty cool.  I want to go back up and do some larger paintings that I spend a little more time on before too long so I'll post those when they get done.  Sorry once again for the terrible crop!

The Blues

Sorry for the terrible cropping.  I do not have photoshop or a program currently loaded on my computer which will allow me to crop my images so this one is not cropped.  I'll fix it when I update my computer.

  I did this painting mostly because I wanted to try and capture the emotion of sadness or loneliness.  The figure is in a blue rain coat because the color blue is so often used to represent sadness.  The colors are more saturated adding to the "rainy day" mood.  The red background I chose for a few reasons.  The first being that it was a striking color that worked well with the blue.  The second being that red is so often used to describe passion, love, or the complete opposite, anger or hate.  These are all feelings that one experiences when they are in love.  This figure is experiencing "the blues" due to some type of romantic heartache she's experienced in her life.  Her gaze is downward and inward towards her own thoughts and her own feelings.  Amazing what you can do with color!  I must thank my beautiful wife for posing for me!  You're the best babe!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


So this is a painting that I did for a show up at the school this last semester.  It's title and the subject matter are supposed to be more or less a social commentary on how ridiculous our society has become.  We are all germaphobes and constantly worried about the "safety" of the things around us, something that has become increasingly worse over the last 20+ years.  When I was a little kid, no one worried about whether or not there was lead in my toys, I survived.  I rest my case.  People need to lighten up!  See you can prove all sorts of points with art!