I am very happy that my painting ‘Anytown USA’ won the ‘Award of Excellence for water media’ at this year’s National Juried Exhibition of the AIS. The Exhibit runs from September 27 to October 28, 2018 at the Guenzel Gallery, Peninsula School of Art, 3900 Co Rd F Fish Creek, WI 54212, USA. It is the same venue that hosts the famous Door county plein air Festival every year.
This is the second time I have won this prestigious award (2016 was the first)
Many thanks to juror Dawn Whitelaw, AIS master as well as Debra and Don Groesser for all the hard work. I am very honored!
A good way to approach a drawing is to first draw in as true proportions as possible, then make a second drawing from the first. This time just drawing the essence of the first, omitting stuff. Simplifying is easier that way, since we no longer look at the original reference but already a ‘version’ of it.
If using a photograph, you can do the same thing. Your individuality will go into the drawing and later the painting, which is what you want. You can always check your changes with the original for accuracy or perspective, but you are essentially making a free interpretation of the picture rather than slavishly copying everything you see in the photograph.
I find that while it also works when painting outside, it is less practical because of the time factor. Light is changing rapidly and it’s difficult enough to do one drawing. It takes many hours of plein air painting to sort of develop the ‘instinct’ of what needs to go in and what can or must be left out! Put in the time!
A drawing or painting is often more interesting when parts of it are left unfinished. The detail and finish in the other areas will have a bigger impact and stand out more.
Ultimately, my goal in painting is beauty as oppose to verification of truth. Generally, people don’t put paintings up that are ugly. I know there is art for all kinds of reason and that’s just fine, but for my art, beauty is pretty important!
These are very traditional landscapes. Both works focus on the sky as a major element of the composition. A sure fire way to do this is to simply allocate less space for the foreground. Three quarters of the composition is sky. If we choose to divide our paper like this, we better make sure the sky is interesting! We have to deliver, so to speak!
I was trying to use the clouds as part of the design, arranging them in ways to lead the eyes into the painting. Notice how the size of the clouds also plays a role to invoke distance. Both linear and atmospheric perspective at work! A concept I speak about a length during my workshops.
Composition and perspective are often neglected in painting. Many passable painted works lack good design and therefore have little impact. Some of the key questions I always ask myself is: what am I actually painting? How do I arrange all the elements/ shapes? Where and what is my focal point? Is it all working?
Painting the sky is a two step process. I had to save the whites for the clouds where I planned them, therefore, the first washes can’t go over those areas. The initial warm grey for the clouds are part of the first wash. After all is dry, the second step is glazing in the darks of the clouds. I tried to make them look like they’re hanging over the mountain.
Overall, I am happy with the outcome. Sometimes, the most difficult thing is not to go back in, thinking I can improve this and instead ruin it!