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GO TO YOUR ROOM ! I borrowed this phrase from the recently deceased Canadian painter Robert Genn who believed that there is only so much we can learn about how to paint from the many fine instructors and resources available today. The true learning comes from going off on our own and doing it - Go to your room!

I have had the good fortune to take instruction from outstanding artists in Canada and the USA. I am now focusing on my own development ( Going to MY room!) and sharing what I have learned and continue to learn. I created this blog primarily for those attending my workshops to keep in touch and to further share as we grow together. If others are interested in following that would be great.

Enjoy the journey.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

New start



New start. Comox Estuary.  Acrylic 16x24 on canvas mounted on board. Quick rough  plan with pencil then final plan with acrylic marker.


Block in darks using transparent red iron oxide and pthalo green. Spread for variable thickness using 3 inch rubber shaper.


Block in and carve transparents with opaques. First layer coverage. Frame and reconsider what it needs over few days.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Third interpretation





Third morning. I wanted a different approach again. Went to a diox purple as the underpainting and did a bolder rough value plan - adding and subtracting with brush and colour shaper.

Pencil sketch - 18x24 canvas



Acrylic marker plan 


Diox purple underpainting and rough value plan

Stronger vertical transparent darks
Poor photo - canvas covered in first layer- transparent darks carved by opaques. 


So now framed and put with the other two and consider over the next few days. I punched in some silly high saturated branches in the front - just to see if they worked. Probably not. Will see. OK with the sky but the foreground probably too strong and distracting.

Getting started - again





Been away from studio painting for almost a month - closing down Ontario and driving back to BC.  Having trouble feeling excited about painting - and thats not normal for me.  Went for a Thanksgiving Day hike in Strathcona park. Thats all it took to get me pumped again: the colours were wonderful.

I decided to do multiple interpretations of the view of Mt Washington from the Meadows hike. Something I painted years ago when I was tighter and less interpretive. How would I interpret it now?

So I made three "first layer starts", one each morning, and each using a different approach. All were done quickly and crudely - just spots of colour. Stopped each once the canvas was covered, then framed, and set aside to examine in a few days to finish. I wanted loose, colourful, bold interpretations - almost a plein air look.

Start with pencil sketch then final plan with acrylic marker - 18x24


Under painting with quin red and crude value plan using colour shaper

Add caption

Add vertical darks

Add background values

Its crude but canvas is covered.

Framed and set aside for a few days before deciding on second layer and details

Second day, decided on a vertical interpretation. Again total time about 90 minutes.
Acrylic marker plan 16x20




Poor photo - but you get the idea - image covered  


So now, framed, set aside, look at them casually and then more critically. Can see many things to do. For example, on the first piece, the yellow meadow is too saturated and the yellow line takes the viewer out of the canvas to the left. Is the foreground coming forward: is the background pushed visually back? Are the colours too saturated? Needs to be changed.



Tomorrow, the third day.