Monthly Archives: January 2011

Morning Mountains (Studio Version)

I’m very pleased with the colour harmony in this picture.  The dark brownish colour is a mixture of cad red light and either permanent green light or viridian.  It makes a lovely brownish hue and certainly makes the cad red light of the mountains stand out even more.  It also guarantees that there will be harmony between the mountains and the trees.  I started a few months ago working with a much more limited palette, basically a warm and cool of each primary with a few extra colours.  This forces me to mix colours and it’s in the mixing that I’m learning what each colour is about.  This approach to colour is the basis of my new class Basic Drawing Skills Pt 2: Colour.  It’s all about mastering your palette and with too many choices it’s very hard to learn the properties of any particular colour.

Morning Mountains
18″ x  24″

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Cascade (Studio Version)

This is a studio version of this mountain scene from just outside Banff.  It’s a motif I quite enjoy and I think there may be some more versions in the future.  I like the monumentality of it.  I think the composition may need a little further refinement.  I’m really excited about the possibilities of mixing watercolour and gouache.  I love the spontaneity of watercolour and then having the potential to add some lights over the darks with gouache is very freeing.
watercolour & gouache
18″ x   18″
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Morning Mountains

This is a view is see fairly frequently as I take my morning walk along 37th St. I love the pink in the mountains. Yesterday, when I saw them I quickly came home, got the camera, took a picture and did this study. Each time I walk into the studio and see it it takes me right back to that morning. The pink I used was a combination of cad red light with a little titanium white watercolour which is an opaque pigment. I washed this pink over various areas of the painting. The brownish colour is my new favourite mix: red & green. A wash of blue covered the snow.

11″ x 5 1/2″
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Back Alley Series

This image is from a series on back alleys that I did during the big snow fall we had a couple of winters ago. I just up dated it recently. I like the two wet tire tracks that lead right up the painting to the couple at the top. They were a left over from my romantic period. This painting was updated with a much bolder use of colour. I enjoy cityscapes and I particularly like scenes with a different point of view. In this image it’s the juxtaposition of Calgary’s rich public face and then the other side of Calgary.

Calgary, Looking Up
14″ x 11″
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This image is one that I am developing for my new art class called Basic Drawing Skills Pt2: Colour. I was attracted to the composition and the sense of majesty. I’ve analyzed it to have a full range of values. Value 1, the lightest, is the entire snow covered highest block of mountains. Value 2 is the next shape down, the larger darker rock band plus the lowest and closest rock face at the bottom of the page. The tree line on that lower rock face is a value 3. Then the lone tree is the value 4 ie the darkest and most intense colours. I helped me to just keep those values in mind. I tried to add other colours to the Value 1 shape but I kept saying, “It has to stay a very light value”.

I really getting excited to actually start teaching this class in the spring.
9″ x 9″
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Mountain Meld

This image is from our recent visit to Big White Ski Resort at Kelowna. The chalet looked right across a valley to these hills. My attempt here was to meld the sky and the distant hills. As much as I enjoyed the very wet in wet approach used here the painting ended up much too dark overall. As per usual we turn to mixed media and bring in the opaque mediums to add lights over some of that dark. In this case I used gouache. I was enjoying the rhythm of the gouache marks and they are starting to lighten it up. I think it may need even more lightening but for now I’ll just live with.

15″ x 22″
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