Monthly Archives: February 2011

Currie Barracks

I went out again today, even though it’s freezing.  I’m becoming interested in doing some thing to remember the Currie Barracks area before it’s all redeveloped.  This is the entrance to the building that faces the parade square.  It was a snowy overcast day so there weren’t strong contrasts.  My goal was to capture that pale light.  Unfortunately, for the second day in a row I forgot to take white with me so I had to sketch it and then rush home to try to paint it while the image was fresh in my mind.


Totally aside from the quality of the painting I’m enjoying this small format 6″ X 8″ and doing these very quick plein air studies.  It’s teaching me lots about the acrylic medium.


In fact, I’m thinking of celebrating the launch of my completely updated web site “rexbeanland.com”, in a few weeks,  by doing a regular series of these small daily paintings.  Some people I know have done 100 paintings in 100 days.  I don’t know that I can be that consistent but I like the idea of doing perhaps 30 in 30.  I’ll announce it in this blog when it’s going to happen.


Currie Barracks
acrylic
6″ X 8″

Plein Air in Glenmore Park



This was a fun piece.  The book I’m reading at the moment suggests concentrating on the big shapes and get them down quickly.  This was a little plein air sketch done this afternoon in North Glenmore Park.  This is the first time I’ve worked in opaque acrylic plein air but I found it a lot of fun.


Washroom At Glenmore Park
acrylic on canvas board
6″ X 8″

Sunset On The Elbow Pt2

This is an image I began a while ago.  This was an early attempt at acrylic.  The colour in the cliff was originally done in acrylic but in a  watercolour approach and I liked it.  I ran into trouble reconciling  the watercolour-like section with the more opaque sections.  I’m just reading a book by Serge Hollerbach an artist that also began as a watercolourist but switched to acrylic.  He recommends that while you can use acrylic in a watercolour manner it’s greatest benefits come from using it in an opaque way.  I’m quite interested in following that advice so this picture was redone opaquely.  I used the fan brush and some techniques from Hollerbach’s book to get the blended sky.  It’s a much more dramatic picture now.

Sunset On The Elbow Pt2
Acrylic
16″ X 20″

Basic Drawing Skills – Girl With A Pearl Earring

I’ve been reading about Vermeer a bit lately and my respect for him has grown considerably.  Apparently, his output for his life is about 40 paintings.  He disappeared from public awareness for a couple of hundred years after his death and was “rediscovered” only in the late 1800’s. He is now considered by many to be one of the top hand full of artists for all time.  This, of course, is one of his most famous images and is a most beautiful painting.  This image is a reference for students in my Basic Drawing Skills course.  To see samples of the students work please visit the class blog.

Those Swatches Again

Once again what began as just practicing colour mixing lead to what I feel is an interesting painting. I think fairly soon I’m going to listen to what this approach is trying to tell me.

This time I was just making bright colour swatches to illustrate how much more effective the brights are when surrounded by neutrals.  This just makes the bright colours sing.  When I added the dark neutrals certain shapes began appearing and before I knew it there was a story.

It’s Not Good News
Acrylic
14″ X 12″

Those Swatches Again

Once again what began as just practicing colour mixing lead to what I feel is an interesting painting. I think fairly soon I’m going to listen to what this approach is trying to tell me.

This time I was just making bright colour swatches to illustrate how much more effective the brights are when surrounded by neutrals.  This just makes the bright colours sing.  When I added the dark neutrals certain shapes began appearing and before I knew it there was a story.

It’s Not Good News
Acrylic
14″ X 12″

Christmas In The Country

This image is a farm we passed just going up to Big White in Kelowna.  I choose a very long and lean format to emphasize the small human habitation up against the very large presence of nature.  This is part of my on going efforts to gain comfort with acrylic and I’m finding that I like using it as watercolour, at least in the early stages of the painting.  In this image I was pleased with the watercolour-y way that parts of the trees came out.  I also enjoy the colour scheme.  This is the first acrylic painting that I have done by just playing around similar to what often happens with watercolour, so I’m very pleased with it because of the process.

Christmas In The Country
Acrylic
16″ X 7″

For information on this or any other painting contact me.

Basic Drawing Skills – Profile #2

This second profile is of a woman who seems to possess a great deal of happiness and wholesomeness.  I found that this profile with her looking down presented a significant challenge.  I really enjoy the fact that because of the sequential build up of skills that we have experienced this portrait was just another challenge and everyone handled it very calmly.  It’s the first portrait where the area of greatest contrast is not the eyes.  This forces the viewer to go first to the highlight on the cheek and then carry on to the eyes.  The flowers in the hair add interest and a secondary centre of interest.  The hair is also a change to just let go and create some rhythm and excitement.

Woman In Profile

This portrait began as a pencil sketch for my Basic Drawing Skills class.  I just didn’t feel like shading the entire background in with pencil so I threw some watercolour on it.  I liked that but then the pencil work seemed a little overwhelmed by the paint so I painted right over all the pencil shading.  I really liked that but unfortunately I had just done it on regular paper so I redid it on watercolour paper.  This is that image.  Two things that interested me were to have the greatest contrast (light against dark) not on the eyes but on the cheek.  The second was to create some interesting rhythm in the hair.  After I had painted the hair I did some calligraphic strokes with white gouache.  I like the energy but I’m still deciding if those white strokes are too strong and overpower the actual subject.  The beauty of following through on ideas that come to me (like the white strokes) is that now I can live with them and the painting will reveal if they are too much.

Happy Thoughts
watercolour
8.5″ X 11″

Coming Down From The High Country

I’ve been working on this image for a while.  It came from our trip last Oct to Waterton National Park.  We were advised to ‘be at the flats’ at 6 pm because they thought the elk would be coming down from the mountains to their resting area.  We, along with quite a few others waited and did see some elk.   The painting  began with a really fast, wet  acrylic wash which established all the shapes and values.  All the rest of the time has been working completely opaquely and trying to refine that initial wash.  The only reference was a small colour study in my sketch book so I had to invent the shapes in the mountains.  I’m finding that I enjoy the watercolour approach to acrylic a lot and that I haven’t yet found the same comfort level when working acrylic opaquely.

Coming Down From The High Country
30″ X 12″
acrylic