Last weekend I was in Edmonton to visit a friend and I took the opportunity to do a couple of days of painting. It was a fabulous experience because once again I got ‘into the zone’ and I was painting with enthusiasm and purpose.
I always look at these experiences as opportunities to gather reference material and to try out various ideas. The last think I worry about is whether the painting is successful. Whether it is or not doesn’t have to affect what I learn from the experience.
In that spirit I thought I would show the 5 paintings I did and do a bit of a critique of each one. Some people might find it helpful.
I really like this one especially because of the drawing. Love the cars and the guy in the front. The issue with this painting is that I wanted it to be warm and it’s in that frustrating place of being about 50% warm and 50% cool. I plan to do this again and I’ll make sure it’s predominately warm.
Great sky with the smoke. The foreground needs more purpose.
Nice but the dark wash on the right is a little muddy which is to be expected since I went over it 3 times. Rule #1 Try to get the right colour and value first time
The only painting that didn’t work out. Two problems: 1) the tree is poorly drawn and 2) again is it warm or cool? I wanted cool with just some of the warms showing through. The biggest issue is that for some reason I did the background trees warm and that was a error that I couldn’t recover from. They should have been cool.
I love this one. Everything worked out. It’s definitely a cool painting but the small hits of warm colour really spice it up. This is a keeper. By the way, it’s the first time I’ve ever been to Ponoka.
Just to sum it up I love these short intense little painting trips. There’s nothing like having such a singular focus to inspire us and our painting.
I believe something is happening in my painting journey because the last painting trip I took was also extremely successful. For me as for many representational artists we need to get back to the real source (nature not photos) frequently to continue to improve.