Monday, September 5, 2016

Dawn Chasing Away the Storm - A Creative Process Blog

Dawn Chasing Away the Storm
Been a while since I have done a creative process blog. First I figured it was because I had not been painting much. I have been busy doing other things. But I have also been taking progress photos with my tablet as opposed to my camera. So this morning, when I decided I need to do a process blog, I had to figure out how to get my tablet photos to my desktop photo files to use.

The first part of any process blog is to get all the key photographs of the painting's progress in one folder. This actually helps me clean up my picture files because I can delete all the multiple snaps in other files.

Sketch transferred and masked out

For this painting I used a drawing from a much earlier painting. One I had done and sold without ever actually getting a finished photograph of it. Or at least I could not find it this morning. That painting was 16 x 20 and done before I began stretching my own canvases. I have come to like the long and thin horizontal or vertical sizes best. This one is 14 x 30 and the original drawing had to be altered to fit. I added on the sides and cut on the bottom.

Sky poured

I am also in my stormy cloud period. Though I must confess I was thinking more along just a sunrise sky. But as I pour my skies they often get to dictate where the painting is going. Which is fine by me but sometimes it is just a surprise. 

I was dedicated, however, to dawn.

Sun and mountain peak highlights

I like to believe I have some control over the clouds if not the sky. And I found myself attracted to the idea of storm versus dawn. The war was going to have to be fought on the peaks of the Ortiz mountains. 

Shadows on the peaks

I confess to being stopped briefly at this point. I have driven the road through these mountains often. And it a photograph I took on a New Year's Day morning which inspired the original painting. In that photograph and the painting there was a road. Because of the colors I could introduce I changed it to a stream. And a dry winter morning to a lush August dawn.

The green valley
You may also notice changes being made in the storm clouds and the shadows on the peaks. Introduction of new colors seem to dictate changes in the ones already laid down.

Canvas covered
It is usually at this point I want to cover all the white canvas to assure myself I have a direction which will work. I confess there are a lot of steps taken from this point to the finished painting at the beginning of this blog. Changes in values and increase in shadows and a glaze of white over distant mountains to add depth. I did take progress photos all along the path. I do this at this stage more for me than the thought of a future blog. I find I get to intimately involved in the painting and it blinds me to its faults. A photograph gives me the space to look at it critically.

A midpoint on the journey

At this point in the process I was not happy with several things. Mostly shadows. I needed more shadows especially along the main mountains. I did those at the foot of the mesa first and liked where it was going. And it can be slow going. I found myself getting rather impatient. Between this stage and the finished painting above is the deep shadow at the foot of the mountains and the whitish glaze on the mountains beneath the sun. And so many little changes in the clouds I am embarrassed to even mention them. Watercolor on canvas allows for colors to be picked up and replaced. Canvas does not wear out like watercolor paper.

Dawn Chasing Away the Storm
14 x 30 on Artists Canvas
I have posted it again for you to more easily compare the finished with the step above. And of course I added the birds. It is in the process of finishing this painting I came to realize I am an abstract painter. "Abstract art uses a visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world."

Sometimes I think my independence is getting greater.

1 comment:

I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.