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Old 08-12-2018, 05:26 PM
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Pinguino Pinguino is offline
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First Complete Oil Painting: PCH 1.0, generic California coast

To celebrate my thousandth post at WC, I finally offer a completed oil painting. Size 5"x7" on gessobord. Painted a little bit at a time, with many layers, over a number of months.

Decades ago, I painted a couple of acrylic still lifes, one of which was tolerable (the others not). That was using someone else's art materials. Otherwise, I merely observed art for many years.

About two years ago, I decided to take up oil painting as a way to fill the still hours between other activities. Being the casual, thoughtful type, I chose oils over acrylics. You won't find me doing Expressionism; I have nothing to express.

So, I have been doing color mixing exercises, with the goal of understanding the colors of nature, and how they can be approached in paint. I do not mean simply matching a color; I mean understanding colors, both in terms of what they are, and what they might have been (if I could choose the colors of nature).

This painting began as a color exercise: How does the blue of sky relate to the blue of open ocean, when seen from well above sea level? This is a common scene, where I live. In most cases, it's less interesting than you might think. Well then, how can it be made more interesting?

After working on that for awhile, I decided to turn it into a painting. The composition was not planned, but developed as I went along. Thus, there are several layers, where I had to correct the perspective, or eliminate something that was beyond my level of brushwork skill.

I prefer low chroma, achieved here. Blues are Indanthrone Blue (IB) and Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), tamed with Raw Umber or Transparent Red Ochre. Earth tones are based on "unbleached" Titanium White and Yellow Ochre, modified with PY129, PY110, and Dioxazine Purple. Greens are mixed from PY110 and IB. Reddish-Brown is Transparent Earth Brown. Rock is Raw Umber with modifiers, shaded using IB.

The composition lacks a center of interest, partly because I didn't plan ahead and leave enough room for one, and partly to avoid mis-painting something that would require more brushwork skill than I now have. For example, at this scale, a windsurfer would only be about 1/4" high. The upside is that the missing center of interest heightens the sense of space.

The image color is reasonably close to the painting (I adjusted it in an image editor, so they match).

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Old 08-12-2018, 07:06 PM
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Re: First Complete Oil Painting: PCH 1.0, generic California coast



I like the painting, I like the color, Nice aerial perspective, C of interest is probably that outcropping. Do I have a nit???? a mild one. A wee bit more contrast?
Good to study the sea and land comparisons in blue.

Well done Robert
Derek
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:06 PM
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Re: First Complete Oil Painting: PCH 1.0, generic California coast

I think you are too harsh on your still life paintings, which seemed very promising and we could see you building up your skills quite nicely. Landscapes like these are fun, I actually just sketched out something in a sketchbook which had a similar perspective (of vastly different subject matter).

A painting is only ever finished when you say so, so if you feel this is done, then so it is. Or when you feel your brushwork skills have improved you can try adding some raft or boat to the scene, or a bird flying well above the scene looking down into it. Oh, or maybe some spacecraft surveying the area, UFOs, Superman, Captain Marvel! Endless possibilities. . . Or it could just be done, and it will serve as a good reminder in 20 years where you were at this point in your oil painting journey.
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Old 08-13-2018, 12:01 PM
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Re: First Complete Oil Painting: PCH 1.0, generic California coast

Thanks, Derek, Delo.

The blue contrast is a bit more in the painting than in the image, but not much more. In a future painting, with something in the foreground, I will add more contrast there. Needs a different composition, possibly portrait aspect ratio instead of landscape.
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:00 PM
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Re: First Complete Oil Painting: PCH 1.0, generic California coast

Maybe the smooth C curves in the shoreline could be undulated a bit for interest.
Surf might jut in and out at the cliff indents..
Maybe graduate to show some deeper water with darker blues at right..
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:09 PM
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Re: First Complete Oil Painting: PCH 1.0, generic California coast

Thanks, JMW. Indeed the overly-smooth surf curve should have been undulated, because the shore sand is not perfectly flat. That's a to-do for the next attempt.

There's a slight amount of jutting at some of the cliff indents. Hard to see in the photo. Could have been more pronounced, due to irregular sea bottoms out there. Another to-do.

The ocean actually is painted a bit deeper blue, in the area you indicated. But reflection from the paint surface makes it appear brighter in the photo. I also notice some artifacts in the distant ocean, due to irregular surface reflection: The painting hasn't yet been oiled-out, so some areas are dull, and others are more reflective.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:21 PM
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Re: First Complete Oil Painting: PCH 1.0, generic California coast

Here's a better photo. I didn't change the painting other than to oil-out the surface. These colors are much closer to as-painted. I'm now using a better computer, and am not viewing under weird lighting conditions (as I was when I first uploaded). The dark speckles on the ocean are dust trapped in the paint, not visible under most lighting.

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Old 08-15-2018, 09:19 AM
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Re: First Complete Oil Painting: PCH 1.0, generic California coast

Congrats and well-done!
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:15 PM
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Re: First Complete Oil Painting: PCH 1.0, generic California coast

Thanks, stapeliad (Jessica?). This one will be inflicted on a cousin, who doubtless will put it in a $5 frame, then sell it for $3 at a garage sale when I'm gone. No big deal.

My next painting task is to understand green, using (relatively) low chroma.
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:39 PM
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Re: First Complete Oil Painting: PCH 1.0, generic California coast

Quote:
My next painting task is to understand green, using (relatively) low chroma.


get a yellow ochre, a cad yellow light, french ultramarine, and a cerulean (or equivalent) blue. You can mix any green with variations of those colors. I guess you could use your pthalo blue too, but it can have a very corrupting influence so I generally don't use it.

Then knock the chroma down with red, magenta, or an earth red such as burnt sienna.
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:26 PM
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Re: First Complete Oil Painting: PCH 1.0, generic California coast

Thanks for that green advice. I'll be trying with Yellow Ochre, Phthalo Blue (green shade), Indanthrone Blue, PY110, PY128, and PY129, Raw Umber, and W&N's Transparent Red Ochre. This last color is nearly a perfect mixing complement to PB-GS, and it is excellent for controlling chroma. Likewise Raw Umber with PB60 (or Ultramarine). Won't use Cadmiums. So far, I can get a very wide range of greens at various hues and chromas, and near-greens; now all I have to do is paint something. That's the tricky part!
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:36 PM
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Re: First Complete Oil Painting: PCH 1.0, generic California coast

For plein air I mix high chroma first then knock it down. You can never get chroma back once you dull it.

Black plus any yellow also makes a great dull green.
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Old 08-15-2018, 11:25 PM
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Re: First Complete Oil Painting: PCH 1.0, generic California coast

Fantastic!
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