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Old 04-01-2018, 08:24 PM
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Grotius Grotius is online now
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Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Happy April! Let's paint from life! As always, feel free to post whatever you like -- landscapes, portraits, figures, still lifes, whatever -- so long as your work is painted primarily from life. This month I'm suggesting an optional "plein air" (outdoors) theme. I'm optimistic about the weather! As always, the theme is just a suggestion; post whatever you like. Four guidelines:

1. Please paint primarily from life -- not from photographs or imagination. I would like to see your direct impressions of your subject, unmediated by cameras. (It's okay to post finished studio works based on studies from life; in that case, please post the original study as well as the finished work.)

2. Please submit something created either last month or this month, not something you've done in the more distant past.

3. Please paint in oils. That said, please feel free to post studies in any other medium, so long as you also post your oil painting(s).

4. Please list the size of your painting and support. E.g., '"8x10", oil on panel.'

Optional: Tell us the title of your painting!

-----------------

Unfinished works, studies, and outright failures are all welcome. There's no requirement that you invite comment & critique. If you'd rather post without being critiqued, just say so; that's fine by me!

At the end of the month, if the spirit moves me, I may sum up the proceedings with a written awards ceremony in which every artist will receive at least one written commendation from me, in the form of a post here in this forum. If you'd rather opt out of receiving such a commendation, just let me know. (Incidentally, you can find older oil-from-life threads in the "hall of fame" subforum of the Oil Painting forum.)

I hope you'll all consider posting something! Thanks.
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Old 04-01-2018, 10:42 PM
ColinBaxter ColinBaxter is offline
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Camellias

A couple of Camellia sasanqua flowering during winter in Miyazaki, Japan. Painted in two, 2 hour sessions during the afternoon. I liked the contrast of one being in shadow and the other in sunshine and the road leading off into the distance. Painted on wood panel, 20cms x 30cms.

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Old 04-02-2018, 04:09 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Colin, you have lovely winter over there! Your painting has beautiful deep darks (I like those a lot), I like all the greys, sky is vibrant and alive and composition and distance work fine also. I like where you have set the brilliant lights in the painting. Was it difficult to continue in the second session from where you left off the day before?
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Last edited by moscatel : 04-02-2018 at 04:20 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-02-2018, 10:18 PM
ColinBaxter ColinBaxter is offline
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Thanks Moscatel. After the first session I had to wait about a week for the weather to clear, winter is usually dry but march heralds the return of rain. Camellias hold up well during rain so not much had changed flower wise. Overall it was not difficult.
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:15 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Like Moscatel, I love those lush darks in the foreground! Your darkest darks are closest to the viewer, as they should be. And you've muted the darker colors in the distance effectively, helping create depth in the picture. Plus the flowers look so bright and colorful! I'm really enjoying it. I hope you post more!
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Old 04-04-2018, 12:59 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Collin , opening up yr painting was delightful , I think those rich darks against the brilliant sunlight sells it richly !
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:25 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Hello everyone and happy April! I still have plans to get out there and do some plein air work, but life keeps getting in the way. It should be better once the weather warms up.

I happened to find this article about packing for (longer) plein air trips and thought of all of you: https://www.outdoorpainter.com/outer...inting-events/

Colin, that really is a lovely painting! Ditto what mosc said about the darks, and they really set off the colorful blossoms nicely. Well done!
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:57 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

This is not a plain air but it is painted from life ! Trying to get better at painting roses! It’s oil on linen .. -10x13 from life

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Old 04-05-2018, 10:13 PM
ColinBaxter ColinBaxter is offline
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments.

Carolkay , your roses are gorgeous, the rich reds and depth of the flowers are admirable. Makes me want to pick up my brushes. 🌹
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:08 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

CarolKay, those are lovely roses! I like the vase too, and the interesting warm background. And you always have such nice frames! Do you frame your work yourself? I’m still hunting for mail-order frames that are both handsome and reasonably priced.

Annie, I’m glad you stopped by! I hope you’ll post something soon.

It was brisk here today, but I got outside for about 90 minutes to paint this cherry tree. My hands got cold, though, and I had trouble concentrating. I need to get tougher if I want to paint in cold weather! Above all, I need gloves thicker than the thin plastic disposable gloves I’m using now. Anyway, “Flowering cherry tree,” oil on canvas, 16” x 20.”

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Old 04-06-2018, 12:01 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Geoff, congrats for getting out there!!!

Hand warmers.
ALWAYS have hand warmers in your gear.

I have a pair of cheapo knit gloves...I cut off the fingertips. When it is cold I stick a hand warmer in each one.
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Old 04-06-2018, 03:21 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

THank you everyone for yr generous comments !

Geoff a. Very nice effort .. yr braver than I am ! So if it’s that cold I suspect those blossoms will get nipped !!!
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Old 04-07-2018, 01:43 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Thanks, stapeliad & Carol! Hand warmers! Why didn't I think of that? Honestly, the rest of me is usually warm -- it's just my hands that get cold, even wearing gloves. Thankfully it wasn't an issue today: weirdly enough, it was 30 degrees warmer. It being cherry blossom week here, I just had to get outside and have another go.

The artist Mitch Albala writes that colorful garden scenes are among the more difficult to paint plein air, and I think he's got a point. We *think* all the pretty colors will be easy to paint, but it's often hard to construct a compelling composition, or to depict values correctly. I had some of those difficulties today.

Also, ordinarily I love having the occasional onlooker, especially when things are going well. But today I had swarms of tourists, many of whom ask the same question: "Are you painting?" (I'm always polite when asked this question; I smile and say "yes." But inwardly sometimes I think something snarky, like "No, I'm playing the violin.")

Still and all, I had a great time, and the painting came out okay. "Cherry blossoms," oil on panel, 11" x 14."

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Old 04-07-2018, 07:59 AM
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t1barkode t1barkode is offline
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Hey guys, paintings are looking absolutely great! I'm so happy this thread is still going, and it is very nice to see the progression going on here. I just wanted to drop in and say hi because, as some of you may know, I love experimenting with different mediums in my paintings, and I have stumbled across a recipe that seems to be almost a miracle medium for the way I paint, and hopefully might work well for some of you. I thought maroger was the best of the best for me for awhile, but this recipe that I stumbled upon, just from my own experimentation with different oils, resins, solvents and whatnot, blows away maroger, as I said, for the way I paint anyways. Here is the recipe:

1 part Sun Thickened Linseed Oil
1 part Venice Turpentine
2 parts Pure Gum Spirits Turpentine
1 drop of Japan Drier

I don't know what it is about this recipe, but it just makes the paint so lovely to work with. I'm able to paint wet into wet using it with ease, the paint just seems to do exactly what I want it to, I just love it. I love its drying time to, a little bit of the Japan Drier goes a long long way so make sure not to use too much or your paint will just dry super quick to an almost cement like hardness. But like I said, just a drop and its perfect. I think its pretty difficult to find good Venice Turpentine, I use Sennelier brand and I think its pretty good. I think next time I whip up another batch of this medium I'm going to replace the 1 part Venice Turp with 1 part Mastic Resin Varnish and see how I like it, (I know, I have an obsession with Mastic resin lol) and if I even notice any difference. I imagine there will be since they are quite different, even though they are both types of resins. Anyways, please give it a shot for me and let me know what you think! Cheers my friends, I hope all is well with all you guys and that your adventures with a brush, some pigments, and a canvas are as awe inspiring and amazing as can be!

Last edited by t1barkode : 04-07-2018 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:01 AM
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Mikie1856 Mikie1856 is offline
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

this is what i have started just remember I have not picked up a brush in over 40 years
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1Q...ZadcIPJgj0kL-e

Last edited by Mikie1856 : 04-07-2018 at 09:09 AM. Reason: pic not showing

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