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Old 04-07-2018, 03:06 PM
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Grotius Grotius is offline
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Mikie, welcome to the thread! I tried your link and got a "404 not found" error. Maybe try posting again?

T1, great to see you here! And thanks for posting that recipe! Some questions:

1. How does it compare to using, say, just walnut oil to thin one's paint? Lately I've been trying Gamblin's solvent-free gel, but it doesn't seem to really make the paint thinner or more workable.

2. Also, I'm always hesitant about using smelly solvents. How smelly is it?

3. Finally, does it dry fast? I kinda like wet-into-wet painting.
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Old 04-07-2018, 03:22 PM
markhwebster markhwebster is offline
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

I just came back from Moab where I did 4 plein air paintings. These are all 16 x 20".

I did spend a couple days polishing and experimenting with color when I got them home.

Feel free to criticize or offer suggestions. My wife is fond of telling me that my colors are all wrong, and that I need to use the real colors.

I carried my 50 pound painting backpack 2 miles up the trail to Delicate Arch. It wasn't fun getting there, but once I set up I was able to do a morning painting and an afternoon painting.

This is the morning light:




This is the afternoon light:


This was done last year, but after discovering blue on orange rock last week, I reworked it



This was done after a few days of rock climbing in Canyonlands. My wife wanted to go hiking, so I hung out at Double Arch with my easel. This painting was very challenging. Normally I can get a painting to start breathing after a couple hours. I was ready to destroy it on location...but after a couple days back in the studio it finally started to come alive. Still not sure about it. Shadowed red rock is hard to paint.

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Old 04-07-2018, 07:09 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Oh Mark, those are WONDERFUL plein airs, big too, I love the colors. Don't listen to your wife on that. If she wants "real colors" she can go plein airing herself. I actually think that is even more difficult to do plein airing. What gear are you using for large-scale? (do you have a gloucester? i'm so jealous...)
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:15 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Welp. I guess someone has to bite the bullet and post a painting after Mark's paintings. I have no shame so it might as well be me. You are all welcome.

Here is my painting from today, an 8x10 which is as color-boring as one could get. I almost did the scene from the ground, but we have these incredible trees with wonderful branches and i could not resist. I did not do them justice, and my painting has a bad case of Rigger Mortis.





Also, here's a little trick to remove paint...some people use q-tips, I kill those in about a second and you can only use them once, too much garbage... bring a colour shaper! The kind with an edge and nice points.

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Old 04-07-2018, 08:43 PM
markhwebster markhwebster is offline
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

That tree is nice, I consider myself tree challenged. My setup is all homemade. I even sewed a large backpack from scratch to carry everything. I detail my wet painting carrier here, and also show my easel, which is a modified photography tripod.

Apoligies for the large images, I didn't know about the restrictions back then:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show....php?t=1366544

I really hate carrying the 50 pound backpack...but I love having larger paintings with me. I can carry up to eight wet 16 x 20 boards, but typically hike up with just 2.

Here is a photo of my easel working on the first painting:



I had set up right where people lined up to get their photos taken under the arch. This meant I couldn't see the bottom of the arch at all, due to the crowds of people. It was super fun...but I'm glad I had headphones to tune them out.
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:45 PM
ColinBaxter ColinBaxter is offline
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Grotius, the cherry tree paintings turned out well, you captured their beauty and sense of presence. I like how you portrayed them against the sky, and the blossoms have a range of colours to suggest depth which I find tricky. I wish they would flower for a longer period.
To keep your hands warm I have seen someone use a cut off a sleeve from an old wind proof insulated jacket, stitch elastic on both ends to form a seal , then keep your hand inside holding the brush.
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:16 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

I just remembered that Geoff asked me about the frames!
I love ..... masterworksframes .. Provo Utah ! Look them
Up .... many of the great masters use their frames!
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:13 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Mark: those are fantastic colors. Don't let your wife talk you out of them! Better too bold than too drab. Nice work!

Stapeliad: Thanks for taking one for the team, lol. But your tree is every bit as impressive as the other paintings in this thread. Is that Central Park? Also, I gather your "rigger mortis" means you used lots of rigger brushes?

Nothing vexes me more than detailing trees and their leaves and tiny branches. For my two blossom threads, I used a palette knife to suggest thin branches; maybe I should have pulled out my rigger instead. I also struggle with the edges of trees, and trying to make them have 3D form. I did manage good light/shadow sides, but I still need to figure out how to suggest the tree is turning away from us at the edge, or toward us in the middle. Finally, I struggle with edges of trees with leaves/flowers: soft or crispy?

Carol: thanks for the tip! I love the frames at that website, and the testimonial by Kathleen Dunphy caught my eye: I love her work (and her advice to plein air painters). But they're probably too pricy for me. I'm putting on a show in November, so I'll need some 60-plus frames. (I've got a few framed already, but still.) Alas, I don't charge as much as Ms. Dunphy for my artwork, so I need a less expensive alternative. Still, I could see using that site for a couple of my favorite pieces -- things I plan to sell for a heftier price.
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:03 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Mark- thanks for the gear pics! You havea great setup.

Quote:
Is that Central Park? Also, I gather your "rigger mortis" means you used lots of rigger brushes?

Yes and yes...
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:34 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Stapeliad: I do have a color shaper, quite similar to yours, but until today I'd been neglecting it in favor of Q-tips. Today I skipped the Q-Tips and used the shaper, and it worked pretty well. You're right, it's less wasteful, and the sharp edge comes in handy. I think mine is called an "angle shaper" or some such, but it's the same idea.

Also, today I wore winter gloves outside -- and I STILL got cold. Okay, I'll break down and buy hand-warmers! But maybe not til the fall. I'm optimistic about the April weather.

Today I painted yet another cherry tree, since our cherry blossoms will be in bloom for only another few days. I thought this effort was more successful! I chose a tree with dark foliage behind it, to help make the blossoms pop. And this time I was more assiduous about working from dark to light, so that my final strokes were blossoms on top of dark paint. Also, I left in some of the thinned blue water-miscible oil I used for an under-sketch; I kinda like the effect. (The subsequent work was done in regular oils, mostly M. Graham, Rembrandt, and W&N.)

I'd have refined the blossoms more, but the sun started to set and my hands got COLD. I still like it. "Cherry tree in April," oil on canvas panel, 8" x 10."

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Old 04-09-2018, 02:46 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

popping in from your techinical thread, the works here are so amazing.
stapeliad, there's no rigger mortis through detail, i might have invented a wispy cloud or two as a promise of thaw, to contrast the linework.

Grotius, looking for long strokes not finding any, but paint handling is different resulting in a more present, "alive" cherry tree. the technique you tested is a success IMO.

this is probably not the thread but i'd be interested in hearing your opinions on the evergreen series brushes, as well as the solvent free fluid when you get around to it. that medium got the better of me, acting unpredictably, unevenly. using it on top of layers with alkyd medium would be the first guess as to why.
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:53 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Geoff, really nice cherry tree- you got the contrast in.
I think those pale flowers are difficult.

The last time I painted one plein air was a long time ago and was also the occasion of my Most Annoying Plein Air Experience, in which some snooty Upper West Side mom let her kid pee under the same tree I was standing, just a few feet away from all my gear. I was absolutely shocked. Thousands of trees around and that's the one she let her kid pee on.

I...um... haven't painted a cherry tree outside since....

Glad you liked using the color shaper thingy.

Quote:
your opinions on the evergreen series brushes

Rosemary Evergreens? I have 2, I like them both very much.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:04 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Evergreens. I haven't found any real use for my evergreens yet. I was told they are good for mounting plenty of paint on them when painting long brush strokes; I actually used them once like that when painting big size. I should consider using them more. I can't tell if they are any good since mine are laying down on the table without much use.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:27 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

@Stapeliad, thanks for your comments, and yikes, what a story about peeing! That's just horrible. There *are* bathrooms in Central Park, e.g. at the zoo and the various beverage outlets. I hope you scolded her.

Your story does remind me of one issue that plagues me with plein air painting: where does one go to the bathroom? I suppose one answer is to limit one's sessions to a couple hours; I was just listening to a podcast featuring the artist Jennifer McChristian, and she doesn't work longer than that. But sometimes I work large outdoors, and I want to spend several hours on a spot, especially if it's overcast and the light isn't changing so much. In rural areas I guess there's the great outdoors, but in cities I have to leave my gear by itself while I find a Starbucks or something. The biggest problem is actually suburban or residential streets, with no commercial enterprises nearby. This may be more of an issue for middle-aged guys like me, but even my young plein air instructor always discusses bathroom availability when she finds places for us to paint.

@Ronsu: I did use some longer strokes on that cherry painting, especially in the background trees. But yes, mostly shorter strokes. It was a small support (8" x 10"), and I saved the cherry blossoms for last, by which time I had to paint carefully around many green "tree holes," so I couldn't really use big long strokes.

As for Evergreens, I have several smaller ones now, and I used them on that cherry tree painting. They hold their shape so well! I get nice clean lines with the edge of the flats, and the brushes do hold a lot of paint (with practice). What I've been missing is a big brush that holds lots of paint. As you know from my thread in the tech forum, I just ordered a slew of large Rosemary brushes, including a size 10 Evergreen flat, and they arrive Wednesday. I can't wait to try them on a larger canvas!

@Moscatel: give those Evergreens a try! And please post the results here. I'm always happier after I've looked at some of your paintings.
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:27 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

thank you all for the brush reviews!

Stapeliad, what a sad story. people are funny. while parents expect others to comply because there is "just" a child, they impart behavioral ques for the little one. why didn't they listen to the child before it was too late!

moscatel, my info is from rosemary's pages only; these brushes are made for alla prima, piling wet on wet, perfect for plein air. i find that interesting and expect paint blobs to skate off the hairs straight into my catcher's mitt.

Grotius, the photo doesn't show strokes that well, the impastos do come through. very biased toward impastos in general, can't wait to get to the level where i can bring them into my plein airing in that considered manner.

i'll be saying hi here just asking about the brushes see ya!
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