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Old 04-14-2018, 01:15 PM
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moscatel moscatel is offline
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Grotius, another beautiful cherry tree. I'm glad you have energy to paint cherry trees repeatedly. Love seeing your paintings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronsu18
expected the same as did happen to you moscatel, but no. fedex would be an option in a city but here in the wilderness the fees would amount to absolute ridicule.
Nope, there was no fedex option available for me either. it was the Royal Mail, the slowest mail, but they came surprisingly fast to me!

The following plein air was painted this week on Monday on our terrace. The view is in front of the terrace so that's what I painted and also always want to paint aspen. It was so warm day that I was painting dressed on beach clothes and just enjoying. The white stuff on the front ground is what you think it is but we are way ahead with spring. When these aspen get little bright green leaves I will paint them again.
"Aspen Line", oil on elephant paper, 20x30 cm.

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Old 04-14-2018, 01:22 PM
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moscatel moscatel is offline
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Today, on Saturday, I went with my Bengal cat to paint to our favorite place by the river. I was looking for something to paint, something what I would need to practice on so I made a small study of ice melting on the other side of the river. The river itself was very dark and when I squinted I saw these values.
Title: "A Study of Ice Melting", oil on Canson paper, size: small

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Old 04-14-2018, 01:26 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

I packed things and we moved with Bengal cat forward by the river. I was again thinking to paint a 10 .. 30 min study but ended up spending forever with both of these studies. I chose this spot to paint because it was so warm. The view wasn't really something one would normally paint but I was a little bit cold after the first painting. The second one for today Saturday with title: "Beaver Nest", oil on Canson paper, size: small (I didn't see any beavers there but the branches looked like it could be a nest so there's a name for it.

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Old 04-14-2018, 08:47 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Wow, Moscatel! Three really interesting paintings. I love the light in "Aspen Line." I love everything about "Ice Melting," but above all the dark values in the water. And "Beaver Nest" has a distinctly different style -- very neat! Also, I continue to be impressed that you find a way to get out and paint ice and snow. I need to get better at painting in the cold.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:21 PM
ColinBaxter ColinBaxter is offline
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

I viewed all three together and admired the range of scenery, brush strokes and structure that you have painted. They work well together. The blues and browns of the river scene is my favourite, I was also looking for the cat in the painting.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:52 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

I think Moscatel's cat stays by her side while she paints, but I'm not sure. He or she must be one patient cat!

Our cherry trees are now a day or two past "peak" bloom, so we're starting to see more green in the trees -- but still plenty of blossoms. Today the wind was constantly blowing blossoms on my painting, but I muddled through. I was pretty happy with this effort, which again was much larger than normal for me (16" x 20").

I made more use of the palette knife this time, and I added clouds. Also, three cheers for Gamblin's Non-Solvent Fluid; I like it much better than the gel, as the paint seemed easier to work. I still think I could be more daring about softening blossom edges, to create a blurrier effect; maybe next time. "Cherry trees just after peak," oil on canvas panel, 16" x 20."

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Old 04-14-2018, 10:40 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Grotius, lovely cherry trees! They’re such beautiful, delicate trees and you captured them beautifully.

Moscatel, I love all three of your studies. I love the light and mood in “Aspen Line”, that while there’s still snow out Spring is coming. Your small studies convey so much information in small sizes, great brushwork too.

I found the “Oil From Life” thread last month (haven’t been in the Oil Painting forum in quite a while, working mainly in the Drawing and Sketching Classroom) and am incredibly inspired by all the work done and how much folks have improved in their painting by working from life. I started painting a little over three years ago, but work mainly indirectly and from photos. I’ve only done one painting from life (a small plein air piece in a class two years ago). I decided to take advantage of Grotius’ generous definition of “plein air” and paint a plant right outside our computer room window. It doesn’t bloom for very long, only a couple weeks, and somehow I haven’t managed to get it photographed yet. It’s in bloom now, though wilting, and I managed to catch it.

I took a photo of the plant itself through the window to show the setup, and cropped it to help with composition (like a viewfinder), although I drew it freehand and it’s painted mostly from life.



I’m going to call this “Flowers Through the Window”, since I don’t actually know what they’re called. Not my best work, but it was a good way to get into painting from life, and I learned a lot from it. It’s oils on canvas panel, 5x7”.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:20 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Colin, thank you! The cat was sitting on the rock (on blanket) in warm sunshine right in front of me so I could have painted her and the rock also.

Grotius, thank you for the nice comments! Excellent work done with "Cherry trees just after peak", I like the composition, rich paint texture, color harmony and softness. Road is inviting viewer to step in and go see the end of the road what is waiting for there. I like the level of blur/hard edges you ended up with. This painting must look really good as it's big size also! I might still have to wait for another month or so to paint the cherry tree that is visible on the other side terrace. When it has bloom I might do the same and paint it several times .. just for fun and practice. Ah, the cat stays by my side like a dog in forest so it's quite easy to paint plein air with her. I see how she enjoys being in forest all her full heart so this is the reason I take her along. When it comes to painting in cold weather we must be aware and it can cause severe health problems but this spring I was tempted to paint white snow. I wanted to have some snow plein airs to my collection. That's way I did the paintings this spring but I'm not sure I will repeat. Too much cold is not good for anybody.

Dawn, thank you! Thanks also for showing your progress photos of the subject, it's a beautiful flower. Excellent job done with your painting and this is a perfect way to get used to plein air more and more. I like the green flower stems how you have rendered them. Beautiful and rich color for the flower also.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:51 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme


spring itinerary: shovelling snow, baking bread, shovelling, laundry, shovelling.. trying to find the garage doors under there somewhere.. all i can do is applaud everyone here, great job people!

@moscatel; three in one go and they all look like this. daunting. a very subjective favourite is the ice in the second one; i love the way you've sculpted it into being with all available means. (...evergreens? ) the color and repetition in the third kept me studying for the longest time, the interplay of lines playing off the power of color, the control by selection is the main character in this one. beautiful.

@Grotius; yes, again: your best so far. i hope you reserve a place of honor for this latest cherry of a cherry tree in your (now a bidding war of an) exhibition. the story is dignified and with great feeling, all skill precisely applied. i can feel the distance, the temperature and the height of the tree. it's complete. "The Embrace". the one before had me zooming in, travelling the strokes uniting the colors in the grass .

@DawnDR; the light is already there! the shadows are good, alive. now it's just a lot of shaping detail and some highlights
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:02 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Moscatel, thanks for your lovely comments! I definitely have a lot to learn for painting plein air, glad to have this group to learn with.

Ronsu, good luck with your spring itinerary! Thank you for your comments on my painting, I appreciate the feedback.
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:10 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme



Looking good everyone! Doing well with the roses, Carol, they're not easy to master. And flowering bushes and trees en plein air are just plain difficult. But they are so beautiful and no one ever improved by doing the simpliest things.

Geoff, try thin knit gloves under your plastic disposables--it helps. The "what are you doing? Painting?" question always cracks me up too. I'm always tempted to say, "no--taking a bath".

I went out to paint Friday for the first time this year. Only up the hill to the neighbors yard. Good thing that I stayed close to home because I forgot two things that I need (paper towels and my nutcracker which I use to open stuck on caps) and had to go back home to get them. Painted 1 1/2 hours outside and about 15 minutes in studio to fix a problem area.

The Old Cistern, oil 9" x 12" on linen mounted panel. Critique always welcomed.
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:32 PM
ColinBaxter ColinBaxter is offline
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

DawnDR, the plant looks like an amaryllis. I like the perspective, also the vibrant red matches the plants showiness.

Last edited by ColinBaxter : 04-15-2018 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:52 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Moscatel and Ronsu, thank you for the kind words on "Cherry trees just after peak." I agree with Ronsu, this one is the best of my cherry-blossom series. I'm really quite proud of it. Alas, it will also be my last cherry-blossom picture of the season, as today the rain washed most of them away.

Dawn, nice job with the flowers! I hope you keep posting here. I think flowers are an especially challenging subject. All those subtle value and color graduations often confound me. I often fudge it by softening edges. Drawing them isn't always easy, either! And yes, we define plein air generously here. (Feel free to call me Geoff, by the way.)

Phyllis, I enjoyed your cistern painting. Cool subject! I should ask my neighbors to paint on their yards. Hadn't thought of it, actually. Also, I did try thin gloves under my disposable last week, and it helped a lot. I just need to find thinner gloves. One concern was that my hand was sore afterwards; maybe the gloves were too tight.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:05 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

Phyllis, I love the feel of your “Old Cistern”, calm and peaceful. Under that tree on our left looks like a good place to sit for a while. Also, inspired by how much you can convey in an hour and a half’s work.

Colin, thanks for your comments on my work. I’ll have to do a bit of research on those flowers.

Geoff, thanks for your comments on my painting. I agree with you that flowers are difficult, and for the same reasons. Fudging it by softening the edges sounds like a good strategy! I’ll try it on the next piece I’m working on (also flowers). Also I want to second Phyllis’ recommendation to double-glove. I’m a biologist working in a chemistry lab (we do chemistry on plants - fun stuff), and we routinely freeze our samples in liquid nitrogen and store them in a -80*C ultralow temperature freezer (-112*F). We wear cheap woolen gloves under our lab gloves (nitrile instead of latex because of the chemicals we work with) and they go a long way towards keeping our hands warm. Nitrile gloves are a little thicker than latex, and might help with keeping your fingers from freezing, without impacting your dexterity much. If your hand was sore, the glove was probably too tight; I’ve had that problem too. Try using disposable gloves a size bigger than you usually wear if you’re wearing them over woolen gloves, which is what I usually do. *lab tech gets off her soapbox* I hope that helps!
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Old 04-18-2018, 11:23 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, April 2018: optional plein air theme

"Self Portrait" - 8x10" oil on linen panel

Hey guys! I painted this self portrait from life last evening. I am always painting self portraits just because I feel like they really help me practice and get better at painting all around the board. Its definitely not because I think I'm a good looking person or something. Honestly I get extremely sick of looking at my ugly mug in the mirror! lol...

The weather here in Ohio has been exceptionally crappy for April, it normally is a very nice time of the year, with nice 60-70 degree weather and blue skies. We had a couple days like that, but for the most part there has been lots of cold rainy days, and even snow Monday and Tuesday! Really weird weather this year. Anyways, I have been painting inside more often than I normally do, been doing a lot of paintings from photos, portraits and such, of people's kids, that people have commissioned me to do. Not what I would want to paint if I was painting for myself, but hey, money talks!

Geoff: You asked me these questions about the recipe for my medium that I posted:

QUOTE: "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." END QUOTE

Honestly Geoff, I have never tried using just straight oil for a medium. As interested as I am in trying different mediums, you would think I would have tried the most basic! I will have to give it a shot sometime. I've never used Gamblin's solvent-free gel either. This medium I use though most definitely will thin your paint and make it more workable, something about this combination of ingredients is just magic for me. It just makes the paint act exactly how I want it to. As for the smell, I use pure gum spirits turpentine as my solvent, which is some pretty darn smelly stuff, and if you are sensitive to that I would most definitely not recommend using turpentine. I'm not sure how you feel about using odorless mineral spirits, especially a good artist grade brand, not the hardware store stuff, but for me it is a great substitute if I don't have turpentine and the smell does not irritate me at all, especially compared to turpentine which can give me a headache if I am around it too long. You could also use oil of spike lavender, which is supposed to be non toxic, but in my opinion the smell is even more obnoxious than turpentine, and it doesn't evaporate anywhere nearly as fast. Another option is that citrus stuff u can get, I have some, I can't remember exactly where I got it, but for me the smell is not bad and its also supposed to be non toxic. As for the drying time, it dries pretty much overnight for me because of the japan drier, if not overnight than it will be the next day for sure. Maybe not some parts if I use really thick paint in some areas in which I just used straight paint and no medium, but anywhere where the paint is not super thick and I used medium it dries pretty quick. If you like your paint to stay wet longer, you could just take the japan drier out of the recipe, and it won't effect the way the medium handles or anything, but your paint should stay workable for I would say a week at the very least.

Anyways, I'm loving all your paintings guys! Your cherry trees are very nice to look at Geoff! Great work

P.S. sorry about the bad photo, I don't have a cell phone at the moment and have been having to photograph my paintings with my laptop.
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