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Old 09-04-2017, 03:49 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

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Originally Posted by Grotius
DMArtist, that is so sweet of you to find those extra awards for me! That's the nicest thing anyone has done for me all week. Thank you so much!

I'd love to accept that, but it was from AnnieA not me. It's so sweet of her for doing that. We all should do the same since you're the one who got this thread running! Great idea by the way AnnieA!

Congrats on your sale Geoff! 45 is better than nothing! Lovely colors and I can see why they wanted it, it's going to be a memorable painting for them. I love the colors you're using. It makes me think, are you using some phthalo green in it? I've been wondering if I should get myself some yellow-shade phthalo green to complete my collection (got phthalo greenshade blue and love it). Great rendering of the house and the composition is excellent in my eyes. Congrats again on making some money!

AnnieA: Thank you! Yes, I have one problem, I kinda forgot that The Netherlands can have wild weather and it's cloudy now. It's possible it'll remain like that through the full moon nights too. I'm so bad at it, trying to get everything to work out, but I think I might end up painting upstairs viewing outside from the window. It's an interesting view anyways with some lighting going on. That's my Plan B. :P Also I couldn't find an interesting scene with the full moon from where I live. I'm not going all out to find a perfect scene lol my husband would be worried about me so, window it is and no moon (unless it's shining brightly on the landscape I'm planning to paint). And yeah zest-it.. well I don't think any solvents are 100% safe and I've heard some bad things about gamsol too.. *shrug* so I think gamsol and zest-it are on about same level. I could be wrong of course. It's just so hard to research about them, I've spent weeks researching and finally settled on zest-it since it was easy to get here. And if I want to be super safe (like in winter) I have walnut oil as a back up so my options are flexible. Of course, I play it safe like always, like wash my hands afterward, etc. I just know one thing, zest-it doesn't give me headaches like turpentine do. So that's a good step.

T1, ah congrats on having your art in the gallery! Oh man you guys are having some success... I hope I'll get there one day too! Either way you guys are getting me all pumped up! I see what you mean by the lighting. I'll have to experiment on that I guess.

Might do a still life today with leaves I've collected yesterday and pumpkin! Mmm yes, I'm feeling some autumn vibe going on!

Last edited by DMArtist7 : 09-04-2017 at 04:46 AM.
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:36 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

Geoff, I agree with DMA that it appears that you may have used some pthalo green in "Pennyfield Lock". I especially see it outlining the windows. It gives it a lovely, vibrant effect that I especially like. I like to use pthalo green when painting landscapes, just because I can get a more wide variety of greens when I use it. I don't think I have ever used it straight out of the tube unmixed, but I like to use it as something of a "base green" sometimes, and just mix it in which ever direction it needs to go. Also, because the pthalo pigments are so powerful, I use student grade pthalo green, and it works great for me! I use Georgian. I don't even have a desire for artist grade pthalo green, I think I might accidently stain my whole county in a psychadelic state of pthalo mania! Lol Besides that though I use all artist grade pigments.

I got up early and went outside in some beautiful weather this morning, this is what I came out with.

"Over the Hocking" - 6x8" oil on paper

P.S. - Congrats on the sale Geoff! I have never sold a plein air piece right off the easel yet. I bet that made your day! It would for me anyways
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:42 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

Geoff congratulations on the sale!

As for lights for nocturnes, I have seen artists use headlamps from camping stores, most are on straps but some clip on to a hat brim. Also I have seen some use clip on book lights, the sort you get at Barnes & Nobel or where ever books are sold. Neither option provides the colour balanced light we artists prefer, but are better than paiting in the dark and cheaper than the purpose made easel lights, which I have also seen.

Painting over drinks at the bar with friends will do wonders to improve the look of your paintings. At least while they are in progress.
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:41 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

AnnieA, thank you so much for finding awards for me! I was really touched by that. Very sweet of you. :-)

DMA, thanks for pointing out that I thanked the wrong person, lol!

T1, that's a really nice painting. It feels like morning. I am amazed how straight you got the bridge. Do you use a straight-edge or mahl stick? I occasionally use a portable mahl stick to steady my hand, but it's a cylinder, and I find it hard to use as a straight-edge. Also, is that a figure in the right? I like the attendant shadow a lot. Again, it suggests morning. Well done!

Dave, those are the solutions James Gurney suggests: head lamp or clip-on book light for the easel. Here are a couple of his blog posts, with links to cheap lights. I've ordered a couple so that I can try a nocturne.

http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...onditions.html

http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...-painting.html
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:32 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

Geoff, i used a pallet knife for the bridge, just load the knife with a little roll of paint, press the knife onto your surface and drag. It takes some practice but u can get some very nice straight edges this way. There is no figure, that is a tree trunk but i see how it appears to be one
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:44 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

Geoff, you certainly deserved those awards! "Pennyfield Lock" is quite lovely and I can see why it sold quickly. Congrats!

DMA, I didn't realize you were in the Netherlands! If zest-it is what's easily available then using it makes sense. Great idea about "plein aire a la fenetre," too! I may try that, as the day of the full moon here will be in the 90s, and it hasn't been cooling off until the wee hours when it gets that hot. I love walnut oil too, but be sure to be aware of "fat over lean."

I have one of those strap in head lights, but haven't really used it. Maybe I'll try it on a nocturne, but I'm concerned that it will cast too cool a light to be of much use.

t1, yeah, pthalos are nearly uncontrollable, and I use student grade too. For landscapes, I often skip it and use chrome oxide green and the convenience color, yellow green which contains pthalo. Your little plein air is lovely. Are your greens in it mixed with pthalo?

Heads up: There's a Kindle version of Mitchell Albala's Landscape Painting: Essential Techniques, on sale for $6.99 just for today. I've checked it out from the library and it's an excellent book. One of the best sections is on the use of notan. I attended a demo he offered a while ago on notan, and I can see how using it has improved my work.
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Last edited by AnnieA : 09-04-2017 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:30 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

Annie, thanks for the link. I immediately bought the book! Will read tonight. I'm out looking for a plein air spot right now.

You guys guessed it, I used a touch of phtalo green in Pennyfield Lock. I rarely use it but it seemed to work here. Lately I've been using viridian and sap green (gasp). Even though Sap Green is a mix of pigments, which I normally avoid, it's very useful in summer.
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:14 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

Hey, Geoff, I think you'll really enjoy Albala's book. I got a copy myself and plan on getting into it in more depth. Let me know what you think...

I use sap green too. Personally, I think it makes a lot of sense to use convenience colors for plein aire. After all, you're going to need to mix to get the right hues anyway - convenience colors just speed up the process. I think single pigment colors are important when clean, saturated intense color is needed, but that's rare in the landscape. It's probably most crucial to use single pigment colors for those who do glazing.
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Last edited by AnnieA : 09-04-2017 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 09-04-2017, 04:11 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

T1, wow that's a beautiful painting you did! Love the colors, I realy think you're improving in every piece you do. Keep it up! This bridge is super straight. I see you've used knife, I'll have to give it a try whenever such object shows up in my plein air scene. Phthalo is indeed super strong. I got the artist level and really struggled with it until I learned how to control it by adding opposite color (in my case, magneta and yellow). It works, but yeah, it's difficult for sure, but nothing can really replace its vibrancy. Maybe I should have gotten the student version of it... haha you're smart. Speaking of dyeing the whole country with it... well I actually like the idea. After all the world could use more colors.

Geoff, no problem!

AnnieA, aye. Yup I'm aware of fat over lean principle. I try to follow it, but I think when you paint it alla prima, it doesn't matter that much. That book looks nice, thank you for sharing, but I think I'll pass mostly because I'm too lazy to order anything at the moment. It's late over here.

I don't even have sap green. The closest green I got is permament green from student quality line. Never really liked it because it's a hue made with multi-pigments. For some reason I like single pigment so I know how it behaves and feel I'm more in control when it comes to mixing. I understand what you mean though, if it works for you, great!

I've worked on still life, it's still WIP. I would have finished it if it wasn't for the sun going away. Oh well, tomorrow I shall resume!

Last edited by DMArtist7 : 09-04-2017 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:59 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

I spent two hours driving around looking for a painting spot. Does that happen to you guys? Sometimes the scene is great but there's no practical place to set up. For example, I found a great bridge over a creek, but I couldn't paint on it because I'd have blocked bikes etc.

Eventually I settled for a bridge with a bike path over an unpleasantly busy street. I magically removed the traffic and gave the bridge a more bucolic feel. Also, I started with a blue underpainting and let it peek thru. I didn't try t1's knife, as I didn't have a straight knife with me. Maybe next time. I did use a glorious Ray Mar panel. Wow! "Bridge over Massachusetts Avenue," oil on canvas panel, 8" x 10".

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Old 09-05-2017, 10:29 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

Geoff, I gave up my driver license when I moved to The Netherlands. It was too expensive to renew it here (1,5k up to 3k euros just for it!?!? ) so my only option is to have my husband drive around. So, it's better for me to use google maps and virtual street views to see where I wanna go. I wanna figure out how to carry my stuff on a bicycle though. I will need the whole new easel for it I think. I think you found a nice spot to do a painting though. Love how the blue shines through, it adds a such vibrancy to it. Keep it up!

Here's mine, a still life of pumpkin and colored leaves I collected 2 days ago on my walk in the forest. "Autumn is coming" 18x24cm canvas panel.

Last edited by DMArtist7 : 09-05-2017 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:57 AM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

Lovin ur work guys! Im currently on the road, at a little rest stop in West Virginia taking a little break. I will try to post some photos of the painting i do at the workshop.
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Old 09-05-2017, 03:29 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

DMA, Bravo! Your painting is glowing with Fall color!

t1, have fun at your workshop and please do post photos!

After feeling completely blah and not wanting to paint or do anything for several days, I woke up this morning to an odd somewhat glowing greenish light in the sky and did a 5x7 color study of the view from my window. It's very sketchy, but I may post it later if I can get a good photo. The weird light is from several forest fires that have been burning in the NW, but I have no idea why it seems greenish. I hope this is not how our summers are typically going to be in future years.
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Last edited by AnnieA : 09-05-2017 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 09-05-2017, 04:03 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

DMA, that still life is glorious! I love the pumpkin and the shadows under the leaves. The whole thing shimmers. Is it finished, or do you plan to add any other objects?

Wow, I'm amazed how much your license costs to renew. I suppose the government is trying to incentivize people to use more energy-efficient or less-polluting alternatives to cars. Pricy!
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Old 09-05-2017, 04:53 PM
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Re: Oil-from-life challenge, Sept. 2017: any subject, but think about trying a nocturne!

Geoff you did a great job of editing out the traffic. I have done the wander in search of a painting spot many times. Some days they are everywhere, other days they all disappear.

DMA I like the warmth in that still life. The purple on the leaf around the onion is just magical.
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