Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ellis County Courthouse

16"x12" oil on panel. The 1895 Ellis County Courthouse in Waxahachie, Texas.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Plein Air Studies

Here are two plein air oils I did over the weekend. The first one was from Love Park in Ennis, Texas during the peak of the bluebonnet season. The second one I did last Sunday afternoon as a quick study for a larger painting.

Ennis Bluebonnets 8x10 oil on panel - $75 unframed

Ellis County Courthouse 10x8 oil on canvas panel $95 unframed

Thursday, April 18, 2013

First Plein Air of 2013

Ellis County Blues - 9x12 oil on Gessobord

Looking for bluebonnet fields to paint, Doug Clark and I drove out to the Ennis area last Saturday just east of Waxahachie. With their annual Bluebonnet Festival, Ennis is the unofficial bluebonnet Capital of Texas - I hear that Burnet lays claim to the "Official" title. Neither of us was familiar with the area so we blindly drove around looking for distant patches of blue. After a few u-turns and dog legs through the countryside we settled on Liska Road near Lakeview Drive. 

It took me a good 30 minutes to decide on my composition. I wanted to have a nice contrast of blooms in both shade and sunshine. This spot was perfect because the direction of the sun was parallel with the road so the shade from the cedar trees was the same throughout the session. Shade is not usually a constant when painting outdoors. 

My painting is a good example of the importance of establishing your values from the start. Mine were a little off. I think my foreground blues were too light to capture the rich royal blue of a Texas bluebonnet but I couldn't make them darker because of the mid-value blues just behind them in the shade. It would have been better if I had made each a bit darker in value in the initial stages. As it is, the sunlit flowers are a little too pale in my opinion. Other than that, I'm happy with the results. 

Doug Clark
Doug has planned for a group of Dallas/Fort Worth plein air painters to come out this way on Saturday (April 20) so we packed up and headed out to scout a few more locations on the way home. We stumbled upon Love Park, which is a Corp of Engineers facility on the shores of Lake Bardwell. The bluebonnets are more plentiful here than on Liska Road, and the ladies will appreciate the nearby restrooms. That weekend is supposed to be the peak of the short-lived blossoms and as seasons go, this looks to be one of the best for wide-spread color. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Self Portrait No. 1

My first self portrait (12"x9" pastel on panel). Not really sure if this portrays me very well. Funny how that works. If it were anyone else I think I could judge it better. Anyway, in the spirit of never making excuses for your work, it appeals to me even if it doesn't nail my features exactly. Maybe it's because it makes me look younger than I am... totally unintentional of course. I could add a few wrinkles here and there but artistic license is a wonderful thing

Friday, April 5, 2013

Civil War Reenactment

Longing - 14”x11” oil on panel.  My photo reference was a combination of two pics taken during the 2012 Waxahachie Chautauqua which featured a Civil War reenactment. With literally hundreds of costumed participants there were plenty of subjects to paint and sketch from.