Friday, May 23, 2008

Studio from Reference Paintings - Followup

I've seen a bit of rain this week, so it was a good time to be in the studio working on commissions. As I mentioned before, the Nature Trust of New Brunswick wanted two paintings to depict a couple of properties it is trying to protect.

For the finished pieces, in addition to using my 5x7 oil sketches, I used photos. The oil sketches gave me good color and value reference, whereas the photos gave me detail I couldn't capture in the 5x7s. However, I found the photos less valuable than the oil sketches. I'm more of a colorist than a tonalist, and the sketches had nearly everything I needed.

Although I was only going from a 5x7 to a 9x12, the amount of work to get there was disproportionate to the size. That is, for each one I worked much harder than the additional 73 square inches warranted! But the results were worth it - I'm very happy with both.

With the Washburn Lookout painting, I improved the pathway for the eye to the center of interest and also the design of some elements, especially the groupings of trees. With the Navy Island piece, I found very little that needed changing from the 5x7. I "amplified" the view of Navy Island a bit, making it more dominant than it is and also punched up the sunlit highlights on it.

One of the pieces will be used in promotional materials and the other will be auctioned off this summer. Once I get details on the auction, I'll post a note in my blog.

Here are the two paintings.

"Navy Island from Pottery Creek," 9x12, oil NFS

"View from Washburn Lookout," 9x12, oil NFS

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