Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cedarburg Plein Air Competition

It has been a while since my last post. Last month the lesson for the Spotlight Challenge talked about manipulating edges while in the creative process. Here's what the Wet Canvas had to say for this month's lesson.

"Last month during our discussion on edges, I remarked that manipulating edges can be done at various times during the painting process. If a person's tendency is to paint with mostly soft edges, the certain edges can be made harder at the end. I think more people are likely to paint with hard edges as they paint can then soften the edges as needed in the final stages. One advantage to manipulating edges in the final stages is that you can see the entire painting at once - thus you can manipulate edges in comparison to the other edges in the painting. In all likelihood, you will manipulate edges both during the process and at the end when you can more easily compare edges to one another."

In keeping with the lesson, I took on the challenge painting of apples in clay pots. This painting is the result of that lesson.

The next image is a "Work in Progress" or as we say a WIP. It is of a kitten, soft and fluffy. It still needs work and will post it the finished painting when it is done. But I wanted you to see it now in conjunction with this lesson.

To finish this work, I need to intensify the colors, create a background, and ground this cute kitty to show her standing on something as opposed to floating in the air.

This is not all that I've been working on. I also participated in Cedarburg's Plein Air Painting Competition and produced two paintings for show. This first one I actually entered as my piece of choice. It is a painting of the Ozaukee Art Center. It took me two sittings (2 hours per sitting) to complete this painting.

This was difficult for me to do as I had never done buildings before. As I look at this now, had I waited to paint this later in the afternoon I would have had better shadowing in this painting. But, for the first time, I am pleased with the results. This encourages me to go out again and try other buildings. I am constantly be told as I tell others, Practice, Practice, Practice!! That is the formula needed to reach near perfection.

I also painted one other in Plein Air at Cedarburg. It was a scene just behind the Cultural Center. Instead of facing the waterfall, I looked in the opposite direction. Although I was there for two days, I hadn't gotten the painting to where I thought it would be good to enter. So, instead, I took it home and finished it there from a photo. The following set of photos is my WIP.

At this stage, I realized that it was too flat and the stream was completely off, but when I was painting it I couldn't figure out how to fix it.  So rather than enter it, I took it home and worked on it some more. Doing this meant I couldn't it enter this painting as a true Plein Air Painting, which was ok with me. The sky needed to be lightened and more levels in the trees needed to be added, the lights needed to be lightened and most important of all, the stream needed work. Thanks to the critique I received on Wet Canvas, I was able to make corrections on this painting.

As you can see here, I removed the tree on the near right side, brighten up the painting by intensifying the light areas, added sky holes in the trees, but the water was still troubling me. I worked on it some more, and this is my end result.

Once again, I would like to thank you for following my blog. If you like what you see or you see something that could be improved upon, I am always open to and interested in your comments.