Fog Bank at Sunset
My focus of the trees in the background held up and my brushwork is loose with optical colour mixing which is what I've been trying for all summer with all my still life setups outdoors. A little easier to manage with the still life objects even though the sun was always shifting there also. In the landscapes it seemed the light changes are more dramatic. Especially at the end of the day as I was out painting the Steveston view after 4PM yesterday.
When I arrived there was a bit of fog that had come in but I missed the full impact of it as it was just receding and the sun came out fully in minutes. Quite the chill in the air also for the little that I experienced of it. Later I was looking around to find a view I wanted to paint and settled on the distant docks with the fog bank just behind them. While I was painting them I could see the fog advancing towards me but it didn't quite reach my location when it again receded. The boats were all blanketed in fog and could hardly be seen but came back after a while into view. I had a fellow stop to chat, he was a commercial fisherman and he said it was unusual for a fog to come in like that at sunset. I had thought I'd be doing the colours of the sunset but the fog was so interesting about an hour before, I decided that would be my focus no matter how brilliant the sunset colours got.
Quick Colour Study and Measuring Techniques
My only regret with the demo is that I only just barely got started on the portrait when the time had ended. Maybe next time I'll be faster and get a small piece completed to my satisfaction.
I did get some of the techniques detailed and some repeated which is good, so that it may help with better understanding and retention. At least this has been helping me as I practiced doing my videos. I hope that I was able to teach something, as the process I'm learning is endlessly fascinating to me now and especially as I try to learn new things daily. I also see my portraits starting to evolve and that makes me very happy.
I'll write more on the quick colour study next post.
I had thought this view wouldn't be too different with the lighting change for the duration of the 3 hours we had to paint. What I forgot to think ahead on though was the raising tide and this had tricked me in the end by the shifting the placement of the docks and boats against my original placement. The shadows did some changing and the boats and their facing shade sides deepened in value but the shift with the tide created a drawing adjustment I seemed unable to chase down. Like chasing the sun one shouldn't try to chase shifting docks.
I tried mostly to maintain some defining shapes to the cluster of boats but I think I should have just simplified the whole scene. I used the full 3 hours but had lots of time to relax into my process and step away for short breaks. Beautiful glorious sunning day, it was a joy to be out there despite some small frustrations and anxious moments of the challenge.
This graphite drawing will start on the my auction tomorrow.
Met several new people though and it was all good. We had quite a few people come up, maybe they were getting out of the rain also.
My thought was to be above the piece looking partially down on the objects. Being up on the stage with the setup I figured this was going to be more the case so I didn't take my heavy little patio table. I thought a clear plastic bag of apples with some pouring out would be a simple enough setup. Not so, and the clear bag was very tricky to paint. But I did enjoy the challenge of seeing the difference between the apples out of the bag and the apples partially obscured in the bag. An interesting challenge with the edges and the greys. Being a cloudy day I picked a bag with some variety of ripeness and a couple had some nice yellow green and yellow reds to them. This reminded me of wanting to try subjects like this before but I never got to them. I think this would make an interesting series for the winter months. The local produce store just across the street would keep me challenged for quite awhile.
Plexiglass Colour Testing
I made suggestions as to what to consider as a good starting place for the still life, as in different kinds of contrasting elements, such as in warm/cool, light/dark and big/small. Shapes also will come into consideration.
When David was setting up this still life we then have another bunch of design concepts to consider. Because he has a natural eye for this stuff it usually works out just right.
We were talking about our relationship, was I his mentor, teacher? I felt kind of funny having that kind of title but after looking up some definitions on mentor it seemed just fine. I try to give him some direction and a few lessons as we paint but it's just fun to have a painting companion.
The market is a bit like trial by fire for someone and I keep telling him he is very brave to be out doing this. I found this market pretty busy but as I missed last week I was also pretty up for chatting with everyone. It was quite fun in fact. If I get into a mood or space that I have to complete something and to complete something that is good I'm in trouble from the get-go. Also I didn't set out the previous paintings as they can get some enquiries as to price and do I sale my work. I'm out there for other reasons and I have decided the market is not the best place to try and sell at. I also have been doing this for the past 4 years and nothing has sold while I've been there. Live and learn. Some of the comments have pushed buttons and that is not what I want either so best to avoid the whole issue of selling.