Sunday, May 31, 2015

Fruit of the Vine

On an anniversary trip to Italy several years ago, we were driving through Tuscany and came across this lovely vineyard.  The soft, dusty blue skin of these grapes, destined for a fine wine on someone's table, are so unlike the standard red and green grapes that I buy at the grocery store.  What a gift, these fruit of the vine!

On a 16x20 canvas I started by sketching the basic placement of the grape bunches, vines, and leaves.

One of the things that I loved about the photo was the way the dark values all connected in interesting shapes.  So in this step my goal was to paint the dark areas in a way that simplified the busyness and made sure I stayed true to that original inspiration.  Everything that I left unpainted (below) would remain a light value in the final painting.     

Just a few strokes later (ha!  not really) and here you go:
  Fruit of the Vine, 16x20 Oil, available

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Down Under

In 2014, we took a trip to Australia (highly recommend!)  On our drive up the east coast between Cairns (pronounced "Cans") and Port Douglas, we stopped at this beautiful, but desolate beach.  I suspect the crocs and stingers (deadly jellyfish) had something to do with the desolation, but nonetheless it was an incredibly peaceful place to take a break from driving on the wrong, um, I mean the left, side of the road.  The sun was setting, the shadows were long, and this weather-worn branch rose from the sand in a graceful statement of solitude.  Simply lovely.
 By the way, I wasn't joking about the crocs and stingers! :)
I cropped my original photo to focus more on the graceful shape of the driftwood.
Then I covered my drawing with warm colors (okay, it's all orange) to contrast with what I knew was going to be a cool painting.
In this step, I covered the dark areas to make sure I liked the way it makes the eye move around the composition (I do!)
After establishing all of the "under structure", the rest of the process involved trying to make sure I didn't mess it up!  :) 

Down Under, 8x10 oil, available