Wondering about wild grapes

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wondering about some new paintings

I purchased some small 8” x 10” canvases, and decided that I would try to start painting again.  I figured that using the small canvases would be easier and quicker.  NOT SO!  It takes a lot longer to do the fine detail because you have to use such small brushes.  For example, this first one is suppose to be an up close view of the bottom of an old fence post with barbed wire and vines wrapped around it.  I added a little mushroom to give it some contrast.  I think the barbed wire ant the vines look the best.  This picture took as long to do as a bigger one would have.  The only advantage is that it would fit in my scanner and the other ones would not.

I then decided to try something different.  I wanted to try to paint a misty or foggy forest.  That seemed to work but the painting seemed too dark and needed something to brighten it up.  So I really got bold and added a rising sun peeking through a couple of trees.  That made quite a contrast and I am not sure if it helped the painting or distracted from it.  What do you think?

I just started another small painting, but this time I decided to do something a little different. My subject would be the desert and mountains of Arizona at sunrise or sunset. You know, in the gloaming; the period of time between day and night.

I decided that I would make this painting simple and easy. I took a big two inch brush and put the first layer of paint on the small canvas. It took no time at all, just a few minutes. In fact, it took a whole lot longer just to get the paints mixed to the colors that I wanted.

Like I said, this painting has only the background layer (the first layer) on it and it was done quickly and roughly. Now I will start to do the detail work, but I plan to keep it simple. Of course I don’t know what it will look like when it is done. As usual, I will probably ruin it (grin). Here is the first coat which I left dry and maybe I will start on the details today or maybe not.

Any comments or suggestions, positive or negative, would be appreciated, like the last time I put some paintings on the blog for your critique. By the way, the last two pictures were influenced from actual photos that I saw in book.  Don't forget that you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

You all have a great day now, you hear?


  1. Acrylic or oil? Looks good to me...

  2. Like the old saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" Personally I am in awe of anyone who can take a brush and paint and piece of canvas and product an imagine. Personally I am a huge fan of the Old Masters and western artist.
    IF I had to choose just one of the three you offer for review this morning, I 'll take the desert mountain scent . ( although I do like the detail in the mushroom scene)
    Have been married to a degreed artist educator I was exposed to the Masters over over 27 years and developed a love of their work.

    Do not give up your hobby GrandaMa Moses wasn't "discovered" till in her old age.

  3. DD The forest scene needs a hint of shadow on the two trees on the left. Maybe a hint of shadow behind a couple of the knobs of vegetation on the forest floor. This one is an excellent concept. I think that the concept could use a few more explorations and variations. Thanks for showing them.

  4. Boy howdy, that are one good look'n chunk of "bob" (barbed for ya yankees) wire. Years ago I painted on big canvas, mostly landscapes, what were really nice. Then I went for the details. Screwed the whole painting up....dumpster time. Havn't touch a brush in 30 years, or something like that.
    What is a Master???

  5. After I got back from Viet Nam I took up painting, but stayed away from landscapes. All of mine were nude woman and one was a portrait of a nude woman. That one was the only one I ever sold and it was to a friend. He thought I'd die before him and it would become valuable. ;) Haven't painted in at least 40 years now, but have thought about trying my hand at landscapes. Probably couldn't find any subjects for nudes here. ;)

  6. I think that the woods scene would be good without the light!

    I do like the fence post, though! Just a little yellow in the sky in the mountain scene would be enough light, I'm thinking!

    They are all good to me, buddy! You do good work!

  7. Frann, they are acrylic since my wife doesn’t allow oil painting in the house and it is way too hot to paint outside.

    Ben, I don’t do it to be “discovered”. Just am having fun with it. I am better at drawing with pencils or ink, and even that ain’t too good.

    Barney, I agree, and it would help give it more depth, too.

    BB, let me tell you, I had to really work hard to get that “bob” wire just right and had to use the smallest instruments that I had. You ask “what is a master?”. One guy told be that he worked for years and years baiting hooks on a fishing boat and finally he worked is way up to a master baiter (grin).

    David, you have to be good to paint people. I am impressed, that is something I can not do. Tried and failed. Of course I didn’t have any nude model to work from.

    HJ, I think that you are right but the photograph I was using as a reference had it. I did not do a good enough job with the sun. After I put it on there I wished I hadn’t but it did need some lighting up, but not that way.

  8. Morning Dizzy. I don't know much about art, but after looking your paintings over I'll say I like the first one best, second one second best and probably the last one least without disliking any of them.

    The first one has a 'feel' to it of maybe an illustration to set off text in a book. If I were to criticize anything about it I'd suggest the mushroom could use a hair more blending into the overall work. My impression after looking at it as you asked that it be looked at, as opposed to just enjoying it, is that the mushroom still reveals itself as an afterthought. Which isn't to say I don't like it. I do.

    I could like the second one best of all, and it's a tempting prospect, looking it over again. About the only thing I can see in it might make me like it better is a deeper shading gradually deepening as it approaches the bottom and the dawn light hasn't found it yet. I think a hint of shadows of the humps and trees might also help.

    I generally find mountain sky horizon work pleasing to the eye, but I think your third one has a feel of 'unfinished', but maybe the abrupt lines without transitions were intended to convey something a bit harsh, in which case it succeeds.

    Nice work all, especially the first two. Thanks for sharing them.

  9. SoFar, Thank you for the comments, it helps me along when I try to do more paintings. BTW the third painting was only fist background layer, it was not complete, just like you said. I will show the completed painting in a day or so.