Art: Vin's Landscapes

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    Vin's Landscapes

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    Since I was off at a plein-air landscape painting workshop all last week, my interest in landscape painting has been renewed. I want to do one or two a week until the weather goes all to hell and my acrylics become unusable due to low temperatures. I don't think I'm quite ready to buy a set of oils.

    Anyway, I thought I'd start a thread here to encourage myself to do these and post them, and maybe get some help.

    Here's some of the stuff from the first half of the workshop, which focused on watercolour.

    Vin's Landscapes

    Vin's Landscapes

    Experimenting with colour a bit since I didn't want every single painting of the hills to be green and brown. Half-assed the bottom third, sadly -- I might redo this one from reference photos.
    Vin's Landscapes

    I really wanted to capture those dark late-morning shadows but I think they stand out too much.
    Vin's Landscapes

    Ink. I like ink!
    Vin's Landscapes

    This one was mostly just an exercise in composition. I think the cloud could be placed a lot better.
    Vin's Landscapes

    I'll be scanning/photographing the acrylic stuff in the next few days.

    Last edited by vineris; October 4th, 2011 at 07:45 PM.
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    Acrylics:

    Fields near Dry Island Buffalo Jump:
    Vin's Landscapes

    The hills in the Dry Island Buffalo Jump valley. I was messing around after a hot day, was tired of painting stripes on hills and wanted to do something a bit more graphical.
    Vin's Landscapes

    A shack in Dorothy. I think it turned out all right except for the composition. I tried to move back to get a better view but there was an artist to the right of me blocking my view and an artist to the left whose view I was blocking. Eesh. Also, I think I need to fix that car up a bit.
    Vin's Landscapes

    Last edited by vineris; December 21st, 2013 at 11:59 PM.
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    Another try at fields, this time with more muted colours. Painted at Munsen, Alberta.
    Vin's Landscapes

    Not a landscape, but it was painted in the same location as the previous picture. An experiment:
    Vin's Landscapes

    This was painted a couple weeks after the workshop. Big Lake near St. Albert, Alberta.
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    Painted at the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary. The boardwalks were neat but it was 30C outside and most of the viewing platforms had no shade.
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    Last Friday, Mill Creek in Edmonton, Alberta. The skies looked better than the landscape did.
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    Also, I'm really tired of green. A couple weeks from now there should be some great colour on the trees and I'll have to make an effort to get out more than once a week.

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    A couple of landscapes I wasn't able to finish out in the field.

    Whitemud Ravine:
    Vin's Landscapes

    River Valley; it was a cloudy day but the colours were brilliant:
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    Thanks for you painting friend!!!

    Thanks for you painting friend!!!

    I invite galleries to cooperation. =My painting=
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    There's quite a few nice pieces in here! I like how you did the earth on that last watercolour in your first post, probably sounds strange as a lack of perspective/other things around it etc, but it's quite interesting for me as it seems like earth that's not seen on the surface. Your comment on the cloud begs me to question if it was from observation or imagination. It seems to me like you have a good handle on perspective/three-dimensional objects (at least judging from that shack, nioce!). I reckon you need to work on clouds most, of all that i see here. Which, i find watercolour is really good for as both clouds and the medium are quite malleable/morphing things. I suggest experimenting more with the blending of colours, especially in the background, and on that note i suggest going for sunsets/sunrises (saw a nice one this morning as i didn't sleep haha, SP frenzy). The beginning and end of the day is a good time to experiment with the blending of colours as there's so many of them. Often sunsets go from the bottom up in red/orange/yellow into blue, but there's always a somewhat hidden green in there. I'd basically put lots of water down (not insane, but enough that it doesn't soak in too fast to paint ) then go in from the top with blue or bottom with yellow, and they tend to blend themselves together (tilting the page helps too), then add in red or whatever details later. Hard to get it done fast enough from life though, might need photos or to paint from memory (which is likely better than photographs, in the long-term).
    You seem to have the medium under a lot of control, which isn't really its nature, but that's kind of a personal preference, and i do it far more than i'd like anyway. You also appear to be keeping your colours separated well, which is good! Heh, i just realized that it's probably about finding a balance between control/letting loose.
    I also recommend getting a sponge as it's great for foliage/cloud details, all those bits that are too damn small to get with a brush, or just when you want a more random pattern in something. Definitely beats splattering, fuck that shit unless you wanna have little dots of random colour everywhere, sometimes good for raining comets out of the sky or whatever

    Have you not updated this since early october because of a lack of responses? I hope you're still doing them every week. Keep it up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Challie View Post
    There's quite a few nice pieces in here! I like how you did the earth on that last watercolour in your first post, probably sounds strange as a lack of perspective/other things around it etc, but it's quite interesting for me as it seems like earth that's not seen on the surface.
    Yes, it's quite odd how the land drops away there and it's almost cut away. It's wonderful seeing all the strange layers of coal and iron oxide and clay inside the hills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Challie View Post
    Your comment on the cloud begs me to question if it was from observation or imagination.
    As I remember it, the day was so windy that the cloud changed shape every time I looked at it. So... mostly imagination I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Challie View Post
    Often sunsets go from the bottom up in red/orange/yellow into blue, but there's always a somewhat hidden green in there.
    I saw the most amazing green in a sunset just the other day. It's a great time of the year for them as it gets dark so early, although it's a bit hard getting a good view of them from my neighbourhood. I always seem to see the best ones on some drive when it's completely inconvenient to pull over and when I finally do I realize I've forgotten the camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Challie View Post
    I'd basically put lots of water down (not insane, but enough that it doesn't soak in too fast to paint ) then go in from the top with blue or bottom with yellow, and they tend to blend themselves together (tilting the page helps too), then add in red or whatever details later. Hard to get it done fast enough from life though, might need photos or to paint from memory (which is likely better than photographs, in the long-term).
    You seem to have the medium under a lot of control, which isn't really its nature, but that's kind of a personal preference, and i do it far more than i'd like anyway. You also appear to be keeping your colours separated well, which is good! Heh, i just realized that it's probably about finding a balance between control/letting loose.
    I don't work with watercolour very often so there's definitely a lot more for me to learn about the medium. Thanks kindly for all the tips! They are very appreciated. I think I'll slowly start replacing my student colours this winter and put the tips to use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Challie View Post
    Have you not updated this since early october because of a lack of responses? I hope you're still doing them every week. Keep it up!
    No, it's just that late October is when the weather turned too cold to paint outside. When it's warm everything is brown and slushy and disgusting and when it's cold I don't want to be out there anyway. And I've been a bigger wimp about it than usual because I frostbit my face lightly on an ill-considered walk in mid-November. I think it's going to be mostly cafe sketches and photoreference until the thaw comes.

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    Hey Vineris - you're off to a good start. Who did you take the workshop with? My only suggestion (besides do more...like make yourself do one per day on a regular schedule) would be to give oils a try.

    Edit: The shack in Dorothy is a nice piece.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Hey Vineris - you're off to a good start. Who did you take the workshop with? My only suggestion (besides do more...like make yourself do one per day on a regular schedule) would be to give oils a try.

    Edit: The shack in Dorothy is a nice piece.
    Thanks! I took the workshop with Jim Davies, a local landscape painter. I took a beginning painting class with him a couple years ago and he does a big trip out to the Badlands every year. I'm not sure his teaching style and my learning style mesh well but the workshop was cheap, it was the most productive vacation I've ever taken, and I rediscovered how much I like bumping around the prairies looking at the scenery.

    Once I get my illustration portfolio out circulating, which will hopefully be within a few weeks, I'll start painting more often again.

    Edit: as for oils, I'm coming to the conclusion that I ought to try them but it'll have to wait until summer as my studio isn't ventilated. It would sure be nice to be able to premix colours without them drying five minutes later.

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    A barn from sometime in October. Pardon the questionable proportions, I was out in the sun for a good two hours with no hat on.

    Vin's Landscapes

    My yard, Christmas morning. It was above zero so I thought I'd spend some quality time with the paints while the getting was good:

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    Nice work. I especially like the Ravine painting. And you can definitely use oils now, just don't use any solvent. Get some walnut oil for your medium, and some cheaper oil {linseed or safflower} to clean your brushes. After a swish in the oil give them a final wash with soap and water. I think you'll love oils!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackthorne View Post
    Nice work. I especially like the Ravine painting. And you can definitely use oils now, just don't use any solvent. Get some walnut oil for your medium, and some cheaper oil {linseed or safflower} to clean your brushes. After a swish in the oil give them a final wash with soap and water. I think you'll love oils!
    Thanks for the advice! It was the straw that tipped the cart, I'm going to get some oil paints to try in February when my schedule clears up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    Thanks for the advice! It was the straw that tipped the cart, I'm going to get some oil paints to try in February when my schedule clears up.
    Nice! If you need any help deciding on brands, colors, etc., just ask. I'll be happy to help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackthorne View Post
    Nice! If you need any help deciding on brands, colors, etc., just ask. I'll be happy to help.
    I'm kinda broke so I think I'm gonna go with a mixture of whatever's on sale and whatever my mad alchemist can mix out of the pigments he's got. He's terribly excited at the prospect of mixing more paint. I expect I'll have some questions about technique, though. I haven't had to pay much attention to layering and blending before.

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    I've gotten some oils but I've been working on a couple of commissions lately so all my painting has been work-related. But in the evenings I've been finishing inking some landscape sketches from my vacation sketchbooks.

    These are from Montreal:

    Vin's Landscapes

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    I always forget how much I like ink.

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    So I tried the oil paints for the first time today, just a quick monochromatic still life sketch which I'll have to photograph once I can touch it without getting paint all over me. Right now I am finding them frustrating to work with because my whole process is geared towards working with fast-drying paint. Also, because I'm working with linseed oil everything smells vaguely fishy.

    Oh well, I'm sure that after I do 50 paintings in oil I'll be just as used to them as I am to acrylics. I was struggling with my usual paints earlier this week and, after counting my paintings up, I've realized that I only have a little over 50 traditional paintings under my belt. I was pretty down on my progress so far but really, if I do only one painting a week for the next year I'll have doubled my work to date. That's pretty encouraging.

    ***

    This started out as an experiment in painting with a palette knife. After some really awful work I managed to rescue it a bit with a bristle filbert. After watching some videos of people working with acrylics and palette knives on Youtube I have come to the conclusion that my definition of "a lot of paint" and other people's definitions of "a lot of paint" are not even remotely the same. Do these people buy their paint in tubs or something or is it just a lot of medium?

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    There's usually a couple of bits in every painting that I think turned out fairly well, and usually another couple of bits that are just awful. Now I have to figure out how to expand the good bits to cover the entire painting and get rid of the bad bits altogether...

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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    There's usually a couple of bits in every painting that I think turned out fairly well, and usually another couple of bits that are just awful. Now I have to figure out how to expand the good bits to cover the entire painting and get rid of the bad bits altogether...
    Exactly. Something I learned from Matt Smith, "Try to get some truth into every painting. Even a little bit of truth makes it worthwhile."...something along those lines anyway.

    So are you numbering your paintings? Start now if you're not...you can still probably figure out which ones come before others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    So are you numbering your paintings? Start now if you're not...you can still probably figure out which ones come before others.
    No, it never occurred to me. It shouldn't be too hard to figure things out, though, since I toss all the ones that aren't a complete waste of time on my blog. While trying to count them, though, I did find out that I haven't managed to tag anything consistently in the six years I've been posting to my sketchblog. Searching for "acrylics" only gets about half of them and searching for "paintings" gets all my digital paintings too.

    Organizing all this crap should keep me out of trouble on the next few weekends.

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    I think I got that idea from Kevin Macpherson? I know he always recommends doing 100 fast "starts"...so maybe I just thought I'd number them. I only went to 100 though...of course I wish I had kept doing it. A friend of mine, Charles Muench still numbers every painting (I think he does anyway?). Definitely date them as well.

    Latest piece has a nice feel by the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    I think I got that idea from Kevin Macpherson? I know he always recommends doing 100 fast "starts"...so maybe I just thought I'd number them. I only went to 100 though...of course I wish I had kept doing it. A friend of mine, Charles Muench still numbers every painting (I think he does anyway?). Definitely date them as well.

    Latest piece has a nice feel by the way.
    Interesting! The "starts" sound like fast sketch paintings?

    Anyway, now that I've pulled all my paintings out (or as many of them as I could find) I feel I ought to stick them all somewhere in order so I can track my progress, warts and all.

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    Yeah...I still have my first 100...very warty...just ask dpaint!

    Yeah, the starts are a great excercise/way to study. Smallish of course - no more than 8x10 - and 20 minutes each. Basically a "block-in" where the surface is covered with the big shapes as accurately as you can in value and color. The main thing it should do is have a strong composition (of course) and a sense of light.

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    Veneris some of these seem almost acrylic paint thick. As you look into the distance colors will become less intense because of atmosphere. You might try wetting paper with water then adding sky color at top (big brush) watch it melt to light at horizon. If you do light or water filled under painting slowly progressing to darker and/or more intense colors you can get more interplay like washing in sky color underneath so it will show up in a building, trees fence post whatever because you will leave some of it to come thru this will harmonize your work. If you need to lighten or highlight a dark area use a little Gouache. I think you need to find a watercolor site and play with the medium more to find many of it attributes. Here is a link to a blog this guy does a lot of watercolor his site has a ton of info go back through it:http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/ Hope this helps some. Watercolors are approached very different from oils. Good luck your working hard a little info or research will go a long way for you. Here is a link to sunlight effects you might find of interest: http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/se...ts%2FPhenomena

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    Quote Originally Posted by mburrell View Post
    Veneris some of these seem almost acrylic paint thick.
    That's because they're almost all acrylics. Thank you for your advice though, I will definitely try it with my watercolours.

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    Oh hell! I guess i should read all the comments.

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    yes, landscape lovers

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    Not bad. My main suggestion would be to use less paint straight out of the tube and mix things up-- you can get a huge range in greens for landscapes just by mixing yellow, blue, red, or orange in among the greens. A greater variety in color will give some more depth to these, and it wouldn't hurt to pay more attention to highlights-- everything seems to be midtones and shadows.

    Beyond that I don't think I can give much advice; I paint mostly with watercolor so I'm not as good with techniques for opaque paints.

    "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the one doing it."

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  45. #28
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    Thanks Viridis & Cynthia179! I've been temporarily derailed doing some small pencil crayon pics for an upcoming art fair, but I'll get back on the painting wagon soon. Maybe this Friday if the weather holds. (We've had two snow dumps in April so far. TWO.)

    Next thing I want to try is doing more glazing and graphite underdrawings to tone things down a bit. And I've got a big watercolour pad to try some starts. They sound like the little portraits I was trying late last year: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...&postcount=182

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  47. #29
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    I have actually been going out to paint, although I'm finishing about half of what I start.

    Here's a couple wips since I started back in April:

    Vin's Landscapes

    Name:  garage_wip.jpg
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    And something from last weekend which is more-or-less done.
    Hawrelak Park:

    Name:  hawrelak_park.jpg
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    That last one had a red-gravel path curving around on the right that I'm thinking of adding back in, and a bunch of stones near the bush that I'll probably leave out. It was an interesting painting session. The pond is full of water birds, so I got some photos of slightly unusual ducks and goslings, but it's full of water birds so my backpack was bombarded by seagull poop. I'm lucky the seagull wasn't flying a few inches more east.

    Last weekend I made it out to my first long-pose session at the place where I usually drop in for life drawing. They only hold them once a month, but it was fun so I'll probably go again. Here's the post in my sketchbook with the result: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...&postcount=252.

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  48. #30
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    The art fair is coming up quickly so it's Finishing Frenzy here at Casa Vineris.

    I've got a few of these little ink drawings to sell at the fair. This is the latest one, a house I photographed in Barcelona:

    Name:  barcelona_house.jpg
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    And here's a couple paintings from earlier in the year that just needed a bit of finishing.

    Telford Lake:
    Name:  telford_lake.jpg
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    Industrial Park:
    Name:  industrial_park.jpg
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    You can see the WIP for Industrial Park above. I decided that I hated the composition so I cropped it to remove all that blank building space, and moved the yellow blotch to the other side of the door, where it can be a nice well-behaved focal point instead of lurking at the edges bothering people. I also tried to use more muted colours.

    I have two more plein-air paintings from this year to finish and two from last fall, so there should be more stuff to post soon.

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