Friday, May 9, 2014

California Watercolors [feedly]

  

----
California Watercolors
// Gustaf Tenggren

From his first years as an illustrator, watercolours had been the major painting method for Gustaf Tenggren . All the artists he admired had worked in the same media: Carl Larsson, John Bauer, Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac, to mention a few. He and was a member of the American Watercolor Society along with many of his colleagues within commercial art, and as them, he had learned to master the technique to perfection. The paintings were very accurate and meticulously rendered down to the tiniest detail.

Laguna Beach 1936
Collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
But after his arrival in Los Angeles in early spring 1936, he seems to have become aware of an alternate, looser and more vivid watercolor style. He started to make free-air painting excursions in the neighbourhoods; Hollywood and Wilmington, Laguna Beach and even to Catalina Island. Walt Disney himself bought a Catalina landscape from Tenggren in 1938.
Gustaf Tenggren painting at Catalina Island 1937
Catalina Landscape 1936
The California Watercolor Society was very influential, including members as Mary Blair and Lee Blair. Gustaf Tenggren and Mary Blair never met while working at Disney's Studio; Mary Blair started in April 1940 while Tenggren left the studio in January 1939. But it's likely that Tenggren saw the works of Mary and Lee Blair at the California Watercolor Society's yearly exhibition. In fall 1939, Tenggren exhibited paintings at The Los Angeles County Fair Art exhibition where also Lee Blair had paintings, so a good guess is that they knew each other.

Hollywood 1937
Collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
In the same way that the climate made both Gustaf and Mollie Tenggren more happy and relaxed, it helped o vitalize Tenggren's imagery and added yet a style to his visual toolbox. It might also have helped to loosen up his painting all over; a change of style is clearly visible in his post-Disney works.
Hollywood 1937
Collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Wilmington 1937
Collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Wilmington 1937

----

Shared via my feedly reader


Sent from my iPad

Painting During the Golden Hour [feedly]

  

----
Painting During the Golden Hour
// Artist's Network

It's no secret that Brian Keeler's landscape paintings are filled with stunning light. The sunsets in his work are quiet, and take us to a time and place where drivers wave to each other on the backroads, and folks sit on their front porches with glasses of sun tea as they watch the clouds go by. I identify with Keeler's rural scenes in particular, and it's my pleasure to bring you his thoughts on and process for painting during the spectacular time of day known as the "golden hour," when light is at its best.

landscape painting by Brian Keeler

Cayuga Moon, Sheldrake Point, NY (oil on linen, 30×36) by Brian Keeler

"Painting the landscape, figure or portrait with dramatic light effects has a long and distinguished lineage of artists that we can look to for inspiration," he says. "The 17th century Baroque artists who portrayed the figure as their main theme is probably the best place to look for this artistic heritage, with painters like Caravaggio, Rembrandt, DeLatour, Velazquez, and others. With the landscape painters it came a little later with painters such as Turner, Lorrain, and Constable. But our plein air proto-impressionist painter is Corot who trail-blazed in the Italian and French countrysides in the early 19th century, painting directly from the motif. The tradition of painting light in the landscape came to certain apogee in the last part of the 19th century with the impressionist painters and one of my favorites, John Singer Sargent.

"In my own work, I like to paint during these hours of high drama at the end of the day or sometime early in the morning. During these times of day, the raking light of the sun brings out the forms, chromo, and heightening essential aspects of the landscape. The quality of light gives us a good boost of juice to seize the moment and express what we see on our canvases. Whether we're looking directly toward a sunset, at the effects of late afternoon sunlight (observing the play of light as it courses over and around forms), or watching the cast shadows that reveal the topography, we avail ourselves of the inherent drama of atmosphere at its most sublime and dramatic. When skyscapes and clouds enter into our consideration they add another entire element to our expressive possibilities.

Over Watkins landscape painting by Brian Keeler

Over Watkins Glen, NY (oil on linen, 26×30) by Brian Keeler

"When I paint at these times, being direct and marshaling my skills to compose, draw, articulate, and express the beauty of the landscape is at once very challenging and rewarding. I often do quick sketches ahead of time. The purpose of these sketches isn't to show detail, but to arrive at an initial statement of the division of space and intervals, and determine the main actors in these 'operas.' I start the canvas in the same way as the thumbnail sketches, which is to quickly lay in the main divisions and articulate objects with a short hand of strokes to indicate strategically placed reference points. I try to get a more or less complete statement in one sitting, whether it be an hour or three or four. I usually spend time with them back in the studio, tuning them up and bringing them to resolution, which may take several days." ~Brian Keeler

I'd like to thank Keeler for taking the time to share this with us, and encourage you to watch this preview of his instructional video,"Oil Painting Techniques: Brilliant Light" (above). Even better–North Light Shop is featuring an exclusive collection on painting the landscape in oil with Brian Keeler. The deluxe kit includes three DVDs, the book Dramatic Color in the Landscape, a color wheel, and a New Wave Palette.

Now that spring is here, I hope you find many mornings and evenings to enjoy the golden hour yourself, be it with a canvas and paint, or simply sitting outside with a glass of tea.

Until next time,
Cherie

Cherie Haas, online editor**Free download: Oil Painting Tips for Beginners: Learn How to Oil Paint!
**Click here to subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction, and more!

 

 


----

Shared via my feedly reader


Sent from my iPad

Black Is the New Green [feedly]

  

----
Black Is the New Green
// The Oil Painting Blog

Now that traditional representational painting is seeing something of a revival in art galleries, there is a lot of interest among painters in the techniques employed by masters of the oil painting medium. All of us learn from those who have preceded us, and there are so many great painters from which to glean vital knowledge. In particular, there is intense interest in the work of John Singer Sargent, and to fully understand his craft, one must examine the teachings of his mentor, Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran.

Carolus Duran by Sargent, oil portrait painting.
Carolus-Duran by Sargent, oil portrait painting.
During his life, Carolus-Duran had established himself as a master of genre and portrait painting, whose naturalistic painting techniques derived from his studies of past Masters, most notably, Velazquez. By studying and copying works by Velazquez in museums, Carolus-Duran was able to understand and incorporate Velazquez's techniques into his own painting style. That painting style not only won him awards and fame, but was also considered unconventional, even avant-garde by the academic standards of the day. At that time, the accepted academic method promoted a system by which a painting is progressively built up, beginning with a highly finished drawing which is then colored by successive layers of thin glazes.

In contrast, Carolus-Duran taught his students how to make an initial charcoal indication of the model, and then immediately begin laying in the values with a large brush in planes of thick paint exactly the proper color. Mid-values were applied first, followed by halftones, shadows and highlights. If the student got off track, the surface was either scraped out or scumbled together and a fresh start would be made. This would occur as many times as necessary to obtain the desired effect. He insisted on studying from life and painting accurately and economically what nature reveals. This extremely challenging method was a revolutionary approach to teaching painting at the time, and not every painting student was open to it.

Still, Carolus-Duran's reputation attracted talented students from Britain and the U.S., who wanted to learn his direct-painting techniques. By 1885-86 nearly half of the fifty students were Americans, among them John S. Sargent, Carroll Beckwith, Theodore Robinson, Will H. Low, Kenyon Cox, and many other artists of note. Sargent was one of the most talented and capable of those students and soon became a favorite of Carolus-Duran, who honored him by sitting for the now-famous portrait.

Carolus-Duran also insisted on the use of a limited palette of colors: black, verte emeraude, raw umber, cobalt, laque ordinaire, brun rouge, yellow ochre and white, laid out from left to right. To facilitate the choice of tones, he mixed two or three gradations of brun rouge with white, two of cobalt with white, two of black and white and two of raw umber, also with white. In particular, Carolus-Duran knew the Old Master's technique of mixing beautiful, rich greens from black and yellow ochre.  In our Members article, Secrets of the Old Masters: Mixing Beautiful Greens from Black, we show you how to get those subtle greens in your portrait and landscape work.

--John and Ann

Please join us on The Artist's Road for more great how-to articles, artist interviews and unique artist tools.


----

Shared via my feedly reader


Sent from my iPad