Archive for October, 2008

Sunlight and Shadow

Posted in Uncategorized on October 30, 2008 by Eldon
Sunshine and Shadow

Sunshine and Shadow









Alrighty then. Some yellow August flowers and a red shirt. The smaller figure I greyed some, pushing it back more into shadow and the red shirt is more in the light and comes forward. It works.  I probably won’t mess with this one any more. It needs to be in the gallery this week end so I’ve some framing to do. 

Today is Debra’s birthday so this will be short. I’ll drop in another painting and go spend the rest of the evening with her.  I thought maybe you’d like to see the piece this one is replacing.  I understand it’s on it’s way to Dallas.

The Pine Family Portrait

The Pine Family Portrait








Stay Tuned #3

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2008 by Eldon

I think the original post was getting way too long. I’ve broken it out into three parts so the scrolling can be a little easier to take. Debra says she’ll make a flash video of the entire process and put it on YouTube for us. That ought to be pretty cool.


It’s starting to come together. The left side light area is covered with a lighter variation of the color I put into the shadow area before. There is no grey of grey in this mixture and I added instead, a little Indian Yellow or Cadmium Orange to lighten it up. There’s even a little Cobalt Blue added to the area where the light is going to touch the left edge of the canvas leaving the brighter color along the edge of the path where we want the viewers eye to be traveling.


Then I struggled for a bit getting this green grassy area to look like the lighted version of the right side grass in the shadow. The main trouble was the color underneath coming up into the green I was trying to put over it. As a result what I got was a little darker than I wanted so I had to keep lightening my green mixture. Finally with enough White and Indian Yellow the light green “seemed” to work. There’s a little Sap Green in there as well mixed up with Some Indian Yellow producing a great sunlit green.  I’m not crazy yet about the way the edge between the grass and the edge of the path come together.


Some busy work really starts to finish it up. The small bushes are fleshed out and some very cool color runs through the path on the right and left sides. The cool color is just Cobalt Blue, Bright Red and White. Sometimes the mix ran warm to the red side and sometimes cool to the blue. The light spots on the path got a brand new color too. There’s some Indian Yellow in the mix and White and some Yellow Ochre. Those little spots were drying out so I had to scrape off the color already there.


And there it is except for the pink people. (still bugs Debra.) Some rocks in the pathway and some work making that light area merge with the edge of the path are about all the changes made in this stage. I’ll probably do some dry brush work later so the painting will have to spend a day or so drying out. I haven’t decided if the people will be more effective in the shade or in the light. I’m leaning toward the light. What do you guys think? Any questions? Feel free to ask. There’s just a whole bunch that happens that is hard to explain in this blog. 


Stay tuned #2

Posted in Paintings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 25, 2008 by Eldon

I started again today pretty much like yesterday. I wanted the bushes to go in next and I wanted them about finished before going on to the rest of the foreground so I laid in the darks and worked my way light from there. The darks in this photo are warm. I used Grey Of Grey, (by Holbein), Burnt Sienna and a touch of Bright Red. Then I mixed a dark green and brushed in some shadows areas in the bush. The green is a variation of the tree color using Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Pale and Bright Red or Cadmium Orange. (You’ll see those greens in the next photo.)


Then the light side of the bushes done with more of the tree color and some indication of the shadows. The bushes are finished (I hope) and I’m thinking of what I’m going to do with all the shadow area in the foreground. Turns out the treatment of this foreground is going to be as new to me as it is to all of you.


Most of what is going to serve as detail is going to be painted over the grey and rust colored areas. I want some of it to show through. The rust color is going to warm up the cooler greens I’m going to paint over it and the grey is going to cool some warmer grey colors I plan to put into the pathway. The rust color is made up of Grey Of Grey, Burnt Sienna and some Bright Red. I added a little titanium White to bring up the value. The grey in the pathway is mixed from Grey of Grey, Cobalt Blue and a smidg of Bright Red.



And this is where I’ve got to stop for today. I’m very happy with the way the shadow area in the foreground is turning out. The greens are mixed same ole same ole with the tree colors of Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Pale with variations by adding White, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Orange, Bright Red or Indian Yellow depending on how close or how far back into the picture plane it was going to be brushed. Debra is beginning to wonder about the pink people. I’ve got about 11 hours in this now. More to come……..EW

Stay tuned #1

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2008 by Eldon

I’m doing this painting to replace one we sold at Earthwood Gallery in Boulder. It’s 30×40 inches and is based on a 9×12 done during the plein air competition in Estes Park this last Aug. (I think you can find the little one way back in one of the posts somewhere.) I’m going to be working over time on this one so I can have it finished in just a few days. I thought I’d blog along with it and we’ll all see what shakes out by the time I’m finished. So far I’m liking it. My dark light pattern is pretty much established in this initial wash/drawing and I’ve managed to compose that pattern where the dark areas all touch. I’ve made some changes from what is actually there in life but not many. Biggest changes being the extra weight on the left with the taller tree, the larger bush and more shadow area on the right. Also the shape of the pathway as it comes forward widens. The scene is in Rocky Mountain National Park.

I’m just going to add to this single post as the week goes on so stay tuned. EW

All I was concerned with here was “dark side/light side” and patterns. The dark color is a mixture of Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Pale and a little bit of Bright Red. I used to paint in shapes like these as one all dark shape. I have found though it’s easier to leave the light side unpainted and paint it later than it is to try and lighten a dark dark color.


Then the light side. The color on the light side of the trees is the same as in the dark side minus the Bright Red. Sometimes I’d add a little Cadmium Orange to warm up the mixture and to bring some areas a little more forward. The really dark trees further back were cooled down a little and lightened slightly to push them back into the picture plane. I can start to see depth now when it comes to placement of the trees near and far.


The far mountains were a lot of fun to do.That area is mostly a a big plane of abstract brush work if taken just by itself. I purposely painted this area more pale than the photo indicated but I find if I over do it a little I can gain even more depth. The paint is pretty thick and the brush work was laid in quickly. I put in a little detail in the trees with the tree trunks and I corrected that silly “S” curve trunk far right. After painting the sky it was just a matter painting bird holes and bringing all the edges together.

I tried to paint the sky with the same energy and brush work I’ve managed every where else in this painting. I’ve stopped painting for today and what worries me every time I put my brushes up is, “Will I be able to come back later and find the same energy I had today?” Cross yer fingers!! EW

Such a deal!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 18, 2008 by Eldon

oil 18×24 inches untitled
This is for the auction. We’re raising money for the ranchers in S.E. Colorado so they can fight the fight! The United States Army is trying to pull off the biggest land grab in U.S. history and the folks in S.E. Colorado are in danger of losing their lands and their way of life. There’s a bunch of us that don’t want to see that happen so as a means of raising some money for the cause we’re doing an art auction. It’s going to be held here in Denver at the Standing Sun Art Gallery, 826 Sante Fe Drive. The paintings will all be from the area the Army is looking to snag. The show will hang Dec. 4th and 5th with the 5th being the Sante Fe Art District First Friday Art Walk. Anyone interested in purchasing art work from this show can bid in the gallery or (rumor has it, more info later) on line.

Why would you want to? Well, it’s a no minimum bid arrangement. This means anyone bidding could possibly pick up some really nice work by some really talented big name artists for dirt cheap. AND….You’ll be helping out immensely. None of us know how this is going to work out but it will work out and we hope it is not in the favor of the U.S Army.

And now!!!!   Drum roll……………more from the archives!

My grandson Victor. Handsome lad yes? This pencil drawing is several years old as Vic is now 17. It’s part of a small group of whimsical images I’ve done just for myself.

I always considered this an elegant little piece of work. Simple, a bit stylized and clean. Someone wanted to put it on the refrigerator door. Geez Louise!

Is this painting awesome or what!?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 14, 2008 by Eldon


OK everybody, you are in for a treat. Check out Dawns web site where you’ll see a whole bunch more like the painting above. This piece measures 12×16 inches and is done in oil. 

This jewel is now a part of my collection. It was painted by my friend and fellow painter Dawn Normali and I just gotta show it off. It’s filled with vivid color, luscious brush strokes and shows total confidence in execution. Dawn placed every stroke right where she wanted it and never looked back. This photo doesn’t do it justice but maybe the next few will show you why I love this painting so much.  

 My favorite part of the painting. The abstract element here is spot on. Squint down a little bit and you’ll see what I mean. If we took away all but the face, hand, arm and elbow we’d still be left with a wonderfully designed painting.


Look at the freedom in the brushwork making up the hair on the left.

Check out the eye on the right. One small stroke was all it took.

This is a detail of the lady’s shirt. Some of this paint stands up an eighth of an inch.  I’ve never had this kind of guts. Wow! What a painting!

Lone Oak

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 5, 2008 by Eldon

In late September this year Willard Louden escorted me and a handful of artists down this road into the bottom of a canyon and showed us a bit of history. It seemed we had all been transported back in time. There were no power lines, no pavement and no cell phone signal and I felt I was as far from civilization as I’d ever been. The experience was one of awe and reverence. At times I thought I could hear in the wind and the rustling of the trees, voices, old and distant voices that told stories about this out of the way world and the lives that had passed through it. Willard Louden it turns out was our translator.

The tree in this photo (above) is the “Lone Oak”. It stands near the foundation of an old stone structure where now eighty three year old Willard Louden went to school.

This bit of a structure was started but never finished. The one room school house is just to the right but there is so little of the school left it’s hard to see. Willard (wearing the yellow shirt in the photo below) knows exactly where it is and showed us around the edges of the foundation then led us up into the side of the canyon wall to Lone Oak Post Office. Lone Oak Post Office served several families in the area in the early part of the last century. Eventually these settlers moved away and the Loudens built a ranch totally nearly 25,000 acres by paying back taxes and taking possession of the deserted land.

The P.O. isn’t easy to see. Over the years trees and bushes have grown up in front and if you don’t know where to look you could easily miss it. It is built into a recess in the canyon wall that was used as shelter by the Indians in the area before the homesteaders arrived. The latest tenant is a big gray spider taking up residence under the eve. Farther along the wall to the left of the P.O. is a small pen also made of stone. Willard said it most likely held sheep or goats.

We made our way through tree branches and under brush until we came to the sheep pen. Willard settled in here and told stories of his family. He told us about the old family that started Louden Ranch. He told how he and his brother had traveled the world, got an education and returned to spend their lives working and living here. And he told us about those who are inheriting the ranch as those who currently run it have been growing old. When asked about the legends told about buried gold and treasures hidden in the area he laughed. It wasn’t possible, he said, the time lines were all wrong. There was one fellow, though, who found several silver coins stashed in the dutch oven of an old stove someone had left behind.

And after a while we sort of drifted away from that spot and set up our easels and did what we came to do. We painted through the afternoon listening to the black birds and the wild burros in the distance. We fought the gnats and flies and painted as the shadows got longer and longer. We watched the afternoon sun light turn to gold and the evening came. And the world seemed to soften and become quiet as Mr. Louden told us more stories.