Archive for July, 2009

Why Did The People Cross The Road?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2009 by Eldon

Today was demo day at the Evergreen gallery. It was a typical Evergreen day. The weather, as per normal, was clear early on then it clouded up and rained a little. From inside the gallery we dealt with the motorcycle noise as the biker folks passed up and down the street and we dealt with the sound of breaking glass as the guy from the winery across the street made trip after trip to the recycle bin. Dozens of dozens of faces peered through the windows trying to see the small sculptures put on the sill and what Mark (gallery owner) had on the walls. Most went on by and out of sight down the boardwalk but a few art lovers were curious enough to venture inside and get nose to nose with what ever tripped their triggers.

12x24 oil demo

This is what I did for the folks today who came in to see the gallery. It’s done from a photograph I took last summer during the Estes Park Plein Air event. (coming up again soon) It went rather well I think. People seemed to like it for the most part and I think the ones trying to seem indifferent were sneaking a look as they made their way from one wall of paintings to another. Either way I had fun and as a final touch I added these two figures. The two weren’t in the photo but I thought it would be a nice touch. Something to get folks to feel like it could be them walking down this dirt road. I liked them, Mark liked them and I thought, “yep! it’s finished. ”

Then the painting came home to dry and get a signature. I put it up on the easel and it hit me. These two imaginary people were totally in the wrong place.  Their placement made the bigger part of the right hand side of the painting seem like it wasn’t necessary. I’d have had to crop about 20% off the right side before the piece came into balance.  Shoot! I liked it better before. Yet I had done some killer work on the figures. I really hated to do what I had to do. Mark is gonna suck a lot of wind when he sees the image below..

12x24 oil demo

The folks have moved on it seems. The painting is back and feeling more balanced. It’s still a nice piece and at least I can see myself taking a leisurely stroll along this back road and enjoying the sun and a nice breeze. There’d be a nice slow conversation as my friend and I meandered along. And….once in a while we’d have to make for the ditch when some local farmer came bombin along. A great way to spend a little while on a Sunday afternoon. But I am not one to let well enough alone.

12x24 oil demo

So why did the people cross the road? In a word, “composition”. the painting works at least as well as it did without these two figments of my imagination and I got what I wanted. I am able to give the viewer the opportunity to get into the painting too.

Until next week,


Evergreen Barn #5

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2009 by Eldon

This post will show about  99% complete. I’ll still tweek a little here and there but mostly what you see is the finish of Evergreen Barn. It came together very well. A long day painting is worth it when I’m on a roll. 🙂

24x36 oil

A great example of monitor color blindness. The foreground color appears a dark reddish brown on my monitor but is actually a mixture of Burnt Sienna and Sap Green. It covers well in the progression so I guess we’re ok.

24x36 oil

These blue areas are to be flowers. Flax. I wanted some variety in color in the foreground and this will provide a great contrast in color as well as add a nice glow in the shadow. It’s a mixture of Ultramarine Blue, a tiny bit of Bright Red and Titanium White.

24x36 oil

These colors in the foreground area are pretty much the same group of colors found in the mountain side. They’re just a little darker value and I added a little more blue to the darkest spots. The area is a bit cooler at the top of the rise and warmed up some as it comes forward to show some depth in a relatively short foreground.

24x36 oil

A little work on the Flax done with the same blue as above just with more white. Then a couple of hours in the mid distance brings Evergreen Barn to near complete.

egb 24x36 oil/eldon warren

I may do a little more work on the barn but it’ll be minimal and perhaps a little more texture in the foreground. It’s time to get out the worry rag and spend a couple of days looking the painting over and deciding what the heck.


Evergreen Barn #4/What a sky!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2009 by Eldon

Monitors are notorious for being off color. I don’t think I’ve seen two of them show the same intensity of color or a like value. Of course I’m probably a little picky being an artist and being concerned with those things but…..if I need to show someone exactly how something looks I’m  taking my chances sending through cyber space.  And I really want to show you this sky the way it shows on my easel. 24x36 oil sky

But we are taking chances and here it is. White, Ultramarine Blue, a touch of Bright Red  some Yellow Ochre with and a very light touch of Cadmium Orange in the upper right corner where the light is coming from. My sky is warmest and most bright nearest the light and coolest on the far left. I fooled around for quite a while before coming up with the shadow color for the cloud. I needed it warmer than the sky but it needed

 sky detail

to be cooler than what I had in mind for the sunlit portion of the cloud.


The color for the lightest and brightest of the cloud turned out to be a mixture using every warm color on my palette and Titanium White. ( I see white as being the coolest) I used Cadmium Yellow Pale, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Orange and Bright Red mixed up one way or another and in some magical way this cloud appeared and is there to stay. I wish I had done a video of this part of the painting. Some information is just worth keeping. 🙂

24x36 oil

And that was a day or so ago and since then my muse and I have had some sort of meeting of the mind and as a result I can put up a nearly finished painting in my Saturday Night Blog!

Yer gonna love this!


Evergreen Barn #3

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2009 by Eldon

The latest from Evergreen Barn.

24x36 oil

 My biggest challenge was to paint what “looks” like a huge hill side covered with trees and not get caught up in the details. I worked from right to left across the mountain side sculpting the basic shapes of the mountain,  lightening areas and trying to (with as few strokes as possible) make it look like there’s a gazillion pine trees back there. The photo above shows a sort of progression as I painted my way across the canvas. The peak far right and the center peak are nearly finished and the peak far left is still pretty much flat.


Then I painted on to the left edge and finished that open rocky area. Several times along the way I wiped some areas back to the canvas (yep,way too dark from the initial lay in) and repainted with a warmer, lighter green using ultramarine blue and cadmium yellow at times and other times just  sap green. There is a lot of cadmium orange, yellow ochre and bright red mixed into the greens to simulate the early morning light. I purposely touched the roof line of the barn with the dark green behind to help bridge a gap between the foreground and back ground. This is a stage I can’t let dry too much as I need a wet edge on the top line of the mountain when I lay in the sky. A soft edge is needed to help me put it all into the distance so I’d best get crackin!!

green mixes

There’s a limitless bunch of ways to put these colors to use but they’re pretty close to way I’ve mixed them  for Evergreen Barn.

30x40 oil

“Sun Rise on Fall River” #2 is the painting I’m using as a rough color guide for Evergreen Barn. You’ll see a lot of the mixtures from the palette above in both paintings. Sun Rise on Fall River just came home from one of my galleries. Just in the nick of time too. I’ve put it up where I can follow along with it’s color scheme and I get to enjoy it in the process.



The Evergreen Barn #2

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2009 by Eldon

I started here with the barn so I could lay in some approximate color and value. This being the focal point I wanted to be able to adjust value later behind the barn and having the barn already done would be my guide to doing that. I may have to lighten the barn and/or darken the back ground to get the effect I want.


Working at laying in the “S” curve into the composition I’ve dropped a very dark green into the mountain area. It’s probably way to dark at this point but it gives me a place to start in the back ground. I know it’ll have to lighten considerably before we’re done but it’s easier to lighten a dark value than it is to try to darken a light one.

24x36 oil

It’s a bit hard to see too because the paint is so wet I had a hard time getting the shine off the surface for the camera.  As it dries and I work into it a bit more that area will be easier to see.

G-nite!  🙂


The Evergreen Barn

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2009 by Eldon

I’ve been commissioned to paint this old barn near Evergreen and thought it would be fun to “blog as ya go” with it. These photos show a bit of the preparation and planning process, including a really rough Notan. Notan referes to the dark light pattern in a painting.


I’ve seen Notan done so completely every value in the piece has been planned out. I like them  a little bit less refined leaving room for the painting process to dictate some of the value patterns as I go.


I’ve prepped the canvas with “Eldon Orange”. (Cad Orange) I mixed a bunch of it up with thinner and poured it on then spread it around with a plastic bag as a rag would have just soaked it all up. It took a couple of days longer to dry than I had thought but finally it’s dry enough I can paint over the orange and not pick it up into the new layers of paint.

initial wash and drawing

And this is the start. I’ll be working to a predetermined color scheme and some of this under painting is going to shine through into the finished piece. I took the photo I’ll be using for reference at about 6:00 A.M so the color of the light was a pretty strong yellow orange. The orange under painting should re-enforce that.  I’ll be posting every few days until we’re finished.   I’m going to have a lot of fun doing this one.     So…. cross yer fingers everyone.  Here we go!


Gettin Back on Track

Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2009 by Eldon


There was a plein air competition in Salida this last Oct.  Debra and I went down to spend a couple of days, do a little painting and have a mini vacation. Well, as luck would have it we had to come home early because of a sick family member so we never had the opportunity to get much work done. (or do any relaxing) I was there long enough to snap this photograph though and do a small painting of the scene. I think I may have posted the plein air piece back in October.

plein air 12x16

That storm was making straight for me really really fast so the painting took shape very quickly, maybe a 45 minutes or so. It was extremely pleasing to see it turn out with that sort of time limit. I shelved it when I got home and just yesterday pulled it out to see what I might be able to do with it now. It has grown to two paintings since.


It is now an 18×24. I think it’s finished but if not it’s way close.

It is my first painting in about a month. The house took up so much time. I was about ready to go nuts not being able to get down here and get some work done. (I did get the studio cleaned up tho and it’s still in good shape, who’d have thunk it?) There needed to be a success with this one and it looks like I got one. There’s nothin like gettin back on track.

Tomorrow I’m making a trip to Trinidad to pick up paintings, visit with my friend Doug Holdread and do a little painting.  I know it’s going to be a long day so I’ve got to finish getting ready and getting some rest too.  6 a.m. comes mighty early. So friends, I’m going to publish and mail this weeks post then get on with it. 🙂

Till next Sat.