Archive for light dark patterns

Triple Stack

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2009 by Eldon

I saw this approach on another blog a few days ago where the artist cropped an image and then blew up the crop. She did it a couple of times until anyone looking at the piece got a close up of part of the original painting. What I got from it was a chance to get nearly nose to nose with some of the brush strokes in important areas. Neat idea. So here is my version to get you up close.

12x9 oil on canvas

This image took me  a while longer than the half hour Jeff Watts takes to do his “gesture portraits”. I suppose in time I’ll be coming in closer to that time but for now all that seems important is getting a feel for what I’m doing, then getting my times down later. That and I don’t want a bunch of half finished paintings cluttering the place up.


A little more in your face and giving you a better idea of the surface of the painting and the brush work. This piece is pretty rough. The paint was applied with an old cheap brush giving each stroke a sort of stringy textured appearance.


Some of you may have a way to blow this view up even further. If you can, give it a shot and see the abstract quality of a very small area. It gets kind of chicken scratchy at that point. Have fun and we’ll see ya next week. Who knows what will crop up between now and then.




Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2009 by Eldon

These three paintings are the latest additions to my collection. They are, in order of appearance, works done by Dawn Normali – Estes Park Colorado, Barbara Muir -Toronto Canada, and Josh Been – Salida Colorado.

5x7 Dawn Normally oil

Get up close to this one of Dawn’s and you’ll see some of the juiciest paint you can imagine. Thick, wet, imaginative brush strokes seem to be Dawn’s trademark. This is the second piece I’ve gotten from Dawn and the technique is much the same in each. What do I admire most about Dawn and the work she does? Dawn isn’t afraid to put it down and leave it down. No hesitation.

Dawn is in process of setting up her own Word Press Blog. I’ll post a link when it’s up.

8x8 Barbara Muir acrylic

Barbara Muir describes herself as a  portrait artist. She is from Toronto, Canada and has been a good friend for quite a while now. Her subject matter, though,  goes a long way beyond portraits  as you’ll see when you visit her blog, Barbara Paints. Barbara’s use of color never ceases to amaze me. It’s pretty easy to get into one of Barbara’s pieces and feel what she’s saying about her subject. She also paints a lot of herself into her work. The result is simply a happy thing all around.

8x10 Josh Been oil

I got this piece from Josh Been this past summer when Debra and I took a mini vacation to Salida.  Besides the use of grays in this painting I’m drawn to the brush work. The energy shown in the brush work indicates the painting was done rather quickly and a lot of attention was paid to edges. I’d love to just sit and watch Josh handle edges. Get in close and take a look, you’ll see what I mean. When you’re looking at edges look  mostly where the light and the shadow meet.

And…what’d I do all week?                           Nothin! …..other than goof off and drink some really good wine from New Zealand with friends, go to bed early several times, take some naps, and purchase  a tube of white paint.  (Along with a bunch of  small and trivial, sometimes totally boring,  activities to numerous to mention. ) Say that three times fast. 🙂

Night all,


Some Guy’s Epiphany

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2009 by Eldon

A while back I was thumbing through an art magazine and ran across an article some guy (I don’t remember who it was) had written about an epiphany he had just had about making a painting more  interesting by using a small bit of bright, not necessarily pure, color surrounded by a lot of grayed color. He was wondering how this idea had eluded him for so long. His muse had finally given in and the light came shining through. He suggested a few ways to mix and gray a color.

1.   Mix a color with it’s compliment.

2.   Add white and or black.

3.   Add some of your  junk paint from your palette. (Richard Schmid would cringe)

4.   Mix or buy a gray and add this to the mix.

Well this didn’t fall through the grate to the alligators. It stuck and I’ve been thinking about it since.

12x24 oil on canvas

This is the result. I’d hoped to see just how gray I could make a bunch of color and get away with it. It’s a pretty good start but I don’t think I’ve  pushed it as far as it’ll go. Not yet. One thing for sure the concept is a good one to knock around. It’s a bit different for me since I’ve always been more concerned with light than color.

I looked for quite a while before finding reference material that would lend itself to the idea and it’s a little bit of a backward process for me. Normally I find a subject then decide how I’m going to deal with it. Deciding the concept first then finding subject matter helped me keep things in focus and moving in the right direction.

G-Night everyone’


Was I in any real danger?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2009 by Eldon

We had a good day at Stoneheart. My friends Vicki and Jim and Clay and Barbara dropped in to see the goings on. We painted for about 4 1/2 hours and this is the result. I say “we” because it was a collaborative effort. We had a long afternoon discussion (lively) about this painting as it took shape. We discussed things like where to put a particular shade of violet or what was going to happen to my fingers if I kept messing around in certain areas. We all eventually saw the moose and though the rabbit has been painted out it is not forgotten. Thank Vicki for that nice cool hue along the top of the roof and the violet in the shadows just to the left of the house and thanks goes to Jim for finding the moose. Mark (gallery owner) is to be commended for his wonderful  imagining of the beautiful lady in the house. All in all it took a bunch of us to get this painting done. Thanks for the help guys, I couldn’t have done it alone. 🙂  To be sure though, all kiddin aside, this painting would not be as nice a piece if my friends hadn’t been there to lend a hand and threaten me from time to time as they did. I had fun.

18x24 oil on canvas/demo

I met a lot of nice people in the mean time.  Daniel Voigt and his family came by.  Daniel is one of my fellow artists in the gallery. He does large abstract pieces <—— that are totally wonderful.  Andree Hudson was in for a while too.  She paints WOW! Take a look. Her painting,

Blue Fire” <——  is awesome.

Next week begins the Estes Park Plein Air Competition. It’ll be busy busy after that. Keep your fingers crossed, I haven’t been out much to paint and I’m rusty. I’ll keep ya posted.


Another Demo Day at Stoneheart Gallery

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2009 by Eldon Hi! It’s a day late but not forgotten.. I went painting last evening and I came home worn out so I elected to let this blog thing slide for a day. Anyway, I’m back and I want to tell ya about the Demo next Saturday, Aug. 8th, at Stoneheart Gallery in Evergreen. The image below is from a week ago at Stoneheart, it’ll give ya some idea of what you can expect next week. The above link will take ya to some info. It’s a ning kind of thing and you can sign in if you already have a ning account. If you don’t, you can set up a password and you can come back any time and see what’s going on in the social. You can leave comments about what’s in there (or what’s not) and there’s a chat so you can talk to others doin the ning thing. OR! You can choose not to do any of that and just show up on Saturday and we’ll paint and have a good time anyway. Mark King, gallery owner, is our host.

demo 12x24 oil

It’s going to be a very laid back informal event. Anyone who would like to come out and see us can come for a little while or they can stay all day. I’m setting up around 11:00 A.M. and will try to make it last until around 5:00. <—this is the Stoneheart site.

Below is the painting I did last night. It’s pretty rough. I got there when the sun was just inches from going behind a bunch of trees. I recorded as much as I could before my subject was in shadow so things are a little less careful than normal. Which is OK since I intend to use it just for reference when I start a larger version this evening. Sometimes I want a plein air piece that will stand by itself and sometimes I just need reference material. I needed a plein air fix last night though so I really wasn’t thinking about it too much either way. This is what I got and I like the scene well enough to do it again and take some care with it.

12x16 plein air oil

So… this particular painting, being one I’m not totally crazy about, leads to one that I am. This (below) was a “last week painting” in the studio done from a photo taken in S.E. Colorado last summer. For those of you in the area it’s just south of hi-way 50, between Rocky Ford an LaJunta. I may keep this one. There’s something about the light I like.

10x20 oil

Talk to ya soon.


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.