Archive for studio work

Outdoors and In

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by Eldon

This post had painting in it several days ago but between the plein air painting, the after plein air painting naps and the “other” stuff I’ve managed to neglect it. So…. I put in a couple more images to make up for making everyone wait.

The piece above is one of the “outdoor” pieces. This was my first paint trip to that particular location on Bear Creek. Despite the look of it being so cold it was actually pretty comfortable. I left my thermal coveralls  in the car. It was an incredibly brave thing to do for someone who feels about the cold as I do. No Wind.

My friends Wes Hyde and Mark Coulter went with me to a favorite painting spot along Coal Creek. This painting above was painted on another one of those warm cold days. It’s the wind that makes ya hate it! No wind that day either.

And above, an indoor piece. It is a mixture of two photos taken near Salida Colorado. It measures 10×20 inches and will be a part of the next delivery to the Earthwood gallery. I’m beginning to enjoy these foggy pieces.

And the Mamooey sky painting for Stoneheart. I’ve got to do a little edge work on this one and it’s ready to go. It’s a 30×40 inch piece and is an inny painting.

I was amazed at how this painting translated to black and white. It give me an idea how I did with the values.

And this old fat truck is from a photo I took about 30 years ago. It was, of course, on film so I had to scan it and get it to where I could print it out and paint from it. I have a sort of vision of how I want this to work out. Cross your fingers.  I have painter friends who would knock this out in a New York second and make it look fresh and loose. I’ve worked with steel and blue prints for so long I’m going to have to work really hard at keeping it from being hard edged and photo like.  A 12×16 inch inny.



A Progression

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2009 by Eldon

12x24 oil on canvas

This is the start of a landscape I’ve been trying to get to for a while.

What I concentrated on most with the upper area was painting space and getting the landscape to go as far into the distance as I could get it to go. I began with the darks of the pine trees close up and painted them lighter and a little more gray as they went back into the picture plane. Beyond that, in the row of trees further back and the hill sides, I painted with a lot less detail and a lot of grayed color to keep things going away into the distance. I brushed in the sky and clouds even more pale  but fairly light as the sky in that area holds the light source for this piece.

Then I pulled back and painted the brush along the river banks. The color here is warmer and I’ll keep painting warm as I get back closer to the foreground. The red/brown shadows of the pine tree are my first intrusion into this area.

12x24 oil on canvas 100_4250

This bright blue (cobalt + white) area in the water is warmed with a bit of alizarine crimson and brushed in pretty quickly. This passage is going to give me something to paint into (wet into wet) with some of the sky color a little later.

I also darkened those shadows on the water cast by the pine trees. The light source is behind the trees and the trees are casting a shadow onto the water. When the light source is directly behind an object, in this case the pine trees, a shadow is cast into the foreground. The shadows cast on to  water blocks a reflection from the sky and lets someone from this point of view see down into the water to the bottom of the river bed. The color here seems to be very warm and rusty. Also I laid in the foliage lower right keeping the same concept in mind of warmer color up front, cooler in the distance.

12x24 oilon canvas 100_4252

Here is where I began painting wet, lighter color into the water. I’ve also started painting in some reflections and color from the sky. The shadows on the water were a little hard edged so I took this opportunity to soften edges and get them to become more a part of the surface of the water.

12x24 oil on canvas 100_4253

Next the base color for the sand bar. I’ll use this base like I did the blue in the water. I’ll paint back into it wet in wet and develope the textures and shapes of the rocks in that area.

detail 100_4254

detail 100_4255

detail 100_4256

The above three details show how I worked my way across the sand bar. Up close it simply looks a little lacy but takes on shape and detail as the viewer gets further away from the piece. I used a round to do the detail in this are. (I’ve only recently found that a flat isn’t the only brush in the world.)

12x24 oil on canvas 100_4264

Now the painting is more or less complete. I’ve finished the sand bar and placed a few details in the trees such as the trunks and a few branches. The trunks on the left and close up are warmer and a little more distinct than those on the right. My center of interest was put in last.

Happy Daize!!


American Impressionist Society

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2009 by Eldon

Hey! The American Impressionist Society show is being held in Denver this year at Saks Galleries. I managed to sneak one in and delivered it today. The opening is this next Friday, Oct. 23rd from 5 to 8 p.m. The location is:  Saks Galleries, 3019 E. 2nd Ave, Denver, Colorado. I know all the folks around here close have seen my stuff already but beyond that it would be a great opportunity to see some of the best impressionist work from around the country. There were nearly 700 entries and 189 pieces were juried in so the show is no doubt going to be a good one. So….. I’m looking forward to seeing a bunch of you locals and near locals at the show. Quang Ho is judging.

For all of you but  especially for those way outta town the link above will take you to the Saks Galleries web site. In the lower left corner of the opening page is a big white dot with the letters AIS inside.   Click on that for a preview of the entire show. I’m impressed.

And below, offered as a bit of proof that I’m getting back on my feet after surgery and getting something done in the studio are a couple of paintings. One is a plein air that kinda went south the day I did it and the other is a remake of it  I think to be nearly finished.

First (some of you may remember this one from an earlier post) the not so great plein air:

12x16 oil on canvas

And following is the 18×24 piece done from the plein air.

18x24 oil on canvas

A big improvement so I guess the time spent in the field wasn’t a waste. The original had a couple of people in it so I put them in here as a matter of following my own lead. I’m not sure though if they are actually right for this piece. What I’m thinking of is to paint them out and place in a few cows instead. There’s something peaceful (for me at least) about looking into a pasture and seeing a few cows just grazing away, quiet, no cares, no hurry, nothing but time. And the evening is my favorite time of day.



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’


Potato Rock

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2009 by Eldon

18x24 oil on canvas  #1

Never mind that green tint under my drawing. That’s what’s left of something that seemed like a good idea at the time and then begged to be wiped off. It was OK with me so off it went. (Wiped off very thin then rubbed with thinner until all I had left was a little color.) Waste not want not right? Any way it’s dry now and I can paint this new one over top.

16x20 #2

There’s a rock just above center and just right of the big bush in this composition. I had no problem with the placement but I was having trouble making it  look like a rock. I didn’t take any pictures of it while  in process but believe me it was ugly. I painted and wiped and painted and wiped until I was tired of goofin with it. 

16x20 #4

Then!!  Lo and behold a rock.    And “IT” didn’t come all that easy either. I continued to work on it right up to the time the painting  finished. I decided this big ole rock,  was going to look like a rock if it killed me. It doesn’t look like the rock I started painting but it’s a rock. I like this one better any way, the first one looked like a potato.



And some how in the end it came out and I quit frettin about it.

18x24 #6

Now I’m wondering if I should put back that figure I had standing on Potato Rock from back in step #2. It’s always nice, as my friend Rob puts  it, to have that human element in a painting. On the other hand, if the dude doesn’t go back in, we’ll probably think less about plastic bottles, blue Wal Mart bags, foot prints, candy wrappers, traffic noise, smog, plein air painters and other riff raff and……on and on. Maybe he stays out this time. Whadda ya think?


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