Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunrise at Dorgali Nuroro Cafe

This is for Virtual Paintout Oct 2011 challenge, Sardinia. It's oil on 12x16 canvas panel.

This is my second submission to the challenge, and this one is definitely not the easiest to do. At first, I was attracted to the morning light at this reference photo (ref). I wanted to try to paint the cool morning light, with the sun ray spilling over from the top of the mountain. I thought it would be a nice atmospheric theme to do.

Sunlight and the ocean were the easiest part. The hardest part was to decide what to actually include on the bottom right hand side of the painting. Not the easiest in terms of the composition. In fact I had sat on this for over a week going back and forth on what to include what not to. I was gonna include the lady, but at the end I just couldn't get her to look right or put her in the right place in the painting, so I painted her out. Now this is the last day for the submission, and I'm running out of time, so I've just included a hint of a table of morning diners, couple of man holes to break up the boring road. I'm sure if I keep staring at this painting, the composition will change yet again, but I have to stop somewhere and it might as well be now, and to move on to other paintings. The main colors are lemon yellow, white, Paynes grey, cobalt blue, ultramarine violet, van Dyke brown, etc.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cliff at Dorgali Nuoro

This is for October 2011 Virtual Paintout, Sardinia Italy challenge. It's oil on 12x16 canvas panel.

Sardinia is a beautiful place from traveling virtually via Google Maps. This reference photo caught my eyes (ref) because of its contrast between light and shadow, and it also reminded me of some of Monet's cliff paintings, such as his Cliffs at Etretat and Cliff near Fecamp. I really admired Monet's use of color, so brilliant, and all the colors work so perfectly together. So I decided I would give this photo a try, using (well, at least my attempt at) Monet like style and color for this particular scene.

The sunny portions were based on cadmium yellow and orange, while the shadow portion is a combination of ultramarine violet, cobalt, violet grey. There were many other colors in there, such as yellow orchre, sap green, terra rosa, etc. At the end I painted in a sail boat in the far distance to give more interest on the right hand side of the canvas and also some sense of scale to the cliff.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Bowl of Candies

This is for Rookie Painter, October 2011 challenge. It's oil on 10x10 canvas panel.

These candies with candy wrappers are actually pretty hard to paint. (ref) It calls for lots of simplification as it is impossible to capture every single crinkle and crease of the candies wrappers. The colors I've used are relatively bright: vermilion, cadmium orange, Indian yellow, cadmium yellow, Gamblin's radiant red, burnt umber, burnt sienna, alizarin, ultramarine violet, cobalt blue, and white.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

French Waitress

This is for A Day Not Wasted Sept 2011 challenge, French Waitress. It's oil on 6x8 canvas panel.

When I saw the original photo (ref) , I thought there were two ways to approach this painting. One is a pure portrait of the girl, minus everything else, while the other option is to take the whole scene but selecting elements in the pictures to come up with an over composition. I chose the latter since there were elements in the reference picture that were interesting.

I first got rid of all the noise on the wall - magazines and magazine racks - too busy, and instead I painted a solid wall. The woman on the left I thought was interesting since she helped to show there was a secondary light source, also her curve broke up with the wall's straight lines. I also got rid of the bricks outside the front window, again too busy I thought. I kept a letter and a hint of people outside. Originally I was going to stop there. However, the painting looked flat and lacking in depth. So at the end, I decided to add in the blurry foreground outline of a person and the two water goblets. At this point, I had to stop since there were plenty of details for this little 6x8 painting!