Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Zhou Zhuang Traffic

We went to Zhou Zhuang 周庄 in China last year. Zhou Zhuang is about an hour drive outside of Shanghai, and is known to be the Venice of China because of its many canals. People there travel via water taxi, Chinese style.  

We took many pictures during trip, and this view from a bridge I thought was interesting to paint, with the strong light on the left vs shadow on the right, the perspective element, and the many boats that seemed to be all jammed up.

I first used texture paste for the roof, palette knives were used to add in texture for the walls. This work was done at Anastasia Art House, and is oil on 24x30 canvas.

Street Violinist

This is for Virtual Paintout June 2012, Latvia challenge. It's oil on 10x12 canvas panel.

This is my second submission to this month's challenge. I saw this young street violinist outside of the Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Riga, Latvia (ref), and I thought it would made an interesting painting. (After I started on the work, I realized another artist had also done a violinist painting, using a different approach. My approach was very different, so I kept going.) 

I've made a number of changes from the Google Maps photo. I made the walls darker so that the violinist's sweat shirt and pants won't blend too much into the wall color. I've also lightened up her hair so her hair wouldn't blend into the now darker walls. I've also added a few pigeons, which appeared in a different frame around the same area in Google Maps.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Colorado Sky

This is for Studio Atelier June 2012 challenge. It's oil on 11x14 canvas panel.

This is an atmospheric layers challenge. (ref) The reference photo was this big Colorado sky with layers of mountains. I chose a smaller view than the original photo, and also moved the house which was chopped off on the right of the reference photo to be the focal point of my painting. I also lightened up the foreground a few grades in value as I thought the photograph was too dark in the foreground. The point of this painting was trying to capture layers of the landscape, include the foreground rolling hills and background far away mountains, as well as the lighting from sunset.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Old Barn

This is for A Day Not Wasted June 2012 challenge. It's oil on 12x14 canvas panel.

Since I procrastinated for the last month's challenge, I decided to do this challenge a little earlier. The reference photo is actually quite nice (ref), with good color, and nice contrast between light and dark. 

It's quite obvious from the photo that the main color theme would be blue vs orange, with the dry grass in the foreground having orange tone. I prepared the whole canvas first with a layer of yellow orchre. The background sky, mountain, trees, and orange color dry grass were painted with thin paint. The old barn and the foreground grass were done with thicker paint using palette knives.

A Bend at Gauja River

This is for Virtual Paintout June 2012, Latvia challenge. It's oil on 10x12 canvas panel.

This view is from a bridge over the Gauge River (ref). I wanted to capture the atmospheric nature of the view while keeping the scope of the painting relatively small. Thus I chose this this bend in the river. The far mountain and the mid ground trees were all different shades of greys. The colors are more intense in the foreground. I also used broken strokes for the water to give it some movement. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Alamo Square

This is supposed to be for A Day Not Wasted, May 2012 challenge. It's oil on 8x10 canvas panel.

When I first saw this challenge, I thought the idea was interesting, at the famous Alamo Square in San Francisco. (ref) However, the reference photo in my view was a bit problematic for painting. There was a limited amount of light and shadow contrast, or some may call it notan, in this very bright and sunny photograph. There was a lot of elements competing for attention, e.g. the painted ladies (old Victorian houses), the buildings behind it, the Transamerica pyramid building and the other tall brown building. 

I looked up on the internet to see if there were other Alamo Square photos. There was one with lights from inside the buildings at dusk. I thought that was interesting, but I didn't want to just copy that photo. I wanted to use that lighting idea in that photo and apply to this reference photo. So I sat on it thinking I would come revisit it before the deadline. Before I realized it, it was already June, and I've procrastinated for too long!

The challenge is not accepting anymore submissions.  However, I decided I would do this painting anyway to try out the different lighting effect, and with the bright yellow indoor lights. So I spent about three hours and did this very rough painting.  I painted the two tallest buildings out of the canvas so that the attention is not completely there, but more on the houses. There were more details inside the houses so to get people's attention there first.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hot Cocoa Rose

This is for Still Life Workshop May challenge. It's oil on 6x8 canvas panel.

Besides the Tomatoes on the Vine that I just did, I also did this Hot Cocoa Rose challenge, since the color combination is quite nice in the reference photo. The glass of water gave this challenge extra complexity. I enjoyed the two still life challenges posted on this blog so far (ref), and will definitely try to keep up with the challenge whenever I can.

Tomatoes on the Vine

This is for Still Life Workshop. It's oil on 6x8 canvas panel.

I recently came upon this new challenge called Still Life Workshop (ref). These tomatoes on the vine were the first challenge. Although they're already onto the second challenge, I still did this first challenge because I liked the bright juicy tomatoes in contrast with a dark granite table top! So I put back on my still life thinking hat and did this small painting.