Thursday, October 29, 2009

Misty Day at Edenvale

A few of us got together to paint in Edenvale last Monday. The weather forecast had promised sunny weather, but instead we got overcast and misty conditions. However, the light was very consistent until it eventually started to get too wet to paint. I did two paintings of the little river that runs through the forest. There was some spectacular colour in the autumn foliage even in the dull conditions and I did my best to capture that.

A Quiet Spot, Edenvale
(14" x 11" Oil on Board)

Autumn Gold, Edenvale
(14" x 11" Oil on Board)

Here are my initial block-ins for both paintings:-

And a couple of photos of both scenes:-


Mick Carney said...

More great work. I went out the other afternoon to try and capture autumn colour in our local park and use the techniques that you have perfected. It wasn't a great effort so I've returned to studying your wonderful block in/ development process in the hope that the next effort will be more satisying. As always thanks for the informative post.

Michael McGuire said...

Hi Mick,

And thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Perhaps you overdid the colour on your recent PA outing. It is very easy to get carried away with all the apparently bright autumn colour out there at the moment. Like with most paintings, the trick is to reserve your chroma punch for the centre of interest. If the scene is full of bright colour then focus on one area only and dull the others. In any case the colour is never as intense as your initial perception, especially in sunlight - a common mistake is to equate light intensity with colour intensity/chroma - they are two very different things.

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Michael,
Thanks for posting the ref and block in images on these paintings. It's really helpful to see how you are starting out each painting. I tend to now really work like this but maybe I'll give this a try the next time out. Makes a lot of sense to catch the local colors in the beginning before they shift too much.
Very cool work Michael.

Michael McGuire said...

Hi Ron,

Thanks for taking the time to have a look and comment here.

I usually try to get the main masses to read correct relative to one another (in the sense that if you stand back enough, the paintings already looks somewhat like the scene). The block-in only takes 10-15 minutes, but I then usually spend another half-hour or so refining things more before begininning to suggest detail within the masses. Problem is I usually forget to take photos at this stage or later!

I usually work that way especially if condtions are unstable, i.e. if there is a danger that the initial light is going to change, because I know that if I get that far and the light changes, I can finish the painting in the studio from memory and photo reference. But sometimes, I just go straight from block-in to detail, if conditions are more stable, such as in overcast days or the all too rare sunny summer day. But I still continually check that the masses read correct relative to one another as the painting progresses.

It's worth experimenting with different starting approaches, Ron. As far as I can remember in "Alla Prima", Richard Schmid describes 7-8 dfferent ways he starts a painting - probably just for fun as much as anything else.