Saturday, January 21, 2012

Great Photographer

I have found a wonderful professional photographer here in Spokane who does stunning commercial work and high resolution photos for giclee prints for artists on canvas. I can now offer very large prints of Modern Day Mother in Zion, as well as Receiving Divine Grace. His corporate client base locally and nationally is pretty impressive. I am so grateful to find him.
check out his work at

Final Rounds of Judging

My Receiving Divine Grace painting made it past the first round of judging (shown framed in the background) and I have shipped it off to the art museum for the last round of judging. Wish me luck! Here is my wonderful student, Karley. She was the model for one of the hands in the final painting. Thanks Karley for being a great model!

Oil Painting Commission

I received an oil painting commission to paint a large landscape of the Wallowa Lake and Chief Joseph Mountains in eastern Oregon. The client requested I combine the view from the photo on the left with a macro view of the mountains (the small color sketch I did on the right). After a google earth search for reference photos of the combined mountain range, it became clear that the composition was going to be a challenge! First of all, combining the two views meant that the entire mountain range needed to be shown. This particular range is fronted by two equal sized range of foot hills. Soooo, the mountains and two foothills create a tootsie-roll effect of three long horizontal bands of equal size and length. Hmmmm... Not visually appealing for a painting at all. The client requested the lake be dominant as well, with lots of blue in the sky and water. Hmmm....ok, this presented some challenges. Since the mountains were in the far distance, and panoramic, and the lake is large and BLUE, I needed to create a visual eye-path so that the viewer can wander about the painting and be entertained in an orchestrated manner. Usually, artists like strong focal points and dramatic lighting to create their visual interest. In this case, it needed to be a portrait of the entire mountain range ( in the far distance, so colors and edges will need to be muted for aerial perspective) yet still give the lake its fair square footage...all the while not overpowering the viewer with blue blue blue. So, I created fog in the foothills to cut down their strong horizontal banding effects and wind and fog patterns on the lake to direct the eye and give some interest to the massive blue expanse. I also invented a small peninsula on the left side and a foreground of snow and shrubs to further direct the eye, and to unite the entire painting with the colors of the rocks and snow shadows on the mountains.

color sketch

water color and colored pencil sketch to show client the final composition and mood we agreed upon. 6 x 4 on paper.
Here is the first lay in of color in oils. The clouds and fog were darkened in value so that they would not compete with the snow on the mountains for attention. At this point, it feels more like watercolor painting than oil painting, but I need to save my most expressive brushstrokes and thickest paint applications for the foreground.

close up left side

This was done ala prima with a burnt sienna layer showing through loose brush strokes. By far the most fun part of creating this painting! Lots of thick rich colors with dry brush edges. It feels more like sculpting than painting to create. I'm definitely going to head off in this direction of paint application for a while and see how much control and emotion I can generate with my brushstrokes....

finished commission

Finished size 36 x 24 without frame. oil on canvas. Still not happy with the way the color is processed on the shows too blue, but you can still get the idea