Posted on 5 Comments

Short Days, Long Nights

I painted outdoors for 5 years. I did not like painting in a studio once I painted en plein air. I knew I’d have to go back inside one day… so in preparation for that day I built a new studio. 

It is painted off white(including the floor) and has banks of 5,000 lumen lights overhead with a mixture of color balanced spot lighting.  These past few weeks I’ve been in the studio painting…I”m painting large paintings from sketches and field studies; both water color and oil .


I have a practice of doing sketches, watercolors and oils on location. 
Some are very rough.

I stand in one spot and keep recording what I am seeing.


I turn to my left and sketch and paint that view …


…then turn to my right and do the same…


I will walk around and try to capture enough detail and a feeling of the place for me to be able to remember what was important to me at that time. 


I used the watercolor sketches to put together this oil painting. I’m trying for the essence of the place, the soul of the day…its not quite finished.


I do these very quick value/temperature studies to sample colors and see how much chroma the mood will bear.

I’ll do a fast watercolor just to get the feel of the action. These clouds were racing out to sea after a thunder storm cleared out.

A  quick watercolor value study gives me a feel for the simple masses and the shape of things, like wandering with my mind through a place before I decide how I want to depict it. Its very liberating to do this. It helps me to get familiar and comfortable with a place.
   

On location I do rough sketches first, quick watercolors..then I often will do a series of quick 20 minute oil sketches back to back. Why?  I’ve found that if I paint like this I will often have something good from the lot that I can take home and work with.  I’m a real process painter. I do hundreds of starts, 5×7, 6×8, 8×10’s on location.  So now I’m painting in the studio I have no shortage of reference material for these large paintings I’m working on. 

Water colors ~ 6×8’s, 90 lb. sketch paper 6×10, 90 lb. sketch paper  8×12  300 lb. Arches rough 
Oils ~ 8×10 linen on panel, canvas on  panel

PAINT EAT SLEEP for more views of paintings.


5 thoughts on “Short Days, Long Nights

  1. Thanks for the glimpse into your studio.. as well as your process of painting. Merry Christmas..

  2. Thank you Capt Elaine! I’ll post the transformation of the studio and some of the “new big ones” as I locate and take new pictures…

  3. Great work Mary…those sketches are works of art on their own…love ’em!

  4. Thank you for your kind words David.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.