New Year ~ New Direction

Working away on new things, always testing, pushing, and learning. And why not? If I always work the way I’ve worked I’ll always have the same outcome. This artwork was created from imagination. No underlying photograph and no reference photo. It is titled An Early Snow. Which is kind of funny because the snows have really hit hard this winter. In January alone there has been 20 feet of snow in the Tahoe/Donner area. This just astounds me given the drought we have been in for so many years. I really do not mind the rain here in the “flats” and tomorrow I’ll find out just what it is like up in the mountains. It’s time to start digging out, shoveling, clearing the deck. The shoreline in this image was inspired by Donner Lake even if the snow is currently much deeper than illustrated here.

I’m at a point where I’m jumping off a bit and testing out what I know, or more accurately what I think I know. I always come back to Corel Painter, my favorite painting software for many reasons. But I have been on a few detours the past year working in real media, wet paints, chalk pastels, oils, and more. I really should have done this a long time ago because I can see how much it has helped. Now when I sit down and open Corel Painter I have a much better feel for what the digital brushes will do when used on a digital canvas. So, I’ll keep pushing forward even though I will probably take a few more detours this year.

Follow The River. I used a photo reference which means that the photo reference sits off to the side and is used as a mental guide. This allows you to make all the decisions ~ the composition, choosing colors, and much more. Very freeing and very frustrating at the same time. Some days it flows really well and other days I cannot paint anything worth saving. The digital trash can needs to be emptied frequently!

Baby Orchard was created with chalk pastels. It helped me understand how the chalks blend and sit on the textured paper. Now I can work with these ideas and concepts digitally.

Row of Trees (catchy title, right?) was created digitally using the same principles of chalk pastels. Again, this one was created from imagination ~ no photos were involved. I begin by filling the empty digital canvas with a color. The first brush strokes are to determine the horizon line. After that the ideas either come or they don’t.

Geraniums was painted in oils. Real, wet oils. Having experienced this groundwork I feel much better about tackling oils digitally.

Plums in the Orchard is digital oils. The classes helped me to better understand not only how the paints mix but how to apply them and how to use the brush strokes to advantage. And this has led me to creating more brushes to use in Corel Painter.

The Yellow Dress was painted in oils applied with a palette knife.  The entire image was done with one palette knife. But now, should I use a digital palette knife I will know what the surface should look like. I had a reference image for this one and I remember swearing a lot while working on it.

None of this has been easy for me. I really wanted my work to improve and stepping outside the box is never a bad idea. I am a life-long learner and hope to always keep learning.

And while I have your attention here (ha!) what is the big deal about painting with textures in Corel Painter lately? I have always painted with textures and used textures in my work. Just sayin’. All this texture stuff is not new to me.

Wherever you are on your journey think about where you want to go, where you want to be. Then decide what steps you might want to take to get there. I think you will enjoy the detours you set up for yourself.

And if you read all of my ramblings here, I sincerely thank you!




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