In this blog I will show you two paintings that I did around 1991. I show these studies to my students to give them an idea of how far I have come in my own color journey.
Back then, I was only able to paint sunlight but no other light effect. I also was pretty good at painting buildings but my trees and foliage were horrible. I call this my "Lollypop Tree Period". I also was unable to paint aerial perspective. I will show you samples of what I am currently painting (on the left) in comparison to what I was doing in 1991 (on the right).
I hope you can see how my colors have improved along with my drawing skills. I feel I still have a long way to go but I see progress. This is why I encourage my students to keep some of their early studies. As I look at these old paintings, I remember the struggle and I can see how much I know today that I didn't know then. I am sure I will feel the same way as I look back on this work in the next 10 years.
Vineyard Melody 16" x 20"
White Roses 11" x 14
Sonoma Vineyard 9" x 12"
Noe Valley 11" x 14
The weather has been beautiful here in Petaluma California, so I have been out on location painting. Here are a few paintings done in the past week.
Good Morning Sun 11" x 14"
Every Monday morning I do a demonstration in my landscape class. This is one of my finished demos.
Go to my web site: przewodek.com and click on "Demo of the Month" on my home page. This will take you to a step study slideshow of the creation of this painting.
"City Market" 11" x 14"
I was recently in Charleston, SC. Here are a series of paintings I did while I was there. They are currently on display in Galerie On Broad in Charleston.
"Concord Street Afternoon" 11" x 14"
"Pineapple Fountain" 11" x 14"
I love traveling to different areas across the country. I call the series of paintings I do at any particular location, "Portraits of a Place." The more I paint a location, the better I understand it. Charleston was new to me and was very inspiring.
"East Bay Street Morning" 11" x 14"
"St Johns Island Morning" 9" x 12"
"St Johns Island Afternoon: 11"x 14"
Here is a demonstration that I did at Weekend With The Masters in Monterey, CA. This is what Charles Hawthorne used to refer to as a “mudhead.” These were models, backlit against the ocean. The flesh was so dark that is resembled the color of mud. Hence, the term “Mudhead.”
I warmed up and lightened the ocean color to offset all the darks in the figure. My Model, Erin, is a silhouette against the water in the distance.
"Mission Courtyard" 11" x 14"
Like Monet, I focus on one location and paint the same scene over and over. Since the light effects are constantly changing, the scene is always engaging. One location that inspires me is the mission at San Juan Capistrano. As I paint this location over time and on different days and times of year, I understand it better and am more able to capture subtle nuances. These are things I would have missed had I only painted it on a single occasion.
Throughout this page, you’ll see paintings done in the same courtyard, under varying light conditions. The first painting (featured above) is a sunny afternoon where everything is bathed in brilliant sunlight. If you compare this painting to Courtyard Sun (below), you can see that the light in this morning painting is yellower when compared to the morning light of Morning Mission Pathway (second below) which is pinker and softer. Comparing Courtyard Sun with Morning Mission Pathway, which were done at approximately the same time in the morning, you will notice that Morning Mission Pathway has more atmosphere. These subtle shifts in color indicate a shift in the light effect. Finally (third below), I painted this same scene on a gray day. Ultimately, the light/dark contrast is less and the light planes are cooler. Because the light on this type of day is cooler, the shadow planes in comparison to these cool planes look warmer. This is also the case for the sky which looks very warm in comparison.
"Courtyard Sun" 11" x 14
"Morning Mission Pathway" 11" x 14"
"Mission Gray Day" 9" x 12"
As a side note, when I was painting this gray day scene I overheard some artists talking near me. They were complaining that there wasn’t anything to paint and they hated this gray day light. I was having entirely the opposite experience. Gray day light happens to be one of my favorite lights to paint. I am inspired by gray days because, although they are more difficult because of the hard-to-capture subtleties and nuances, they are nonetheless filled with color. I guess you have to paint this light repeatedly to really appreciate it. As the artists were talking, I wanted to stop and explain to these artists the beauty I saw in this gray day. The subtle gray days allow me to fully appreciate the brilliance of sunny days. The infinite variety of light effects found in nature keeps me constantly amazed, coming back to my easel again and again.
"Bridal Veil Falls" 11" x 14"
Here is a plein air sketch that I did on location in Yosemite National Park. I used this sketch to create another painting in the studio. Although my passion is to work from life, it is good discipline to try to create that same energy in the studio because you have more time to spend on design and composition.
"Cascading Water" 16" x 12"
This was done in the studio from my plein air sketch. I applied what I learned on location about the movement of the water and the color of the light. I was not a slave to the sketch but only used it as reference.