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Grand Canyon VI

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Grand Canyon VI

Postby CarlOwen » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:48 am

Good morning. It has begun. I have started Grand Canyon VI. I decided to start this painting by doing the white background for the sky on the canvas first so that it had approximately the same drying time as Grand Canyon V. I have a lot of other work to do in the month of April and I want this collection to be done in time for Christmas. As I said in another Grand Canyon post that I have already bought the four custom frames for these and I want to exhibit all four together. I will be working off and on with the drawing in April. I think it will actually take me the whole month to finish it.

I anticipate this one will be complex and complicated in the form representation, color interplays and the level of accuracy juxtaposed against the abstract qualities presented with the pallet knife. The thing I have learned with doing this method of drawing first and then working from the drawing and the photo references is that by the act of drawing and referring to that drawing to do the painting is that I have already worked out the light and dark values for the painting. Now understanding that scale matters, it is easier to do the thought transition about what areas need to be played down and what areas need to be enhanced.

For instance, that single flat surface jutting out and into the canyon looks OK in the drawing. It kind of gives the feeling of height and depth to the scene and may need to be toned down a bit when it is painted on the larger canvas. How that works out will be done in relationship with the other forms and color values, changes and intensities present on the larger canvas. That was a mouthful. Moving on. Here are the two posts. First post is of the white sky background underpainting because I did that before I started the drawing. The second post is the first start of the drawing. Hope I get time to get some more done today.
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Re: Grand Canyon VI

Postby CarlOwen » Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:38 am

Good morning. I am kind of letting my mind and hand wander around with this one. A little shading here another line there and a scribble somewhere else and the drawing is starting to take shape. That high line on the right is not a continuation of the cliff presented on the bottom. Have to figure out how I am going to deal with that. Anyway, only one post today.
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Re: Grand Canyon VI

Postby CarlOwen » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:20 pm

Good afternoon. Posting this update. I don't think I will be getting back to this for a few days. Maybe. I have a lot of other stuff that absolutely needs my attention. So enjoy.
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Re: Grand Canyon VI

Postby CarlOwen » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:59 pm

Good afternoon. I have two posts for today. It has been a few days since the last post. Takes me longer to get things done these days. Anyway, I knew this one would be a challenge for my skills developed to date. Of course that is why I chose to do it. I have had to take some time to think this one. I know it is a prep drawing. But whenever I think I can fix it somewhere down stream it opens the door to failure. So, the think through has to be done first, then the do. I chose to change the context of the lower right corner with continuing the cliff to the end of the right side. It gives more of that feeling of depth I was after. The scattered scrubble rocks were kind of fun to draw. Just keep scribbling circles large and small within the space that feels appropriate to size. Then go back in and add the shading anywhere I want so long as I keep the light source in mind.

On the second post I felt I had to go to the left upper side to define some of the close bluffs so I could sort of see the picture develop. That helped me to see how I want to bring the foreground into sharp relief to then develop the intensity and faded levels of the canyon itself. I want the viewers to feel like they are actually standing on that cliff looking down into the canyon while at the same time seeing the distant vastness of the canyon. Oh yes, and this one I intend to do 100% pallet knife, even the sky. We shall see how that goes with the sky. A few ideas are starting to form in my mind.
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Re: Grand Canyon VI

Postby CarlOwen » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:08 am

Good morning. Just one post today. Continuing to work on the bottom. Working on getting that stepping down feeling into the canyon with the cliff arrangements.
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Re: Grand Canyon VI

Postby CarlOwen » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:50 pm

Good afternoon. Another only one post. Had to work out concepts about how to present the feeling of being drawn into the canyon while standing on the top ledge looking down into the canyon. I think I about got it with the drawing. The painting will require more thought about directionality of the knife strokes.
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Re: Grand Canyon VI

Postby Pooch » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:18 pm

Well, I certainly get that stepping down feeling from the drawing. It will be interesting to see how this progresses when color begins to be set down. You've given yourself quite a challenge there. But if it was too easy, of course, it wouldn't be any fun.
Do you find the pallet knife easier to use than a brush? I've never worked with it. It would really save a lot of time with cleaning brushes!
As we've said in an earlier post, your meticulous planning and drawing with this project is the polar opposite of the way I work. I would have had to have some paint on the canvas by now. But, some of my favorite artists work the way you do. As I was growing up, one of the artists whose work I used to try and copy was Norman Rockwell. The drawings he would do before a painting were works of art themselves.
I'm either too impatient, or too lazy to do it. Anyway, good work Carl.
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Re: Grand Canyon VI

Postby CarlOwen » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:00 am

Good morning Joseph. Thanks for your comments. Let's me know I am on the right track. Yes, without the challenge it becomes boring and not really worth the effort. But the learning is worth every effort. I have painted the way you say you do, a lot. It is a pleasant creative experience, enjoyable actually. When studying the pictures I took of the canyon it occurred to me that I could not paint what I wanted to present without doing the study drawings first. There are simply to many shapes, shadows and forms for me to keep track of while doing the holistic experience of creating the finished painting all at once. I have to break it down like a shotgun into pieces and reassemble them to make it work.

I know that study drawings are and were used by artists throughout time. When I was in school I thought they were a waste of time unless my class grade depended upon them. You know how when you were 20 to 30 something you knew everything about everything that was important? Well, not so much these days. Doing the study drawings has brought a new awareness about how to manifest that final product. I can better see and map the shading levels I want on the shapes. It is helpful to use the lines and shading with directional purpose that will remind me how to apply the paint and what knife strokes I will need to present the forms. That kind of thing.

As to knife versus brush with the knife being easier to use than the brush, I have not found that to be true. Most of the time with the brush, when you make a mistake you can paint over, wipe it clean and do it again, or just stubble it. True, it saves time cleaning brushes but on the other hand you have to inspect the cleanliness of the knife each time before you load it with paint. Nothing like a little hard dot size chunk of dried paint on the knife edge to drag that scratch through a swath of paint that was supposed to be a pristine shiny surface. It takes more time thinking about the knife strokes than actually making them.

As always, I enjoy your comments, critiques, suggestions and questions.
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Re: Grand Canyon VI

Postby CarlOwen » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:34 pm

Good afternoon. The white sky background is dry enough to work on, so of course I did. The idea of using only pallet knife for the color upon the white background did not work. So I returned to smearing and dabbing the paint on with the paper towel routine. Got what I wanted for the sky in this painting. Have to think a bit more about the Grand Canyon V sky before I do anything. One post on this update.
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