Aug 26, 2013

Apple Harvest Chickadees - WIP3

More progress made on my chickadees and apples painting. 

It's times like this I wish I loved acrylics instead of oils because getting this done in time for the winery exhibit next week really means getting it done by Thurs THIS week so it has time to dry. Cadmium yellow hue in particular takes a long time to dry. But it's just such a nice color there's no substitute!

Aug 24, 2013

Apple Harvest Chickadees - WIP2

Still working away on my painting of chickadees in an apple tree. Besides more detail work on apples and leaves, I got one of the chickadees finished. Here's a photo of the section with the chickadee.

I'll post another update in a day or two!

Aug 20, 2013

Apple Harvest Chickadees - WIP1

I live in Woodinville, WA. For those of you who are not familiar with Woodinville, WA, you probably think that, with a name like, it's some small town Hicksville out in the middle of nowhere. I probably would. But, in reality, Woodinville isn't "out in the sticks." It's a well developed area just 20-30 minutes outside Seattle. Yes, we have modern shopping centers, theaters, freeway systems ... even a corn maze!

Ok, so we're "a little bit country, and a little bit rock and roll." :)

But one thing Woodinville is famous for is its wineries. If you're a wine connoisseur you've probably heard of Woodinville. If not, it's something you might want to learn about. Woodinville has regular wine tasting events, and winery concerts, throughout the summer months. And what better hobby is there for an excuse to laze around in beautiful scenery, listen to great music, drink fine wine, and get drunk than becoming a wine connoisseur?

So, why am I babbling on about Woodinville and wineries anyway? Well, the point of this blog post is to talk about an upcoming art showing at a local winery, the Goose Ridge Estate winery, just a few minutes from where I live. Through the month of September they are displaying artwork by artists from the Parklane Gallery, including one of my paintings. Because autumn is not far away, the theme for the art display will be the fall harvest. That limits what I can display there. I have one painting already done that may work, but it isn't ideal for a harvest theme, so I'm working on a new one that will work better. This one is of some chickadees in an apple tree with an apple harvest basket. Here is a picture of what I have so far.

 I'm still mostly at the blocking-in stage so there isn't a lot of detail yet. I did start to detail a couple of leaves and the apple at the top, but other than that it's just block-in. But at least it gives you an idea of what the overall scene will look like, some apple branches, an apple basket, and three cute little chickadees. I just hope I can finish it in time!

Aug 16, 2013

Palouse Whitetail Deer

If you've been following my blog for a while you know I started this painting a long time ago. Well, it's finally finished!

24"x36" oil on canvas

Some people have told me this painting doesn't look right. It looks like a North American whitetail deer running through the hills of Tuscany, Italy. It's not realistic. That scene could never exist.

 Well, I admit, it does look a little bit like Tuscany. But that doesn't mean it's not a real scene. Have you ever heard of Palouse in eastern Washington state? The scenery there is not all that different from Tuscany. And, there are whitetail deer living there! So it's not at all an unrealistic scene.

Here is just a sample of the amazing scenery in Palouse, WA.

Copyright Michael Greene

I suggest you Google Palouse for more amazing images.

Aug 6, 2013

Different Surfaces for Oil Paints

I recently updated my Horse Portraits web page and, in doing so, talked a little bit about the various painting surfaces I use for my oil paints. I thought I'd share those differences here, too.

I normally paint on one of three different painting surfaces, or substrates, with oils. Which one I use depends on a number of things. Some of it has to do with the look I want to achieve in the finished painting. Some of it has to do with what lighting conditions I expect the final piece to be displayed under. Some of it has to do with size and handling. 

The 3 substrates I use are:

• canvas
• multimedia board
• gesso board

Let's start with canvas, the traditional oil painting surface. Canvas gives the traditional rougher textured look that many people love in a painting. Canvas also leaves the oil in the paint, creating the glossy sheen of oils that many are familiar with. The downside to canvas is that finer detail is harder to achieve on this surface.

When I want a smoother, more detailed painting I often paint on multimedia board or gesso board.

Let's start with multimedia board. Multimedia board is much smoother than canvas but still has a slight texture. It is also much more absorbent than canvas, which means it will draw some of the oil out of the paint. This doesn't hurt the painting but it results in a less glossy, more matte finish when the painting dries. While some people love the glossiness of oils, that sheen can sometimes making viewing difficult because of glare. If you have a difficult lighting situation then you might want to go with multimedia board to reduce glare issues. Another advantage of multimedia board is it is very thin and light weight. Multimedia board is mounted on archival acid-free foam board to keep it strong yet still stay light weight. Because of this, it is not likely to be damaged when dropped and, if you want to ship it, costs will be lowest with this substrate.

Gesso board has the smoothest finish of the three substrates. It is less absorbent than multimedia board, so the oils will retain more of their glossiness, though not quite as much as canvas. It's a good choice if you want finer detail than canvas offers but still want to retain some of the glossiness. I only recommend gesso board for smaller paintings, however. Larger size boards get heavy and can increase shipping costs significantly. These large panels may also make your painting more susceptible to damage since they can crack or chip if dropped or bumped.

Below are images showing some close-up details of paintings on the different painting surfaces. Visit my website to see the full images.

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