Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Studio Paintings from Plein Air Sketches

I took two of my beach paintings from this post and used them as inspiration for these larger studio pieces.

In "Evening Mist" I changed the spacing between the palms a bit and lowered everything just a little so I could include more mountain in the distance. The larger painting size gave me more room to play around with color and include a few more elements to add to the sense of depth. I really enjoyed painting the effect of the ocean moisture in these pieces.

"Evening Mist", 14 x 18" oil, Frank Gardner © 2009
$1,300. Framed. Available at Galeria Gardner

"Evening Mist", 6 x 8" oil, Frank Gardner © 2009
$720. Framed. Available at Galeria Gardner

The obvious compositional change in the "Hammock, Playa Buena Vista" painting is the removal of the stick coming out of the sand. On site, I decided to use what I saw at the beach in order to have a darker element up close. Something that would help show how the mist off the ocean was affecting the values of everything and setting it all back in space. In the studio painting I wanted to see how the design, and sense of depth, would work without it. Instead, I put some dark brushstrokes and some grasses in the foreground to get some darker notes up front. I am still toying with the idea of maybe laying a small stick on the ground in the lower right foreground. Similar to the one in the plein air piece, but not sticking up in the air.
I had a heck of a time trying to getting accurate subtle color in the photos of the studio pieces. They look better in person and are visually pleasing hanging together.

"Hammock, Playa Buena Vista", 14 x 18" oil, Frank Gardner © 2009
$1,300. Framed. Available at Galeria Gardner

"Hammock, Playa Buena Vista", 8 x 10" oil, Frank Gardner © 2009
$500. Framed. Available at Galeria Gardner


Elizabeth McCrindle said...

They're both beautiful Frank and you've definately taken them that step further on going larger. I sympathise with you trying to get your work to look on screen as it does on the easel....I'm pulling my hair out lol

Unknown said...

You made some wonderful design choices in your transition to from sketch to studio painting.

Gary Keimig said...

They came out very nice. design is fine. Do like that mountain showing above so what you did I think was the right choice.. They have that soft misty feel. good job.

Dean H. said...

They both look great to me, Frank! I especially like the composition of the first one.
I'm interested to see if you add anything to to lower right of the hammock painting.

Alicia PadrĂ³n said...

Beautiful Frank! I absolutely love the far away mountains n the first one. How you just summarized them as being two distinct colors. Awesome! :o)

Marian Fortunati said...

Although I think your work looks great on the blog, I've SEEN it in person and I can assure everyone it always looks better in the studio/gallery than online.
I love how you've "blown these studies up". So interesting to see how the master thinks about and executes the work!!!

Pam Holnback said...

Both pieces work so well. Maybe it's because you mentioned it, but my eye keeps going to the stick on the beach; whereas in the painting w/ the grasses in front, my eye moves around more. said...

Great composition - so simple and elegant

Ambera said...

These are soooo nice....

Mike said...

Hey Amigo~!

Long time. I have been browsing through here and on Facebook . . .been thinkin about some great econversations tween you n me last year. Am looking ever closer at your work and wondering "how does he do thaaaaat?" :-)

I can see you are doing really well. One day, San Miguel will be hosting both of us, somehow! At least I sure hope that is possible, soon!

Unknown said...

You really captured the atmospheric effect in these paintings. Lovely!

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Elizabeth. I can get my digital stuff to look pretty accurate, on my screen at least.
It's when I upload to blogger that they get a little washed out. I try and compensate, but sometimes it just does not work.
Nothing ever compares to standing in front of the original anyway.

Thank you Jeremy. I had been itching to do a larger one of the "Evening Mist" piece since the night I painted the plein air. Just couldn't get everything I wanted in a 6x8, but I took home some good notes to work from.

Thanks Gary. Glad you like the softness of the mist. I dont get to paint mist that often.

Hi Dean. Thank you once again for your kind and supportive words. Have not added anything yet, but it is still in the trial frame in my dining room. I'll let you know.

Thanks very much Alicia!!

Thanks Marian. I don't know about "master". But I appreciate your comments.
I really like that latest piece of yours in the trees.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Pam. Yeah, my eye kept going to that too. It's not that I don't like that one. I just wanted to try something a bit different instead of having an exact enlargement of the smaller piece.

Thanks Bill. I'm glad you feel the simplicity. I tried to keep that easy going relaxed beach feel to them.

Thanks Ambera. NIce to have you around again.

Hi Mike. Yeah, we still need to get together sometime to paint or do a workshop or both. I've been thinking about organizing a few plein air sessions for other teachers besides myself. This last year was real fun and popular too ( I think ).

Thank you Kathy. I appreciate your commenting.

Solvay said...

Ooooooooooooo - the evening mist ones - such different paintings! The mistiness in each one comes through almost breathably! And, the mountain ranges - I like them in both.

I have to say that I like the absence of the stick, simply because the long expanse of the beach in the larger painting takes me way down it, and there's nothing holding me back to the foreground (nothing catching the hem of my dress as I try to get to the end of the beach/strand).
: )
Such nice images. Wish I were there on that beach.

Bruce Sherman said...

Hi Frank!....Glad to see that the swine thingy has retreated somewhat into the past. I love the atmospheric quality of both pieces...and the ever-so-slight refinement of the details. I will say that I do miss the foreground "hook"or lead-in that you used in the Hammock 8x10 inch sketch...the foreground in the larger piece just looms a little empty to my eye...but Hey...the artist knows best...ALWAYS! Great work!

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Solveg. I always enjoy your thoughts and comments.

Thanks Bruce!

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

MmmmmMMmmm... great job, Frank. It FEELS humid. I always think things will look better in person. And then I had someone email me say "all your paintings look orange - you might want to fix that!".... Orange?

Anyway, I am always hesitant to make a smaller plein air sketch into a larger one, but you're giving me courage.... again, great work.

Susan Carlin said...

I sure love the warm/cool push/pull of the sky in this one!

rob ijbema said...

excellent frank!
so hard to make a studio work better than the plein air.
it takes a lot of concentration,
in the top one the composition works so much better.
i can't tell the difference from the two bottom ones,so i guess that is a good thing!

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Kelley. Thanks.
My images were constantly too blue for a while with my old computer. The screen had a yellow bias and when I would look at my website on someone else's computer it would always be way too blue because I was overcompensating when I adjusted the images.

I know what you mean about enlarging plein air work.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Susan. I have been working on my sky color to get more of a feel for the type of day.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Rob. Yeah, sometimes I wonder why I bothered trying to do a studio piece from a plein air. The results are not always presentable.
I really like the design of Evening Mist so much better in the studio version.