Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Boat Garage

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Here's another scene from Hornby Island, although this time it's a house for boats instead of people. I've been rereading selected segments of Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting, and trying to apply his techniques to my painting style. Changing your approach to painting is one of the hardest things to do, but I've been focusing on this while painting this series of beach houses. I have found that with each painting the application of his suggestions has become easier. I started by choosing just one suggestion, worked on that, then the next time I worked on the same thing, but added another suggestion to the mix. Here are the points I've been focusing on. 
  • Note the artistic intention - what is drawing you to this image? Decide what to feature and how best to do that.
  • Squint your eyes and block in tonal values of light and dark with poster-like flatness, covering all of the canvas.
  • Introduce modeling into all the flat values.
  • Look for and feel the landscape sense - the artistic expression, the rhythmic reach of the trees.
I feel that I've learned so much from purposely considering each of these steps,  while painting these small beach scenes and I'm totally excited about it. Although these are steps that I use to some extent regularly when I paint, by really giving them consideration, it clarified my values and  improved the expression of my brushstrokes.  If you can get a copy of his book (lots of used ones online), I would highly recommend it.




  1. Very nice Claire! I love the sunlight leading us up the path, and the way you put just enough detail into the foliage to define it, but not overstate it... (See? I'm appreciating these painterly things more, now that I've tried my hand at it a few times!)

  2. It's easy to see that your focusing on the "points" paid off Claire! I LOVE the foliage and also the depth you captured in the has a welcoming feel to it to come wander up the path. Great work!

  3. Thanks ladies, I really appreciate the feedback. And thanks for noticing my foliage. It looks like it would be so easy to paint, but I had to really consider a lot of things to arrive at this outcome. It's that whole learning thing that's so exciting and keeps us wanting to paint and push ourselves. Both of you are doing beautiful work, which inspires me a lot. Funny how that works!