Monday, September 29, 2008

The Family That Plays Together - sold

20"x20"x1.5" oil on deep gallery wrapped canvas

"The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us."
- Ashley Montagu

I truly enjoy working with families coming up with a painting to hold their cherished memories! It is a wonderful experience as I get to enjoy the feelings of those happy times, too!

Some painters tips regarding the painting process:

First, I tone the canvas....& indicate general placement of where compositional elements will be.

Then I start blocking in. I usually start with things that are most distant and build up to what is in the front being placed last.

Once I get most elements blocked in - I start adjusting edges & shapes of the elements, do they still lead me to the focal point? Do all supporting cast elements stay secondary to the focal point? (asking these types of questions as I go.)

On blocking in the figures, if they come from various reference materials (in this case various photos), I measure & compare relative sizes & judge visual distances to be in perspective. Adjustments are made while the paint is still wet. I'm working from photos and a small oil sketch study that I've done in preparation for the larger work.

When I'm happy with all the compositions elements then I come into the this case the deep golden wildflowers and dried grasses. These I layer with gentle brush strokes on top of my undercolors. In picturing "gentle" brushstrokes....imagine picking up a baby bird....the hold is firm, yet careful, with directed intent, so as to not crush or disturb what's underneath the surface!

This painting belongs to a family whose favorite vacation get away is the calm of Assateague National Wildlife Preserve. I do welcome requests for commissions. Please contact me at


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