Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quick on the Draw

A very nice person emailed me these photos from the quickdraw event I was in at the Phippen Show. It was lucky to get these because my memory of it is a total blur. Thank you Nancy! In this series you can get a sense of how I approach a painting. That's my home made plein air paint box mounted on a camera tripod. I work on a glass palette with a tan wood underneath. My palette colors are cad. yellow light and med., WN cad. red, alizarin, ult. blue and cobalt blue, plus white and a complex grey made of left over paint from a painting done the day before. That grey saved my butt as it became the color I reached for when I was unsure what to mix. It is seen in the terraces of the sunlit temple walls, mixed with yellow and white it became the foreground rock color, with a little green it became the forested far rim of the canyon, etc. It was a lot to do in 45 minutes, but I managed to complete it with a minute to spare (at that moment I was afraid I'd blow it, and not have time to fix it).

Waiting for the starting gun (they really don't have a starting gun!)

Getting the drawing right from the start was my biggest worry. I felt if I could get that done, the rest would fall into place.

I picked my easiest color to start with - dark green. I usually work darks into light, but sometimes when I have an intense light color I'll lay that in first.

Kind of a leap between these two images, but basically I laid in the snow and sunlit walls and added variations to the shadowed areas. All these things happen more or less simultaneously with colors borrowed from one area to the next. I think this kind of mixing can give a painting unity, but do too much and things can get muddy (you artists out there know what I mean).

Done? I think I still had time left here but resisted doing anything because I was afraid I'd screw it up!

Framed and ready for the auction to come.

During the auction all the quickdraw artists huddled up at the top of the courthouse steps to get out of the sun. That's Daryl Phippen pointing out bidders as the auction proceeds. Altough this event was a little nerve-wracking, I had a lot of fun and I think the audience enjoyed it, too.

1 comment:

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Bill,
Very cool to see the painting in progress. I'm still at the point with my PA work that I'd never have finished that painting in that amount of time.

I was looking at a back issue of Southwest Art and came across an ad for this show. I hope next year they use pics from this one and I spot you and the Grand Canyon in it! That would be cool. The painting looks great in that frame Bill. Nice work.

...and that reminds me. After you posted that message on WC about San Diego Frame Co. I looked into them and ordered about $500 worth of frames. Took just over a month to get but they are great looking frames. If you have a resale license it is worth it since the price drops a lot at wholesale. If you have got the time then it is a good deal but not if you need frames in a hurry. Packaging was excellent too.