Monthly Archives: June 2017

OIL PAINTING DEMO of PARIS FRANCE

In Part two of my Oil painting demo of Paris France, the use of fluid washes of transparent and semi transparent color are higlighted. Liquin thinned with Turpenoid was mixed with paint and applied over the drawing. This is called the…

BLOCK IN STAGE

These thin color marks set the the mood of the painting. The lines of the drawing were reinforced with thinned paint in the previous session and left to dry. Therefore these washes would not disturb my careful drawing!

With the wash having set up a bit, opaque color was added to certain passages. This is most noticeable in the trees, cirtroen car and people. Keep in mind, nothing is complete at this stage.

oil painting demo paris street scene

COLOR CHOICES

My clients favorite colors included purple, blue and green. Therefore various mixes of violet and blue dominate the underpainting. Orange, being the compliment of blue is added to the sky. Also a transparent wash of orange is brushed over the street area. Various opaque broken colors of violet and blue violet are added on top. Some of the orange underpainting shows through which gives a sparkle effect.

oil painting demo paris france street scene

Here’s another zoomed in area. Remember the paint is being applied in a very transparent and loose manner. Refining details will come later.

oil painting detail block in stage demo painting paris france

A HINT OF MONET

Artist Claude Monet, founder of the French Impressionists, is a favorite of my clients wife. Therefore my alter ego is attempting to add a little hint of Monet in the brush work. If you look at the following detail of a Monet painting you’ll observe that nothing is just one color. This multitude of smaller flecks of color when viewed from a distance will come together producing a visual mixture!

My underpainting reminds me to render a similar effect in future sessions as more opaque thick colors are applied.

detail of claude monet painting

Thanks for visiting today! More sharing to come!

 

 

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Commissioned Oil Painting of Paris France

With my latest commissioned oil painting of Paris France, a unique perspective drawing challenge arose that required a judicious amount of artistic license.

My client and his wife visited the Musée d’Orsay in Paris France due to her love of impressionist art. Desiring an impressionist painting as a reminder of their trip which included staying in a lovely rented apartment near the Eiffel Tower.

The inspiration photo was taken using an iPhone in panoramic mode which created extreme distortion.  As you can see, Paris looks to be in the midst of an earthquake! My client’s wife in the window doesn’t seem to notice.

Here’s what was done to stop the earthquake and turn an unbelievable perspective into an artistic arrangement.

A LITTLE HELP FROM A PHOTO PROGRAM

Using a free photo program (GIMP) and its perspective tool to straighten up the buildings was the first task. Although it’s not really a perspective tool as it couldn’t correct everything.

With a supplied street address, and using Google’s Street View a better understanding of the surroundings was achieved. In reality, the buildings are parallel. However, with two unchangeable elements, (client’s wife looking out the window at her husband and the Eiffel Tower in view) the scene cannot be painted as it actually is.

Paris street view

ARTISTS LICENSE TO THE RESCUE

To make the scene believable imagine the buildings as being pie shaped and positioned at a corner street. To strengthen the concept, a mock up of paper was used to represent the buildings and then positioned at a corner of a table which represents the edge of the street.

Mock paper buildings for perspective

Equipped with this information work began on a modified photo/drawing montage. Height was added so the street could be included. Adding a vintage Citroen car and some other people, it kept Paris from looking deserted. These “extras” will act as visual aids in leading the eye through the composition. Ultimately color will also play a part in directing the eye back to my client’s wife and enliven the composition.

oil painting composition of Paris and Eiffel Tower

Here’s the completed drawing on canvas which is 15×30 in size. I’m sure more adjustments in perspective will be made as I paint. Being primarily a landscape artist this has been a fun challenge for my alter ego Byron!

Composition on canvas of Paris. Commissioned painting by Byron copyright 2017

Stay tuned as work on the painting continues. More sharing to come!

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Are Art Auctions Helping or Hurting the Art Industry?

Are art auctions helping or hurting the art industry? This question arose after talking to two separate art galleries about reasons for the overall sluggish art market. Both mentioned two factors; the economy (which is a given) and how art auction houses are hurting the galleries and artists. A couple of examples below illustrate their concern and it should concern artists as well.

auctioneerIf you do an internet search for art auctions, you may be surprised at the results. There are so many of them compared to former days.  Auction houses make the news when a deceased artist’s work sells for millions of dollars. Or some new artist has caught the fancy of investors hoping to buy and flip the art for profit.

A few short years ago a particular new comer to the arts made the news with his abstract works selling for $100,000.00 and above at auction.  Then the buying frenzy cooled and the same work sold two years later for around $20,000, with the buyer taking a significant loss. The trend is growing.

To illustrate the point further, one well known Texas artist whom I admire had a large 40×60 painting in a recent auction. Normally, the retail value would be in the neighborhood of $50,000. This artist is no newcomer to the art scene and as far back as the mid 1970’s his work was consistently selling for $10,000.00 a clip.  Many artists could only hope to reach that degree of recognition. Appallingly, this lovely 40×60 painting sold for $4600.00 at auction.

ART AUCTIONS THROWING PRICES OUT OF BALANCE

Prices for an artist’s work can be thrown out of balance in either direction of outlandishly high or low. I’m not saying that art auctions don’t have a place. I put some of my small works up for auction on eBay, but those works were developed primarily just for that purpose. It’s structured so it has no bearing on the value of my main body of works.

When it comes to art auctions offering works by living artists, it appears these venues are not helping with stabilizing an already soft art market but throwing it even more out of whack.  It becomes increasingly difficult for artists to keep an established value on their work without unrealistically elevating it or having it crash as if it was nothing more than a commodity on the stock market with the smack of the auctioneers gavel.

RESPECT FOR THE ARTIST PROFESSION

Artists provide a service and through their work bring beauty into the lives of people. In other professions from child day care providers, hair stylists, plumbers, electricians or doctors, people seldom venture to haggle about price.  When handed a bill most pay it for the service and skill of the provider and if they’re especially skilled it’s appreciated.  Artists also possess skills and some especially so, yet are not shown the same courtesy compared to workers in other professions. Almost immediately when an artist offers a fair price for their work to a customer, even on a brand new painting they are expected to lower the price!  After all, they reason that a well known artist with greater credentials sold for a lot less at an art auction!

I treasure one collector who has never once asked for a discount or tried to haggle over a price. Over the years they have bought many paintings and today have one of the largest and best collections of my work anywhere and when they commission a painting I give them my best in return.

So if you really want to help living artists, do this. Buy directly from them, (dead ones don’t need the money) and through their established selling venues such as their own website if offered or through galleries and art shows that they support. In return those artists will more than likely reward you.

So, are art auctions helping or hurting the art industry? What do you think?

 

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