Author Archives: William

Is it Two Cool or Two Warm?

Will it be two cool or two warm? You get to decide in my latest eBay auction oil paintings. The auction ends Sunday evening October 29th.

You can access the auction through my profile page when the paintings go live Sunday evening, October 22nd. Starting bid will be $49 for all, except for one which will only be a penny to keep it interesting! You’ll have to come back to find out! Hope you’ll join in on the auction. 🙂

This page will be updated with direct links to the auction. But, for now here’s a preview. You can click the image for a larger view.

sunset bluebonnet oil painting by William Byron Hagerman

Another Day 8×10 oil by Byron copyright 2017

rain clouds landscape oil painting by Byron

Lifting Clouds 8×10 oil by Byron copyright 2017

landscape oil painting sunset clouds by William "Byron" Hagerman

End of Day Colors 8×10 oil by Byron copyright 2017

sunset oil painting landscape by William Byron Hagerman

Last Rays 8×10 oil by Byron copyright 2017

So what are warm and cool paintings?

Some may wonder about the terminology of warm and cool, whether it be specific colors or an entire painting described in either term.

When it comes to colors, we tend to associate blue and green tones as being cool in comparison to warmer colors such as yellow, orange or red. Sort of like comparing fire and ice. A paintings overall color temperature can be classified as either warm or cool depending on what colors predominate the scene.

Color harmony can be lost if a painting has an equal distirubtion of warm and cool tones that compete with one another instead of lending support. The paintings above illustrate the idea behind a paintings overall color temperature.

So, will it be two cool or two warm? Happy bidding!

 

 

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Landscape Oil Paintings with Old Barns

In this series of three 8×10 landscape oil paintings with old barns is currently offered via eBay auction. You can click the image to go straight to the auction. Bids begin at only $49 for these gems. Each are painted on a linen panel!

This New Mexico inspired scene is also showcased in my short oil painting video lesson.

landscape oil painting old tin barn in New Mexico by Byron

Next is an old red barn found near Winnsboro, TX.

landscape oil painting old red barn by Byron

And finally in this series a landscape that was originally inspired from a trip to Montana.

oil painting landscape old red barn next to road

Hurry the auction ends Sunday, October 1st, at 8pm central time. Ending times are staggered by 7 minutes for each.

Thanks so much and happy bidding!

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Oil Painting Video Demo: Old Barns

In this post I wanted to share with you a short two-minute Oil Painting Video Demo: Old Barns.

Alla Prima or the Direct Method of Painting

In this tutorial, the subject of old tin barns, which were found in New Mexico made a nice subject for this painting demonstration. The direct method or alla prima approach was used in which the entire painting was completed in one session.

Oil Painting Tutorial; Old New Mexico Barns

Thanks for watching!

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Oil Painting Composition Critiquing a Critique

In this blog post I decided to talk about oil painting composition, critiquing a critique.

While researching the subject, I came across a respected artist and author who was using works by other artists as examples where composition mistakes had been made. The artist/author then suggested solutions for improvement and did so by modifying the image.

Respectfully, the author did not include the artist’s name to which he was critiquing. However, one example caught my attention.The painting being critiqued was done by an all time favorite master artist named Clark Hulings! I recognized it from a 1999 show catalog that I have.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE PAINTING? (Nothing as you will see)

This is the Hulings painting cited as an example whereby a painting composition “rule” was broken.

Clark Hulings Goat Milk Vendor

The so called “rule” was avoiding strong geometric shapes, even if naturally occurring as they can be too distracting.

A strong triangular shape produced by the apparent shadow of a building at the bottom of Hulings painting was the culprit. I agree with the rule to an extent, but everything in a composition is relative to the artist’s vision and even if some supposed rule is broken, yet it serves a legitimate purpose, so be it.

A Composition Improvement? Maybe not

Here’s the modified version suggested by the artist/author which was recreated. The suggested improvement was variegating the shadow, thus breaking up the geometric triangular form.

Is this really an improvement? Here’s my analysis.

Critiquing the Critique

Let’s take a look at the shadow without the chicken along the left side of the triangular shape and the scattered darks near the back edge.

Obviously the shadow overwhelms the painting and your eye drops to it. However, Hulings did two things. First, he added the chicken and broke the line. Secondly, by adding the scattered darks near the edge of the canvas he softened the line and kept your eye from exiting at that point. Obviously, Hulings was aware of the geometric shape.

The goat milk vendor is the obvious focal area. In the so called improvement, the eye now drops and travels in sort of a merry-go-round fashion.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. However, in Hulings original painting the eye stays at the focal area, held in place by the arrow formed by the shadow which lines up and points to the center of action.

It’s true that no artist is free from making mistakes, however, my conclusion is that Hulings was too much of a master painter and in this instance, he deliberately kept the painting as it was to fix your attention on the primary subject.

In Conclusion

The story of the painting is clearly about the goat milk vendor who takes his goat and instead of delivering the milk in bottles, the householder comes and offers a pan and the vendor milks the goat on the spot. How’s that for fresh?

Everything else in the composition is subordinate to the story and the focal area of action. Hulings didn’t make a mistake. He kept that strong shape for a legitimate reason. He used it to make you look where he wanted you to look. So to repeat: Everything in a oil painting composition is relative to the artist’s vision and even if some supposed rule is broken, yet it serves a legitimate purpose, so be it.

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Reworking an Oil Painting: Before and After

Reworking an oil painting: Before and after photos. Which do you like better?

In composing a painting, sometimes there’s a hard to define problem in which the solution doesn’t come to mind until later. Sometimes, much later. Such was the case with Lapis Hues of Spring a 2013 bluebonnet painting that was shown in a gallery, but never sold. Looking at it once again with a critical eye there was now clarity as to why it would never sell.

Perhaps I was experiencing a dark mood when I painted it, and subsequently cast its ugly shadow onto my painting. It was supposed to be a beautiful sunny spring day in Texas. The painting did not give off that impression.

bluebonnet oil painting

bluebonnet oil painting

Finding a Solution: Sunshine and Openness

The problem wasn’t in paint application or detail or for that matter the basic composition. What was wrong is that the mood of the painting was off. It lacked the feel of sunshine and openness.

Here’s a little exercise for you. Look at the two paintings and notice the differences which are fairly apparent. Click the images for a larger view. But ask yourself, how do the changes you see support the idea of sunshine and openness? You’ll see more openings in the trees. Openings that give glimpses of the landscape further away. There’s more contrast and intensity of colors and a little more variety in flowers and a reduction of the cactus which seemed too imposing in the original image.

A Special Offer

Reworking a painting this long after it was first done is something I rarely do. So with that in mind I’m also doing something I rarely do is offering this William Hagerman signature painting at nearly half for what one this size retails for. Currently this revised painting is offered on eBay as a fixed price item of $1600.00. Normal price for a16x20 varies from $2700- $3000.

Update: This painting is now sold.

My best,

William

 

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Paris France Oil Painting Demo

With this final segment of my Paris France oil painting demo, work is brought to completion. In the previous stage, refinements were made to the focal area.

The next step was to work on the building in the upper right which was still unfinished. Since this building is situated at a different angle to the light, it is kept cooler. Brush work is also minimized with sharper detail towards my clients wife in the window. The sharpness of contrast leads your eye to that area.

paris france oil painting demo detail by Byron

Moving On

Now that the primary buildings are mostly done, it’s time to move on to the building on the left. The goal for this section is to keep it more painterly and less detailed. This building brings balance to the heaviness of the composition on the right side, however it should not compete. Therefore, detail was minimized for the same reason as the upper section of the building on the right. Also, the building is in shadow, so all colors are kept to the cool side and kept to a darker value.

After this the next major element to be painted was the Eifel Tower. Enough detail was added to mimic the “texture” of the tower without rendering tight detail which kept it in the distance. Colors are kept subdued and within the overall color scheme. Keeping in mind, the tower although an important element is not the primary subject, but my client’s wife in the window.

Paris France oil painting demo

Painting the Sky

After letting the painting dry, it’s time to go and finish the sky. More intensity of color is added and is applied with thicker paint and bolder brush work. More details and brush work are now added into the distance trees. The lone figure in the distance is painted in as well as the two gentlemen on the left engaged in conversation. A perspective bobble on a vertical line is corrected on the left building. I have so much valued the T-square in this painting!

The street is now repainted to represent the darker brick pavement. To make the street recede colors are kept cooler in the distance and warmer in the front. The basic mix was ultramarine blue and cadmium red medium towards the front with more cooler and lighter violet tones in the distance.

oil painting demo of Paris

THE LAST STAGE of the Paris France Oil Painting Demo

Finally the last of the main elements being the Citroen car and the male figure on the sidewalk are painted in. More detail (subtle highlights) to mimic the texture of the brick street is also added.

A final refinement is bringing a veil of color onto the lower half of the middle building and some added highlights in a few spots. The darkening veil represents a long shadow from the trees in relation to the angle of light. And the few subtle highlights sets up an implied diagonal line from the light source pointing in a downward angle towards the primary subject of my client’s wife the star of the painting!

Oil Painting of a Paris Street scene with Eifell Tower by Byron

Here are a few details. Click the image for a larger view.

oil painting demo of paris france detail

oil painting demo Eifell Tower, paris street scene detail

I hope you’ve enjoyed following along with this Paris France Oil Painting Demo and commissioned painting. If you would like to learn more about commissioned work, please see the following page. COMMISSIONS

A happy customer!

customer of commissioned oil painting by William Byron Hagerman

 

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Color Mixing Workshop

Mixing colors are a challenge for most art students. Therefore,  I recently conducted a one day color mixing workshop. Through a series of exercises, attendees were able to get a clearer understanding of how to analyze and mix paint by doing specific color charts.

Preprinted color charts or those done by others are really of little value. To learn to mix colors, YOU must do the work. Learning comes from the doing, not solely by viewing the end result.

Choosing the colors

The color palette of choice for doing the exercises in the color mixing workshop are listed in the following blog post.

Here’s a short video of the class. It’s also my first attempt at making a video. 🙂 Hope you enjoy it!

Color Mixing Workshop Video

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Refining the Focal Area

In this segment on my oil painting demo of Paris France, “serious” work begins with refining the focal area, starting with the shadowed side of the middle building. This was done so the values of the adjacent sky and distant building in the sunlight could be judged against it. Cool reflected sky colors were added into the shadowed side which helps it recede.

oil painting demo refining a focal area by Byron

Work continued downward painting in the section between the two main buildings and into the courtyard area. Once dry the wrought iron gate was painted over it keeping the detail to a minimum with just enough to express its character.

oil painting demo paris france wrought iron gate entry

COMPOSITION REFINEMENT

Two important compositional changes in refining the focal area were also made from the original drawing. First, the woman pedestrian in the foreground returned to her apartment. She forgot something so she had to go. Her purpose was to act as a jump point for the eye to travel through the scene. However, a simpler approach of adding more potted flowers would serve the same purpose. Additionally, more emphasis is shifted to my client’s wife in the window. Blue colored French style planters brings balance to each side of the entry way. Plus it allowed more of my clients favorite colors to be added into the scene.

A slight fractional increase in the size of my clients wife in the window was the second compositional change along with changing her outfit’s color to purple, her favorite color. Adding a spot of red in the potted Geraniums next to her also prompts the eye to move to that area.

That warm touch of red adds a bit of color contrast to an area composed of cool colors. The reason for all these tones of violet, blue and even cool greens in this side of the building is that it’s at a different angle to the light. Therefore, being in shadow, it receives more reflected light from the sky.

PROGRESS

The next phase of work begins with painting in the light side of the middle building. Once this is dry, perspective angles will be checked and redrawn if necessary. More refinements and details will be added. Don’t misunderstand the term detail. This can also mean simplify and with so much architectural motifs on these buildings they need to be played down and that can be even more difficult than rendering them in tight detail.

Again the painting is not about the architecture, but my client’s wife and the time they shared in Paris. Everything in the painting has to support this concept. Additionally per their request the painting needs to be kept more impressionistic. In the end some elements will likely be softened. Even with buildings you can’t have all hard edges!

oil painting demo paris street scene

Hope you’ll come back to see more.

 

 

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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 MusĂ©e 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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