Sunday, April 27, 2014

Uptown Morning – Plein Air Architecture

Uptown Morning, 8x10", oil on panel
©2014 Cindy Greene
A friend and I have been meeting to paint, and ended up in downtown Fullerton, which is sort of between us. It's a very cool downtown and I enjoy being there. After walking around for a while looking for something fun to paint and a spot to set up two easels, we discovered a building that was vacant and had a largish alcove where we could be out of the way of passersby as well as out of the wind. The best part is that it was across the street from this scene. 

We were working on composition issues, and choosing what to leave out to make a stronger composition. This was a good example — obviously we left out the cars whizzing along the street, but we also left out a large grassy median and more trees. I loved the detail in the red building (occuped by a Buffalo Exchange in case you wondered), and obviously that was going to be the focal point. But how much detail to put in on the other storefronts? The Irish pub next door was great — the sign and flags balance the details in the shop window, and if you look closely you can see suggestions of the shamrocks in the pub window. I left out the faux window boxes and flowers painted above the pub — it would have been much too fussy. 

The shadows were much of what drew me to the scene in the first place. It was a blustery sort of day and the sun disappeared frequently. When the sun came out, I quickly put in shadows and snapped a couple of phone pics to refer to later.

After a couple of hours, our fingers were fairly numb and we packed up. After the painting was dry, I needed to do a bit of correction on perspective issues, and clarified some shadows.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Painting at the Back Bay

Come On Up, 10x8", oil on panel, ©2014 Cindy Greene
 In the middle of Newport Beach, California, right under the airport flight path, is an oasis for both humans and fauna of many sorts. The Newport Back Bay is a famous birding site, and is also enjoyed by bicyclists, kayakers, SUP-ers and families with small children, as well as artists. I've painted there many times, and always enjoy watching the change of seasons as well as the wildlife. In March, I took a plein air painting class from Kim VanDerHoek, and we painted in two different locations at the Back Bay. It was a fun group, and Kim always has a challenge for me.

The painting above, "Come On Up," was painted from the visitor's center. It's a lovely spot (once you get used to the jets overhead). I've painted the marsh and bluffs from that spot many times, so I had a great time painting the steps to the center's patio.

 Below is a path off the road in the Lower Back Bay. The marsh is beyond the shrubs, and you can see part of Newport Beach in the background.

Lower Bay Path, 8x10", oil on panel, ©2014 Cindy Greene

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