Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New Nocturne

Dragon Inn
Oil on canvas  11 x 14

Derald was kind to 'escort' me for a nocturne painting in Overland Park last week.  Since the workshop I have found the nocturnes loads of fun.  It is definitely a new experience with a steep learning curve.  What you see and what you paint are not always the same when you get in the light.  Not to mention the affects of the artificial light you use and how that compounds the problems.  I really enjoyed this one.  I was fortunate to meet the owner while I was there.  He also gave us loads of information on his business and the history of his family moving to the USA.  Derald really enjoyed the visit as they chatted about Hong Kong.  A trip I didn't get to go with Derald.

At a second location the next evening I found out a little more history of the building.  The bottom floor was originally a market of some kind and the top floor was used by a church.  I believe the building has been around since the late 1800s.  I got this bit of info from an 89 year old man who was visiting with me when I was painting in the park at the Historical Society building.  He was chucked full of great information on OP.  I will post that nocturne tomorrow.

Then there are the friendly people who just left the local bar that want lessons, want your phone number, your card, and possibly my husband!  Always paint with a buddy at night for safety sake!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Stem's Plein Air 2014

Art at the Center Feature Show
Art at the Center presents a month-long show featuring a selection of Stems Plein Air Paint 2014 paintings.
These wonderful original plein air paintings will be on display for sale at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center
from June 13th to July 13th 2014!
Please join us for the opening reception, June 13th at 6PM!
Artists, Art Collectors, Stems patrons,
VIPs, and ticket holders are all welcome to attend!!

Important Dates 2014
MAY 9TH-11TH - Jason Sacran's Artist Workshop.
MAY 17TH - Stems Plein Air Paint 2014 begins with Sunset Quick Paint at 5-9PM Arboretum.
May 31ST - AM Quick Paint 7-10AM at Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead.  Special Painting Challenges are due at Farmstead as well.
JUNE 1ST - Last day to paint!
JUNE 2ND-5TH - Artists submit paintings for judging to The Rice Gallery of Fine Art 10:30AM-5:30PM.
JUNE 6TH - Judging, prize winners announced via web/email, and VIP preview party for Stems Patrons.
JUNE 13TH - AATC Feature Show opens 6PM at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center (ALL ARTISTS WELCOME!).
JUNE 16TH-18TH - Artists pick up pieces NOT selected for AATC Feature Show at The Rice Gallery.

Nocturne painting tips

Jason Sacran working on a nocturne in his workshop in Overland Park, KS.

The evening we painted the nocturne was a valuable workshop class.  Jason had loads of tips and ideas to help us have a successful experience.  The lists below are not directly out of Jason's mouth.  This is my list of which some of the items are also his suggestions.  

**Ideally you can find a workshop with Jason and get first hand experience with him on this subject.  Currently he does not have a nocturne workshop scheduled …but plans one in the fall of 2014!  Here is his web address and you can watch for upcoming workshops!

  • At least two LED book lights to attach to your easel above your canvas.  One LED light on your palette.  Note Jason has three attached to the top of his easel.
  • Appropriate clothing layers for cooler nights.
  • Mosquito spray if you are in the Mid West!
  • A flashlight to use as you are packing up (when it's REAL dark).
  • I suggest painting nocturnes with a buddy.  Lots of people stop to see what you are doing.  (Some of them have just left the bar.)

  • When painting at night values are very close together, so simplify your palette if possible.  Premix a nice rich dark sky color while you have natural light.  Just black or blue and black doesn't work well.
    • Choose subject matter that has the greatest degree of value contrast with the simplest compositional elements.
    • Study carefully what you’re naturally observing.
    • Make sure you angle your headlamp down at 45 degrees to avoid light bouncing back into your eyes.
    • Position your easel and palette so that they have consistent lighting: if your canvas is in light make sure your palette is in light. If your canvas is in shadow, make sure your palette is in shadow.  Working under a street light is ideal.
    • When mixing your palette at night, remember to make the colors slightly lighter than what you’re actually seeing because they will appear much duller and darker when viewed in daylight.
    • Use very little white.
    • Because most of the colors you will be painting with at night will be cool, use a warm underpainting to provide greater contrast and luminosity.
    • Use big brushes for better blending and to achieve the soft edges inherent in night scenes.
    • There is a warm halo of ambient light around the light sources. By exaggerating the dark values surrounding that with a chiaroscuro effect, you will create the illusion that the light source is glowing.
    • The farther away from the light source, the darker the sky’s value.
    • As the moon rises, its reflection will spread out wider over the surface beneath it.
    • The painting will dull when the darks dry.  I suggest a nice workable spray varnish like Krylon Conservation retouch varnish.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

    4 Paintings from Jason Sacran's workshop.

    Day One.  This was done after a morning lecture and demo.  We had some bright sunlight that afternoon at the Arboretum.  This was one that I came within an inch of wiping.  
    Day Three Afternoon painting.  I have scrapped those cars twice since I've been home.  Luckily I had a decent photo for reference.  Lucky Jason was already on his way to CA or I would have been trying to get HELP!!  I had Derald to critique, so I think I did okay.  I have added some support legs to the water tower and a few sky holes, shortened the stop sign (as Derald said it was 12 foot tall), darkened the far building and added highlight areas along the wall of the left far wall.  Using Viridian I have improved all the greens too.  

    Day Three nocturne painting.  What a blast we all had painting Sunday evening in Overland Park.  Being so dark, it was hard to get a decent photo of this painting.  It was so very helpful to have a paint along with Jason on this part of the workshop.  He had some great techniques to share on this last evening of nocturnal painting.  I have tried this before but I will say, having his instruction made it so much better.  This is something I will definitely be doing again soon.  The Airstream is screaming to be painted with the reflections of the street lights!

    Day Two Painting in the Arboretum.  This one was fun, and I think I improved it today in the studio.    We had great weather, and dodged the rain.

    Monday, May 12, 2014

    Jason Sacran workshop

    Jason's demo paint-a-long for nocturnal.

    David had a very nice painting.

    Darla worked on a watercolor.  I would think it would be a real challenge with watercolors.

    We looked like a flash mob of nocturne painters.

    Connie's hat looked like outer space.  


    Day one:  painting the Monet garden at the Arboretum.

    Jason had a different approach than I had used in the past for this scene.  

    A new Monet sculpture….with Jason in his space!

    Getting some distance.

    My block in for the afternoon painting.

    My selected scene.

    This was my second choice.


    My scene selection for day two.

    block in

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    Jason's afternoon demo day two.

    What a great workshop with Jason.  Everyone in the group of students were so appreciative of his class.  I saw improvements on everyones work too.  I have suggested he return for another workshop through MVIS.  I will talk with the chief….Greg Summers, to try to arrange it!

    Saturday, May 10, 2014

    May 8th at the Clagues

    Our model.  He is Elizabeths' dad.

    Elizabeth modeled for us in the ballerina outfit a few weeks ago.  She was earning money to buy this American Girl doll!  Matching outfits and all, she came to show her new doll off.

    Can Kathy hold anything more in her hand?  She is loving her new easel.  

    Warm up painting in Augusta! Just as I was finishing a painting of the Airstream, the lawnmower man came and blue grass all over me and the wet painting.

    Derald relaxing after setting up the Airstream for me in Augusta.  Bless his heart he drove the Airstream up, set her up, and drove home the next day.  Left me for 10 days, drove back and packed the trailer back up and hauled it home.  

    Augusta Plein Air Festival

    Teddy Jackson won the purchase award for this painting.  Congratulations Teddy!  
    I won Honorable Mention for my painting at this event.  I was thrilled.  It was one cold and windy day I painted this one.  Note the snow pants?
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    Craig Thomas first place for acrylics.
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    Michelle Wells for mixed media.  Watercolor with pastel.
    Crystal for first in watercolor.
    Michelle first for pastel. 
    Katherine fist in oil and Best of Show.  
    Artists Choice
    So much to post and so little time.

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