Thursday, January 29, 2015

Stolen Snow - The Study

Today I wanted to work on my color imagination, i.e. changing the colors towards a more attractive outcome. 


Artrage Study

It's not easy to turn on the lights and I needed some 90 min of try and error to get this. I was quite happy with it, except for the green of the tree. I didn't bother because I was confident to improve that in the painting. Little did I know! After some three hours of painting I gave it up. I was far away from the colors I wanted to paint. No idea why. Before I scrachted it off i took a photo... Think I will give it another shot, not today. figure session is calling.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Red Peugot

25 cm x 25 cm, Oil

I chose a car today to work on my drawing accuracy, so I went outside, took a photo and fixed the colors on location (sitting in my car) using Artrage (ipad painting app) and did this one back home. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

8 Steps to Paint Round Shape (stolen from VAA)

30 cm x 20 cm, Oil

I was annoyed by some of my recent paintings of round objects and found it necessary to do this extra exercise. I tried to follow the description on round form of the Virtual Art Academy as closely as I can. By doing this, I hope to burn this 8 step prozess into my brain and not forget it again.

1. Paint the core shadow and the cast shadow in one shape with the color of the cast shadow (i went to dark here)
2. Paint the light side of the object with the color of highest saturation found on the light side (i should have used higher saturation)
3. On the light side adjacent to the dark side paint the color seen on this location of the apple. It should be a highly saturated color and more than one value lower than the light side (9 value scale)
4. Paint the centered light (centered lights in this case). This is the shape around the highlight that will be added later on. Should be higher in value and lower in saturation than the shape painted in step 2.
5. Paint onto the core shadow of the object the reflected light received from the ground. 
6. Paint the dark accent below the object, usually close to value 1 (black). Paint the highlight(s). Better avoid the use of pure white but observe the reflected color of the lightsource on the object.
7. Paint the edge of the objects light side with a lower value and lower saturation than the shape painted in step 2.
8. Refine the cast shadow, add details and finishing touches.

Note that this process is decribed in more detail and better clarity in the Form units of the VAA. I find the section about painting the form of trees invaluable for instance.
If you want to learn painting seriously, I can highly recommend the Virtual Art Academy by Barry J. Raybould. I bought the entire material of VAA version 1 (version 2 is online, i am not signed in at the moment) in 2012 for about $500+ US. Since then, I couldn't resist to buy other books and dvds about painting, of course. I shouldn't have, with few exceptions (Richard Schmid's Alla Prima Painting is one). I advertise the VAA for free, just like any student would talk about the institution where he or she feels to receive or have received a great education.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Update: Charity Auction "Away from LEDs"

My charity auction ended with one bid of $100 US. I heartly thank the bidder! The painting is on your way. 
Frankly speaking I find the result of the auction pretty dissapointing, I hoped it would raise more money for a good purpose! 
Seems i need to paint better ;-)


Din A4, Oil, 10 min time-limited

The Apple spoils it all

15 cm x 20 cm, Oil

Thursday, January 22, 2015

No Colors on the Radio - Painting

30 cm x 18 cm, Oil

No Colors on the Radio - Study

I was driving in my car today when I heard the guy on the radio saying this is another gray day without sun. I saw no sun alright but grey? Some greens appeared like fresh from the tube and lots of warm colors were in the darks. At few degrees above zero I am not really keen to paint outside. Then I remembered what a friend told me recently. She would use the ipad to capture the color on location. I drove home, picked up my ipad, drove just ouside Schifferstadt and did my first ipad study on location. It is not a true plein air study, it was done en voiture ;-)

ipad photo

Artrage study on location

Guess what's up next!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

White Balance

30 cm x 22.5 cm, Oil

Did this to improve my whites and ran into problems of course. For instance it took me forever to figure that I can't mix those greens (oh yes, there are greens! ;-) with ultramarine blue and added Prussian blue (similar to Phtalo but less nasty). Also the overall key of this. Thought it would be low enough and the highlights would come out nicely. A touch lower would be better I think, although the highlights do stick out better than in the photo. Next time I should also push color a little more.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dublin 88

25 cm x 25 cm, Oil

Please don't ask me what I was trying to do there... just know it was me who did this :-p

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Water Mixable Oil Paints

20 cm x 15 cm, Real Professional Oil

When i started out i had the stupid idea that painting with real oil paint stinks. Therefore I bought myself water mixable paints (brand: Artisan, Windsor&Newton). In the first few month I was quite happy. Up to a point when I reached the first brushwork assignments of the Virtual Art Academy (absolutely outstanding learning program for painters by Barry J. Raybould). I just couldn't get the same brush stroke quality onto the canvas as some of my friends there. I tried everything, like buying the Artisan brushes made for this paint, other brushes, different painting grounds and solvents. Nothing worked. This paint kept tending to stick to the brush. I tried it with the other watermixable brands, Lukas and Cobra. Well, guess how i think about those...
Finally, in March 2013 a friend (thanks Christine!) pointed me to the material section of Carol Marine's blog (thanks). There it was, the simple recepy for a painting medium without terpentine (2 parts lindseed oil, 1 part stand oil, 1 part mineral spirit like Liquin). When i used conventional professional oil paints the first time it felt like switching from sneakers to running shoes. The find the actual brand of running shoes didn't matter that much (I now mostly use Schmincke's Norma and Mussini brands) compared to those sneakers.

This painting ships with 8 tubes (37 ml) of Artisan watermixable paints free of charge. The hues are shown in the painting. I bought them about 2 years ago. Some of them are partly used, the overall shortfall is less than one tube. There are people that do not even have sneakers. Others use sneakers and are faster or paint better than me, with whatever equipment I choose. The latter bothers me more...
Like always, there is a 14 day return policy on this painting. If you don't like it in person, just send it back and i will rebook the money. However, the deal here is that you must not send me these 8 Artisan tubes back. You will have to dispose them yourself!
Finally, please pay attention to the beautiful box for shipping my paintings. It has been developed (and is built on demand) by a German engineer. Thanks Dad!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Simple Trick worth 1000$

15 cm x 15 cm, Oil

In the first two years I have cleaned my brushes after use with sunflower oil and plenty of kitchen paper. That took me about 10 mins each day. I have stopped that a few months ago. Now I simply keep them in a glass of sunflower oil without prior cleaning. I keep all the brushes i have used that way and never expose them to air (oxygen). The result is not only that i save a lot of time but that the brushes stay in good shape much longer. I can do approximately twice as many paintings before I have to replace a brush. Cleaning means stress, for me and the brushes!

Mathieu, thanks for your comment! I see your point and reply within the post to avoid anyone's brushes being harmed upon the trick. I had the same concern and thought of hanging the brushes into the oil so that the bristles are not affected by the weight of the brush. It turned out it is not a problem for my conventional oil painting brushes (mostly flats and filberts, brand: Boesner by da Vinci). I would definitely avoid to leave soft brushes like sables standing on their weight.

Figure Session Mannheim Jan 14

5 min poses:

15 min poses:

The light conditions were the warmest I have painted yet. There was a radiant heater throwing orange onto the model, and a red wall throwing alizerin crimson kind of light. The session is layed out for monochrome drawing and I am the only one painting with oils.
I am happy with that upper study on the left as it captures the colors I saw pretty well. Looking at my current level of skill, and the 5 min... A lucky shot! I also had a couple of complete failures, that I scratched off immediately. Bad drawing keeps falling on my feet.

Usually i paint on 9 mm thick wood panels (birch) treated with priming white. For the figure studies I use 3 mm thick A4 panels from the home improvement store. I tried different ones. The J├╝rgens brand (Toom Baumarkt) are the best in terms of planarity and stiffness.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Square of Mannheim

25 cm x 25 cm, Oil

Some maybe usefull infos about Mannheim, Germany:

It's nickname is Quadratestadt, City of Squares, due to the grid arrangement of downtown streets. 
In 1888 the first car was built in Mannheim by Carl Benz.
Mannheim is the place of birth of Thomas Ruckstuhl (*1969), a german painter ;-)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

On Your Marks

15 cm x 15 cm, Oil

Blockstudies 247 & 248

This one went wrong because I worked with window light only. It was overcast and I hoped for stable conditions, but it started to rain and became too dark to continue.

With the studio lights turned on and can't think of any good excuse for this one ;-)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

Study of Uinta Range after Richard Schmid (in progress)

40 cm x 30 cm, Oil, 90 min into the Study

Oh boy, plenty of things have gone wrong there and need to be fixed tomorrow.

Original Oil Painting by Richard Schmid

40 W with 300 kJ

15 cm x 20 cm, Oil

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mountain Segment

20 cm x 30 cm, Oil

Friday, January 9, 2015

Moutain Segment - half way through

20 cm x 30 cm, Oil

In contrast to the figure rushes, I work at this at slow pace and try to be as accurate on color as I can as well as economic with my strokes.

Life Figure Session, Mannheim Jan 8

Din A4 Wood Panels, Oil, Poses between 8 min and 15 min

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Yellow Roses

15 cm x 15 cm, Oil

Charity Auction of Painting Awarded 3rd Place in DPW contest

25 cm x 25 cm, Oil

I would like to thank the juror for selecting this painting for 3rd place of the DPW December contest - a great honour and pleasure for me!

The painting is still in my studio and I have decided to sell it for charity. The money will go to the Diakonissen-Mutterhaus Lachen, a local nonprofit organisation. 

To become an artist able to live from selling paintings I try to improve my skills as much as possible. But this alone is not enough. I also have to learn to sell my paintings and the artist. Selling has never been my strength and I do feel a negative connotation to combine charity with self promotion. What the hack, life is complex and I do it anyway!
Here is your chance to support social work, help the artist to grow his audience and run away with a painting that won an award. Just by a few clicks ;-)

So please take part at this Charity Auction and/or share it with your friends.

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Anywhere but Schifferstadt

22.5 x 30 cm, Oil

Reference & Artrage Study

Reference from Robin Weiss Daily Paintworks Challenge

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Kitchen Complexity

30 cm x 22.5 cm, Oil

Thank you for the suggestion but I prefer to keep the title as it is. We tend to use the word "mess" too quick just because we do not see the complex order underneath ;-)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Life study through west window

25 cm x 25 cm, Oil

Don't ...

Don't work on the details unless you have blocked in all major shapes! 
This is what is written in the books. On Saturday I tried to do some mythbusting apparently and followed the temptation to finish the focal area at a very early stage. I took the photo some 90 min into the painting. After that it just got worse and worse and I messed it all up. I wiped it all off in frustration after 5 hours or so. 
Myth not busted!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Trabant Model Studies

20 cm x 15 cm, Oil

15 cm x 15 cm, Oil