January 26, 2016

Dance With Me - Oil Painting of Sunset

"Dance with Me"
Oil on canvas

I am falling behind with my posts of daily paintings, but I have been painting more than it seems, I promise. :)
This is the painting I completed last Thursday, started at the Cultural Arts Center in the morning, and finished in my studio at home in the evening. However, this week I had a hard time taking good photos of my paintings.

My trusted old Canon Powershot broke, and I bought the exactly same one from ebay to replace it, but for some reason the same settings don't render the colors the same way the old one did.
It takes more patience and editing in Photoshohp to make it look like the actual painting.

So, here is last week's painting, In a moment of romanticism I decided to call it Dance with Me. :)

January 14, 2016

Fruit, Foam, and Paper - Still Life Oil Painting

"Fruit, Foam, and Paper"
Oil on board

Painting a still life from photo might be ok, but it is not as much fun or as challenging as painting it with the actual setup in front of you. The fun of painting a still life is in painting from direct observation.

For every painting, and this one was no exception, my gut instinct would be to paint every single little detail, trying to make a photographic representation of the objects.
However, as much as I admire hyper-realistic painters, I like lose, painterly artwork much better.
So I try to forget about all the details, simplify, and let the paint be paint.

Let the paint be paint.

I love that sentence. It has become my new painting mantra.

When I get nervous about a subject being too challenging, I repeat it to myself, and it helps a lot getting rid of the overthinking and of any worry.

It's ok to see the brushstrokes, without blending.
It's ok to suggest the subject, but leave out some details.
It's a painting, not a photograph.
It's a representation, a personal interpretation, does not have to look super realistic.

Let the paint be paint.

I give myself permission to experiment.
I give myself permission to stop even if some parts are not totally polished. Especially this month, when I am trying to finish a painting every day.

January 13, 2016

Evening Beach - Daily Oil Painting

"Evening Beach"
Oil on panel

One more version of the beach we stayed last summer, in the small town of Briatico, in Calabria, Italy.
I really liked the feeling of calm of that small beach, it was cozy and picturesque.

This small painting could really be a study for a bigger painting. We'll see. :)

January 9, 2016

It's Getting Late - Oil Painting of Rising Moon

"It's Getting Late"
5"x7", Oil on panel
Open Auction

I've been committed to painting every day.
This month I am doing more than that: I am challenging myself to finish a painting every day.
There are only two ways I can finish a painting on any given day:
1. Make it a small painting.
2. Work on a bigger painting that I have started already, and only needs some finishing touches.

"It's Getting Late" is a small one, done in one day.
The subject is a little different from my usual sunny landscapes, I found the photo browsing through the pics in my phone. I had forgot about taking it, and it looked like a nice change.

I painted it over an old painting, a failed attempt of a different landscape. I like that some of the texture from the old brush work shows trough.
Also, I was pleasantly surprised that the old image did not bother me when I was starting drawing the new one. I need to try this again, I have quite a few failed attempts stashed away. :)

Thanks for stopping by.

“I believe humans get a lot done, 
not because we’re smart, 
but because we have thumbs 
so we can make coffee.” 
~Flash Rosenberg

January 8, 2016

After the Rain - Painting of Clouds at the Park

"After the Rain"
Oil and acrylic on canvas

Sometimes if I am driving home and I see a nice sunset I make a stop at the park to have a clear vision of the sky, across the large green area. If I am lucky enough I get decent photos from the view.
This was one of those times.

I started the painting in acrylics, and actually meant to finish with acrylics, but then decided that it needed some of the buttery consistence of oil paint, and covered most of it with a layer of oil paint, though some of the acrylic colors are still visible. At this point it's impossible even for me to know which is which.

“The purpose of learning is growth, 
and our minds, unlike our bodies, 
can continue growing as long as we live.”
~ Mortimer Adler

January 7, 2016

Sunset on River Brenta, Fifth Daily Painting of this Month

"Sunset on River Brenta"
oil on panel

The region where I grew up is called "Riviera del Brenta", and it's gorgeous area, full of cute little towns and several villas and palaces that are more than 400 years old, scattered along this river, the Brenta.

Credit for the reference photo goes to my friend Gianluca Lazzari, my classmate in high school, and now connected through facebook. He has a natural artist eye, and takes the most gorgeous captures of his everyday landscape scenes. Thanks to the social media I get to see his photos.

BTW, today is the 7th and I am posting the 5th daily painting of the month... something does not add up! lol
To be honest I have skipped one day of painting (yesterday) for lack of time, and the day before I started this small painting, but did not get to finish it, so here it is!

January 4, 2016

Shine Your Light - Oil Painting of Sunset, Beach, and Seagull

"Shine Your Light"
20"x24" Oil on Canvas
Sunshine, ocean shore, and flying seagull. What says relaxation and freedom more than that? :)

OK, you may have guessed it, this painting is not a "daily painting", meaning that I couldn't have done it in one day only. However, I did finish it today, so it counts as today's painting posting, even though it took several sessions to complete. :)

Sides are 1.5 " deep and painted dark, so technically it does not need a frame.

January 3, 2016

Afternoon Beach - Oil Painting

"Afternoon Beach, study"
Oil on gesso board

Day three of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, and I have completed another one, woohoo!

This is a quick study of an afternoon beach, from a photo that I took last summer in Calabria, Italy.
To get to the beach you had to go down several steps, and the photo was taken from up the stairs, looking down.

I completed this study fairly quickly, and had fun including the figures and the umbrellas. I don't usually include people in my paintings, but simplified people are great to give a sense of proportions.

January 2, 2016

Scioto Banks - Daily Painting - Landscape Oil A La Prima

"Scioto banks"
Oil on Gesso Board

Second day of the year, another painting done.
This is one of my favorite locations along the Scioto river. I took the photo in the fall, when I went there to paint en plein air.
Today I have done this painting in a quick study style, wet on wet, like I would have done if I was on location, where you have to paint in one go to finish before the light changes dramatically, or before it's time to pick up the kids from school, at each his/her priorities. :)

I think I succeeded rendering the impression of the view, and that was the goal, so I consider it a success.

Thanks very much for stopping by.

Golden Light - Daily Painting, First of the 30 in 30 Challenge

Happy New Year!!!!!

"Golden Light"
11"x14" Acrylic and Oil on canvas

A new year always starts full of promises and great intentions.
My first good intention of the year is to paint every day, aiming to complete 30 paintings in 30 days.
This is the painting completed on January 1st, 2016.

I painted this from one of my favorite sunset (or is it a sunrise?) photos. I have done a couple of paintings with oil of the same scene, both sold, this time I tried it with acrylics.

I had not painted with acrylics for a long time, and I have to say it required some adjustments on how I handled color mixing and brushstrokes.
Main differences: acrylics dry very quickly and they are not as buttery as oil paint, so I had to use many layers where one brushstroke would have done it with oils.

Considering I was very busy with family commitments, I am pretty proud of this first piece of the year. I did it!

You can see postings by participants in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge from all around the world on this page: http://30paintingsin30days.weebly.com/blog