Saturday, May 29, 2010

102"X 156"
I'm posting two new photos of the buffalo painting. The prairie grass is progressing nicely. I've included a close up of the grass which is a very abstract pattern of brush strokes. The sense of depth is achieved by keeping track of where I'm painting on the canvas and warming or cooling the paint. (Note: I'm not microwaving or refrigerating the paint. I'm talking about color warmth or coolness.) I have used this technique before on smaller paintings and it will eventually include a vast array of colors. Adding color to landscapes that some people wouldn't normally see makes it more interesting. If you really look at the green prairie there are purples, blues, oranges, reds, and countless other shades and tones. I like adding those colors at the end of the painting. I have to be careful at that point because there is a fine line between perfect and over done.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Large Landscape by Darren Maurer

102"x 156"
The painting is still going well. My deadline is June 1. I work on it in every free moment available. (Once again I remind everyone that the photos on this post were taken earlier in the process and the painting is much further along at this point in time.)
You can see in the first photo where another plane of middle ground has been added to the landscape. I decided it needed another plane to help add the immense sense of distance I am trying to achieve. The bison were painted in with a dark thin wash of paint to help me keep them located when roughing in the grasses in the foreground. (As mentioned earlier, having the smaller bison in the composition at this point was a mistake.) I started roughing in the abstract shapes that will become prairie grasses around the bison. Painting around the bison was tedious and took away from the loose painterly style. I decided to paint out the smaller bison and then paint them back at a later time when the foreground was more finished. I will post more early this week.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Large Landscape Painting - by Darren Maurer

102"x 156"
You can see the the middle ground in this photo. It is slightly darker than the the horizon line and will end up with a small amount of subtle detail painted into it. I'll post photos of the beginning of the foreground very soon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Horizon Line

102"x 156"
I was out in western South Dakota about four weeks ago digging dinosaurs on one of my paleontology dig trips. In addition to digging fossils I was also observing how the South Dakota horizon line appeared on a clear spring day. I made mental notes of the colors and intensity of the colors. The land masses faded to light blue just before I couldn't see any further. When teaching painting I always have the students imagine layers of very thin veiled light fabric hanging between them and the colors. The further away the land is to appear on the horizon the more layers of fabric they are looking through the achieve the proper color. Blah, blah, blah.......... Anyway, here are the intial steps I have taken to attain the illusion of distance on a flat piece on canvas inside my garage. There are three different planes of distance shown. The furthest two are very subtle in the differences in the color. It really feels like what I saw on my trip. (I have been working away on this thing. To be starting the mid distance land masses!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Big Painting II

102" x 156"

I'm still working on this painting. Once again I will remind everyone that the painting is much further at this time along than these photos show. I have been documenting the entire process of this piece and will continue to add new photos every few days to show the progress.

I started by roughly sketching in some of the bison onto the canvas. (Note: This will later prove to be a mistake) I then sprayed the rough pencil line bison with fixative so I didn't erase them when I toned my canvas. I like to tone my canvas for landscapes with a russet orange color and then let some of the orange tone show through in areas when the painting is finished. (Note: I think it just looks cool) I let the orange tone dry fully for about one day and then begin painting. Here I am starting the sky. Notice I can talk on the phone with friends while painting! (Note: When I'm on the phone I am almost always talking about painting, dinosaurs, or fishing.) The last photo shows paint laid in for the sky. I will later add some clouds to make it more interesting. The next post will show the far distant horizon of the open prairie. (To be continued.....)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Big Painting!

102"x 156"

Is it my imagination or is that a really big painting? I didn't really get the size of this thing until I saw the stretched canvas in my garage.

I'm still around and working even though I haven't posted anything for awhile. I'm working on a huge commission piece that is due at the end of the month. These photos were taken a few weeks ago and the actual painting is much further along than these photos show. I have been taking photos all along and will start to post them every few days to show the progress of the painting.

The subject is an early summer prairie scene with a herd of grazing bison (American Buffalo). My first challege will be to show the never ending distance of the horizon line out on the prairie. One of my inspirations for this painting is the work of western artist Howard Terpning.

Stay tuned for the progress!
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