Thursday, March 8, 2018

Painting Landscape Layers


Here are three more paintings I have completed so far this year. Since each includes trees and grass, I thought it might be helpful to compare the different ways I approach individual layers using the concept of "opposites attract".

In "Colorado Greens", the grass transitions from light brown to a soft, pale green. The tree line is darkest against the mountain range, in an attempt to create distance and contrasting values. I painted the foreground grass at a slight angle, which is different from the vertical layers of the trees and mountain range. Clouds also add another horizontal element, rather than painting the sky as a solid area of blue.


In "Everglades Marsh", the grass is separated by two bodies of water, with a long patch of shrubs in the distance. I used contrasting colors to separate the layers, with red tones in the foreground and yellowish-green in the middle layer. The same colors in the foreground grass are also used in the palm trees, to carry the eye upward. The other variation is in the type of brush strokes used to define the vegetation. The finest and longest lines are along the lower portion. This section of grass also has an irregular and random pattern as compared to the distant shrubs, with curved edges.

"Prairie Horse"
With "Prairie Horse",  I tried to depict the grass as a thick mass in the foreground, so the horse would become the focal point. There is little variation in color or texture in this layer.  Instead, the colorful, "activity" is behind the horse. The lighter vertical lines of the trees contrast with the darkness of the horse and background.
Whenever a painting is missing something, I start thinking of contrasting elements and "opposites" to (hopefully) solve the problems...
-Light vs dark
-Horizontal vs vertical
-Soft vs textured
-Abstract vs detailed
-Sky vs land & water
-Uniform vs random  
-Thick vs thin
-Colorful vs monochromatic
My goal is to create energy, variety, and overall harmony. In my opinion, most paintings also require areas where the eye can simply rest...
How do you trouble-shoot the different areas in your paintings? 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Rocky Mountains Tundra Painting

"Rocky Mountain Tundra"
18x24 Oil on canvas
The Rocky Mountain National Park tundra is almost surreal. It is at an elevation above the tree line, with harsh weather conditions during the winter months. Nevertheless, tiny wildflowers and grass grow between the rocks in the cool summer temperatures. You can see this view along the Trail Ridge Road, and might even spot elk and marmots. Hiking trails are well marked and maintained. The park service states the importance of staying on the paths in order to preserve the fragile ecosystem and vegetation. Read more about it here >





Saturday, February 3, 2018

Painting Light

24x18 Acrylic on Canvas

The reference image for this painting of the Caribbean ocean had a sense of brilliant light that I hoped to capture on canvas. From past work, I realized the importance of developing a section of contrasting dark values, while ensuring lighter shades of blue are showing through. Thinking about the goal ahead of time was essential for the outcome, because it is often a challenge to change the layers once applied.

I started the painting with medium and deep blue colors, along with subtle green tones. The foreground corner appears almost black. This process was opposite of what I've done in the past, as similar seascapes contain a darker horizon line. Additionally, I experimented with a clean palette knife to obtain the “whitest” white on the horizon. It also worked well for adding texture in the waves.  

Prints and products are available at > (click link)

Monday, January 1, 2018

Lighthouse Oil Painting

St. Augustine Lighthouse
24"x18" Oil on Canvas

Built in 1874, the St. Augustine Lighthouse is a striking structure that can be seen from many miles along the northeastern coast of Florida in St. Johns County. In addition to its height, I believe the contrast of black and white stripes enhances its daytime visibility. While painting this image, I thought about the significance of lighthouses and their symbolism in aiding ships safely to shore.
Wishing you all the best in 2018! I hope you find time to paint, view art, and experience the beauty that surrounds us every day ~ Eve

Original, art licensing, and prints available

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Custom Artwork Contracts

16x20 Oil on Canvas

In this post, I will share thoughts about custom artwork contracts and details to include in the document. This is a continuation of my previous post, “Quoting Custom Artwork.” It is intended for both the artist and the client and does not serve as legal advice.

As information is gathered, both parties should determine if a signed contract is  necessary. Here are other questions to consider: 

As the Artist:  

·         How confident are you about achieving the client’s vision?
·         Can you complete the project within the requested deadline?
·         Do you have enough information?
·         How much of a financial risk are you taking?
·         What is the size and scope of the project?
Being clear about your abilities is most essential.  You may be asked to do projects outside of your specialty area. If that’s the case, turn down the job and refer the client to another expert in the field. For example, I have declined offers for painting wall murals and made suggestions for muralists in the area.
On the other hand, I have accepted painting projects in a variety of subjects and styles that were challenging and successful (meaning that the client was happy). I gained valuable insight from the interactions and used the experience to revise processes and business practices.
As the Client:
If an artist submits a signed contract, you can accept this as a good sign, especially when it involves multiple or complex projects. This is another method to confirm your specifications. Read the document carefully and ask additional questions that may not be included, such as:
·         What is the deposit amount?
·         What is your return / refund policy?
·         What occurs if the painting is damaged in transit?
·         Will you make changes to the painting?
Note: Many artists do not accept refunds for custom artwork, due to the time and supplies involved.  Review pictures of the painting before it is mailed to you.

The Final Contract 

The artist drafts the initial contract based on the details discussed via email, phone, and in person.  Some have standard documents on file and simply need your signature. 

In my opinion, the information should be revised until everyone involved agree to the terms. The final contract becomes a tool for future reference. But in the end, I have found that communication throughout the entire project ensures the best outcomes.