Technical Insight #26 “In Her Care”

This work, as many of my other figurative outdoor works, had a hybrid approach in regards to its execution.  As always, the best-case scenario is to complete the entire work from life, but because this is not always practical as was the case in this sunset scene, one must use whatever means appropriate to simply finish the work. “In Her Care” was begun from life and entirely blocked in on location.  All of the canvas was covered from life with the accurate tones and values that carried the sense of light.   I then continued the painting in the studio to refine the drawing and work the edges to turn the forms. Having said that, one must be careful not to make it a habit of this by only blocking in the subject or taking shortcuts as a general rule of technique.  Again, your BEST paintings will be when you are absorbing all of the stimuli of your senses and allowing them to work their way into your work.  This is only possible when standing before your subject.

In-Her-Care-40x40

Because I knew that my time from life was going to limited in this work, there were several tonal transitions that I wanted to be sure to note and cover the canvas with while I was out with the subject. Some of the important observations I took note of were:

*Hierarchy in value tones.  (Sun the brightest, reflection of sun next, value of sky to follow, etc.…  Also noting the darkest dark from life. The photo wrongly recorded the distant trees almost as dark as the cat.)

*Color balance and cool influence on skin tones as they wrapped around the face and hair.

*Opalescent quality to the color in the water.

* Color balance in spring green tones. (Finding other colors within the green fields that balanced out the acid green that the photo recorded.)

*Noting the accurate color and value of the distant tree line.

This painting along with the close-up detail of the face and many of others of similar approach are depicted in our publication, “Not Far From Home”.

book cover new web

Other good news from the studio…we are in the final phases of proofing the DVDs and BLURAYs before replication for our latest instructional video, “The Beginning of Autumn”!  Things are looking great and are we are anxious for its release hopefully in a month or so.  I am sorry for the long delay since my first announcement before Christmas.  We originally planned only for a digital download release, but realized the demand for a hard disc was too great to overlook and have spent the last months coordinating the production. We hope you enjoy it!  Please see another of the trailers below. Thanks much!

Enjoy!

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One response to “Technical Insight #26 “In Her Care”

  • Mike Neilson

    Great reminders of the important things to get onto the canvas when time is limited, and that aren’t going to be accurate in a photo. I was delighted to get to see the initial stage of this painting as we were all painting together at our friend Dan’s farm. I remember what a challenge it was to paint the cat. He wasn’t a very good model… squirmed like crazy.

    Loved the video clip, Dan. I’m sure it’s going to worth the wait.

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