Monthly Archives: April 2012

Technical Insights from “Not Far from Home” #21

Should I, Shouldn’t I…

I remember the day like it was yesterday.  The notion of standing in a snow bank for several hours on this cold, dark, damp winter afternoon surely didn’t sound appealing and the temptation to return home to the fireplace and some tea was calling loudly.  The yawns were growing closer and closer as I meandered down the back roads of home and all I could hear in my head was the recording  “Should I just call it quits for the day?”,   “Do I allow  the self-rationalizing  to reign and talk myself into how I couldn’t possibly be lazy by succumbing to comfort rather than work?”   I am glad that on this occasion I did not.

Farm on Beaver Dam Road  18 x 30   (page 92 and 93 with detail  in “Not Far from Home”)

The awakening began as I opened the car door and saw the colors true, not through the subtle green tint of the windshield.  The colors, though in great reserve, still called out before me…the warm greens of the shadows in the snow gave way to a violet cast as the brightness of the foreground bled toward me.  The shift from red to green on the face of the barn boards was exquisite. The humidity accentuated the variety in edges as the snow covered roofs stood in stark to the wisps of branches in front of them.  All of this I would have missed had I stayed in the car.

What is my point in all of this?  Every day, every condition, has something to offer despite my feelings.  What a gift.

Some twenty-five years ago as I was about to embark into this world of painting, a dear friend and co-worker of mine from the illustration days, Kenn Backhaus, gifted me with a little gold plaque that was mounted on my French easel for years.  It now proudly hangs in my studio.  The quote inscribed was by the great American Impressionist, Walter Elmer Schofield, “Rain, falling snow, wind…All these things to contend with, only make the open air painter love the fight.” (I might add bugs, too!)

book cover new web

“Not Far from Home” Testimonial  from Glenn Terry

“Got Daniel Gerhartz ‘s book of paintings, “Not Far From Home” yesterday. It is a fantastic book, full of tremendous beauty in the paintings, close up details, and even a step by step process in the back. The book itself is well made, worth the cost and then some, and can’t help but to inspire artists at any level, seeing the works of a master painter with such a fresh and vigorous style, full of heart and love of life.”

Thanks for all of your encouragement folks!

Technical Insights from “Not Far from Home” #20

Warm, Cool, Warm…

One of the key elements that I have taken away from years of painting from life is the heightened awareness of the warm /cool interplay on the subject as the form turns.  I know I have mentioned this on previous posts, but its importance bears mentioning again.  In this image and the details to follow, you will see how the shifting of temperature accentuates the volume and three dimensionality of image while holding the values in a simple mass.  It can also be seen in great detail within the two page spread of, “Indigo and Ivory”,  30” x 60” (Page 118 and 119 from “Not Far from Home”),

In these details, you can see the transitions from warm to cool inter-playing throughout the forms, but most specifically where noted with letters W (warm) C(cool).  See how close in value these tones are, yet there is still a noticeable form change.  My first discovery of this application came to me years ago when studying a Sargent painting at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In his painting, “The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit”, Mr. Sargent rimmed the outside edge of the light plane on the foreground girl’s blouse with a cool tone to give the added feeling of cool light and also to aid in the turning of the form.   This accentuated coolness along the rim of all of all forms can also be seen in William Bouguereau’s works.  The pictured Dennis Miller Bunker portrait has also been a favorite of mine and illustrates this point nicely.  I would urge you to see their works first hand to study just how effective and evident this application is.

This study of warm and cool as it relates to light and form is discussed and demonstrated in great detail in our re-released Video “Her Mother’s Locket”.  The new On Demand streaming format released at a significantly lower price will enable you to watch this instruction from any computer or iPad with internet capability.   In the new version, we have also added hi-res photos to see the completed painting as it is being painted before you. You will see the 30 x 36 studio painting from start to finish with moment by moment commentary, sharing with the viewer the critical elements of building the design and execution of this work.

To purchase “Her Mother’s Locket” instruction, please click painting.

                                             Click image to see preview trailer…Thanks

book cover new web


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