Sunday, June 10, 2012

Art from Michigan

I did manage to do a few pieces while I was in Michigan. One of them is a work in progress...and I do hope that I can get some paintings out of the many photos I took (all of which can be found here), but here they are nevertheless...

Red Lighthouse

After a few (failed) attempts at trying to sketch the lighthouse and then paint it, I just decided to go for it and paint without sketching at all. Just painting on paper was something I had been itching to do for a while, but I just hadn't the time or the inspiration to do so. It felt really good finally getting to do that. This piece was the first painting I did on the trip and I did it on-location at Holland State Park (aka Ottawa Beach) whilst sitting out on a pier across from the red lighthouse. I was looking around to see if the lighthouse actually had a name, but I think that the only name it has is the one affectionately given by the locals, "Big Red". This piece was kind of a "warm up" painting, of sorts. I like how it turned out, though. I was very loose with detail. I wanted to be. I knew this wasn't going to be a detailed highly rendered illustration with varying micron pen lines and such. I just wanted it to be splashy and just defined enough that we know what it is. I painted this piece around Noon-2 pm so the light was very direct and unfortunately, I think the composition suffered for it. There weren't as many lights and darks on the lighthouse. It was just kind of one tone.

Clouds Over Holland

This was my favorite piece I did on the trip. I sketched it out while on location at the pier on Holland Beach (the exact same location of the previous piece) and then painted it back at the house. I sat there mesmerized by the cloud formations over my head. There were puffy cumulus clouds and wispy stratus clouds, clouds that may or may not have been airplane exhaust...they were just beautiful, and then add to that the Michigan coastline that just seemed to stretch on forever going from light green, to dark green, to teal, to blue and to purple as it stretched towards the horizon--absolutely gorgeous. That is why I prefer to draw natural things to man-made structural things, I just find them more aesthetically pleasing. I tried doing this piece in a similar style to my Rocky Pemaquid illustration. While I was sketching the coastline and water and sky, a sailboat passed by so I thought I would include that as well...though I just kind of roughly sketched it and followed up with a reference photo later. I hope to frame this piece. I really like it. 


We did a figure drawing session on the last day of the trip. It was very quick, only 15 minutes and I think we had planned to do more, but for some reason, that never happened. I think we got carried away watching covers of Gotye's Somebody That I Used to Know on YouTube. These things do happen. It was good to see that I still had it, though. I haven't done a lot of figure sketching in a while. I think this sketch of Bob turned out nice...although everyone said I made him look younger. Not necessarily a bad thing!

Red Lighthouse II (WIP)

The last evening of the trip, a few of us headed back to Holland Beach State Park. I had a much better experience that time...aside from the bugs. The lighting was much more dramatic in the evening as the sun began to set. The lighthouse actually reflected had off the warm-toned waters of Lake Michigan. I was going to do a simple color-blocking technique, but since the paint was drying veeeerrrrry slooooooowwwly (because the air was so full of moisture from the lake) and everything was running together (AND the bugs would not leave me alone), I vowed to finish the painting at a later date. I wanted to try adding some detail into the lighthouse with micron pens, over the paint which is not something I usually do. We shall see how that turns out. I'll keep you all posted.

No comments:

Post a Comment