Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Daffodils - Oil on Panel

Daffodils 11x14" Oil on Panel - Scott Ruthven
Daffodils are a favorite of mine.  Oddly, I don't have any in my garden so this past spring when I wanted to paint some I covertly "obtained" these from the entrance to a housing development.  Delicate to look at but sturdy in structure, the Daffodil makes for good subject matter.  I wrapped these stems in wet paper towels and they kept their form for four + hours while I worked out my composition, laid in my drawing and completed the color block-in.  While most of the painting was completed Alla Prima, I did go back in once it was dry to scumble in the cool highlights from the Northern light and to build up some of the shadow areas to help the stems recede.

I just varnished and framed it and I'm really pleased with the deep, rich color and the contrast between warm and cool.  This piece really commands attention from across the room.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pochade Box Envy

Pochade Box by Scott Ruthven

Not sure what kind of Pochade box you want?  Well there are a lot of great options out there for you.  Whether you build one or buy one, check out the links below to get an idea of what's available.

The main decisions you will need to make are:
  1. Do you want a fully integrated box complete with wet panel carrier and storage for paints and brushes or a streamlined painting support and palette with separate solutions for carrying paints and brushes.
  2. What size canvas / painting supports will you want to paint on outdoors?  This will determine the size box you order or make.
  3. If you make your palette / mixing surface a standard size you can insert inexpensive pre-cut glass from the home centers.  This makes mixing and clean up much easier and your palette will last longer too.
Links for ideas:
  • Jim Serrett - Detailed instructions and materials list for an Open Box M style box and a wet panel carrier -  Jim Serrett's Post
  • David Gluck & Katherine Stone - Simple, inexpensive, Open Box M alternative but with bear combat accessory ideas! - David's Post
  • Alla Prima Pochade - Artist Ben Haggett makes and sells wonderful boxes - Ben's Video and Ben's Website for ordering
  • Charley Parker at the Lines and Color Blog - Charlie has put together an extensive overview of available pochade boxes, tripods, supports, and DIY links. - Lines and Color Pochade Post
  • Judson's Art Outfitters - Wide variety of rugged painting kits including the Guerrilla Box. - Judson's Web Page
Also, a search for "Pochade Box" on YouTube returns lots and lots of videos.  Before building my box I looked at many different setups and incorporated the features that fit my needs best.

Happy painting!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Frozen Brushstrokes

"Winter's Warmth" by Scott Ruthven 5"x7" Oil on Linen Panel - Painted En Plein Air
As we approach Thanksgiving here in the USA I'm thinking about all the gifts in my life.  One thing I'm so thankful for is the time I get to spend outdoors painting.  This barn really called out to me.  The air was crisp and cold but the sun made the red barn and the golden willow tree just radiate.

Photo by Scott Ruthven

This barn is set back quite a distance from the road.  With the snow coming up over my boots, I was sure happy I didn't forget anything back at the car.

Even though the temperature was quite cold, I never even thought about it while I was painting.  Painting is a wonderful meditation.

p.s.  When painting on site you can see into and paint the shadows in a scene like this.  A camera simply can't accurately portray both the bright lights from the snow and the delicate colors in the shadows when the contrast is so great.


Monday, November 21, 2011

My Homemade Pochade Box - Video

Painting en plein air forces quick decisions and makes me to paint instead of over-thinking everything.  When I decided to paint outside in earnest, I researched Pochade box options and decided I could make my own, custom box....a downside of having to be creative in every aspect of my life.  Although it took longer to make and cost more than I thought, I have a nice kit for oil painting outdoors.

Later, I'll post links to sources that inspired the design.

Let me know what you think.
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