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“Morning Glory” by Patrick Ching

Most people walk through the world not noticing the subtle changes in the sky. Artists are a bit more observant than the average person. Hang around Patrick Ching and you’ll see the sky from a whole new view.

Most artists will notice that the sky is lighter down below and gets darker as you go higher. There is another difference that even most artists don’t notice: The sky is not only darker up high but also redder as well. The sky seems quite purplish as it gets higher… (blue with red makes purple).

Here’s the surprise:  The sky is not just lighter toward the horizon but greener as well. Adding a touch of certain greens to the lower sky will enhance its contrast from the upper sky. Hence, the sky will not only contrast from light to dark, but from green to red as well. Green and red are the opposites or complements of each other. The viewer won’t even know Why your sky looks so good, but they will notice that it does!

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Official Commemorative Painting for 2010 Merrie Monarch International Hula Festival by Rod Cameron • Oil on Belgium linen • 26 x 38" ( 66.5 x 97cm ) Contact art@hawaiiart.com to inquire about this painting.

By Rod Cameron

In painting much is said about light.  To wit “light is everything.”  I’d say with no pretense of being succinct, that understanding the light source, the shapes of the lights & shadows and the color temperatures of the main illumination is the best beginning for a painting.  And for the figure this is perhaps especially so!

For the painting, “Dancer for the Merrie Monarch”,  we were not standing on molten rocks,  but I wanted a strong, low light source as if from a bright heat on the ground.  To get the effect I placed a large theater lamp on the floor of the stage to the left of the model.  The stage is about three feet higher than where I was standing,  so we’re looking up towards her.  The lamp is approximately 1100w) with a photo quality, full spectrum gel.  This emits a warm light and casts cooler shadows.  Light coming up at the figure adds some mystery.  It’s interesting, because generally the light source is from above.  Use a low light source with care to avoid the “monster lighting” effect.

What would light be without shadows?  Placing the shadows correctly is the best way to bring out the lights and all the fun, brightly colored areas.

Try some of these suggestions when establishing shadows in your painting. Keep the shadows simple and unify their shapes.  Try to keep them in large areas, grouped together rather than splotchy parts through out the figure.  Watch for these four types of shadows:  main, core, reflected light and cast.  Note the edges of your shadow shapes.  Are they soft, lost, hard or semi hard?  Use the shadow to help display the movement and direction of your model.

Always look for interesting areas of shadows, but use them only to convey the over-all essence of what you are doing.  As an example, there were interesting leaf shadows on the hula dancer’s left arm, which I simplified and used  to help describe the volume of the muscle with it’s up-lifting direction.  Under her left foot which was raised, there is a gap before the cast shadow starts and fades into the distance.  This shadow indicates stepping or the movement of the dance.

All of this shadow work in a painting is really setting the stage for the light.  Try to find the brightest area hitting the model.  Know where it is, but fill it in towards the end.  Look for your lights to be middle, light and highlight.  Highlights are best put in at the last.  Build up your values in both the light and the shadowed areas progressively together starting with the darks.  I often like to use thicker paint in the lights.

Finally, conveying movement with both lights and shadows will unify all the areas of the painting. Your paintings will have the light and movement that can bring your figures to life.

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Our customer “June” was wondering where she could find original works of art by artists who show their work on HawaiiArt.com when she visits the Islands on vacation.   This presents a great opportunity for our artists to acknowledge the galleries that they think are best for visitors.  The criteria for rating should be based on customer experience, fairness to the artist, and the availability of your work at the location.  Hopefully we can create a comprehensive list that serves our artists and the galleries that support them. Artists, please limit your lists to your top three galleries and feel free to post comments on each one as to why they made your best art gallery in Hawaii list.

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Reprinted from Herb Kane’s blog at http://herbkane.wordpress.com/

It is believed that surfing by board and canoe was invented in Hawai‘i, for in all of their travels around the world and throughout the Pacific the 18th century expedition under Captain James Cook saw nothing like it until they reached these islands.

My first ride in a surfing canoe was in the mid-1930s, in my seventh year, but the memory of the experience has been indelible. The steersman was a tall broad-shouldered Hawaiian. On his seat, elevated to give him a better view over the heads of the others, he impressed me as the “king of the wave.” And what a wave it was! We rushed down a moving, ever-rising wall of roaring water, spray hissing along the sides of the canoe and sparkling in the afternoon sunlight.

But let’s hear about it from someone else. When he heard from webmaster Karen Kaufman of my plan to do this new painting, Daniel Hsu, now of California, wrote:

“I have been surfing for over 25 years and can recall surfing at “Queens” and “Canoes” on Waikiki with great fondness. From my experience in the ocean, the light Herb mentions in the late afternoon and the water’s surface texture sometimes overwhelms one with a sense of calmness. And, as you drop into a wave with the salt water in your mouth and that sea air in your nose, there is certain expectation for the moment to unfold. It is those moments that as surfers we remember for a lifetime.”

A closer view of the canoe…

This new painting is in the Artist’s Collection.
Oil on canvas, 40″ x 23″ ©2009 Herb Kawainui Kane. Framing is not yet selected.
A limited edition of 40 signed and numbered giclee prints on canvas will be produced at the size of the original or any size not less than 30″ x 17.25″

You can see more of Herb Kane’s work here. Contact art@hawaiiart.com for special pricing.

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