Archive for the ‘Things for the Curious Artist’ Category

“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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In an early morning painting on the famous Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic, the shadows are made up of warm colors. Artist, Rod Cameron, offers this insight into the color temperature that he used in the painting, and gives artists a good rule of thumb when selecting colors for shadows.

At sunrise and sunset, the color of the light is changing very quickly. For even very ambitious plein air painters who manage to set up their easels at the crack of dawn, it’s nearly impossible to finish the painting and capture the lighting effects on the landscape before it changes. And it’s hard to remember exactly how it looked when you got the inspiration for your creation.

Rod Cameron, travels with other artists all the way from his home on the Big Island in Hawaii to central Europe and the Czech and Slovak Republics, to paint in Prague. Knowing how to handle the shadows in certain colored light can be very helpful when painting en plein air, and the time and the light is moving too fast.

Rod Cameron tells his students, “The magical light of Prague this early in the morning had a cool predominate cast, which brings the shadows to the warmer hues of the palate. Cool light equals warm shadows, or warm light gives cool shadows. This is the general rule.”

Even experienced plein air painting artists can benefit from this little reminder, especially when it’s early, and you’re in the moment. You want to capture the look and feel of cool, early morning, before the sun is up, and a few good rules of thumb can help take the guesswork out!

“The incredible buildings of the city create an interesting sky line across the horizon and I used the tall statue on the left, which had a natural gaze into the scene and the focal points of the painting,” said Rod Cameron while describing his painting titled, Charles Bridge. This Rod Cameron painting of the Charles bridge in Prague can be found on the web.

Go ahead! Travel halfway around the world. Get up at the crack of dawn, and capture in your paintings the beautiful places that you travel to with confidence! The light may be changing too quickly, but the architecture, skylines and statues aren’t. Create great value and color harmony with complimentary colors, then nudge the color in the shadows either warm or cool.  Notice that it gives your shadows a “real presence”.

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Join this once is a lifetime Plein air Painting Workshop and Exciting City Tour.

OPEN to 10 artists and their guests. May 25 – 31, 2010.  Join Artist Rod Cameron and Prague native, Jiri Balej, together with Artist Margaret Stanton for an exciting 5 day/6nights of painting, photographing and touring this exquisite, old European capital in a fun, relaxed atmosphere!

This painting workshop/tour includes three star hotel accommodations with amenities in the heart of Prague (one block from MoMA), 5 days of painting workshops with Rod Cameron in different locations, 2 evening figure painting sessions, Daily sightseeing tours, personal instruction, Airport meet and greet, train ride excursion & savings on food and entertainment. Register Now!

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Waialua Beach Morning giclee print by Lynne Boyer

Waialua Beach Morning giclee print by Lynne Boyer

Giclees, $75 – $550 with subjects done in realism.  Art that meets the customers expectation of “Hawaiian art” (no surprise there) especially when it comes to favorite locations once visited and loved.  Also, low to moderately priced ($50 – $200) traditional Hawaiian art does very well.  The top performing collections on HawaiiArt.com are Hawaiian fish hooks, then prints, photography, lauhala hats, and jewelry.  The worst selling is sculpture, poor sculpture…

It maybe helpful to artists, who are seeking to profit on-line, to understand the mentality of the person on the other side of your modem.   Your customer is literally trusting hundreds or thousands of dollars on a 800 pixel image, a snippet of text, and hopefully a website that has an air of security about it.

First time customers may have little or no reference about what kind of experience your art provides.  All they have to base their decision on is what “they think” your art should be like vs. what it looks like online, and do these factors match up?  Cognitive dissonance between the customers expectations and what your art and it’s online listing conveys can create a lack of trust which is the key make it or break it factor in selling anything.  This is why conveying your work through images, videos,  and text as accurately as possible is so important.

I hope for the day when technology will be able to overcome these limitations.  Perhaps the next version of HawaiiArt.com will be a 3D virtual space where customers can not only see their lauhala hat online but they can place it on there avatars head and see how they look in a virtual mirror.  Unfortunately, artists who create outside the norm and tend towards the abstract will find online sales a struggle especially if their market is primarily made up of first time buyers who dont know the artist “yet”.

Feel free to post questions or comments and I will be happy to share more about the workings of HawaiiArt.com. I would also like to know your thoughts or experiences too.

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Hi Family & Friends/Collectors,

I’m excited to tell you about this fun event that will be happening in June! A bunch of us artists from Plein Air Painters Of Hawaii and The Association of Hawaii Artists all get together from the neighboring islands 2 -3 times a year to paint together “‘en Plein air”, which is a very inspiring and fun event to watch and participate in. There will be some top “plein-air-ists” there, and we are hoping you will come by one or more of the sights to say “Hi”!

There will be artists all over painting on location (mostly windward) the weekend of June 6 – 8. Me and Susie Anderson doing our thing at Makapu’u! Several are quite well known local artists including George Allen & Jan Bushart from Maui; George Eguchi, Anne Irons, and Susie Anderson from Oahu (to name just a few). Here is our schedule:

Kailua Beach Park, in the morning
Makapu’u Beach Park, in the afternoon

Chinatown, all day

Moli’i Ancient Fish Ponds, in the morning
Ho’omaluhia Botanical Park, in the afternoon.

We will end with a pot luck on the 8th at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden Gallery.

Hope to see you there!
Lynne Boyer

Artist must be a member of either PAPOH or AHA. If not already a member of either, artist chooses which organization to join. For more information feel free to contact Jan Bushart or Priscilla Hall.

Jan Bushart

Priscilla Hall

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Saturday, January 26 10am-4pm at Naturally Hawaiian Gallery in Waimanalo. You will know how to paint nature from that day on. Learn how to see the world closer than you ever have. $125 includes all materials. Beginners or professionals welcome. Limited space. 808-259-5354

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Mark J. Huisman, film critic, independent film producer and scholar, will teach a 12-week course in The Artist’s Way on several Hawaiian islands, including Oahu, Hawaii and Maui, beginning in mid-October.

Huisman provides practical, lasting lessons on artistic commitment through a focused course of study tailored to individual participants who work together in small artistic support groups. The Artist’s Way can help practicing artists successfully deepen their commitment to their craft, whether they are writers, painters, sculptors, dancer, photographers or anything else. New artists can begin to explore the creativity they have long held back.

“I meet so many people who say they have always wanted to write or paint or take pictures but have never had the courage to actually do so,” said Huisman by telephone from New York. The Artist’s Way is a wonderful way to give yourself the gift of exploring your creativity, whether you’ve been a working artist for years or you’ve been dreaming about being one for a long time.”

For over twelve years between 1990 and 2002, Huisman was a film critic, entertainment reporter and investigative journalist for publications including The Village Voice, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Advocate, OUT and The Nation. Films produced by Huisman include The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love (Sundance, 1995), The Girl (Rotterdam and Berlin Film Festivals, 2000) and Confidences. He has attended the Sundance Producers’ conference three times and served as a script consultant on close to one hundred independent and Hollywood productions.

A two-time graduate of Columbia University, where he earned a B.A. in Film Studies and an M.F.A. in Writing, Huisman has taught The Artist’s Way for over five years. He has taught introductory screenwriting at Columbia and will teach the University’s first course in gay and lesbian cinema in the spring of 2008.

In September of 2006, Huisman’s entire body of writing was acquired by one of the most celebrated literary archives in the world, The Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University. The RBML contains vast collections in American history and literature, theater and film, international affairs, music and journalism, including manuscripts by Tennessee Williams, Lionel Trilling, Allen Ginsberg and the archives of Human Rights Watch, Harper & Row and The Pulitzer Prizes, among others

“The Artist’s Way is a wonderful gift to your own creativity and inner artist,” Huisman added. “Whether you are stuck in your creative practice or your 9-5 career, The Artist’s Way can help break down your present limitations and help you soar past them. I’ve had lawyers, stockbrokers and parents take the course and rave about how it increased their ability to communicate, think creatively and solve problems at both home and work.”

Advanced registration runs from now until October 5th (or until the courses are filled). Late registration will run from October 6th through October 13th (assuming space remains available). Huisman will teach one class only on each island. Enrollment is strictly limited to twelve participants per class..

Interested students may obtain schedule and registration information by contacting Huisman via e-mail at mjh89@columbia.edu.

Please note: The official Columbia University press release about Huisman’s collection at The Rare Book and Manuscript Library may be found at: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/news/libraries/2006/2006-09-06.huisman.html

Editors may quote from that release at liberty, with attribution.

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Patrick Ching Patrick Ching will be conducting a figure drawing class in Waimanalo this Saturday from 2pm-5pm. $35 If you would like to be a student or a model Contact: Patrick@NaturallyHawaiian.com

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Art can take a lot of time to make. What should one occupy one’s mind with during that time? Does an artist need to think about each brush stroke? Or does the creation of art become intuitive?

If art making becomes intuitive rather than thought-based — and to me that sounds appealing — what should become of word-based thought when one is working? Is it better to think about something else, to distract oneself with music, a book on CD?

This is something I’ve been thinking about while painting. What do you think about?

Reprinted from Karl Zipser‘s post over at Art and Perception

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