Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Fresh Sea Oats"

Oil on canvas panel - 12x9


In the early summer, the sea oats put on seed heads of vibrant, yellow-green. The dunes at Cape San Blas State Park are especially picturesque when they are festooned with the fresh crop of oats.

This painting is a small work that I have done to validate composition for a larger work.  I am satisfied that the design works well for this piece.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Flying with a Friend

Pastel on gatorfoam - 10x8


I have done several sketches and reference photos of this particular flight of sea gulls.  The tide was out, but the foam was spectacular from the surf.

I am intrigued by sea gulls.  For them the air is a friend and a playground where they fly with easy mastery of their element.

This painting was done on self-sanded gatorfoam.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Coming In

Pastel on Gatorfoam panel; 10-8


The flight and movement of the sea gulls at the beach are a constant source of wonder and delight.  This picture is a study of a sea gull landing on the sand as the tide is beginning to come in.  In that sense, both the sea gull and the tide are coming in.

This painting was done on Gatorfoam board that I prepared with acrylic gesso and pumice gel.  I have found that this surface is extremely stable, holds the pastel very well, and is archival.

Since the question has been asked, here is what I did to prepare the gatorfoam.

I start by coating the foamboard with two coats of gesso - brushed horizontal then vertical.  When dry I sand it lightly to remove the most pronounced brush marks.  Next I mix equal parts of gesso and Golden pumice gel.  To this mixture I add about an inch of acrylic paint (usually burnt umber of raw sienna to add just enough color to show my coverage on the gesso).  I mix this thoroughly and add just enough water to make it about the consistency of house paint.  When I used this mixture on Arches W/C paper, I added more pigment for an undercoat, but I haven’t tried that yet on the gatorfoam.
Hope this helps.