Saturday, April 30, 2011

Latest Painting: Temple Journey

"Temple Journey" is an original 18" x 14" oil painting created on a 1" stretched, high-quality canvas. The painting is presented as unframed (Sides are painted).

Everybody makes a journey. The roads are steep and treacherous, for some. In the beginning, it seems hard, but, as you go along, the road seems easier and the world around it seems to be a lot calmer and less treacherous. The destination is what you make of it. If you really want to get there, you'll go through the obstacles needed.

All Artwork is copyrighted to Doug Hoppes Studio and is not to be copied or reproduced in any form without the permission of the artist. Sale of this item does not transfer its copyright.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Latest Painting: Peekaboo

"Peekaboo" is an original 16" x 22" oil painting created on a 1" stretched, high-quality canvas. The painting is presented as unframed (Sides are painted).

What if your eyesight was a camera with a filter. This affects how you look at things. What if your eyesight wasn't a perfect filter. This is how parts of everyday life changes how you look at things.

All Artwork is copyrighted to Doug Hoppes Studio and is not to be copied or reproduced in any form without the permission of the artist. Sale of this item does not transfer its copyright.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Still Life: Best Friends

For the couple of weeks, I've been pretty burnt out on painting, but my class, last night, totally rejuvenated myself. Besides being with other artists, I really like painting still life toys. So, here's my effort: Best Friends.

I like the composition and the fact that I was able to get the rounded look done properly on the animals.

So, I'm thinking that it may not be a bad idea for me to do more of these. They are definitely a lot of fun.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Drawing Concepts for next painting

Started working on my latest painting. As a general first step, I like to just sit and doodle. As you can see from the various scribbles, I was playing with various shapes and came across one that I liked. Now, the question is to how to incorporate it.

Drawing 1 was my first interpretation. I could have some sort of shape pointing out areas of the landscape. This led me to think about Drawing 2 (what if the landscape didn't take up the whole image?). Abandoned that idea for right now (may use it later) and played more with Drawing 1 (resulting in Drawing 3). Now, things are starting to take shape.

Drawing 4 is a more finished version of my general shape. The concept would be that the entire painting would be in a monochrome color with a silver/metallic looking device interacting with the painting (It would need to throw a shadow on the painting to make it stand out from the landscape. Wherever the "device" touches the painting, there is an area of color.

Drawing's 5 and 6 play a little more with this concept to work out different variations of it. Drawing 5 explores more tendrils, but no body and Drawing 6 explores no machine... just a painting with areas of colors.

Overall, not sure which one that I should go with. However, that's the fun of painting.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Still Life: These boots are made for walking

Well, time to get back to posting. With two shows going on lately, I haven't had that much time to get some painting done. When I did get the time, I was not really interested in doing it. But, starting to get my "mojo" back and time to start playing again.

As most people know, every week, I go over to Cambridge, Vermont to study with Karen Winslow. I have been doing this for almost two years. Karen has shown me a lot about mass painting and observation. I don't always listen or remember what I'm taught, but that's about part for me. My memory is not that great.

However, there are times when I actually look like I know what I'm doing. These boots were definitely it. I had massed out the background, foreground and general shape of the boots. Once the basic mass was done, I defined the dark and light areas to create the sides and tops of the boots. Rather than accurately define each portion of the boot, it was enough to just define the general lighting. Some highlights were added for the buckles. Notice that the buck is not a perfectly round circle, but more along the lines of some loosely defined edges.

The hardest part of this painting was getting the foreshortening correct on the left-most boot (the one directly facing the viewer). I spent more time on the drawing of the boot than I did on the entire painting. However, after stepping back a number of times, I finally achieved the look that I was going for.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Castleberry Spring Craft Show at Hartford, CT

The Castleberry Spring Craft Show in Hartford, Connecticut was a total washout for me. I did not sell any paintings or prints. As usual, the show was extremely well run and no problems with the promoter or the location. Prior to the show, I was given plenty of information about the check-in procedure, deals for hotels in the local area, and when we could setup. One of the nice things about this show was that, if you arrived on Thursday afternoon, you could actually drive up to your booth location and immediately unload (During certain pre-scheduled times). So, I was able to leave on Thursday morning and arrive by 2:00 for setup. The trip takes about 3-1/2 hours and consists of strictly highway driving.

After evaluating my booth, pricing structure, and layouts, I’ve determined that there was nothing that I could have done better. The fact of the matter is that the foot-traffic was non-existent. I believe that it relates to two situations. First of all, two weeks ago, there was another large craft show that is a local tradition. This is the Sugarloaf Spring Craft Show. It’s been held there for a number of years, and apparently, the place was mobbed with people. The second reason was that the weather was almost 70 degrees. Therefore, there were a lot of people taking advantage of some extremely nice weather for the entire weekend. In the end, hardly anybody showed up.

In terms of my artwork, the paintings were very well received. Nobody commented that the prices were too high or that they could not afford them. In fact, there were a number of people who seemed very interested. Unfortunately, no one decided to go that final step. As usual, there were also a number of people who took my card and asked about shipping. They may or may not purchase a painting at a later date. The most popular pieces still tend to be the mixing of the landscape with the abstract shapes. I will need to generate more of those types of paintings. There were some interest in potentially doing some commission work for another vendor and some sales to people, after the show. However, they don't count until I actually see a deposit.

Breakdown went pretty fast. With the new display setting, it takes about 2-1/2 hours to set up and 1-1/2 hours to break down. Unfortunately, the Rav4 is completely filled. I will need to explore renting a van when I have more invent tory or when Melissa (my wife) decides to join me for shows.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Plein Air Setup

So, last Sunday, I was out working on a plein-air landscape and freezing my tushy off. Even though the temperature seemed warm in the sun (at least it seemed so in my back yard), when I went out to a field, near my house, I realized that the brisk wind easily drops the temperature by about 100 degrees. Needless to say, didn't paint outside very long.

When I'm painting outdoors, this is my typical setup. It's an alla-prima pochade ( that is worth every penny that you pay for. The pochade is a custom made box that is extremely sturdy and easy to setup. The pochade is mounted on a Manfrotto heavy duty tripod (rated for 11 lbs) and, if the wind is brisk, the set up is still pretty rock-solid. On the ground, you see my basic supplies: a backpack to carry everything, a container of water (I use water-soluble oils), paper towels, plastic container holding my paint tubes, trash bag, a brush holder for all of my brushes, and an empty plastic container to put paint that I have not used, but is no longer in the tube.

So, when I started setting up, I pulled out my viewfinder to determine what I wanted to paint. I loved the view of the mountain in the distance with the single tree to the right. Thought that that would be a good starting point.

Also, I need a lot of work on my trees and, studying trees during the winter time is a great way to understand the basic structure of a tree. Also, it's really really hard to get the thin lines working for the tree branches.

So, my first process is to just block out the areas that I would like to paint. Once I block out the areas, I start adjusting the values so that the farthest features recede. This is done my adding various levels of greys to my colors to dull them down for the distance. I always try to remember that the darkest darks and the brightest brights are close to you. Also, the closer the objects are, the more detail that you can see.

As you can see from the picture, the basic structure is there, but the dark of the mountain needs to be a lot lighter so that the mountain is pushed farther back into the horizon.

I also need to do this to the groups of trees in the mid-ground.

As I worked more on the painting, it started coming together. However, this was about the time that my hands started getting cold and I was more interested in getting out of the wind versus actually painting.

Overall, not bad... but not great. I can do a lot better. It's a matter of getting out there and practicing more.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

First Plein Air for 2011

Okay, it was absolutely gorgeous in Vermont today. The day was bright and sunny... and coooollllldddddd......

When I was driving home from setting up my nephew's computer for DSL, I saw this seen near my house. I decided that: "It's bright, it's sunny, and I would LOVE to paint that scene". So, I got home, rushed out to get my gear and then headed back to the spot (it's about 5 minute drive from my house).

As I started my setup, the wind was seriously kicking up in the field that I was working. However, I had my hoodie, hat and gear. I should be warm enough! Hah! No chance. Standing in a windy open field on a cold day is just asking for your hands to stop working. However, as you can see... here's my effort for the day. Took about 1-1/2 hours to paint. Later on, I'll post the basic procedures how I do my paintings and my setup.