Sunday, October 17, 2010

Refining an Earlier Series

The other evening I returned to this series of abstract washes and started playing around with color, shape and composition until each one started to look like something. I still had my Reno trip in mind and all I could see were aerial landscapes, so I added some roads and fields and lights. The upper right one is a winter scene in Colorado. These studies become nice little 5.5" x 7.5" paintings.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dividing Up Space

Tonight I concentrated non-objective paintings that consisted of dividing up space with shape, color and line. Each of these went through a number of iterations before I decided that I was through.

Monday, October 11, 2010


This started out as a landscape but ended up a pure abstract.

Finishing Last Week's Sketches

I went back to the paintings I did last week and tuned them up a bit, adding some clarification, detail and contrast. While they started out as non objective abstracts, they now look like small landscapes.

Aerial Landscapes

Here is a series of twelve 5.5" x 7.5" acrylic sketches.

More Exploration

Here are the last four from this evening's session.

Landscapes Exploration

Here are some additional explorations I did tonight. I used 140# Arches cold press watercolor paper, gessoed on one side, and began with a color wash over each sheet. I added colors intuitively without thinking, just to see what would happen.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Repainting Some Earlier Images

The next thing I did was to dig out some earlier paintings I did of downtown Los Angeles to see if I could improve them. The original paintings were pen and ink with watercolor done on sketchbook paper and mounted to gesso'd panels. I tackled them with some thick acrylic paint, ignoring the foreground sketch and trying to simplify the composition, and make it more exciting.

Abstract Landscapes

The next thing I did was to choose a theme: landscape; three colors: green gold, phthalo blue and cadmium red (+ white); and a composition format: horizontal. Using the same gesso'd sheets, I prepared these quick studies.

Compositions Number Two

These are the last six: uneasy, golden section, spiritual, diagonal, meandering and constellation.

Composition Studies

The next thing I did was to review the basic composition formats. These are quick black and white studies illustrating six of the twelve composition styles used in most abstract paintings. They are: vertical, circular, overlapping squares, horizontal, cantilever and cruciform. Following Robert's technique, I painted gesso on one side of a 140# Arches Cold Press watercolor paper, cut up into 5.5" x 7.5" rectangles. Then using black and white acrylic paint, I quickly painted the exercises.

A Review of Some Basics

I am going through Robert Burridge's book Loosen Up, with the hope that it will not only give me some good pointers on abstract painting but also will inspire me. The first step was to get some additional acrylic paint at the art store and prepare a color wheel.