Thursday, December 11, 2008

Len Chmiel - American

Indications of Spring, 27 x 37 inches

The eye is lead around the bend in the stream and then up the path of sunlit snow on the slope in the background.
The subtlest hints of sunlight on the shaded snow brings the scene to life.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Grant Wood - American

Young Corn

The elements of the landscape have been stylised and structured almost geometrically.

Louis La Brie - American, born 1950

The Long Way Home

A strikingly unusual composition. A evocative title can help create a particular mood.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Adriane Strampp - Australian, 1960 -

Oil on linen, 91 x 91 cm

There is a definite trend in contemporary landscape painting towards largish square canvases, bordering on abstraction.


Paul R Keysar - American

Oil on paper, 10 x 14 inches

Images are strengthened by a good tonal range, from almost black in the foliage, to white clouds.

Konstantin Yuon - Russian

Blue Bush, 71 x 107 cm

A painting which celebrates a particular colour and introduces a small amount of its opposite colour.

Vasnetsov - Russian


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hopper - USA

New York Pavements

Not really landscape, but wonderful simplicity,
restrained palette, and graphic qualities that could be applied to landscape genre.

Ellen loCicero

24 x 24 inches

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)

Pomegranates, Majorca 14 x 18 inches.
John Singer Sargent was born in Italy to American parents,
and is best known for his portraits.

David Benson - Australia

North Head

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Edgar Alwin Payne (1882-1947) American

Sierra Mountains, 17 x 15 inches

Ernest Martin Hennings - American

Hilltown, St. Genette, French Riviera, 14 x 14 inches

Towering Pine, 1915, USA, 25 x 30 inches

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Steve Underwood Workshop

Date: Sunday August the 10th, 10 am until around 5pm. Balmoral country property.

We all painted the same scene (from a copies of a photograph), watching the teacher step by step, and learned to achieve atmospheric effects through colour and tone with a limited pallet. $40/student for a full day indoor workshop, which was very reasonable. Working indoors was good because we could concentrate on the techniques of the step by step lesson, and not get distracted by the vastness of nature and changing light/weather etc.
Steve emphasised getting correct tonal values and colour temperatures to create the illusion of depth. It was very helpful the way he put a dab of the paint he had mixed on our palettes, so we could try to match it.
We did the underpainting of the receding hills with French Ultramarine mixed with a little Alizarin Crimson, and progressively added white (and crimson?) as things got more distant. The foreground underpainting was quite dark. We did the reflections in the water at the same time.
Sky - just French Ultra and white, graduating whiter towards the horizon - leaving the white primer showing where clouds would be painted (this meant that there was no need to wait for the blue to dry, and no need to add many layers of white paint to cover the blue and get the clouds looking white enough. Where the sky meets the horizon, we blurred the hard edge a bit - particulary in the distance.

Clouds - it's important to keep the blue of the sky saturated enough so that you get enough contrast with the clouds. Avoid making the clouds too cottonwool-like - they can be painted quite roughly, with rough edges. We added a dot of yellow to warm up the white for the clouds, and added shadows of ultramarine with a dot of aliz crimson. White cloud painted next to dark cliffs enhanced tonal contrast.

Overpainting of vegetation. We mixed greens using cool yellow, ultramarine and white in the distance; progressing to viridian mixed with cad yellow, or cad orange, with less white in the foreground. A little yellow ochre for the closest areas. It's important that the underpainting be tacky/dry, not wet, when stippling the foliage over with a dry brush (no medium). We tried to leave some of the underpainting showing where there were shadows.

10 x 8" board, prepared beforehand with two coats of gesso primer. Steve used oil painting paper (he doesn't bother to gesso it). He uses regular house paint to prime his boards. Flat brushes of various sizes and a very small round brush for final little details. He recommends pig bristle flats (not nylon) as they produce messier, more natural marks. I was using brights (short bristles); he advised using longer bristles to get more 'flick' in the brushstrokes - this was very helpful.
We used table easels. A box of tissues was handy to wipe the brushes. Steve recommended a fast-drying (number one) medium, as he likes to paint alla prima, and so we needed the underpainting to dry quickly.
The following oil paints (Steve recommended Windsor and Newton) were used:
Opaque White
Lemon (cool) yellow
Cadmium (warm) yellow light, Cad orange
Yellow ochre
Burnt Sienna
Cool red, eg alyzarin crimson, permanent rose
Cadmium red (warm red)
Veridian or pthalo green (more intense green for foreground)
French Ultramarine Blue
Cobalt Blue (I don't think we used this)

Note: these colours are for painting the Australian lanscape. Other regions probably require a different palette.

Warwick Fuller

Upper Turon

Graham Cox - Australia

Graham Cox and Warwick Fuller exhibit at McGraths' Art Gallery, North Sydney.
See the site for exhibition dates:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ken Smith - Australian

Road to the Sea 2, 26 x 45 cm
A plein air artist, he uses his studio only for preparation, review and storage of work.

Kathryn Ryan - Australian

South West Evening, 122 x 183 cm
Ryan has exhibited in the Wynne Prize
This work, one of many on the same subject, sold for $11,000

Jan Schmuckal - USA

Into the Woods, 36 x 48

36 x 48

Gregory Manchess - USA


Gustav Klimt - Austrian

The Forest

Klimt was fond of using a square format, which enhanced the abstract qualities of the work, as observed in other posts. He was influenced by pointilism.

Thomas Moran - American

The Wilds of Lake Superior

Floodwaters and trees

This is a very low res photo, but I love the drama of floodwaters and windswept trees.

Unknown - Italian

Monti visti da Maroggia, 1935-40, olio su cartone, 68 x 90

Christopher Evans - American Contemporary

40 x 83

This artist writes that he works wet on wet, and that he is influenced by Poussin's formalism.