More paintings of beautiful North Carolina fall! I love the colors of North Carolina Fall. Last year, I did many plein air paintings during the fall. Plein air pieces are normally quarter to half sheet in size. I wanted to capture autumn’s glory on larger scale. So I painted below pieces in my studio. All the paintings were painted on full sheet of Arches Cold Press 140 lb paper. Due to the scale of the paintings and the amount of water I used, I had to stretch the paper. I have tried different ways of stretching the paper. The only stretching technique that has worked for me is Nita Engle’s technique. Nita has shared this technique in her book. This technique keeps the paper flat during the painting process. Arches Cold Press paper, once stretched, is a joy to use. It takes the washes and lifting well.
I have been trying new paints, and papers. And although I have achieved good results on variety of surfaces, I have liked Saunders and Arches papers the best. For drawings, I have recently started using Stonehenge paper and love it. One of the new surface I have tried this year is Ampersand Aquabord, This is certainly a unique surface which I will be writing about later.
Fall. Trees. Fallen leaves. Fallen tree. One of those will be enough for me to make a painting! This painting has all! I started this watercolor on location at the Durant Nature Park. I used hot-pressed watercolor paper. I love the smoothness of this paper as I can draw details. And I love to draw! Painting on smooth surface is different from the usual rough surface that I use, especially when painting en plain air. And then there is the usual challenge of painting hundreds of leaves! But, watercolor is amazing that way. This was half sheet and the light was low. So, I finished this painting back in my studio.
This painting was inspired by Thomas Moran! Thomas Moran is one of my favorite artists. I am amazed by his watercolor and gouache paintings. His oil landscapes are simply beautiful! One of his oil landscape is in the collection of NC Museum of Art. Sadly, NC Museum of Art does not have a single watercolor painting, of any artist! I am hoping that will change one day soon. I would love to see watercolors of Sargent, Homer, Wyeth, Moran, Turner or Victorian masters in NC Museum of Art.
This painting is of Secret Creek. Durant Nature Park in Raleigh. I saw this view at dusk few days ago. I wanted to capture fall colors and decided to use Gouache. I have made Gouache paintings in the past and have to admit that it is not an easy medium to control! But, there is a benefit to studying works of master like Moran as compared to watching DVDs that claim to teach you “How to paint Watercolors in two days” or “How to paint trees” and so on! So, I worked patiently through some early disasters and mistakes. I started with a drawing on tinted paper. I soon lost the drawing under the layers of opaque paint. I recovered some of that from wiping the paint off. But, most of the drawing was achieved with paints. I am happy with the result. I consider this to be one of my best Gouache paintings.
I am fascinated by trees and leaves! Fortunately for me, Durant Nature Park has plenty of both! I love painting there and also making studio paintings of things I observe there. There are layers of leaves in this painting. I painted four or five leaves and let watercolors paint the rest!
Most of the fall colors will be gone soon. Then it will be time to paint bare trees…
This is Rainwater street in Raleigh. The street runs through the North Ridge Country Club golf course. and looks beautiful anytime of the year. But, more so during the fall. I was driving around Raleigh one rainy day this fall and absolutely loved this scene! I will be more watercolors and may be an oil or two of that rainy day in Raleigh. This painting will also be on sale at my upcoming Art show on November 30. Please checkout the right blurb for details. I look forward to seeing there…
These are some of my new fall plein air paintings, executed in different media: watercolor, gouache, and oil. “Plein Air” means painted outdoors. I like to paint just about anywhere. Someday I will be able to travel and paint. But, now I am enjoying painting locally. I often paint at Durant nature park in my neighborhood. It is amazing how many new things I see, every time I am out there (thank you Andrew Wyeth for teaching me how to see)! I have simplified my oil painting setup, so, I am able to execute more oil paintings outdoors. I am learning the oil palette of master artist Richard Schmid. As for watercolors, the master artist I follow is Joseph Zbukvic. Both do phenomenal work.
These paintings are available framed. Please click on the images for more information.