Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Burano Boats" Painting Today

"Burano Boats" work in progress, oil on Raymar panel, 16"h x 20"w, ©Jill Banks 2011
This is my second day painting on this scene from Burano, Italy ... the town of fishermen with impossibly bright colored houses along canals near Venice. I've painted a few scenes of Burano and each has become a favorite of mine and eventually of their owners.

More of Burano: "Pizza and Pesce," 8"h x 10"w, private collection.
I've been thinking a lot lately about my painting ... and reading up on landscape painting, looking intensely at paintings I admire, etc. I've been enjoying plein air painting but there is so much to learn! There are two big challenges for me. One is to get intense, glowing color in a single wet-into-wet (alla prima) session. Two is to handle the paint in these quick sessions while chasing the light. There are more ... but these two are my most obvious obstacles to overcome. Solutions I know for achieving glowing color rely on multiple painting sessions. And, paint handling comes naturally when I'm in full control developing the painting (i.e., when I'm in no rush and letting the subject reveal itself on canvas).

More Burano: "Food and Wine," 24"h x 36"w, private collection.
So, I've been on the lookout for solutions and may have found one. I read about a different approach to use for plein air that makes sense to me that should help with building the paint layers. Next painting start, I'll try it out ... and let you know. And, then I'll try it again. And again.

I've also decided to return to push colors further ... again. Time to experiment and see what happens.

New Discovery: Correcting Color Casts
"Boats in Burano," 8"h x 10"w, private collection.
Perhaps that's not an exciting title ... but in the last hour I made a startling discovery. I stopped working on my "Burano Boats" painting late tonight at the Artists' Atelier and photographed it under the Tungsten lights in the gallery which cast a yellow glow/film over everything. When I went in to edit and crop it in Photoshop Elements -- as I do each time I post -- I tried out a different edit tool under Adjust Color called Remove Color Cast. I put the dropper on the supposedly white base trim in the gallery and it adjusted the whole photo to remove the amount of yellow that was in the white. It was amazing!!! No more yellow casts for me!

Each time I learn something that makes life/my job much easier, I wonder why it had to take me so long. I suppose that's not the right outlook.

August 3 - 31: "100 Faces in 100 Days" on exhibit at the Artists' Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Open hours: Wednesdays through Saturdays, 12:30-6:00pm.

August 3-September 5: 'Scapes Exhibit at the Art League, 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria, VA. My entry, "A New York State of Mind," won Honorable Mention.

Thursday, September 8, 7:30pm: Demo for the Vienna Arts Society, Vienna, VA. More details to come.

Sunday, October 2, 10am-5pm: MPA McLean Artfest, juried outdoor arts festival, McLean Community Park, McLean, VA

Saturday and Sunday, October 15&16, 10am-5pm: Great Falls Annual Studio Tour. Major weekend long event with 47 artists from Great Falls Studios participating in a self-guided tour. I'll be in the Artists' Atelier, the studio I share with 14 other artists at 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls. Last year, the tour drew 7200+ visitors from throughout the DC area. Don't miss it!

To read more about the 100 Faces in 100 Days project on my web site (, go to the 100 Faces Project Pages 1 and 2 where you can see all 100 of my volunteers. Click on the paintings, and go to my blog post for that person's sitting.

100 Faces in 100 Days Project Page 1 (faces 1-54):
100 Faces in 100 Days Project Page 2 (faces 55-100):
Phone: 703.403.7435

1 comment:

Jerry Stocks said...

I am taking a college course in Photoshop and it is amazing. I had no idea so much could be done.