Sunday, November 23, 2014

Urban Walk in Oregon City

Today, my brother took my Mom and I on an urban walk in Oregon City. Believe it or not, it didn't rain much, the sun even came out and the temperature was perfect for walking!!! This walk was full of variety! We saw barns, cows, trees, the river, trains, cormorants, historic houses and even got a good uphill on the way home! What a perfect activity for a Sunday morning! I took some photos and here they are!
Thank you Joe for a GREAT WALK!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Riverbank Music

This time of year vibrates with color! So many colors to paint!!!!!! Yellow leaves stand out against a deep blue-green background. It's been so interesting to look around at how colors stand out in relation to one another. To help the yellows stand out in this painting I used the Munsell color wheel. According to this color system, the complement of yellow is blue-violet and the accent colors are red-violet and blue-green. A little different color system from what we're used to but very effective!
Riverbank Music • 10" x 10" 
acrylic on 3/4" wrap around canvas, painting continues on sides, ready to hang

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Song of the Riverbank

One of the things that I really LIKE about where I live, is the proximity to rivers! I LOVE how the water and reflections change and the march of the seasons along the banks. Morning and afternoon sunlight highlight the gorgeous yellow leaves at this time of year. This painting is based on one of those river scenes where all the colors and shapes make a song.

Song of the Riverbank 
12" x 12" acrylic on 3/4" wrap around canvas, ready to hang

Saturday, November 15, 2014

My Newest Painting

This piece has been in my mind to paint for awhile. I just needed to find the right time! It spilled out over the last couple of days. Although I used a photo, I decided to do a value sketch to figure out the shape of the bird and some of the water ripples and where to crop.
You can see my crop and the shadow and light divisions on the bird in the sketch.

In the painting below,  I tried to juxtapose warm and cool colors. If I didn't change the color value too much but wanted to show a different shape, I changed color temperature. Some of the water is similar in value but because of the warm and cool shapes next to each other, the shapes show up. I also referred to the Munsell Color Wheel for ideas of which colors to use as highlights. This color wheel is a little different from the traditional 12 hue color wheel. Using descriptive brushwork, warm and cool color oppositions and differing color and value shapes, this piece has a lot of energy!
Swan Moment • 6" x 6" • View on Daily Paintworks

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Painting the Impressions of Lavender Fields

Adventures in purple characterized art class today as we painted our impressions of lavender fields in watercolor. Purple and green always go together partly because they make up two thirds of the triad, purple, orange and green. I wanted everyone to concentrate on color shapes and not worry about specifics! In other words, JUST PAINT!!!!! Below are the paintings that we created today!
Fields of lavender! What AWESOME pieces!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Paintings from Art Class Today

Today in class we painted leaves! Everyone enjoyed painting and everyone had a different interpretation of the subject. Below are the works from my class today! Autumn, that cool time of year when the wind blows a lot and the air is filled with colorful leaves!

Thanks everyone for allowing me to post your AWESOME work!

Always wanted to take an art class? Visit my website at Melissa Gannon and click on my classes page for my Winter schedule!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nature's Paintings

In downtown Portland today a chill wind blew from the East. Leaves flew through the air, surfing the currents, floating gently to the ground. Sunshine added light and shadow, illuminating everything it touched. Looking up, I started taking pictures of leaves in the trees looking like stained glass windows with the sunlight. My Mom pointed out the many colored leaves on the ground. And you know what? It was a complete painting, complete with a color scheme. AND…All the elements of design were present—line, shape, color, movement, size and perspective; as well as the principles of design—unity, harmony, contrast, rhythm, repetition, gradation, balance and dominance. Nature creates some of the best paintings!!!!!!
Aren't the colors AWESOME????
All text and photos ©Melissa Gannon 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Steps to Creating a Painting

Painting with acrylics is rewarding and very awesome because white covers everything! If you don't like something, you can paint it over! This gives a freedom due to the fact that anything can be changed.

In painting Autumn's Magic Wand, I went through several steps. On a toned canvas, I laid out the design and blocked in some of the color. You can see the orange tone of the canvas. This will unify the painting. Also it's neat to see what the colors do against the background color. Play a little! Putting strokes of white shows how bright that will look, pink sings against the orange, deeper reds show Autumn and suggestions of green indicate conifers.

In this next step I decided to add a little blue, remember that blue and orange are complements and blue will always look good next to orange! So it's a very safe color to put in. I've added to the background and added reflections. White stroked onto the tree trunks begins to make them pop.

 Now to add even more color! More white and yellow white in the sky for the sunspot, a little light blue to sing against the yellows and orange, dark in the foreground, more detail in the trees and more reflection. See how adding more white in the reflection area begins to change the color balance and value balance of the painting.

Autumn's Magic Wand ©Melissa Gannon 2014
View on Daily Paintworks
Here is the completed painting. Even more detail has been added to the foliage in the form of brush strokes, the land in the background is lighter and the foreground foliage stokes add character and interest. Overall, the toned orange in the background still shows through to add to the chorus of color.

All text and photos ©Melissa Gannon 2014 All rights reserved.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Acrylic Workshop — Acrylic Impressions — An Autumn Painting

Today I taught a workshop in acrylic—an impressionistic Autumn painting. Combining a couple of photos, I talked about composition and color, and did a demo. Everyone had FUN! Some people painted their first acrylic painting! A great way to spend the day and celebrate the season. Below, with permission from the artists, is that work that everyone did today. Everyone had a unique interpretation of the subject and an individual color scheme. What AWESOME work!
What colorful celebrations of Fall!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bike Ride Views

Today the sun appeared after a morning of chilly, misty fog! Every time the sun comes out here in the Northwest, I immediately feel that I should be outside celebrating!!!!!!!! Woohoo!!!!! SUNSHINE!!!!!! So, this afternoon I went for a bike ride and brought my camera, the better to appreciate the views of Autumn! Some of my photos are below.
Views on my bike ride today! What a difference the sun makes!!!!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Leaves Overlooking the Water and Kitty Perfection — A green-eyed kitty out for a walk!

My latest reading material has been revisiting the Impressionists. Analyzing the way that Monet, Renior, Cezanne, and other impressionistic painters used color and created compositions has been very illuminating. I have read these books before but every time I look at them again I see something new. Closing my eyes, I see dabs of alternating color!!!!!!! How to make reds sing, what to do with yellows, what kinds of color combinations work—all this and more were so well addressed by these painters.

So while creating my newest pieces colors danced in my head and vibrated together. Leaves Overlooking the Water is inspired by the turning season and the river by my house. I took the photo while wandering along the riverbank. I want to paint from this photo again; I think that there are multiple painting possibilities in this reference. Below is the reference photo and the painting.
This is a photo of leaves above the water.
Leaves Overlooking the Water • Original acrylic on cradled gessoboard • 12" x 12" • Buy now on Etsy

My latest kitty painting, Kitty Perfection, practically painted itself! It's SO AWESOME when a painting does that! This calico kitty with blues and greens on a peachy background vibrates with color and brush strokes. A fun piece with a great composition. The painting is below.
Kitty Perfection • acrylic on cradled clayboard • 8" x 8" • Buy now on Etsy

 All text and photos ©Melissa Gannon 2014