"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson

"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson
"Sour Milk Gill" From the award winning painting series.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Half Moon Bay

"Beachwood at Half Moon Bay"
By James Swanson and Traveler Barry
12'x36" on canvas

View the journey of this painting.

My next Traveler is a new friend on this Painting Journey. Traveler Barry and I have never met, but our paths crossed a few months back and I thought it was interesting how we met.

I was working on an advertising project and needed reference on what a beech tree looked like. I did a search for images and came a cross this beautiful landscape shot. I loved the color and lighting and knew it would make a great painting.

This picture was in a web magazine Coastsider
And it was shot by Traveler Barry near Half Moon Bay CA

So I looked up who shot the photo to find out more about it. It was kind of strange to contact a perfect stranger, but what the heck making new friends is what this project is about.

Barry was out visiting some land that he was doing a story on and took a few shots for his story. Traveler Barry was kind enough to send me the photos he had taken that day. The pictures he sent were all just wonderful and I could see them all turned into paintings.

Barry also had this comment when I asked to paint his photo,"Sure. BTW, that plot of land is still at the center of much controversy. I'd also love to see it painted as a scenic because on of the local yahoos declared it to be an eyesore."

One man's junk is another man's treasure, and this proves it. Thanks Barry for your time and photos, it's always nice to meet a new friend.

Beachwood Aged Painting: When I first saw the images Traveler Barry had sent me my jaw dropped. I was hoping for just a little more clarity about the spot I wanted to paint and got enough beautiful images for a whole series of paintings.

The Sketch- I was thinking when I saw this picture it would be just a nice little painting. A quick paint probably. After looking at what canvases I had in the studio I decided to take a shot at a long skinny painting 12"x36". Here's the sketch on canvas. This feels good, real good. What I want to do here is great a way for the viewer to get into this painting. So I'm working the shadows to zigzag me in. I'm trying a phthalo blue on my palette for the first time in a long time. It's a really strong color and a little difficult for me to mix in with the rest of the colors. It did make a few color combinations I use different, different in a good way.

Blocked-in. I'm trying a type of canvas that I never painted on before. It's really kind of slick. My brush strokes are acting a little funny not grabbing and taking hold of the canvas. I found thicker paint helps the strokes.
That was pretty fast. I must have mixed the right colors on my palette. With this type of canvas I've found it easier to smooch the paint around and am able to scratch back into the white of the canvas.

Artist Tip: Cool colors against warm colors is a good thing. Warm against cool and cool against warm is all-good. They are a good way to turn an object and give it form. Look at the little houses here. Warm light from where the sun hits and cool for the shadow side.

End of Day 1- I think I'm done or almost done. I like what I see; the long format works well with this image. Day 2: Wow I came in this morning and the painting was lying on the ground face up. Some how it fell off the easel. Weird. But the good thing is it must have done a full gainer to land right side up. That's good because still like what I see. With just a few adjustments in color and brush strokes it's done.
Details from the painting.

Here's my Beachwood aged painting.

"Beachwood at Half moon Bay"
By James Swanson
12"x36" Oil on Canvas

That was fun; I think I'm going to do a few more from that spot to go with this painting. Thanks to Traveler Barry for the pic and to you for stopping in, now I'm going back to Amsterdam to finish a painting, but after that who knows where in this world I'll be setting up my easel. You can also find me at http://www.facebook.com/TheArtistAndTheTraveler

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Have a good travel story and some fun and interesting pictures and we can get started on a painting journey.E mail me here with
name, place, and a few pics of the spot,and I'll get back to you.