"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.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Great White North.

"Still Water"
by James Swanson / Traveler Eric
8"x 10" Oil on Panel

See the journey of this Painting.

When it rains it pours, and what do you do when you're in the middle of a hike and this happens?
My new Traveler in this painting adventure Eric knows.

Traveler Eric

Traveler Eric, is another new friend of mine that I've never met in real life. I kind of stumbled across Eric while I was doing research for another art project, and it was a very lucky slip on my part.

One of Eric's photos from this hiking trip.

You see Eric is an avid hiker from Canada-The Great White North, get it? sorry- and he has hiked, biked, or caved everywhere there and also loves to take photos to document the trips. A perfect fit for this Traveling art concept.

Just a walk in the woods?

Eric has agreed to let me paint a few of his wonderful adventures, and I'd like to say, I am very happy to have Eric on board for for this painting journey. He has a very nice eye for his photography and gets to places I could never get to also.

The start of this journey.

It's hard not to remember that place. It was about a 2 hour hike thru grass higher than our waist
- and all of it sopping, dripping with dew. We were soaked within a few minutes.

A little bit of dew.

Then there was the climb up the canyon walls. The best part was coming down a day later - in the rain - and coming down waterfalls while hanging onto trees and whatnot.

Here are pictures at the campsite at the end of the pond. We just had a day of fairly heavy rain and the sound of water coming down from the plateau is all around you. Where there was dry rock the day before there are now waterfalls.

The image I choose to work from.

Traveler Eric's Painting: "Still Water"

When I came across Eric and his photo's I was blown away by where this guy has been and how he got around. My feet hurt just looking at all his photos. Since I have just finished my vacation of Plein Air Painting I thought I'd keep it going a little longer and try and painting one of Traveler Eric's images in that style.

Like always, I start with the sketch. I try it get familiar with my subject before I dive in.

Since I'm painting this Plein Air style I'm going to work small 8"x 10" on a wood panel I prepared.

Artist Tip:One of the best tips I ever received in Plein Air Painting is to mix the main painting colors that you see in the subject before you start to paint. That way I paint fast and can capture lighting effects that probably drew me in to paint the scene in the first place. I use this idea in all my painting, it's good way to plan out the painting before you paint.

Moving fast I block in the darks for the structure of the painting.

In Plein Air Painting you have to work quickly or you will lose the light. Working this way brings out big bold brush strokes, because there is no time to dilly dally here. Here I am putting in the sky and water.since the water is reflecting the sky this goes quite quickly.

Fully blocked in. Time to go back in and adjust some colors.

I added a sky hole just to add a little more interest to the sky and water and to lead the viewers eye around.

Done pretty much just need to work on the paint edges. Paint edges are really important, they are almost as important as color. Hard edges of paint strokes come foreword soft edges recede in space.

Done. Here are some Details of the painting.

Framed and ready to go.

"Still Water"
by James Swanson / Traveler Eric
8"x 10" Oil on Panel

I painted this pretty fast, not as fast as if I were in the field, but pretty fast. I had the luxury of the sun not moving and the rain not hitting me.

Thanks goes out to Traveler Eric, for his time and images for this Traveling art adventure. We will be seeing a lot more of Eric I'm sure, because like I said earlier he's been a hiking all over Canada and what not, and he has some real nice photos too.
If you had a great trip somewhere and have a story to tell about it, go to my web site TheArtistAndTheTraveler.org and let me know. From here I'm going to be mozy-ing on down the road to meet up with a old friend but new Traveler in the San Juan Islands. Watch your top knot.

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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.