"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.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

White on White

"The White Church"
By James Swanson / Traveler Amber
22"x 28" Oil on Linen panel
Here is the Journey of this painting. Learn more about it below.

A warm walk on a cold day. 
The forecast called for snow and we got it. About 4" of the white stuff came down over night along with some cold temperatures.
Traveler Amber 
 But to our next Traveler that kind off stuff doesn't matter she's always prepared for it. And she should be because she's the family pet.
Pictures from that days walk. Fullersburg Woods
Amber is like the post office neither rain nor snow or (I think you get it) will keep her from her morning walks.
The Graue Mill

Amber is a wonderful companion to have on these walks. As she does her sniffing around I usually have time to stop and take a few pictures.

Salt Creek Dam
On this day Amber and I went down the road a bit to the forest preserve Fullersburg woods. On the short drive we passed a scene I've seen quite a few times and always wished I had my camera with me.
Faith Fellowship Church in Oak Brook Il
This time I did.
The Traveler painting "The White Church" Thanks to Amber I was able to see this view and knew it would make a nice painting.
Here are the steps to " The White Church"
The oil sketch on the canvas.
Even though there is a lot of white in this painting I still didn't
want to start with a white canvas. I rubbed in a mixture
of Burnt Sienna and drew in the paintings design.
The dark colors are painted in first. I almost always start this way.
 The darks in this painting are not a black kind of dark.
They are more of a mid tone type. They still have to separate into
warms and cools though.
I painted in the sky next to give me the relationship tone for the snow and lighter colors.
It was also important to work on the right softness to the tree line edge and the sky at that time..
The snow is painted in next. One of the thickest parts of the
painting are the light colors, and in this one there are a lot.
With the church and the houses painted in the canvas is totally blocked-in.
Now it;s time to make a few changes  to it.
Over all the painting need some warm ups. Here the snow gets a touch
 of warmth along with the church. I also went and cooled down the background trees.
They were coming forward to far in the scene.
Done. I put in some tracks in the snow to help lead the eye into the scene.

Details from the painting

Framed and ready to go.
"The White Church"
By James Swanson / Traveler Amber
22"x 28" Oil on Linen panel
I'd like to thank my dog Amber for getting me out on that cold day it was worth the frost bite. It has also opened my eyes to he beauty around me. Good Dog!
If any of you out there have your own journey that you would like to share contact me and Amber here or at www.theartistandthetraveler.org we are waiting to hear from you.
All righty then, off to my next spot to paint Talley Ho!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, and it Did.

"Ontario Street"
By James Swanson/ Traveler Troy Hayes
16"x 20" oil on linen panel

The painting journey of this painting. The full paint story is later in this blog.

A Stroll in the Snow.
This next Traveler Painting comes from a day that made history in Chicago this year. 
The snow started falling on February 1 and didn't stop. 
Traveler Troy Hayes, Chicago
The snowstorm that battered the area looks to be the 3rd biggest on record in Chicago, and braving that storm was old friend and Traveler Troy Hayes.
The view out Troy's window on to Lakeshore Drive at about 8 o clock.
The cars were sitting there since 3 o clock that after noon. At 3 o clock in the morning all the cars were left abandoned because of the storm
 These photos are from Troy's photo album of that days stroll in the snow.
21 inches fell in 24 hours. The drift were a little bigger.

Skier heaven in front of the Chicago Water Tower.
Looking down Walton St.

Michigan Avenue looking down Ontario Street.
This is the photo of Troy's I saw an felt inspired.
 Traveler Painting"Ontario Street" When I saw Troy's photo I asked right away if I could paint that one. I lived through this same storm too, but I was busy shoveling and Troy was out taking pictures. I saw his photo as a painting and knew exactly how I would go about painting it.
The painting steps to "Ontario Street"
The oil sketch. This how I laid out this painting. 
Troy is an old art director and it is hard to improve on his photo. 
As a painting everything was there it just needed to be moved a little off center.

Palette of colors to start this painting. 
Notice I'm painting a snow scene and there is no white. 
To me snow is never white. It is a color and it's either warm or cool.

Dark colors are painted in first. This gives the painting structure.
 Warm dark colors are painted in the foreground and cooler ones in the back. 
This starts creating the distance.

Buildings were the next thing that I put in.
 Half the painting is buildings and getting them put in moves this
painting forward pretty fast.

Snow time. Snow is warm or cool, not white.
With the snow roughed in the painting is Blocked-in.

The Start of putting in the painting details.

A little People time.
 Putting in the figures had to be done in the same manor 
as the rest of the painting.
Done.  Just enough details in the people to work.

Details from the painting.

Framed and ready to go.
"Ontario Street"
By James Swanson/ Traveler Troy Hayes
16"x 20" oil on linen panel
Traveler Troy has been a friend for a long time, and it was a pleasure having him be apart of this project.
I was I must say a little hesitant about showing Troy this painting, because I've respected his opinion as an art director for so long. He recently started a T-shirt company, checkout Troy's designs work here at Engine 29.com
Thanks Troy! And if you have an adventure that you would like to share with me contact me here or at the Artist and Traveler website I love hearing from people.
Until next time,Onward and upward.