Monday, January 15

Painting Summer in the Middle of Winter

Sunflowers!
Oil on Paper
12 x 16 in/30.5 x 40.6 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2018
During this long and, surprisingly, cold winter even here in the semi-tropics, I find that painting summer scenes helps. Or at least it helps me get through January.

I hope this warms you up, in the northern hemisphere anyway. I did this one in oil on gessoed Arches 140 lb/300gsm watercolor paper. It makes a very nice, if somewhat unorthodox, painting surface. The gesso keeps the oil paint on the surface, and it's that great trxture of Arches paper I really like. I may do one using acrylic next.

Oh, and Happy New Year, too.

Monday, December 18

Season's Greetings 2017

Three Christmas Candles
Oil on Canvas Panel
5 x 7 in/12.7 x 17.8 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017
As 2017 draws to a close, I'm happy to report that I am finally back again to my painting--pigments, palette, paper, and canvas! This after a devastating hurricane and subsequent record-breaking flood inundated our region at the end of August.

Heartbreaking and deadly, the storm upended lives and families. My home did not flood this year, but two members of my family lost their homes and many possessions. Fortunately, no one was hurt, at least not physically, but since then it has taken all my time and energy to help out. After 3 1/2 months life is just beginning to return to a new normal, but it will take years to completely recover.

I now have some time and, more importantly, the ability to concentrate on painting and creativity. And it came just in time for the holidays. It's difficult to explain just how important that is to a painter's well-being

The image above in today's blog is my first painting since the storm. I hope you enjoy it, and we painters can all look forward to our great and beautiful paintings to come in the new year.

Monday, August 21

Try Painting with Abstraction

Out of the Blue
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
12 x 12 in/30.5 x 30.5 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017
Note, I didn't say abstract painting but painting with abstraction. There is a difference, and that is that an abstract painting can be just about whatever the painter says it is--a purple banana, an eyeball on an elbow, mere blobs/drips, no problem.

Painting with abstraction is the art of painting with less realism, sometimes much, much less. It's what many call painting "looser" or maybe more impressionistically. Whatever you call it, it's what I have been attempting to do lately.

Why? Because I like it, for one. I have recently been admiring some of the more abstract paintings that have been pinned on Pinterest. I also think it makes a painting that much more engaging for the viewer. You don't have to put in every little brushstroke so there's no question you're painting leaves on a tree.

Try giving it a little mystery and let the viewers imagine what they will--whatever that is. Try painting with abstraction.

I hope you enjoy my work.

Monday, August 14

Painting a 'Little Gem'

Night Line
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
5 x 7 in/12.7 x 17.7 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017
It's been a couple of years since I painted and/or blogged about little gems, not since 2015 to be exact.

If you don't know what a little gem is, it's what I refer to as any small painting--small being 36 square inches (about 232 square centimeters) or less.

I'll tell you why I like little gems. They make you:

- immediately decide the most important things about your painting (composition, viewpoint, focal point)

- paint small, almost miniature, which means you naturally leave out all but the most necessary details

- control your painting world in a very confined space

- paint rather quickly because you can fill up the space with a few brushstrokes

Today's image is only 5 x 7 in (12.7 x 17.7 cm) and was completed in way less than one hour.

I hope you enjoy my work.

Monday, August 7

Another Acrylic on Paper

Night Sky
Acrylic on Arches Paper
9 x 12 in/23 x 30 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017
If you keep up with this blog at all, then you know I've recently had a penchant for painting acrylic on watercolor paper, Arches paper to be specific.

I really enjoyed working on this one. The challenge was to paint the clear night sky with few brushmarks  so that it appeared as real as possible--that and the dying sun rays, too.

I hope you enjoy my work.

Friday, July 28

Painting an Acrylic Landscape

Greens and Blues
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
24 x 18 in/60 x 45 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017
As I have said before, I enjoy painting landscapes, and this one was no exception.

Taken from a reference photo, I didn't have to do too much cropping to find a pleasing composition: high horizon line with a river for a lead-in.

I used pencil to free-hand the main components.
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Next, I considered the palette colors: ultramarine blue, pthalo green, titanium white, violet light blue, yellow ochre, cad yellow light, permanent green light, terra verte, viridian, alizarin crimson.

I painted the sky first. I painted the mountains second. Then I painted the river (first pass). Next I painted the various values of greens of the fields, flatlands and foothills. Then I painted in the trees and other foliage. I did a second pass on the river to show the still as well as moving water and the reflections of the trees.

I let it sit for a day and then gave it a final pass to make refinement; that is, adjust lost-and-found edges, strengthen highlights, and another pass on the sky.

I hope you enjoy my work.


Sunday, July 16

Impressionist Portraits Series 6

Young Mary Cassatt (from Public Domain photo)
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
8 x 10 in/20 x 25 cm)
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017
Another painting in my Impressionists Portraits Series, this one of a young Mary Cassatt. I used thinned down acrylic so that it acted similar to watercolor. I also used the naturally transparent acrylic colors of Hansa yellow, cobalt blue, and primary red (similar to permanent rose) along with alizarin crimson, which is semi-transparent. I hope you enjoy my work,

Friday, July 7

Another Encore Painting

Stucco Lighthouse
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
24 x 18 in/61 x 46 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2014

I found another painting "in the back of my closet" in the studio that I decided to frame and hang so that I could look at it all summer long. I remember how much I enjoyed working on this back in 2014.

I hope you enjoy it this summer, too.


Friday, June 30

Acrylic Painting on Paper

Picacho Peak
Acrylic on Arches Paper
12 x 3.5 in/30 x 9 cm (image size)
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017
Well, I decided to spend some of my painting time this week working in acrylic on watercolor paper, Arches 140 lb/300 g/m2 paper to be exact. The great weight, texture, and finish of this product make it perfect for painting with acrylics as if they were watercolor.

I also decided to paint two of my favorite subjects: panoramic landscapes and New Mexico, this of Picacho Peak near Las Cruces in the southern part of the state.

If you haven't tried acrylic on watercolor paper yet, especially Arches, you should. You're in for a painterly treat!

Tuesday, June 20

A Landscape for the Summer Season

West of Roswell
Acrylic on Board
24 x 24 in/61 x 61 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017
Sometime during the day today or tomorrow will be the "official" start of summer in the northern hemisphere. On that happy occasion, I thought I'd post one of my latest paintings.

It's a summery landscape of a scene in the southwestern US state of New Mexico. As a former resident of the Land of Enchantment, I can tell you there is a lot of beautiful scenery to paint there.

I hope you enjoy my work, and a  happy summer to you.