Friday, May 26

Impressionist Portraits Series 5

Frederic Bazille (from Public Domain photo)
Oil on Canvas Panel
8 x 10 in/20 x 25 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017
Here's another painting in my series of Impressionist portraits--this of Frederic Bazille, whose life and career were cut short with his untimely death at age 29 in the Prussian-Franco War.

Friday, May 19

Paint a Panorama

Heading West
Acrylic on Arches watercolor paper
12 x 3.5 in/30 x 9 cm (image size)
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017
Pan-o-ram-a, noun: an unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer.

Well, that defines what a panorama is. So, when I say I like to paint panoramas of landscapes, I suppose what I really mean is I like to paint partial panoramas of landscapes. That is, I paint more of a 180-degree view, not a 360-degree view. Just wanted to clear that up for any compulsive-obsessives out there.

Be that as it may, I love painting panoramas.

They're open and usually vast in scope. They're a vista of a hopefully scenic view, if that's not too redundant.

They make me want to paint, and then they make me want to soar. You can find panoramic landscapes everywhere, or you can close your eyes and imagine one.

I like to use Arches watercolor paper, either 140 lb or 300 lb (300 gsm or 638 gsm) with an aspect ratio of at least 1:2 or better, 1:3 or 1:4.

I also like to use acrylic as if it were watercolor. This allows for flowing washes and unexpected delightful outcomes without constraining creativity.

Paint a panorama and let yourself soar!

Saturday, May 13

Finding Value in an Encore Painting

From the Pier
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
36 x 24 in/91 x 61 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2008
By encore painting, I mean one that you painted sometime in the distant past. I recently shuffled through a rather crowded upstairs closet and came across a stash of several paintings I did in the late 2000s.

Seems like ancient painting history now, but I was surprised at how well they stood the test of time, at least my  test of time.

This painting is a view of Santa Barbara painted after a trip to that beautiful region of California. It was painted from a reference photo I took from their city pier looking up at the city and surrounding mountains. The photo was quite remarkable, if I do say so, being taken at the height of the "golden" hour one evening in September of 2008.

Reviewing your past paintings is a good exercise. It marks a time in your painting development. It lets you see how much you have hopefully improved over time. It's a win-win in that maybe you can find an old favorite to sell or hang and get your closet cleaned out at the same time.

I hope you find one of your own encore paintings to enjoy.

Saturday, April 22

Impressionist Portraits Series 4

Edgar Degas (from Public Domain photo)
Oil on Canvas Panel
8 x 10 in/20 x 25 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017
Another in my portrait series of the Impressionists--this one of Edgar Degas. If you recall, in January I attended a great Degas exhibition at the MFAH--

If you want to put your painting skills, not to mention your patience, to a test, try a portrait!

Thursday, April 13

Another Bluebonnet Painting

Yes, Another Bluebonnet Painting
Acrylic on Arches Paper
26 x 18 in/66 x 46 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017
Well, it had been four years since I painted a bluebonnet, so disregarding my blog post from 2013, I went ahead and painted another one. I hope you enjoy the view of the Texas Hill Country.

Monday, April 3

Impressionist Portraits Series 3

Gustave Caillebotte (from Public Domain Photo)
Oil on Canvas Panel
 8 x 10 in/20 x 25 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017

Another painting in the Impressionist portraits series---Gustave Caillebotte

Tuesday, March 21

Impressionist Portraits Series 2

Berthe Morisot (from Public Domain Photo)
Oil on Canvas Panel
8 x 10 in/ 20 x 25 cm
Copyright 2017
Another portrait in my series of the Impressionists.

Sunday, March 5

Impressionist Portraits Series 1

Young Monet from Carjat
Watercolor on Paper
Impressionists Portrait Series No. 1
Copyright 2016 Byrne Smith
As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, I was studying portraiture. This is the first in my series of Impressionists portraits. This is a re-post from my blog honoring Monet's birthday, November 14.

Friday, February 17

Keep Warm with a Painting

Sand 'N Sea
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
10 x 8 in/25.5 x 20.3 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017
Can't think of a better way to help keep warm in the middle of winter than to paint a warm-weather motif. I painted this beach scene to warm up--just thinking about the sun and sand while I painted took the chill away.

Try it and let it warm you up...


Monday, January 30

Paint a Freebrush* Watercolor

Kitty Cats
Watercolor on Paper (framed)
7 x 5 in/18 x 13 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2017
Today's blog is a follow-on to one posted right after the holidays; that is, painting a family member's pet (or pets) using freebrush,

In case you missed that one, *freebrush is simply using your brush in the same way an artist uses a pencil, pen, or whatever, to draw freehand. Rather than first sketching or drawing (or transferring, or projecting) an image, you simply begin to paint after very carefully and thoughtfully looking at and evaluating your motif.

Just so you know, Kitty Cats was painted from a combination of reference photos.

Does freebrush sound daunting? Well, it can be, especially at first. But as I said, with experience comes control. I hope you find a looseness and freedom in painting this way that you haven't experienced before.