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Learning to landscape – and a couple of Life Drawings

February 18, 2009

I’m working hard in this oil painting class.  Right now, we’re working on landscapes, which is doubly hard for me, as I have absolutely no sensitivity to landscapes. Put a building in it and I start to get interested…

The first one I did followed Nel’s step-by-step instructions.  It was outright war between my left brain, who was trying to be methodical, and my right brain who just wanted to just slap the color down.  I threw the first on out and wrote down 10 abridged notes based on the instructions.  I stopped following them at about N° 5, but the results were an improvement over the first attempt.

Then I did one on my own, from a photograph.  Already, I felt that I’d internalized some of the technique.  Nel gave me a few suggestions, and I’m leaving it at that.

I’m still very clumsy – it’s frustrating to learn a new medium! When I look at them I see all kinds of things I should do over, but I think it’s time to move on.  These are all done on canvas paper, and I don’t count on hanging on to them.  With watercolor, I sometimes just do it  over until I’m happy, but oils are a much slower process.

And here are a couple of life drawings – there are more on Flickr.  We’ve had some amazing models lately, including one young man who had never modeled before.  I guess some people are just so naturally graceful that they automatically pose beautifully. I know I’d be hopeless!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2009 3:17 pm

    Youare really getting into this oil painting just wonderfully!! And your life drawings are always fabulous!

  2. February 18, 2009 3:28 pm

    Casey, you just get better and better all the time. The life drawings are glowing and beautiful, and these oil landscapes are to die for. I am amazed at how quickly you’re learning to do such lovely paintings. I completely relate to you and your landscape comments–I feel overwhelmed when I think about painting a landscape before me. You’ve done a stunning job.

  3. February 18, 2009 4:13 pm

    Your oil paintings are looking good, and I love your figure studies.

    Landscapes make no sense to me, but they are good for improving skills, understanding color and values, etc. Including a building does help, but those usually come with bunches of time-consuming windows. People are much more interesting to me.

  4. February 18, 2009 5:30 pm

    I always love your life drawings–the model can make all the difference (we had one who always seemed to spur me to do my best work: I miss her!). The oil paintings are wonderful too, though. I think you DO have a feeling for landscape. Your first one is, I think, astounding for a first effort!

  5. February 18, 2009 6:15 pm

    I am so “not into landscapes” that I can’t even fully appreciate how well you are doing with oils. I need at least one building, but preferably many buildings and just one tree before my interest peaks. But I love your figures! As Always.

  6. sandy permalink
    February 18, 2009 7:17 pm

    Your life drawings always capture so much soul – the oils, I do not understand at all – but these have great depth and value and are quite captivating, you will only improve too.

  7. annie permalink
    February 19, 2009 5:57 am

    I agree with the rest– lovely lines in the figure studies and the landscapes have a special touch. I
    think they do work but you may have a different goal
    and so you are disappointed by them. I especially like the first one. If you put them away and look at them in a month, you might find that you like them more than before.

  8. February 19, 2009 11:08 am

    Like a duck to water is Casey to Oils 🙂 I think the first is a stunning effort too but you’ve done a great job on the water in the second. Can we expect to see you painting en plein air this Spring?

    Beautiful figure studies – I’m particularly envious of the female sketches because they would make lovely etchings.

  9. February 19, 2009 2:52 pm

    Hi Casey,

    Love your website. Your landscapes are so inviting and the figure drawings have such grace and movement.

  10. February 19, 2009 6:45 pm

    Good for you for pushing outside of your comfort zone and then for being brave enough to display your early efforts in public. That’s the way to really commit yourself. Fledgling attempts can be frustrating but it is the only way to begin. Which reminds me, back to the beginnings of MY new project. Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. February 22, 2009 2:01 pm

    Your figures are really wonderful and I love your landscapes.Hang in there with oil…you have anatural flair.

  12. February 22, 2009 4:42 pm

    Great butt in the bottom drawing! Your life drawings are getting stronger and stronger–you’ve really got a feel for this type of drawing. Well, perhaps ‘feel’ is not the most felicitous word ;D.
    As for the landscapes and oil painting, you’ve got half the battle won because you are putting in lots of value contrasts already. Many beginning oil painters struggle with this, but not you! Great job, madame!

  13. February 24, 2009 12:26 am

    Your drawings are just stunning! Wow!

  14. February 26, 2009 3:37 pm

    you are developing at leaps and bounds! I wish I was as far along in oil. I love the medium but am nowhere near where you already are! Your work in any medium is beautiful!

  15. March 8, 2009 2:02 pm

    It looks to me like you are going to master oils very quickly! You have such a good eye for color and composition — and already your first works are excellent!
    That last figure drawing — wow! It is a favorite!

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