Tuesday, July 21, 2009



Irrigation Time

Oil on board, 5" x 7"
$125 plus $6 shipping in U.S.
Email don@dailyartwest.com for purchase

The irrigation ditches are bankful now, as everyone tries to keep their fields from drying up in the summer heat. I love watching the summer sky reflected in that limpid water.

Here's a progress photo of the mural after the third day of work:



The cat...er...dog's out of the bag--Winslow is the real artist!

It's proceeding pretty methodically, working from the top down. I got used to working this way because on larger murals it's a huge chore to set and reset scaffolding. You can't easily jump from place to place on the wall, so you try to finish an area before you move everything.

The challenge so far has been to control value and color to keep the distant valley and sky back in space. I have just started indicating the hills in middle distance, which are darker in value and a little more saturated in color. I'm really enjoying working with oils, though it is drying a little faster than I expected due to the heat spell we're experiencing.

Katherine continues to work on her large canvas. Check out the progress shot on her blog. She brings her poodle cross Maggie to the studio, and she and Winslow have become great pals. Here's a little movie showing how the studio has "gone to the dogs:"


video

11 comments:

rahina qh said...

love the new painting, the light is beautiful on the tree trunks. and great to get pics and updates on the mural... and those dogs, it is a wonder they aren't covered in paint or resulted in you falling off the scaffolding:)) r.

Katherine said...

Love the clip of Winslow and Maggie it turned out well. The mural looks fantastic. And of course I already told you I like the daily, love the richness of the blue!

silvina said...

Don I'm so exited that you're showing us this mural in progress. In an earlier post you mentioned that you thin the oils with turp or medium in little covered containers. Will any disposable plastic food containers work?

Don Gray said...

Thanks, Rahina. Yes, the dogs! Fortunately they don't do this all day. They lay around for quite awhile, then get up and wrestle around for about 5 minutes. Maggie is older than pup Winslow, so she's teaching him how to "chill." :>}

Don Gray said...

Hi Katherine--thank you for those nice comments. It's fun watching your large painting evolve.

Don Gray said...

Hi Silvina. Yeah, any container with a sealable lid, like Tupperware. I often can find serviceable ones at the Dollar Store.

Don't mix medium with the paint, especially any of the alkyd resins like Liquin, which will dry and curdle the paint right in the container. Just use mineral spirits or turps. I have a separate container of Liquin, and mix it with my colors on a large glass palette. The point of thinning is to have a flowing paint so I can quickly mix large quantities and cover large areas quickly. By far the largest amount needed is white, the other colors can be thinned using far less amounts.

Sheila Vaughan said...

Would love to see you working on this mural Don as I still can't quite imagine the process. Mixing huge quantities of paint but still maintaining that variation in colour and tone that you obviously have. Winslow looks a real treat! He has a face like our Ash but those short, stocky dachsund legs. You have to watch you don't trip over those two pals when you're getting down from the ladder!

silvina said...

Thanks for explaining that, Don.

Don Gray said...

Well, Sheila, the quantities of paint are not real huge. I rarely pre-mix colors, I mix them on the palette a brushload or two at a time. I'll try to do a post showing the palette. Pre-thinning the oil just makes it quicker to mix, so speeds up the process. With acrylic murals I use a pourable acrylic called Novacolor to start with.

Winslow has won our hearts. He's a sweetheart, even though his puppiness sure keeps us hopping. He loves having Maggie at the studio.

Don Gray said...

You're most welcome, Silvina. Maybe your next post we'll see you on a mural wall, eh?

Sheila Vaughan said...

Don thanks - I was very interested to hear you mix your colours directly on the palette and yes, if you have the time I would love to see the palette - thank you!