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Updated 1/3/10

The Daily Paintings and Postcard-Sized Sketches in Oils and Acrylics

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February 2009

2 This is a 16 x 20 oil painting I started a year ago--in August--as a demonstration piece for the wonderful folks up in Sebastopol. I was demonstrating morning light, and painted it to this point in about 45 minutes, talking all the time!

Knowing the Color System allows an experienced artist to make good color choices quickly. However I'm sure you'll agree that this painting is far from finished! Now it's time to pull it through to that finished state by working with the larger shapes to make them more interesting.
13 Take a look at this canvas and compare it with the last post, and see if you can see what I've done on this 16 x 20 oil. I've spent my time going over the canvas, making those large initial color shapes far more interesting.

It isn't finished yet, but coming along nicely. I'll post it when the signature is on, and I've fixed some of the issues that are in my head about it.
17 This 9 x 12 acrylic was done as the workshop demonstration piece for evening light, using the Color System. Nine participants finished up three intense days of painting from 9 to 4:30, learning the Color System for time of day here in my studio last weekend, and this was from the second day, in the afternoon.

I used the cool box colors to lay in all of the distances and shadows before judiciously putting the warms into the nearby lights and on the meadow. Evening light is showing as the influence of cadmium orange on the lights, and an interesting thalo blue/cadmium orange light on that blue spruce.
22 Victoria Avenue in Riverside is one of the most lovely routes through a beautiful city. Today I joined the Plein Air Artists of Riverside who were sited along its length painting on location as part of the Plein Air Paint-Out, through next weekend.

This is a 16 x 24 acrylic, and I completed it in about two hours. The weather was overcast, and no distinct light source defined any shadows. I didn't EVEN open the warm boxes of the Color System!

It has gone on to win Best in Show for the Plein Air event!

23 I'm using some of the photographs I took in Georgia last year to create this morning light landscape of the forests, fields and fences of the area on Fay's farm. This is the rough design, painted over a scuffed orange wash to get rid of the white.

You can already see the tension created by the horizontal fence line, the verticals of the tree trunks, and the angled fence line taking you into the picture plane. Interesting how just a few lines can already create a feeling of depth on a flat surface. The color will only enhance this! I'll be using the Color System to depict morning light. I know there will be an animal or animals in the composition, but right now I haven't decided where they'll go. I know they'll be back further, so you'll have to seek them out, traveling the design path to get to them. Painting is such fun!
24

Two for one, today! The Spaghetti Factory building in Riverside is the first painting. I started and finished this yesterday on location, under wet skies, as part of the Riverside Plein Air Paint Out. Most of the other artists picked the diagonal corner across from the building, but I liked the distant sky light above the vined walkway on the opposite corner instead. This 12 x 12 acrylic was done, like the Victoria Avenue piece, completely with the Cool Box from the Color System. The streets were wet, and traffic was light, so it was a fun paint. Took me about an hour and a half for this artwork.

And for your additional pleasure, here's the second pass on the 30 x 40 oil that dominates my studio. I'm quite pleased with the way it is coming along, and will share more images of it tomorrow. I'm laying in the large color fields to get the canvas covered (no mean feat with this large of a surface!) and paying close attention to the mid-range of values that need to fill this area so that the gorgeous backlit foliage will really get attention. Again, I'm completely in the Cool Box as I paint the soft mid tones.
25 I have the title for this one... "Secret Pasture". Many times when I work on a painting, a title will come and sit with me and smile, offering its name, and so it is with this one. Seems I am moved to paint places like this one, seeking out secure and safe sanctuaries during these troubled economic times.

As I continue to cover the canvas, I am more concerned with maintaining the middle values than I am with the purity of the color. I still have NOT opened the Warm Box of my Color System. Look at the way the colors already offer their cool and distant feel, without any friction among them. Am I concerned about edges? Not at this time.
26 Your art lesson continues with this 30x40 oil painting. The canvas is now covered with the inherent values of the major areas--there is no true focal point, although the lightest area near the gate, which is painted with the Warm Box of the Color System. This contrast of temperatures gives a distinct depth to the work, with the foreground sunlit areas contrasting nicely with the distant appearing hues from the Cool Box.
27 Now I'm adding the details on this 30x40 oil, and now I'm about half-way through that phase. The contrast of light is beginning to come into play, as well as the contrasts of color, value and texture. I'm especially pleased with how the gates are placed, one painted dark and the other painted light. They seem to be like a comfortable couple of friends.

The open gate may bother some people who are familiar with "range protocol" which is to leave the gate as you find it, either fully open or fully closed. But I wanted to give a suggestion of possible entry into this space with the gate ajar, and just open enough for the soul to slip through. The distant mists are in place, and I'll be finishing up these details and lights after this weekend's plein air event.