Thursday, June 8, 2017

Summertime Rolls

Happy summer my muddy people! Wow can’t believe we’re in june already. 2017 just seems to be flying by.

I wanted to post an update on that last forest painting id started last month. Glazed some color into it, then started painting into it pretty directly detailing and dialing in the values. With a foggy scenario like this I’m having to be very careful with my values to make sure stuff in the background recedes properly.

Working digitally there are layer modes and tools that can easily add atmospheric effects. It's been a great exercise to approach it analog. It's a good reminder that painting really just comes down to putting the right colored shape in the right place Think Ive got a game plan on how to close it out now, just need to burn some hours on it and resolve things more.

Been kind of recapping the painting these trees for the past couple of years, and Im realizing that what attracts me to painting a specific setting is some sort of unique lighting scenario. Working in a slow, detailed manner Ive found allows for some in-depth problem solving on the specifics of how a certain lighting situation can affect the objects within the scene. This type of study has really helped me with invented lighting for concept and storyboard work. Ive actually been kind of surprised at how much i'm pulling from these and applying into my production work.

Early on, I started with painting night shots, as while id done a good amount of night time city paintings, I hadn’t done much non-urban night stuff. Theres much less light pollution out here so shadows tend to be darker. The first one I tried was a backlit scene, so I could concentrate mainly on the language and calligraphy of painting branches.

Then I bought a flashlight :), and started playing with that type of harsh frontal lighting. This tends to make things feel kind of creepy with objects emerging from the blackness. Theres like a “headlights on the highway” effect with the white light and harsh cast shadows that’s super cinematic. I have a few ideas I want to explore further in this vein at some point.

It was around this same time I also started playing around more with heavy atmosphere and foggy scenes. These paintings are all about edges and careful placement of values. At a certain point it can almost begin to feel monochromatic because the colors and values sit co closely together. It becomes really important to do test marks before diving into areas so you don’t throw the whole key off. Feels like I’ve come full circle here where I’m back to painting fog again (though theres sunlight this time!)

Here are a few additional lighting situations I've tried to paint:

Back lit dusk...

Front lit sunset...

Dappled light...

Noon sunlight...

Sun through fog...


Im constantly looking out the window on the hunt for unique lighting scenes, and keep my camera near the door so I can run out and shoot reference on a moment's notice. Looking forward to these long summer days and hopefully they provide some cool material to work with :)

On a side note, I also finally got this gem framed! Mr Manchess painted this at the Seattle workshop back in like 2007? Only took 10 years to get a frame on it :P. Greg is and will always be one of my painting heroes. There are so many great marks in this it just blows my mind. Whenever I feel like Im actually getting somewhere with painting, Ill take a look at this as a
reminder of how far I’ve still got to go!


  1. Beautiful paintings.

    I was curious about the type of camera equipment you are using. I dropped my SLR in a river recently, so i have been on the hunt for a replacement. Just about anything these days is capable of taking really great photos, but I thought it would be worth hearing your opinions as I make my decision. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hey Philip! Ive used a canon eos rebel t1i for the past 8 years, though its getting old and im in need of an update. great camera tho. super rugged and served me well!

  2. Wonderful forest pieces, Coro! True moments that allow us into your realm of seeing. Amazingly focused and yet, not stilted or awkward in any way.
    And thanks for the nice compliment!

    1. thanks Greg! means a lot coming from a paint boss like yourself. hugs from western washington to you and yours!

  3. Replies
    1. wow thank you so much Paul. Been a huge fan of your work years and years!

  4. Great paintings. Love the cyan sky in sunset painting. with the warm,saturated tree in the foreground. I see that so often and think "I need to paint that!" Glad to see you did.


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