Adam Houston

American Impressionist Oil Painter

Take Two

So after my color issues on 39 I took a step back and decided to do the next few using a very limited palette. For this one I’m only using Yellow Ocher, White and Raw Umber which basically makes the paintings have a sepia look.

I don’t know if it was because I had already painted this once but it felt really good this time. When all I had to worry about was the value (and the composition – I forgot to mention that last time) I was able to relax and knock it out. This is the last of the tea pots for a while but I’m sticking with the limited palette until I get into more of a groove. I’ll try to post a couple this weekend.

Two Steps Back

Number 38 is a clunker. I was getting in a little bit of a groove and then got so distracted by the color with this one that it threw the whole thing off.

Not to get too technical but in any kind of painting you have value (the lights and darks) and color. These two things are totally different but in successful paintings they work together seamlessly. Ideally you create the value with color – not just adding black to things but using different colors to make things look darker or lighter. That, sadly, is not happening with number 38.

So there you go. In the immortal words of MC Skat Kat, two steps forward, two steps back.

I will say that this whole value vs. color thing totally shapes the next 6-7 paintings and has helped me a lot. More on Tuesday. And then there’s this.

Sweet, Tea

So with number 38 I took the same tea pot, added a sugar bowl and painted it on a white background instead of the black table. Same deal here too – did the whole thing in one sitting and it took about 30 minutes total. Still not great but it felt great to get something decent without beating it to death. I intentionally tried to keep the brushwork loose and free to try and let the paint do more of the work.

Begin to Begin Again

So here is the first of the new batch. I had not painted in almost two months and out-of-the-blue decided to jump back into it. I knew I did not want to labor over a single canvas for days so I grabbed one of Leslie’s tea pots, plunked it down on my black art table and 30 minutes later I was done. It’s simple, the colors are sort of wonky and the composition it weird but you know what — it got me back on the horse.

So that’s number 37 but it feels more like number 1b. There is a real progression to the ones that follow so this should be fun to watch them evolve. Title is a lyric from a Matthew Ryan song. More on Thursday.