Sunday, February 27, 2011

Woolorama time again

Yesterday I drove about 200km to Wagin to deliver some paintings for the Woolorama art exhibition which takes place in a couple of weeks. It was a hot, humid day with clear skies and a gentle breeze.

On the way home, I deviated down a few back roads looking for "something different" that I could stop and paint. I found it on the road to Woodanilling. The tree was interesting and the light blinding. There was space to park the car and a shady tree to stand beneath.

I had no excuse not to paint.

We normally think of shadows as cool and highlights as warm but these trees seem to have a warm, peachy glow about their trunks, even in the shaded parts. Finding a colour and tone that would convey that warmth whilst still allowing the strongly sunlit highlights to jump was an interesting challenge.

I'll post the finished image when I can photograph it properly.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Strange summer!

Large parts of Australia have been hit with extreme weather this summer. Northern Queensland was hit by floods and then perhaps the largest cyclone on record. Meanwhile, northern and central WA and Victoria have also suffered exceptional flooding. You need to visualise the size of the Australian continent to grasp the area that's been affected. It's ridiculously huge.

Whilst we haven't been personally affected by any of these events, this has been the weirdest summer we've had down south since leaving Perth over seven years ago. February is normally hot and dry, with temperatures in the forties not out of the question. This year, however, we've had the threat of a cyclone, though we're nowhere near the tropics, and of a surprise storm that devastated some southern towns but never quite made it this far. What we have had is day after day of drizzle and rain, often with gusty winds. I think we've only seen clear skies for about four days this month.

With only one week left before autumn arrives, I'm hoping for some opportunities to get out and paint some summer sunlight. In the meantime, I'm managing the odd painting indoors. Here's this week's contribution...

porongurup australian landscape oil painting
Evening glow, Porongurup.
30x45cm oil on board. 
© Andy  Dolphin 

This painting was based on a couple of plein air works I did last month. I took a little licence with the lighting since I have seen it turn warm on previous occasions. I kept the mountains simple as I wanted the white sand track to catch the viewer's attention and for the large tree to stand out against an atmospheric backdrop.

Here are the two plein air studies I used as reference.

plein air mountain painting
Porongurup track.  
20x24cm oil on board.
© Andy  Dolphin

mountain landscape oil painting
Summer track, Porongurup. 
30x20cm oil on board.  
© Andy  Dolphin

Monday, February 7, 2011


Things have been a bit hectic lately but I finally managed to get some painting done.

(Inn Kitchen, Arthur River. 70x37cm oil on board. © Andy Dolphin)

This piece was based on a small plein air painting I did in March last year and "fixed up" a couple of weeks ago.

(Karri Light. 50x37cm oil on board. © Andy Dolphin)

These will be on their way to exhibitions in the coming months.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Google Art Project

I just saw Google Art Project on Marc Dalessio's blog - it looks fascinating.

Take a virtual, 3D tour of any one of more than a dozen galleries/museums around the world.

It might take a bit of getting used to but if you've ever navigated Google Street View, you'll pick it up pretty quickly. Just click a museum link, choose to Explore then mouse around a bit, click on direction arrows, click on distant rooms or paintings, click on + signs, move the zoom slider in the bottom corner and eventually you'll find yourself staring at a close up of a masterpiece.

If you're the nervous type who's bamboozled by all this technogologicacal stuff, then there's instructions and videos to get you going if you click on the "Learn more" link.

I suspect people with a slow internet connections might experience some difficulties.

Looks like I can cancel that world trip I was planning now.