Thursday, October 31, 2013

New daily painting "Angel"

Growing up Catholic I was always surrounded by religious iconography. I always say my first real art inspiration was the stain glass windows and statues at church.  

This angel comes from the old cemetery behind St. Ann in Kaufman, Tx. Old cemeteries are always filled with fascinating sculptures and headstones. Growing up places like this were the closest I could come to the antiquities of Rome and the Greeks.

This is a small 5"x7" oil painting on canvas mounted on board. I painted this alla prima in about 1 1/2 hours spread out through the afternoon. I particularly enjoyed the contrast of the brilliant blue sky against the pale green and blue tints of the stone statue. The brighter orange highlights come from patches of moss growing on the sculpture.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New daily oil painting "Pastoral"

Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvas mounted on Board
8" x 10"

I've driven by this tree just off Hwy 124 near Fannett, TX countless times and every time I see it I think about painting it. I love the majestic way it stands alone in the expanse of open field.  I've also always been a big fan of the contrast of blue sky and orange-ish dried grass.

I started this 8" x 10" oil painting during lunch, and throughout the day I eeked out a few minutes here and there. Altogether I put in about two hours of brush time. I'm going to let it sit for the night and see if I want to add any final touches on the morning. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New daily oil painting of the sun setting

I've had this image in my head for a while and have been making a few small studies anticipating a larger painting. This is an 8" x 10" oil painting on canvas mounted on board. I started with a pretty loose pencil drawing then scrubbed in the blue sky. 

What keeps this image in my mind is the way the clouds seem to explode from the hotspot of the sun behind the trees. As I painted this it became an excuse to play with thicker paint and brushstrokes. I always feel such energy watching the world as it seems to die at sunset, yet at the same time I'm filled with peace. I've tried to let the paint handling convey a bit of the vibrant, charged atmosphere while the deep blue sky and soft greens of the foreground lend a bit of tranquility.

Monday, October 21, 2013

New daily painting "Heavy Clouds"

I spent about two hours Friday on this small 8" x 10" oil painting of the heavy rain clouds rolling in over the fields near my apartment. This morning I woke up early and spent about 30 minutes deepening the sky at the top and added a few brighter highlights on the rim of the clouds. A few small accents in the dark bottom edge of the sky and  I'm calling this one 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New pastel self-portrait finished

Self Portrait
Mark Nesmith
Pastel on Paper
8" x 10"
I spent some time this morning finishing my new pastel self-portrait. I was pretty happy with the start yesterday. After an initial pencil drawing I started adding a layer of color with conte hard pastels, then gave the whole drawing a light spray of fixative. Today I pulled out my Richeson and Rembrandt soft pastels and used a combination of scumbling and hatching to add depth to the color and unify areas. Overall I'm pretty satisfied and think I was able to capture a good likeness. Whether or not looking like me is a good thing isn't for me to say LOL!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New pastel self-portrait in progress

I realized today that I haven't really done a self-portrait since I started running a year and a half ago and lost weight. I had some time today after school before teaching my night class at the Art Center, so I started working on this small 8" x 10" pastel.

I started out with a pencil sketch before building up a base layer of color with conte.  I sprayed a light coat of fixative and am letting it sit for the night. Tomorrow I'll finish it with soft pastels.  

I'm pretty happy with it so far.  What do y'all think?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

New daily painting "Watermelon" with step by step photos

Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvas mounted on Board
8" x 10"
Here's my 8"x10" daily painting of my son eating watermelon.  He has a face full! I started this with a pretty detailed pencil drawing, then painted alla prima in two or three short sessions throughout the day.  Altogether I worked about 2 1/2 hours on this painting. 

I took several pictures while I painted.   Here's a step by step collage through the various stages of completion.  After I was satisfied with the pencil drawing, I mixed up 3 or 4 basic flesh tones and layed in the arms and face.  From there I established the background color and the darker shadows of the hat before painting the hat and the watermelon.  I then worked my way down through the folds of the shirt to the wooden picnic table.  I added a few blue tints as highlights on the table and the hand in shadow, and then finished by adding some brighter flesh highlights on the cheekbone, ear, and arms. 

"Watermelon" step by step
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvas mounted on Board
8" x 10"

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Watermelon (a fresh start)

It's been awhile since I've posted, but now that I'm in my new place I'm starting to get back in the swing of things. I Have a few large paintings I'm starting in the studio, and I pulled out my pochade box today to get back to my nearly daily paintings.

 Here's a small 8"x10" of my son Benton eating watermelon I drew last night. I'm going to try to find a little time at lunch to get started painting it.