I have always been fascinated by an atmospheric optics effect known as crepuscular rays, also known as volumetric rays, rays of sunlight that pour out of the lacerated clouds. I have many memories of crepuscular rays from growing up, so I decided to explore ways to reproduce the almost magical effect through oil paints.
I have found several amazing photographs of crepuscular rays and decided to recreate the experience by using the works as reference. I also wanted to explore how light interacts with rocks, so I bought a few pieces of anthracite to use as inspiration.
When making a choice for the painting size, I decided to go big: I really enjoy painting standing, as it increases my mobility and allows me to use brush strokes to add light, texture and movement.
This was also the time I decided to explore working on multiple canvases. For a lot of works I've seen and analyzed, the motivations for doing multi-panel work seemed to be sales-driven -- the panels lacked cohesion. So I started talking to artists and art dealers to understand other motivations. I came across a few works in which making multi-panel work seemed quite fitting, and also liked that not all panels were of the same size. So in order to understand this better and because I've never done this before, I decided to explore through my own work. This is how I settled on doing a tryptich.
I imagined having sharp contrast between darkness and light, so the canvases were primed with black gesso to give more depth to the cold tones and make warm tones more luminescent.
This work continues to explore how rays of light define and influence the composition, this time in an underwater seascape. The painting was based on several photographs of underwater caves and my memories of doing scuba diving in tropical waters.
The painting is the largest I have made so far: 2'x2'. To give the texture of underwater rock formations, I applied several layers of paint: sculpting to make the texture first, applying values to give the visual clues of depth second. In addition, I used palette knife to give the rock formations in the lower part of the painting stiffness and sharpness of cliffs. The school of fish in the upper part of the canvas are used to provide the sharp contrast between the intricate formations in the top part of the work, the heavy masses of water, and the dark abyss below that extends out of the view, below the underwater cliffs.
The glazing technique pulled the whole composition together by normalizing the color values across the various regions of the composition. The mix of turpenoid, linseed oil and varnish when applying rays of light gives the glow its desired softness.
I got the inspiration for the painting on my train ride to Boston. The ghostly shapes of buildings and trees were obscured by the thickness of the fog that morning. The train moved too fast for me to snap a picture, but I found reference photographs to help me recreate the image.
The intricate details of the bridge are contrasted by the thick, yet airy, material of the gray fog. The prevalent range of grays is interrupted by the prismatic colors of the sky. The dark shape of the umbrella carried by a lonely passer-by walking across the bridge creates the feeling of isolation. The pine trees of the forest in the foreground come out of the canvas giving the painting volume.
This dyptich explores the textures and values found in everyday life and combines them into one. Bold textures of wood, metal, and fields of light burst out of the canvas alluding to a tumultuous city life. But the organic, yet structural, shapes of bough and cave offer the promise of the desired solitude, away from urbanity.
This painting caught a moment of the traffic jam in Soho, Manhattan; however, the viewer does not see the actual cars, trucks, and traffic lights, but rather the reflection of them onto the wall of a hotel. The white on the roof of the hotel and on the reflection clues the viewer in to the snowy winter. The muted greens and blues of the glass wall are contrasted by the reds and yellows of the tail lights. The static sharp lines of the hotel's architecture accentuate the sense of movement of the traffic with its chaotic structure and dynamic flow.
The painting was created during the Advanced Oil Painting session at the Educational Alliance taught by Casey Inch. The inception of the idea to paint the reflection of traffic lights onto glass buildings of Manhattan occurred during one of my visits to NYC in January of 2011. I took several pictures, one of which I used as a reference in my work.
One of the many fun parts of working on this painting was only loosely using the reference photograph. This allowed me to experiment with different techniques and brush strokes, as well as the composition and color scheme. I discovered that I prefer to paint standing up, as it allows me to paint with bigger motions: each brushstroke on the painting not only adds the color value but also carries movement and texture. In addition, I utilized the recently acquired technique of painting with palette knives to create strongly defined lines.
The painting is a cityscape at night as seen through the window. The room is well lit, which makes my reflection and the white wall in the back of the room prominent components of the piece. The streets are dark, so the few lights that are on provide visual clues for the viewer for the structure of the buildings and streets.
I love impressionist paintings, and that is what inspired my work in this painting. I am intrigued by reflections and juxtaposition of reflections and physical objects and am hoping to continue exploring the subject of unusual perspectives on recognizable objects.
In addition to improving my brush stroke technique for more articulate expression of the way I see the world, I learned a new technique of painting with palette knives. My initial thought to the suggestion of my painting teacher Caity Berndt to paint with palette knives was "I didn't think they are meant for painting", but as I'm getting a hang of it, I realize some benefits the palette knives offer that paintbrushes cannot: bold straight lines that are so common in urban environments and are much trickier to get right with common paintbrushes.
The painting is a still life with flowers. As I was working on the painting in gray values, I realized that I really like the way the flower pot and the bigger vase look in gray and I decided to leave them as is while adding color to other elements of the still life. This difference in colors creates an interesting visual effect that I am planning to explore further.
In my first still life in oils, I discovered how tedious it is to fix drawing problems once most of the colors are added. So, Julia Chen taught me a technique used by old masters. First, I made several pencil drawings of the still life from various angles to pick out the composition I liked most. It is much easier to iterate on the relative proportions with pencil and eraser. Afterwards, I transferred the full-size pencil drawing onto the canvas by using copy paper and a thin layer of paint, same as using carbon copy. Once the outline of the objects was on the canvas, I added light and shadow in gray-scale values. After the painting looked accurate in gray values, I used the glazing technique to add colors. The advantage of doing the whole painting in gray values first is that all the gradients of shadow and light are accurate, so using even a little bit of color gives a very realistic representation of the objects.
The painting is a still life with a blue tequila bottle, a copper teapot, a vegetable and a fruit on a red cloth. It is my first oil painting. I was especially fascinated by the reflection of the objects on the blue glass of the bottle and the metal of the teapot, and by the rich red of the cloth.
We used a very interesting process to create the painting. First, I covered the canvas with gray paint for base. Secondly, once the paint dried on the canvas, a mix of burnt sienna and burnt umber was applied as another layer on the canvas. Next, I painted the outline of the objects with burnt umber. Then, I used a soft cotton cloth to remove the paint. The amount of paint removed depended on the brightness of the light hitting the objects in the still life. I applied color first to the lit parts, then to the shadowed parts of the objects.
This is a still life with green apples, limes, and red flowers made in pastels. The composition is a juxtaposition of objects of complementary colors -- green apples and limes placed on the glass with red fabric underneath, red flowers in a green glass vase.
Click on the images to enlarge.
For this exercise a 6-feet tall pile of various objects, such as chairs, musical instruments and different decorative objects was put together. I made this abstract drawing by combining several views on the pile from various angles with objects I found most inspiring.
This is a drawing of the bust (sculpture) of a man. I made it while taking a drawing class taught by Josh Bayer at EdAlliance. I found drawing the bust from this angle most challenging, as most of the face was obscured and to make it recognizable a lot of shadow details were added to express the shape of the head.
I made these drawings while taking a drawing class at EdAlliance. One of the techniques covered in the class by Jude was contour drawing, which focuses on drawing the outline of objects instead of the objects themsevles. Seeing shapes rather than the objects that form those shapes is essential in this style.
This vase was designed in OpenSCAD to be printed on 3D printers. The design of the vase was inspired scallops.
The vase you see on the image was printed on MakerBot's Replicator 1 in ABS plastic. Clicking on the image will take you to Github where you can interact with the 3D model. Note that you need to have WebGL enabled.
The spiral placement of the scallops create a nice eye movement. The design of the vase was inspired by corals.
The vase you see on the image was printed on MakerBot's Replicator 1 in PLA plastic. Click on the image to be taken to Github to interact with the 3D model.
This embroidery piece is made in cross-stitch pattern in over 40 colors. It took me several months of work to complete the piece. The schematic of the layout of colors as well as the colored threads were included in the embroidery kit that I purchased.
I embroidered this piece with beads which give it a characteristic texture. The technique is the same as for half-stitch pattern, and every stitch requires a bead.
This pin made of sterling silver was inspired by the image of the full moon hidden behind the clouds. The metal was annealed to enable altering of its texture. The finely dented texture of the moon and the left cloud was achieved through the use of hammers of various sizes. The larger dents on the cloud give it fluffy look, while the smaller, more frequently occurring dents on the moon represent its craters. Patina was applied to the right cloud and the moon to give them yellowish tone.
I created this pendant from a drawing of a dolphin by overlaying and combining different parts of the drawing. The shape was cut out with a jeweler's saw, edges were smoothed with different filing techniques, and the surface was polished with sandpaper, starting from coarsest grit size to finest. I added the finishing touch by polishing the piece with (red) rouge.
I created this heart-shaped pin in my favorite colors at the time using the enameling technique. A small amount of enamel powder was applied to the copper sheet, and then the piece was baked in an electric oven at high temperature until the discoloring of the enamel. Once the pin cooled, the color of the enamel reappeared.
I created this glass pendant by fusing the light blue base glass piece with white and maroon top pieces at high temperature in a kiln. Klyr-Fire glue was used to prevent the arrangement of pieces from moving during transport to the kiln.