Saturday, April 27, 2013

Urban River 6

"LA River #4"
oil on panel, 2013
2" x 2⅜" (5.08cm x 6.01cm)

I know I know... it's really blue...
probably should have thrown some other colors in it!

This is another tiny painting, fun and quick to do. I like to do these when I am in the middle more demanding works. Works that require lots of time and lots of sessions layering, drying, layering, drying. It gets long and drawn out so I find myself wanting some 'finished' satisfaction. That is the case right now. I'm working on several paintings in oil and watercolor, two of them commissions.

This is a pipeline bridge and there are several along the southern end of the LA River in Long Beach California where much of the harbor industry is located.
I love these huge sheets of concrete. All they do is carry the pipes across the river, but are very simple and dramatic.220

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Local Landmarks - Battery Farley

"Battery Farley-Study"
pencil on paper, 2012
11" x 8.5" (27.94cm x 21.59cm)

This drawing is from a series on local historical military landmarks. I don't have to go far since they are here in San Pedro.

Even though my notation says WWII (oops!), Battery Farley was actually built between 1916-1919, during WWI. This I did not know when the drawing was made as I found out later through research.

It is here in my hometown of San Pedro California and is part of the Fort MacArthur Museum. This is half of what is called Battery Farley-Osgood since there are two of these gun placements at the location.

In fact this whole coastal area of Los Angeles had been fortified over the years, all of which is now obsolete of course. Various gun placements from WWI and WWII to Nike Missile sites from the 60's.
This map (from the book "Rings of Supersonic Steel") on the above museum site shows the entire City of Los Angeles was encircled by Nike Missile sites, like the old video game Missile Command.

After concentrating hard on the battery study I found myself getting mentally lazy so I did not take the drawing of the USS Iowa seriously enough. Such is the nature of pages of drawings, not everything on the page is good. I will have to tackle the ship again later.

I have a recent watercolor of another battery here in San Pedro that was built for WWII and I will be posting that in the future.219

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Value Thumbnails 6

"Value Thumbnails-Cliffs"
pencil on paper, 2012
8.5" x 11" (21.59cm x 27.94cm)

Here's a page of value thumbnails where my focus was the distribution of lights and darks and the patterns created. It is an exploration in how different the composition looks simply by shifting the values in the back, middle and foregrounds.
I imagined a sunny windy day where clouds are streaking across the sky dragging their shadows over the landscape.

I essentially used 3 values here, the white of the paper being the lightest, but threw in a forth when it was necessary to separate elements, as in #3 where I wanted the background a light value but needed to separate sky from ocean.218

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Value Thumbnails 5

"Value Thumbnails-LB Courthouse"
pencil on paper, 2012
page 11" x 8.5" (27.94cm x 21.59cm)

I did these thumbnails of the new Long Beach Courthouse about midway through its construction.
It is currently near the end and will soon be open. Part of the urban renewal of Long Beach California.

Shown here in its iron skeletal form, i-beams and steel girders.
Even as small thumbnails these were more challenging than I thought they would be.
The simplification proved to be harder to do than I anticipated since there was a lot going on.

The middle right thumb especially tough since the angles are not 90°. Even though drawn right it still looks wrong. I only like the top and middle left, don't care much for the others. This is one reason to do thumbnails, to work out and/or discover potential problems early.217

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sketchbook Doodles 4

Ballpoint pen in pocket sketchbook, 2012
5.5" x 4" (13.97cm x 10.16cm)

And another...