Stone Coal Studio

Stone Coal Studio

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Abstract Landscapes Continue to Evolve



Farmhouse Shadows 
by Judith F Lochbrunner
acrylic on canvas
(16 x 20 inches)
currently available at Potentially Chic

Nothing like a rainy day to inspire crossing-off chores on the to-do list.  And today there were several art show preparation items in the studio.  No sooner than the fall outdoor art shows were completed, it was time to ready work for the upcoming holiday season.  The first delivery to refresh artwork was last week at Potentially Chic in Roanoke.  I have two new paintings at the shop including the one pictured.

This painting is one of the latest abstracted landscapes and this one is using a different color palette.  I found these colors rather interesting as they are prominently featured in the current "Farmhouse Chic" designs.

There is a softness to these colors so I applied them with a scrubbing motion using from a stiff bristle brush to thoroughly blend the edges.   The fields and roads in the painting are very soft to contrast with the strongest change in color in the farmhouse and outbuilding to create the painting's focal point.

Look for additional abstracted landscapes as I explore more "possibilities".

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Head Outside: Fall Colors at their Best


(Path near Onion Mountain Overlook off the Blue Ridge Parkway.)

Sometimes the best thing you can do is stop and just look.  That is the certainly best advice for October in Western Virginia.  The colors may be at their peak in the higher elevations but the color will be around for a couple more weeks in the valleys.  


(Another view near the Onion Mountain Overlook off the Blue Ridge Parkway.)


(View of my easel set up at Explore Park historic village, off the Blue Ridge Parkway.) 

The second best thing you can do is set-up to paint the colors.  There were some wonderful yellows and rusty reds in the woods behind the cabins.  And there was the wonderful cool morning light on the cabin to capture as well.  

Hope that you can get outside to enjoy the colors too.  Thanks for stopping by my blog.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Painting Autumn Greens: A Plein Air Mixing Cheat Sheet

The fall color is quickly arriving here in Western Virginia and with it is the challenge of capturing the changing range of colors.  In spring the greens are bright and fresh but in the fall the greens become duller as they move toward ochres and browns.

The need to mix greens in autumn "tones" was very clear to me on Thursday when I was painting a study for the plain air event at Plein Air Event at South Peak in Roanoke, VA.  

I carry several tubes of green in my box.  I realize that some artists mix all their greens but I find that working in acrylic for plein air requires speed.   At a workshop in Florida a few years ago I studied with three acrylic artists who regularly participated in juried plain air events and they all pre-mixed greens before painting.  


Greens straight out of the tube are always too harsh and require mixing with another color(s) before applying to the painting.  So I made myself a cheat sheet creating both warm and cool greens.  

I took a canvas board (previously painted) and covered with a thin coat of gesso.  I took a sharpie and wrote the color and the color I added to it.  


The top row is ultramarine blue plus yellow ochre.  The color changes as even more yellow ochre is added with the last mixture having a bit of white added to it.

The following rows are: hookers green plus yellow ochre.
ultramarine blue plus cadmium yellow
hookers green plus cadmium yellow
cadmium green plus yellow ochre
cadmium green plus cadmium yellow
viridian green plus yellow ochre
viridian green plus cadmium yellow

The lower set of colors are my "wild card" colors.  Transparent orange was selected and then added to cadmium green again increasing it's saturation in the next stroke under the first and then adding a bit of white for the final one at the bottom.    This was repeated for viridian, hookers green, and ultramarine.  The result was some wonderful greenish grays which look to be very useful colors.

(*Please note that this is simply my choice of colors and 
your choice of colors should be simply what works for you.) 

I plan to place this cheat sheet in my box for the plein event tomorrow to help me paint a bit faster and hopefully complete the painting with fewer wrong color choices.   Maybe it will even provide a bit of "confidence" too.

And what I did I do with the excess paint on the brush from mixing sample colors?  I wiped the brush  on a board completely filling it with color and creating a "start" for a future painting.


Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Hope you look at greens a little more closely this fall.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Pepare for More Rainy Days Ahead



This picture was taken as a photo reference for a future painting.  However at the moment rainy-day-subject paintings have more than lost their appeal.  After several days of rain with only a short break, another round of heavy rain over multiple days returns.

So what has been happening in the studio?  I have been finishing paintings for upcoming shows including the SPCA Best in Show Art Show (moved to a new month) which will be held on Friday, November 20 and also for the Allegheny Highlands Arts and Crafts Center Fall Festival Alleghany Hghlands Arts and Crafts Center Fall Festival Art Show in Clifton Forge, VA which is October 18-November 23.  New work is also underway on the studio table for delivery to mid-month to Potentially Chic.

However there has also been an opportunity to do some experimentation using some of the "starts" from my last blog.


Palette knives, pieces of mat board, a wooden skewer and the basket of water-soluble oils provided the tools to create some abstracts on paper.


I began with a couple "starts" simplifying the design and focusing on the marks that would remain visible.  Then a focal point was added.  I stopped to take a photo at this point.  Once the work completely dries I will decide if any additional lines are needed, and if so will add them with a colored pencil or perhaps a pen or whatever seems to feel "right".

Can't wait for some sunny, cool and beautiful October days but will keep busy indoors until then.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Stay dry and safe, everyone.