Monday, July 13, 2015

Olana Plein Air Event

The Olana Plein Air Paint -Out and Auction is a wonderful event that brings attention to this historic home and the surrounding landscape.  This is my fourth year as a selected participant and I was glad to be out of my studio creating paintings in the beautiful Hudson Valley.
This is the spot and subject I painted on the first day, which was overcast and grey with periods of light rain.  Only once did some blue sky show through so I recorded the color and shadows quickly.

Here's the finished painting,

Day two of painting was sunny and warm so I was able to stand in the field and create this painting of the barn.  The shadows were stark and long, while clouds dotted the sky above.  I loved the color contrast of my sepia underpainting of the clouds  against the blue I kept it.  It made for a moody work which was purchased by the new president of The Olana Partnership!

The finished painting,

Monday, July 6, 2015

Early Style Influences

My early illustration career was influenced by the golden age artists such as Pyle, Wyeth, Parrish, Leyendecker, etc...  I later became interested in illustration from the 1960's done by artists such as Bernie Fuchs and Al Parker early in their careers and really loved the compositions and stylization.  I also loved the old car ads that made every auto look like you needed to have it!  The best of these ads were created by artists "Fitz &Van".  Much can be learned from looking at their dynamic presentations of the product  and the setting.

click image to go to

"If Art's car was to be placed on Van's background, he painted in opaque watercolor gouache on one-ply Strathmore art paper. "If I was working on a convertible or a car with a detailed background, I'd often only do the body, cutting along the windowsill with an X-ACTO knife. I'd turn the car over and sandpaper the edges to a knife-point so that they wouldn't show on the background-then I'd rubber-cement both surfaces, and paint the roof or other details right on Van's background."

 - Feature Article from Hemmings Classic Car

     April, 2005 - Mark J McCourt