Monday, September 10, 2007


“KEYHOLE ROCK” by Tom Brown
6x8 inch Original Oil Painting, ready to frame

ALERT: This Friday (September 14) is the opening reception for my new show, from 5:30 to 8 pm, at the Irvine Fine Arts Center, 14321 Yale Avenue, Irvine California 92604. Admission, parking and refreshments are free. I will be exhibiting approximately 100 new paintings of Irvine, including some surprising and unexpected vistas like rush hour traffic, freeway bridges, historic architecture and other surprising scenes as well as pristine landscapes. Come have a look if you can make it. I’d love to meet you.

About today’s painting: Keyhole Rock is a natural cliff formation in South Laguna Beach, near Treasure Island. Erosion has caused an opening in the base of the cliff that resembles an old fashioned keyhole when observed from the right vantage point. It has a sort of mysterious feeling about it, reminiscent of old pirate novels and South Sea Adventures.

The past two days I have included step-by-step demonstrations of my daily paintings being created. Here is one more that was photographed in progress. I generally work on a white canvas surface but this painting was done on a toned panel, which changes my approach.

I don’t want to bore anyone so I’ll keep the explanation simple. In Step (1) I used thinned blue paint to sketch the basic shapes, then in step (2) I immediately established the darkest tones in the cliffs and the lightest tones in the water (the surf). The tone of the panel allowed the light color of the surf to show up well at this point, which would not happen on a white canvas. Next came the shadow of the cliff on the water (3) and the distant land mass (which is Dana Point, if you are interested). In step (4) the distant land was refined a bit, the sky was added, and basic color was established for the water and beach area. In step (5) the grass and trees on the cliff were painted, and the area of water in the cliff’s shadow was developed. Finally in step (6) I defined the rock formations within the cliff face and added a few details here and there throughout the painting. At that point I felt I had captured what I wanted and decided the painting was finished. It was a productive day on location, and I enjoyed myself. I hope you like it too.

Today’s thought to smile about:
Taking the time to stop and listen to street musicians, then leaving them something to show your appreciation

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