Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Painting Sky's

I am happy to announce 3 workshops at the Peninsula School of Art in Door County. You can find more info on the workshops by clicking here.

I am also going to plan a workshop or two at my farm for the summer of 2021. If you would like to be notified when those workshops are announced, please email me at kylemartinfineart@gmail.com 

I replied to a thread on the plein air forums on wetcanvas, and thought I would share my thoughts on painting sky's here as well. Thanks for checking in!



Concerning Sky's. 

One thing that I consider when starting a plein air work is, are we looking into the sun, or away from it? In the example below, I am looking into the sun under morning light. All of the particles of atmosphere are influencing the colors of the sky, and you can see a little lemon yellow color near the top of the painting, right in the middle. I was observing the sun in that space.

In this piece, I was painting during the golden hour. The sky was transforming very quickly before my eyes, and because I was looking away from the sun I was interested in the way that the color of the sky was different near the horizon vs higher up. I think that the key to painting a good sky is variety. 

The piece below was painted in late afternoon, in early summer. The light is coming from the left. You can see yellow/green in the upper left corner of the sky and the color gradiates to a pthalo blue in the middle and then to a different blue in the right corner. Also, I used a violet color to underpaint the sky, and let some of that show through.

There is a big thunderhead in the piece below, but still plenty of plain blue sky. I tend to underpaint my summer sky's with violets and pinks, and then paying attention to the landscape for clues as to how the sky color is changing from horizon to apex (having to do with atmospheric condititons), as well as how it gradates from side to side (having to do with where the sun is at).

Below here, I started with a yellow ochre toned surface, and then underpainted with purple. I did the underpainting a value stop darker than the sky greens and blues that are on top of it. 


There is much variety even on sunny days. One tip that you could do is to take a piece of cardboard, poke a hole in it, and observe the sky through the hole. Now, move it left to right, and up and down, and see how the sky color changes depending on where you look. 

Also, get a mirror out, and while observing the sky in front of your face, reflect the sky from behind you and you will see a big contrast. As with all things ion painting, variety is the key. Have fun and post the results! 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Virtual Fall Art Tour - Paintings are Live!


Thanks so much for joining me in the Chicken Coop Studio for the (Virtual) 2020 Fall Art Tour! The fun starts now and continues all weekend.  My new Golden Hour paintings are live now on my webstore.
All paintings are framed, and there is no charge for shipping and handling. If you have questions or need assistance, you can call or text me at: (608) 963 1306.

The YouTube video, below, shows off the new oil paintings and gives the stories behind them.

I have a couple more virtual events going on this weekend. I will be going live on Facebook on both Saturday Oct. 17 and Sunday Oct. 18 at noon (Central Time). I will be giving a tour of the Chicken Coop Studio and I will set up my easel and paint for a half hour each day. Please join the FB live!

I have two more YouTube video uploads this weekend as well:
Tomorrow at 10am I will post my pastel paintings, and I have a special treat for Sunday - 12 paintings, one from each year that I have been plein air painting.

This is the first time that I have participated in a virtual show, It won't be the same Fall Art Tour, without you all in my Chicken Coop Studio, but Iet's have some fun anyway!

Thank you,
Kyle Martin


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

GOLDEN LIGHT - New Paintings Premiere October 16

The Golden Hour has always inspired me and connected me to a sense of calm creative wonder. The subtle brilliance of the setting sun offers clarity and wipes away the business of the day. The golden hour offers inspiration in the moment, and it is a ritual for me to paint during this favorite time of day.

The Fall Art Tour has gone virtual for 2020. 

I will be premiering new art every day, virtually, during the Fall Art Tour. 

On Friday October 16, at 10 am, I will premiere a new video featuring my Golden Hour collection. The paintings will also go live on my website and online store for sale at that time. My Golden Hour pieces are my most treasured paintings, and  this show is my way to share the moment and the feeling of the Golden Hour with you. 

On Saturday, October 17, at 10 am, I will be showing my new pastel paintings here on my blog and also on my online store. I enjoy working with pastels and find that they are a great compliment to my oil paintings. As an impressionist painter, pastels work well to layer different colors and to create shimmering effects. Autumn leaves falling, brilliant blue skies, and and intense evening colors will all be shown in my pastel paintings.

On Sunday, October 18, at 10 am, I will be showing a selection of works from my archive. Some of these paintings will go back a dozen years. Standing at the easel, and painting on location burns the experience into my memory - when I look at paintings that I created over a decade ago, my mind travels back to the moment. It will be fun to revisit some works through the years and to share the stories of the paintings with you. 

It won't be the same Fall Art Tour, without you all in my Chicken Coop Studio, but I am going to do everything that I can to give you a great virtual show.


Many artists on the Fall Art Tour have online stores, and you can check everyone out at fallarttour.com.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Late Summer Paintings

Autumn is such a wonderful time of year. As the late summer changes to fall, we are already starting to see so many signs of Autumn, including the changing leaves and falling temperatures. The days are beginning to shorten, the mornings are often foggy, and the corn is almost ready to harvest.

Late in the day, the brilliant sun still hangs onto that summer feeling, but the landscape is changing.
These paintings show that transition, and they were painted in August of 2020.


Monday, August 10, 2020

Paintings From Summer 2020

Here are some of my new paintings from July. Corbin has these images posted on my online store, thanks for checking these out, and be sure to leave a comment. Enjoy!

P.S. I have updated the 2020 workshops tab, with a class that I will teach on painting the light key hosted by the Peninsula School of Art in Door County. Please click here for more info.

Amish Oat Shocks, Sunset Light 12x16" oil on panel Link to Online Store
After I painted the oat shocks in the afternoon, the late evening light transformed the field and distant hills into a tapestry of light and color. During painting sessions like these, where the sun is setting rapidly, I observe, mix, and paint as quickly as possible, and the result is a very active painting.

Amish Oat Shocks - Afternoon Light 12x16" Link to Online Store
I noticed these oat shocks one morning when I was driving home from painting in Richland County. These shocks are on HWY G. I have painted this field with the barn and the rolling hills in the background a couple of times before and when I saw the shocks in the field I knew that I would paint here again.

Dodgeville Golden Hour 8x10" oil on panel Link To Online Store
This is a farm, outside of Dodgeville, that I painted in the late evening, just when the last bit of light was falling onto the landscape. When I was going to college at UW-Platteville, I used to drive past this scene of a barn, hills and trees every night on the way home. It always drew my attention, and I decided to paint it on my way home from the Mineral Point plein air festival - Paint the Point. I didn't enter this piece into the plein air show, because we could only enter two pieces, but I think that I captured somethign of the late evening on that day. Sometime, I will go back to this location, and paint a larger piece, but for now, I will remember the location by this little painting.

July Farm 8x10" oil on panel Link to Online Store
This is a farm outside of North Freedom on HWY PF. A classmate of mine farms out in this neighborhood, and there is a nice selection of fields of crops and farm buildings out in this area. I painted this over a couple of evenings, focusing on the golden light transforming the colors of the barn and hills as well as the dark shadows creeping onto the soybeans. Summer has such a special quality of light, the humidity creates dirty purples and pinks in the sky at this time of evening, and I was happy to be painting it.

Midsummer Evening 6x8" oil on panel Link To Online Store - Sold
I love these summer evenings, where the sun breaks through the clouds, creating contrasts of yellows and violet clouds. I am happy to live in the country because I have a great view of the sky from my driveway. If I see a sky that I like, I don't have to go far to paint it.

Steve and Nicole's farm 16x20" - Link To Online Store - Sold
I participated in the Mineral Point -Paint the Point - plein air festival in August. With so many events cancelling this summer, it was nice to have an event to participate in. On the first day of the event, I painted 4 painting, and this was the first one. I was drawn to the light on the barn, and the fence created a nice element to the painting as well. I received the artists' choice award in the show, and it was nice to be recognized by my fellow painters.

Mineral Point International - 8x10" oil on panel Link to Online Store - Sold
This was another painting that I created in the Mineral Point - Paint the Point - plein air festival. This was the second painting that I did on the first day, after the barn shown above, and after I got back from skateboarding at the Platteville skatepark. I wasn't planning to paint this tractor, but when I say it sitting there, with the angle that it was parked at, and with the light illuminating it, I couldn't resist. My energy was up, because I had just finished skateboarding, and I was listening to jazz as I painted. This was a quick and spontaneous painting session, and those type of sessions often lead to my best paintings.

Morning Light HWY 136 8x10" oil on panel Link to Online Store
The morning haze acts veils the local colors of the distant hills in this piece. The palette of colors that I use works well to depict morning light and the high key colors that are present at that time of day.

Morning Light on Ableman Road 12x16" oil on panel Link to Online Store
I have painted this farm a handful of times, but this was the first time that I painted there in the morning. There was a peaceful calm present as I worked on this piece, and I was conscious of gradating the colors in the shadows and the trees.

Morning Light on Schneider Road 12x16" oil on panel Link to Online Store
I was walking my dog when I noticed the pleasant morning light falling onto the barn and pasture of wildflowers one morning, and decided do set up and paint it. I found a nice shadow to work under, and I enjoyed the cool July morning.

North Freedom Barn 12x16" oil on panel Link to Online Store
I was attracted to the Queen Annes Lace in front of this barn. I painted it from in front of the North Freedom elementary school, where I sometimes teach at. While I was painting, I visited with some family members who live across the street. There is just something about those July mornings.

Terrytown Golden Hour 12x16" oil on panel Link to Online Store
The late summer sun sets behind the bluffs and the combination of brilliant light and humidity creates a wonderful play of color. A long shadow is cast over the field of flowers in the foreground, and the roof of the barn shimmers in the light. 

Terrytown Twilight 6x8" oil on panel
This was painted immediately after the piece above, just as the last pieces of sunlight make their way through the summer haze and fall onto the barn. This is my favorite time of day.