Step by Step

Last Friday, October 5, 2017 was First Friday Art Walk at RS Hanna Gallery in Fredericksburg, Texas.

RS Hanna Gallery located at 208 South Llano Street is hosting the NOAPS Fall Showcasing.  The Fall is a great time to visit Fredericksburg and to stop at the RS Hanna Gallery. You can see six of my paintings there.

I actually was at RS Hanna for the First Friday Art Walk doing a painting demonstration but it was so much fun and so many people stopped and asked about my painting process that I did not have the chance to finish the landscape in the two hours before I had to return back to Houston.

In addition, my painting process is a layering process that requires patience and drying in between the layers; therefore, I decided to share with you the step by step process I am taking to complete the artwork started last Friday at RS Hanna.

The landscape is from a park in Houston where I frequently take my bicycle and enjoy the views of a very small lake. Quite often, I stop and enjoy the reflections of the exuberant vegetation on the surface of the water. In certain areas one can see the stones and rocks at the bottom. Since I am always looking at details beyond the general glance, I aim to capture everything that my eyes are recording as to transmit the totality of my experience into the canvas not just the “fleeting moment” but the wholesome expression of the beauty of each individual creation.

I will add to this article as I complete this painting. My goal is to attend the next First Friday Art Walk at RS Hanna Gallery on November 3 and hopefully show an almost complete work.

Here we go:

Step 1:

The first step in my paintings is the drawing. In the case of a landscape, more than a drawing, it is “the blocking” of the different areas with a monochrome color. I accomplish this step with a very thin layer of paint mixed with turpentine. This step is merely defining the areas. You can see a rough definition of the sky and the illuminated area of the water using mainly white. The trees and the shaded part of the water was defined with a diluted transparent Green Earth color. There will be a ripple effect in the water so I am already kind of defining that with a few lines.

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Step 2:

The skies are usually the easiest part to paint and there is not that much drawing to do. I usually complete it pretty fast using Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, white and in this case a tiny amount of Quinacridone Red to bring some purples. Once the first coat of sky was complete , I proceeded to the vegetation. I basically looked for darks and lights to build the vegetation. It is a lot of observation but again I am not looking for the exact detail in each section. The details will come in successive layers. At this stage I just roughly form the vegetation through darks and lights and magically the trees and bushes come alive. Again, I am working with very thin paints as to not totally commit to anything.

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Step 3:

I am still working with very thin paints at this stage because I want to be able to change any errors that I might have had in the original design (step 1). There is, as a matter of fact, an error in the design. The tree line goes down from right to left and it creates an instability in the composition. I want this painting to transmit a peaceful feeling which is the feeling I felt looking at the landscape. Harmony and stability is created with the use of horizontal and vertical lines. A slight diagonal line such as the tree line in this horizon throws the viewer a little off from that sense of peacefulness. I will need to correct it!

Step 4:

Today, I worked with the reflections of the vegetation on the water incorporating some of the stones and small rocks at the bottom of the lake.  These stones are not finished! This is sort of a painted sketch of forms, a first attempt to the changes in value which will be further defined in future layers. I am still using mainly Green Earth and Burnt Umber which are both transparent pigments, a little Yellow Ochre and very little white which will opaque pigments if used in big quantities. The use of the transparent pigments is done on purpose since I am dealing with water. The goal is for the light to be able to go through the layers of paints and come back to the viewer to gives us the experience of looking through water to the bottom of the lake.

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OK, I have finished with the preliminary steps and I have corrected the tree line. It might need further correction. I also see that I will need a smooth transition with the rocks specially in the right side but overall I am happy with how it is developing. The stones and rocks were a challenge but what is painting without a challenge!

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Now I will let it dry for a few days while I work on a different painting. Once it is totally dried to the touch, I will come back for what would be the third layer.

Stay tune!

Step 5:

I had to take a week break from painting to attend the Best of America Exhibit 2017 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is a great exhibition at Castle Gallery Fine Art that will last until November 11, 2017. There are 124 beautiful paintings in this exhibit and I am honor to say that my painting “Orchids Tray” received the Best Still Life Award. Thank you goes to the Awards Judge, Jason Sacran, to the gallery staff members and the organizers.
Upon returning to my studio, it was catch up time and finally today I had the chance to give a third coat to most of the landscape in progress.
It was good that during my absent the paint has dried. Today I was able to go over the sky, the vegetation in the horizon, the reflections and part of the water. The only part that I left untouched were the stones and rocks. One thing that is different about this painting is that I chose a hard panel as the surface. I usually paint on linen but I tried the panel this time. While the surface of the panel is smoother than the linen, I feel I can handle the paint much better on the linen surface. I kept working with the same paint colors, just adding another coat. As one advances with the coats, it is easier and easier to visualize the different shapes and changes in values that make the details of the landscape.

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Finalist in the International Artist Floral & Botanical Challenge

So honored to be one of the 13 Finalists in the International Artist Magazine Floral & Botanical Challenge.

This competition accepts submissions from artists from around the world. The 13 Finalists include artists from France, Canada, United Kingdom, Switzerland and different parts of the United States.

My selected painting, “A Taste of Luxury”, is my latest creation and it has never been shown in an exhibit or anywhere else. I would say the oil paint is still fresh on the canvas. It is a large 40×30 painting with a myriad of flowers, two hummingbirds and a snail. The bouquet did not exist as depicted. It was just put together as a creative ensemble, products of imagination and feelings.

Page 14 of the October/November 2017 issue describes the inspiration and design strategy for this composition.

Thank you International Artist Magazine! Best magazine for artists!

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An Artist Style is the reflection of the inner self

When judging art, I never judge the artwork by its style because the style is the reflection of the inner self of the artist.

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A show to judge

I am honored to be the judge for this upcoming exhibition for the Richardson Civic Art Society.

This will be the 51st Annual Regional Juried Art Exhibition open to Texas Artists. Last year I had the honor to be the Best of Show for the 50th Exhibition and this year the Society invited me to be their judge. Thank you!

The deadline to enter is February 28 and the prospectus can be found at: http://richardson-art.org/PDF/51stRegional/2017-51stRegionalProspectus.pdf

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Finalist in the International Artist Magazine

It was a real honor for my painting to be recognized as a Finalist in the International Artist Magazine Seascapes, Rivers & Lakes Competition. “Between Shadows and Light” is charged with an inside light emanating  from the myriad reflections on the water.

Thank you!

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Hundreds and hundreds of artists from around the world enter the International Artist magazine competitions; therefore, I am very pleased to have been selected one of the 13 award winners in this competition.

 

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Best of Show Award

I am thrilled that my painting “Midday Mirror” received the Best of Show Award at the 50th Annual Regional Juried Art Exhibition showing at the Charles M. Eisemann Center in Richardson, Texas.

I want to thank the event organizers from the Richardson Civic Art Society and the judge Michael Holter. It is an honor to receive this award and it is an even greater honor that Midday Mirror will be part of the Richardson Civic Art Society and the City of Richardson Art Collection to be displayed permanently at the Library Complex. It will also become the poster for next year event. Thank you! What a great honor!

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“Midday Mirror” is part of my landscape series depicting reflections. Reflections are a common element in Hebe’s compositions, whether they are gracing a gleaming silver teapot in a still-life painting or a crystal clear lake in a landscape. My mission in depicting reflections is to engage viewers and cause them to question where the real object starts, where it ends, and what part of it is actually a reflection of something else. As the word goes… to reflect is to think deeply about something… it is the “to use or to exercise the mind or one’s power of reason in order to make inferences, decisions, or arrive at a solution or judgments”. We reflect all through our lives!

FINDING INTEREST THROUGH SURFACES – Published by International Artist Magazine

The International Artist Magazine is without a doubt my favorite artist magazine. No wonder! It has been voted “The Best Artist Magazine in the World”. The bi-monthly magazine with international distribution shows the work of artists from around the world, their technique, workshops, and of course their beautiful art.

I am honored and humbled that an eight page article about my art has been published in the October/November 2015 issue of this truly international magazine with the unique opportunity to see my work exposed to a worldwide audience.

Thank you International Artist Magazine! It is a true amazing magazine.

Here is the article currently published in the October/November 2015 International Artist Magazine

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IAM Article pages 3 and 4

IAM Article pages 5 and 6

IAM Article pages 7 and 8To see how to purchase the magazine or its distribution go to: https://www.internationalartist.com/