Monday, September 18, 2017

Boat Hulls


An acrylic painting of sailboats at a boatyard in buffalo ny
Boat Hulls
Acrylic on gessobord 3/4" thick (cradled)
16"x20"
Chris Breier © 2017
I had spent the evening taking pictures of the Buffalo waterfront when I spotted these sailboats at a local boatyard. The sun was setting so I had to hurry before the boats disappeared into the shadows. I kept snapping pictures but I couldn't get anything that I liked. I was close to running out of daylight when I had the idea to find a different vantage point, so I squatted down and took a few pictures. Bingo! All of the distractions on the ground were out of sight, and the blue sky provided a simplified
background.



Most of my paintings are on 1/8" flat panels but for this painting I used a "cradled" panel that's 3/4" thick. I left the edges natural. There's a wire on the back so it can be hung without a frame. If you prefer a frame, the Ampersand Float Frame is a simple solution and you can do it yourself, or you can take it to a picture framer. Here are the instructions for how to install the float frame.

Most of my paintings are on 1/8" flat panels
but for this painting I used a "cradled" panel
that's 3/4" thick. I left the edges unpainted.
There's a wire on the back so it's ready to hang!

Use one kind of lighting for accurate color

The various types of lighting available today have different color characteristics. Fluorescent lights often have a cool and slightly blue appearance while tungsten lights tend to lean towards the warm end of the spectrum. The human mind will perceive the light emitted by both types of bulbs as "white light" but the differences in color will be exaggerated by the camera.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

How to Photograph Art

Book cover for how to photograph art by Chris Breier
How to Photograph Art
I have completed a number of articles about how to photograph art and some of them will be published here on my blog. Depending on the response I may offer a complete book on the topic in the future, probably as a download. As I publish each post, I will add a link below so that it will be easier to browse. Please note that these posts are in progress and will be subjected to editing and updating. They will most likely be published out of order.

Use one kind of lighting for accurate color



Friday, September 15, 2017

Botanical Gardens Golf Course


A painting of the park behind the Erie County Botanical Gardens.
Botanical Gardens Golf Course
Acrylic on gessobord
8"x10"
Chris Breier © 2017
Last winter I visited the Erie County Botanical gardens and when I was finished touring the greenhouses I explored the grounds outside which includes a golf course. There's also a few ponds that attract ducks and Canadian geese.

There wasn't any snow on the ground but it was still cold and very windy. It wasn't very pleasant for photography, but I still managed to get a few good reference photos to work from. I focused on the mix of trees in the foreground and the strip of bright green grass in the background. I simplified some of the branches to strengthen the design and to create a bold pattern.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tree Composition

Tree Composition
Acrylic on gessobord
8"x10"
Chris Breier © 2017
I took a walk around the neighborhood for the pleasure of it. I wasn't looking for exercise or looking for subject matter, but then I spotted the way this sunlit tree and I decided I wanted to make a painting from it. I've always had an affinity for trees. When I was younger I had a book that could be used to identify the various species that are found in the Northeast. The funny thing is that I can't identify this tree by looking at the painting, I'd have to go back to take a look at the leaves and bark.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Trees Along Lake Ontario

Trees Along Lake Ontario
Watercolor, ink, and pencil on paper
8"x10"
Chris Breier © 2017
That small strip of blue along the horizon is Lake Ontario. According to Wikipedia "Ontario" means "Lake of Shining Waters" in the Wyandot language. I find that it's impossible to capture the massive scale of the lake in a small two dimensional painting. Lake Ontario is 53 miles wide, 192 miles long, and it's the 14th largest lake in the world. It's so large you can't see the Canadian side of it, although if it's a clear day with low humidity you can see the top of CN tower in Toronto. In this painting I focused more on the landscape of the park and used the lake as a backdrop.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Misty Afternoon


An acrylic painting of krull park on Lake Ontario,
Misty Afternoon
Acrylic on Raymar canvas panel
8"x10"
Chris Breier © 2017

I thought the afternoon was going to be a dud because it started raining when my brother and drove to the lake, but it cleared up a half hour after we arrived. The rain soaked all of the benches and picnic tables but the misty atmosphere improved the mood of this painting. It was one of those days where you could literally see the moisture in the air and feel it on your skin.

This park has a variety of trees, some of them are evergreen trees and I wanted to capture the feeling of being in a park after a rainstorm. I will consider this a successful painting if you can smell the earthy smell of the woods and the scent of pine trees when you look at it...
 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Trees at Krull Park

Trees at Krull Park
Watercolor and pencil on paper
8”x10”
Chris Breier © 2017

A hot and sunny afternoon. Some local peaches. Stopping at a local popcorn stand. An afternoon of free time at a serene park by the water. What more could you ask for? It’s these simple pleasures that I enjoy most and it’s often the subject of my art. Sometimes I paint on location but I also take photos so that I can work in my studio. When I paint a scene I not only get to enjoy it while I’m working on it, but also when it’s hanging on the wall. When I hang it on the wall it gives me a boost whenever I glance at it.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Pond at Glen Park


An acrylic painting of the duck pond at Glen Park located in Williamsville NY
The Pond at Glen Park
Acrylic on paper
8"x10"
Chris Breier © 2017

I enjoy painting outdoors during the summer when the weather allows. On this occasion my brother and I decided to paint at Glen Falls. On previous painting excursions I have painted the waterfall at Glen Falls but this time I decided to focus on area with the ponds. A small strip of the pond is visible in this painting and it continues under the arch of the bridge. My brother and I refer to the park as "Duck Paradise" because that's where they like to congregate, although on this occasson they were hanging out at the other end of the pond so I didn't get a chance to put them in the painting.

It's a serene place to visit and and that's what I aimed to capture with this painting. It's a small oasis in the middle of the bustling village. Many people who work in the area spend their lunch breaks there. As a painter, it's a great location to spend an evening painting outdoors while listening to the sounds of rushing water and quacking ducks.

The majority of this painting was completed outside with a few finishing touches applied back in my studio.

I have also painted part of the gravel path at Glen ParkAutumn trees at glen Park, a watercolor painting of the waterfall, and another plein aire acrylic painting of Glen Falls.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Autumn Afternoon

An acrylic painting of trees at Walton Woods in autumn
Autumn Afternoon
Acrylic on gessobord
8”x10”
Chris Breier © 2017
We're heading into Autumn which is one of my favorite seasons. The saturated colors and the longer shadows make for more dramatic landscapes. I sometimes feel as though the colors in my painting are exaggerated but some of the colors found in nature are even brighter. On occasion I'll be walking through the woods and I'll stumble upon a scene that seems like magic- in this scene it was the saturated yellow greens of grass and the long shadows that stopped me in my tracks.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Nature Walk

Nature Walk
Acrylic on gessobord
8”x10”
Chris Breier © 2017
I've painted this lake many times over the past few years. Anybody who follows my work should know that I get a lot of my inspiration for my paintings from taking walks in nature or near bodies of water. I enjoy the solitude and the seclusion from the stress of modern life. I believe every body should take time away from cell phones, email, social media, and work each day to daydream and think about things.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Before the Falls


An acrylic painting of Ellicott creek as seen from the bridge leading to Island Park, located in Williamsville NY.
Before the Falls
Acrylic on gessobord
8”x10”
Chris Breier © 2017
During the summer I often wake up early to take a walk over to Island Park to visit the library, or buy fresh tomatoes, sweet corn, and blueberries at the farmers market. I enjoy walking early in the morning, especially on a warm and sunny day. The birds are active and shops are beginning to open. The sunlight is at a dramatic angle, and it's warm but not uncomfortably hot. I often bring my camera with me to capture some of these scenes so that I can use them as reference material for paintings.

This vantage point is of Ellicott Creek as seen from the only bridge to the island. The creek flows around the island and then passes underneath Main street before going over Glen Falls.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A House in the Woods

 
An acrylic painting of a house alongside of a creek.
A House in the Woods
Acrylic on Gessobord
8”x10”
Chris Breier © 2017

I spotted this view of a white home on the shores of Ellicott Creek and it gave me the impression that it’s a lone house in the wilderness. In reality, it’s part of a suburban neighborhood but working on this painting made me think about what it would be like to live in the woods in the middle of nowhere with a creek in the backyard. I would survive, as long as there was enough room for a painting studio… and a garden.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Ellicott Creek at Dusk

Ellicott Creek at Dusk
Acrylic on Gessobord
8”x10”
Chris Breier © 2017
What attracted me to painting this scene was the surreal mood that the woods can take on right after sunset. I wanted to capture the luminosity of the sky and water so I used acrylics in a transparent manner similar to watercolor. I know from my experience with watercolor that if I overwork the painting it can lose the brilliance that can be achieved with transparent washes, so I focused on the essence of the image and aimed to get the colors and the values correct without making too many corrections. The original painting is available.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Williamsville Train Depot in Winter

A painting of the Williamsville train depot with snow at sunrise
Williamsville Train Depot in Winter
Acrylic on Gessobord
5”x7”
Chris Breier © 2017
I like to take walks early in the morning when most people are asleep. It’s a way to get some mild exercise and to think about things. Walking outdoors in the winter can be uncomfortable but it can also be beautiful when it’s sunny. I took the reference photo for this painting when the sun was just about to come up over the trees which gave them a warm glow.

The Williamsville train depot was built in 1896 and it was recently restored by the The Western New York Railway Historical Society. The depot is open to the public and it’s used for special events such as car shows, hayrides, and small concerts.

The original painting is available.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Sunlight and Trees

A painting of trees along Ellicott creek in amherst ny.
Sunlight and trees
Acrylic on Gessobord
5”x7”
Chris Breier © 2017
This is another painting from the bike path. As I was walking I noticed how the sunlight was illuminating the trees so I walked into the weeds to take a few reference photos. The sunlight brought out the warm colors of the bark which works well against the blue reflections in the water. I took the time to take a number of photographs so that I could try out a number of compositions, but I used the one that positioned the creek so that it was curving off to the right as it receded into the distance. The original painting is available, bid on Sunlight and Trees in the auction.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Trees and Puddles

A painting of trees at the UB bike trail in Amherst NY.
Trees and puddles
Acrylic on gessobord
5”x7”
Chris Breier © 2017
This stand of trees is in a slight valley near one of my favorite walking paths. Whenever it rains these puddles form around around them which creates bright silvery reflections. The sunset was starting to wind down and the warm colors of the sky play well off the cool saturated greens of the landscape. I enjoy observing these moments in nature, it's a good way to get away the stress of modern life. Bid in the auction for Trees and Puddles.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Walking at Dusk

An acrylic painting of trees on a walking trail at dusk
Walking at dusk
Acrylic on gessobord
5”x7”
Chris Breier © 2017
I took a walk just before sunset and by the time I made it the point where I normally turn around, the sun had just sunk below the horizon. On one hand that means there’s going to more mosquitos to deal with, but on the other hand the sky had turned into an impressive display of color. I took a few reference photos so I could create a painting of it in my studio. It took a number of tries to get the colors of the sky right. I used thick brushstrokes in some areas which created subtle texture and the painting has a glossy finish. Bid in the auction for Walking at Dusk.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

A Walk at Ellicott Creek

An acrylic painting of Ellicott Creek located in Amherst NY.
A Walk at Ellicott Creek
Acrylic on Gessobord
5”x7”
Chris Breier © 2017
I enjoy taking walks near water, it’s a good way to clear my mind especially after working at computer or working on something that requires a lot of mental focus. The reference photograph for this painting was from Spring so the trees were just starting to form buds. I captured some of the light green color of the buds in the bank of trees in the background. The light value of the trees also creates a sense of depth, especially when I painted the darker tree trunks over them. Bid in the auction for A Walk at Ellicott Creek.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Lakeview

An acrylic painting of trees and Lake Ontario at Krull Park.
Lakeview (SOLD)
Acrylic on Gessobord
5”x7”
Chris Breier © 2017
This is another painting of Lake Ontario. The shape of the hills makes this painting immediately recognizable as Krull Park. I painted the water a brilliant blue so it looks like the ocean. I also used ultramarine blue for the sky which makes the water stand out even more. This is a nice place to spend a summer afternoon taking it easy and eating fresh peaches from a local farm. The original painting is available.