Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Pier


An acrylic painting of the pier at Krull Park on Lake Ontario.
The Pier
Acrylic on Raymar canvas panel
8"x10" © Chris Breier
Painters often exclude distracting elements from paintings and in this case I left out the teenagers that were jumping their bikes into the lake. It was a creative yet dangerous way for them to cool off on a hot evening. They had set up a ramp at the end of the pier so they launch themselves into the water and try learning new flips and tricks. If a trick was unsuccessful they had to push the bike away so it wouldn't land on their heads. I, on the other hand, was eating popcorn while sitting on a park bench.

I considered including them in the painting but I realized the figures would be too small to be recognizable. What inspired me to paint this scene was the way the tree was lined up against the sunset. I realized I could paint the tree in silhouette so that it would become a strong graphic shape and create a nice contrast against the sunset. The original painting is available.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Boats at Newfane Marina

 
A painting of the sail boats at Newfane Marina, near Lake Ontario.
Boats at Newfane Marina
Acrylic on Raymar canvas panel
8"x10"

I've painted this marina a number of times already, mostly in watercolor. I decided to take a more impressionistic approach and paint the basic shapes in a loose manner. A marina often looks like a jumble of white abstract shapes with an occasional splash of bright color, and few vertical masts. While that sounds simple, it's often difficult to reduce a subject matter down to it's essence. Painted on archival 1/8" thick Raymar canvas panel. This painting is available.  Bid in the ebay auction

Friday, December 30, 2016

Strokes of Genius 8

Strokes Of Genius 8: Expressive Texture (Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing)
South Grand Island Bridge, Ink on Arches rough watercolor paper, 8"x10"
Basilica, Ink on Arches rough watercolor paper, 10" x 8"


I'm excited to announce that two of my drawings have been published in  Strokes Of Genius 8, by North Light Books. My drawings of the Grand Island Bridge and the Basilica are featured on pages 36-37. The theme of the book is "Expressive Texture" which is something that I often incorporate into my work. The bold lines were drawn with wood stick dipped into ink, which was and enjoyable break from using traditional drawing materials.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Red Maple


A watercolor painting of a Red Maple tree
Red Maple
Watercolor and ink on paper
8"x10"
Chris Breier © 2016
I was taking a stroll through the woods this past fall and most of the foliage was various shades of yellow and orange, but when I turned the corner I was confronted with this bright red maple tree–the color was extraordinary. I took a couple of reference photographs to paint from and I played around with different compositions. I settled on positioning the path so it would curve around the trees in the foreground and lead right to the red maple tree. Below are some photographs of it at various stages of completion. The original painting is for sale.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Glen Falls, Before the Rain

Glen Falls, Before the Rain
Acrylic on Gessobord
8"x10"
Chris Breier © 2016

I sketched this scene in my pocket sketchbook, and then returned a few weeks later to paint an acrylic version of it. Most of the painting was completed onsite but I finished it in my studio because it started to drizzle, water-based paints don't work so well in the rain.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Sunday Evening at Lake Ontario

A watercolor painting of Lake Ontario as seen from Krull Park
Sunday Evening at Lake Ontario
Watercolor and ink on paper
8"x10"
Chris Breier © 2016


On this particular Sunday evening, my brother and I packed a couple of sandwiches and drove to Lake Ontario to relax and to stop at a road side stand for tomatoes and sweet corn.

I brought my painting supplies with me in case I felt like painting. I started this watercolor late in the day, so I quickly set up my gear and got to work. I sketched the overall basic shapes with pencil, and then inked it with a micron pen.

While I was painting, my brother pointed out that a woman had been looking in my direction with curiosity. She stopped by to see what I was working on and we talked for awhile. It turned out she was from the South and was interested in watercolors, it sounded as if she had tried them in the past. She had a few questions about my technique. For example, I painted the blue sky right over the drawing of the tree. She asked how that would work–"Wouldn't the blue show through when I paint the branches?".


The outdoor painting setup that I use to paint watercolors
My outdoor painting setup.

It does, but the color of the tree is dark enough to cover over the lighter shade of blue, and the blue would help to neutralize the warm colors of the tree. I explained that it's easier to paint a sky without having to paint around all of the branches, or use masking fluid to preserve the shape of the tree.

We also discussed the cold Buffalo winters, driving in snow, and the upcoming Celtic festival which was being held at the park. When I paint outside I often get to meet people that I normally wouldn't have the chance to talk to, and that's a nice break from working in the studio. The original painting, Sunday Evening at Lake Ontario is for sale. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Tea House and Pond


A watercolor of a teahouse and pond at Sonnenberg Gardens, Canandaigua NY.
Teahouse and Pond
Watercolor on paper
8"x10"
Chris Breier © 2016
This painting is from the same trip that I mentioned in my previous post about the watercolor titled "Porch". This was the first painting that I worked when we arrived at Sonnenberg Gardens. After viewing the Japanese Tea House from a variety of angles I felt the best view was from on top of a hill in front of the pond. I set my tripod and paintbox on the hill, and it was a precarious situation. The ground was uneven and there were tree roots to contend with. If I wasn't careful I could knock my tripod and painting into the pond! I also had a bug trying to bite my leg within the first five minutes of setting up.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Porch

A watercolor painting of the porch at Sonnenberg Mansion, Canandaigua NY
Porch
Watercolor on paper
5" x 7"
Chris Breier © 2016
This past summer I took a road trip to Canandaigua, New York with my brother. We ate lunch by the lake and then visited Sonnenberg Gardens. It was hot and I was feeling tired. We were exploring the gardens when I spotted a set of rocking chairs on the porch and headed straight for them. After rocking in the chair for awhile I noticed there was a patio set around the corner that looked even more comfortable.

"We should do a painting here!" I said to my brother as I plopped down in the comfy padded chair and pulled out my drawing supplies. Yes, I admit it, the motivation for this painting was to sit down and enjoy cool breeze in the shade. While we were painting, a volunteer was playing the piano in the living room inside the mansion, she played a number of classical pieces such as Beethoven's Für Elise.

A photo of a DeLorean car with the gullwing doors open
DeLorean with the gullwing doors open.
When we were picking up dinner at a local Wegmans, I noticed there was a car show in the parking lot. I spotted a DeLorean and I stopped by to take a look. I took a few pictures but I didn't get a chance to talk to the owner, I think the trilogy "Back to the Future" creates a lot of attention for him. People were probably asking him about flux capacitors or how many jigawatts he needed to get back home!

The original painting is for sale.

A photo of a engine compartment of a DeLorean
The engine compartment of a DeLorean

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Two Apples and a Pear

An acrylic painting of fruit.
Two Apples and a Pear
Acrylic on Gessobord
5"x7"
Chris Breier © 2015

Two Apples and a Pear is a companion piece to Pear and Two Apples. They're both painted on 5x7 Gessobords. This painting is the result of noticing the early morning sunlight and how it was raking across my kitchen countertop. I took a few reference photos to work from because the early morning light changes rapidly. I was interested in capturing the glossiness of the apples, and the variety of colors that can be found in their skin. The green pear contrasts nicely with the deep red apples. Fall is the best time to paint apples because they're in season. I enjoy painting fruit because it makes for great subject matter–and a tasty snack! The original painting is for sale. If you like this painting please share it! There are buttons below for all major social media sites.




Friday, September 16, 2016

Watercolor: Heat Wave

Heat Wave
8" x 10"
Watercolor on Paper
The temperatures are more tolerable now that it's mid-September. This summer has been the hottest summer I have ever experienced. Whenever it gets hot and humid I like to escape to Olcott where I can relax by the water and cool off. I'll often drive out there with my brother on the weekends. We packed a lunch and spent the day relaxing by the lake. Before we left, we stopped by the marina to take some photos of the boats. I enjoy the sounds of the water and the seagulls, I think it's because I associate it with warm weather and summer fun. While the heat can be uncomfortable, it won't be long before the temperature drops down to single digits and then I'll wish it was "scorching hot" again! You can watch me paint this in the YouTube video below. The original painting is for sale.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Splash 17 Inspiring Subjects

A watercolor painting of the boat harbor in Buffalo NY.
Boat Harbor at Dusk
Watercolor on paper
8"x10"
Chris Breier © 2016

I'm honored to have my watercolor painting "Boat Harbor at Dusk" selected to be included in Splash 17: Inspiring Subjects, published by North Light Books. It's available on Amazon in the Kindle format and as a traditional hardcover. My painting is on page 133, I copied the caption that appears with my painting below. Prints of this painting are for sale.

"The Buffalo, New York, waterfront is a relaxing place to visit and find inspiration for watercolor paintings. I enjoy walking near the water and often bring my camera to take reference photos of the boats, people, industrial architecture and skyline. The boats provide a variety of shapes, and the surface of the water is constantly changing; in this instance it had a silvery reflective quality. I often combine pen and ink with watercolor because the pen allows me to quickly define the details, and then I can focus on applying the washes of color. I chose hot-pressed watercolor paper because the smooth surface works well with pen and ink."



Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Steel Factory


The Steel Factory
Watercolor and ink on paper
5" x 7"
Chris Breier © 2016

I recently started a series of abstract watercolor paintings. While I will definitely continue working representationally, I enjoy working in different genres because it helps me to learn.

I couldn't think of a title for this painting so I posted it on my Facebook page and asked for help. Steven Strenk came up with the title "The Steel Factory" because he says it has on an industrial feel to it. We both also agreed it looks like Marcel Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase," minus the nude... and the staircase. The original painting is for sale.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Creekview



A watercolor painting of the Creekview restaurant in Williamsville, NY.
Creekview
Watercolor on paper
8"x10"
Chris Breier © 2016
The original painting is for sale. I was walking down Main Street in Williamsville New York when I saw the scene and recognized it immediately as a watercolor painting. I lined up the handrail of the bridge so that points at the subject matter, which are the people dining inside the restaurant.

The wet into wet technique helped to create soft edges between color transitions. I also didn't want to have too many sharp edges, I only added detail to the focal point.

There is a time lapse video of me painting this on YouTube, please check it out and subscribe!


Friday, July 15, 2016

Island Park Entrance

A watercolor painting of the bridge at island park in williamsville ny
Island Park Entrance
Ink and watercolor on paper
5" x 7"
Chris Breier © 2016

The original painting is for sale. I didn't have much time to complete this sketch of Island Park. The sun was setting and the scene would change dramatically as soon as the sun sets below the trees. My brother and I were on our way to pick up dinner and it was getting late. I walked around the park looking for subject matter to paint and I settled on this location where the path curves off into the distance. I started with the quick pencil sketch to make sure the proportions and the placement of the shapes was correct. When I was satisfied with the drawing I inked it with a micron pen and immediately put in some washes of color in the sky.


As you can see from the winter coat and the glove on my left hand, this painting was from April of this year. The cold weather didn't stop the mosquitoes from buzzing around my head. The good thing about the cold weather is the extra clothing provides a lot of extra pockets to stuff art supplies into!


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wilson Marina


watercolor painting of boats at Wilson marina ny
Wilson Marina
8"x10"
Watercolor on paper
Chris Breier © 2016


The original painting is for sale. My brother and I spent the day at Wilson Marina working on paintings. At the end of the day we were going to head over to Bye's popcorn stand where they sell popcorn and caramel corn. It's a small white wood shack in the front yard of a house where they sell popcorn, it's very similar to a produce stand. We've been going there since we were kids. But first, I insisted that we stop at the boat harbor to take some pictures because it was "Golden hour" where the colors and shadows are dramatic.

I painted this in one session in my studio. You can watch the entire process on YouTube, the video is below.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tree Study


Tree Study
Ink, pencil, and watercolor on paper
5" x 7"
The original painting is for sale. I worked on this study of a tree while I was having the brakes repaired on my car. I don't like sitting around in the waiting room mindlessly watching television, so whenever I have my car worked on I bring my watercolor supplies with me. I handed my keys to the mechanic and immediately bolted out the door to look for something to make a painting from.

This tree was on a walking path not too far from the shop. I began sketching it with a micron pen, and once I was happy with the drawing I used a brush pen to thicken up up some of the lines. When I added the water to the drawing the ink began to run a little bit but I think that made it look more interesting. I started with the color of the sky and when that was dry I added the color of the branches.

A few runners and walkers passed by me while I was working on this painting. They probably thought I was nuts, most people don't encounter artists drawing outside. I once had someone ask me if I was taking a survey. I think it's because I'm holding a board and it looks like I'm writing things down. This happened at Canandaigua Lake and I jokingly said "Yes, I'm counting how many boats are out on the lake today!"

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sunlit Church

Sunlight Church
Watercolor on paper
8" x 10"
Chris Breier © 2016 
The original painting is for sale. My brother and I took a walk around Williamsville and it quickly turned into a photo expedition. It was windy and colder than normal for June, which was kind of annoying. It felt like winter because the wind was making my ears and face burn, by the end of the walk I couldn't wait to get back inside.

At first I didn't get too many good photos, but I was glad I persisted because this scene was a watercolor painting waiting to happen. What caught my attention was the dappled sunlight and the orange wooden doors of the church.

If you're interested in seeing how this was painted, please watch the YouTube demo below. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Shea's (SOLD)


A watercolor painting of Shea's located in Buffalo, NY.
Shea's
Watercolor on paper
12"x18"
Chris Breier © 2016

The Shea's Performing Art Center is located in in downtown Buffalo. I spent an afternoon walking around the theatre  district looking for subject matter for my paintings. I took a number of photographs of this vantage point of Shea's but I realized that it needed something.

I took a few more pictures, trying different composistions but nothing worked. Then I spotted the metro rail in the distance and it happened to be red! I waited until it was in the perfect position and took a few pictures. The metro rail added a much needed focal point and the red created a nice contrast to the overall blue tone of the painting.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The January 30 in 30 painting challenge is complete!

A sample of the 30 paintings
that I posted over the past month.
This is the second time that I've participated in the 30 in 30 painting challenge. I had a lot of fun with the subject matter, I even painted a vintage bicycle and a lighthouse. I appreciated all of the encouraging comments on facebook and my blog. To continue to see my paintings follow this blog or follow me on social media (Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Flickr).

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Main & Cayuga

A gouache painting of the intersection of Main Street and South Cayuga in Williamsville NY.
Main & Cayuga
Gouache on paper
5”x7"
Chris Breier © 2016



The original painting is for sale. I was walking home from the local farmers market when I took the reference photo for this painting. It was hot and I was carrying a backpack filled with sweet corn, tomatoes, and blueberries. What I wouldn’t do now for fresh tomatoes and sweet corn, I have to wait another 5-6 months!

This painting was done entirely with gouache which is opaque watercolor. I normally use it small amounts to add highlights to a watercolor. It’s water based and opaque like acrylic but it’s easier to achieve gradients and subtle blending effects with it. Maybe I should do more of these. What do you think?