Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Splash 18: The best of Watercolor

Splash 18: Value - Celebrating Light and Dark (Splash: The Best of Watercolor)
"Buffalo Savings Bank" can be found on
page 87 of Splash 18: The Best of Watercolor.
I am excited to announce that my watercolor painting "Buffalo Savings Bank" has been selected to be included in Splash 18: The Best of Watercolor.  My painting is on page 87 and you can read the caption below. The book will be released on July 21, 2017.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Turning Leaves

An acrylic painting of autumn leaves at Lake Audubon.
Turning Leaves
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
8"x10"
Chris Breier © 2017
As I mentioned in yesterdays post, I had visited Lake Audubon on a calm day and the water was so still that it looked like a mirror. The sun was at a low angle so it was raking across the grass and the weeds in the foreground. When I encounter a scene like this, I take advantage of it and take lots of reference photos for future paintings! 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Autumn Reflections

An acrylic painting of Lake Audubon in fall.
Autumn Reflections
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
8"x10"
Chris Breier © 2017
I took the reference photo for this painting last fall on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately I had spent the majority of the day at a car dealership, but after late lunch I was able to take a walk at Lake Audubon. When we arrived, I was awestruck by fall foliage and the mirror like reflections of the water. I’ve never seen the surface of the lake so smooth and mirrorlike.

The original painting is available.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Audubon Sunrise

An acrylic painting of a sunrise at Audubon Lake, Amherst NY.
Audubon Sunrise
Acrylic on Raymar canvas panel
8"x10"
Chris Breier © 2017
This painting was something of an experiment with color. I had a photograph that had a pleasing composition but the colors were boring because of the overcast–so I decided to invent my own color scheme. I used mostly yellow oxide, orange, and purple. I was a little concerned that it would come out too colorful but neutralized some of the brighter oranges with the purple. The original painting is for sale through email $160 plus $10 shipping USPS priority mail with the standard insurance ($50).

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Croton

Croton
Acrylic on Raymar canvas panel
8"x10"
I visited the Botanical Gardens a number of times this winter, it's a great place to escape the cold and the dull, monochromatic landscape. This Croton plant caught my attention. I thought it would be an easy subject to paint but the complex patterns took a long time to get right.

I worked from a photo reference that had a confusing and boring background. I painted over it a number of times until I finally decided to simplify it with bold abstract brushstrokes. The effect is similar to intentionally making areas of the photo out of focus as a way to draw the viewers attention to the focal point.

The original painting is for sale through email $160 plus $10 shipping.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Early Morning At Island Park



Acrylic painting of a tree at Island park, Williamsville NY
Early Morning At Island Park
Acrylic on Raymar canvas panel
8" x 10"
Chris Breier © 2017
On this particular morning, I decided to take a walk at Island Park. The sun was up and it was the beginning of a hot summer day. There are a number of areas of the park that would make a good painting but what attracted me to this spot was how the sun changed the appearance of the water. The area in direct sun reveals the muddy color of the water and the shadow areas reflect the blue-green color of the trees in the background.

I also enjoyed painting the tree, I used a little bit of impasto on the tree trunk (impasto is when the paint is applied in a thick manner to create texture). I used daubs of various shades of green to paint the foliage.

The original painting is for sale through email $160 plus $10 shipping.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Clouds Over Lake Ontario

An acrylic painting of clouds over Lake Ontario at sunset.
Clouds Over Lake Ontario
8"x10"
acrylic on raymar canvas board
Chris Breier © 2017
I've always wanted to paint a picture of Lake Ontario, but I knew that painting a large body of water could end up with boring results. If it's an overcast day then the painting may be nothing more than two stripes of very similar shades of blue. I realized I needed to wait for interesting weather and lighting to make this work.

Then one evening a bank of clouds rolled in while I was enjoying the view of the lake. This was around sunset so the clouds had a much more dramatic appearance than during the afternoon. I took a number of photographs to work from because the clouds and the lighting change so quickly there was no time to get my painting supplies and set up my easel. The original painting is available.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Country Boats

A watercolor painting of boats in a field
Country Boats
Watercolor and ink on paper
8"x10"
© 2017 Chris Breier
When you first glanced at this painting I bet you didn't notice the house peaking out between the trees in the background. While I was working on this painting, I daydreamed about what it would be like to live there. I could take the boat out on the lake on a hot summer day, and tend to the tomato patch in the backyard. Perhaps a fire pit would be nice for those cold summer nights. Someday...
The original painting is available.

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.