Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ocean Wave Painting Demo - Step By Step

I am really surprised at how many people have asked me to do a post on a wave demo. Actually a lot of the requests were for a DVD but I don't have the resources for that right now. 
I may do a short Youtube video soon,  after I finish up a few other projects.

This is a 4 x 8 inch study for the large 18 x 32 I have posted.

The above was painted in ten minutes. I block in the big shapes very quickly.
Even though it is very different than painting a still-life, many of the principals are the same. Starting with big shapes for example, and than working on the smaller ones later.

Above is how it looked after about twenty minutes.
It's amazing how much I have learned about painting by being forced not to rely on drawing first!

The above stage was after about an hour of work.
This demo was painted all in one sitting, wet into wet. Unlike my still-life paintings which are painted in layers, and have to dry before moving onto the next layer.


I think that the most important aspect of a painting is that it "feels" like the subject. I try never to paint everything the same way, but instead to paint it, in an appropriate manner to what it is. I wouldn't use wild and free brush strokes on a still-life and I also don't think a wave painting should be drawn in a mechanical way before beginning to paint. Of course that is just my opinion.

I am not going to mention the colors that I use in this post.
I will do a separate blog post on the colors I use in painting waves really soon though.
 There is only so much time I allow myself per post.
The whole painting took about three hours to get to the point above.
The study is 4 x 8 Oil on Panel

 Above is the framed finished painting. "Foam And Spray" 18 x 32 Oil on Linen
If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

"Painting Actually' - I Named The Blog...Finally

Hello Folks,

About a month ago a friend of mine made a joke about my blog being named "Blog".
I said "what do you mean?" He replied "your header says Clinton T. Hobart's Blog, and blog is in big letters." It looks like you named your blog, "Blog". This is really funny to me for two reasons. One, that never even occurred to me, and two, when I was a kid I had a bear I named "Bear". Even my parents made fun of me for that one.I remember my father saying "That would be like me naming you "Boy". "I say, I say, come here boy, go and get me somethin' to drink boy" (Imagine that with the Foghorn Leghorn voice).

When most people call me on the phone they ask "What are you doing?" Usually I say "painting actually". Even though there is actually no need for the word actually in the sentence. 

I struggled for over a month coming up with a title for this blog. I wanted a title that reflected the mixture of paintings, with some of the opinions, and stories I like to tell about painting, and the art world in general. One of my early ideas was to call it 'Painting And Ranting'. I thought it would be even cooler if I made that into one new word. Unfortunately painting and ranting mixed together is "panting", and I thought "that won't work". No one is going to join a blog called Clinton T. Hobart's Panting"

I came up with 'Painting Actually'. One of my favorite films is 'Love Actually'. I thought it was a very honest movie even though the stories were being acted out. That is really what I am trying to do here. There are some really great blogs out there that focus on art technique, whats going on in the art world, report on what gallery shows are out there, etc. I wanted to do something different, which is to tell real stories, and give real opinions, hopefully in an entertaining way.  And of course the occasional top ten list which seems to be pretty popular. 

Lastly, it reflects the fact that I spend most of my time actually painting. This blog is a hobby. I am beginning to see the word "blogger" used as a job description. Although I enjoy posting blogs I hope I am described as a painter, not a blogger. Posting blogs takes only a fraction of my time per week, the rest of the time I am painting, actually.

Thanks to everyone reading

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Black Is Not A Color... And Nine Other Really Stupid Things I Hear All Too Often

10. No Two Snowflakes Are Exactly Alike
I've been hearing this one since I was a kid and I always have the exact same response. Go out into any snow storm, raise your finger into the air and quickly point to a random snowflake and say "this one!" and then jump your finger instantly to another and say "that one!" - and then say "now prove that those two were not identical...and then multiply that by every snowstorm... ever. I don't care what the mathematical predictability is or the complexity of the crystals etc...it is just simply impossible to prove with 100% accuracy.

9. Tie Your Shoelaces Or You'll Fall On Your Face.
This has never happened to me, not once, ever...and I walk around with my shoelaces untied all of the time. An old woman in a grocery store just last week, said "sonny, tie your shoelaces" - I said "Or I'll fall on my face?" she smiled and said "you never know". Still hasn't happened.

8. Don't Eat That Or It Will Spoil Your Dinner.
Nothing I have ever eaten, whether it was ice cream, cake, or a steak sandwich, has ever spoiled my dinner. One time there was a cigarette butt in my mashed potatoes at a diner in NJ...I sent the potatoes back and ate a plate of fries - no problem. We did get the meal for free though.

7. Don't Swim After You Eat.
A myth that just isn't true. I have eaten plenty of meals, gone swimming, and lived to tell about it.
More accurate advice would be "don't swim in shark infested waters", this one at least makes sense.

6. The Hair Of The Dog.
"The 16th century English dramatist John Heywood suggested that the best way to recover from a hangover was to have the 'hair of the dog that bit you'", which means waking up and having another drink. "The old wives' tale and the expression is a spin-off from the misguided notion that you could recover from a dog bite by plucking a hair from the dog and holding it to the wound. Unfortunately, the advice doesn't work any better for hangovers than it does for dog bites." 

You would think that by now this would be common sense. My attitude is that if you drink too much, the hangover should be a reminder not to do it again (at least for a while) and that the smartest solution is to take two Advil, drink plenty of water, and don't forget the feeling the next time you set out to have a few.
"From the perspective of sugar metabolism, alcohol may cause a blood sugar spike, resulting in a hypoglycemic awakening "hangover".Consuming more alcohol might be the quickest way to ingest more calories that quickly convert to sugar to raise the body's blood sugar, as well as lifting the fainting and headaches often associated with low blood sugar.

One common feature of hangovers (and excessive alcohol consumption in general) is nausea caused by the irritating corrosive chemical properties of ethanol on the human gastrointestinal mucosa, rather than a buildup of bloodborne toxins; this effect is actually increased by further alcohol consumption, and would likely result in increased damage (and more nausea/vomiting) if more alcohol is ingested before the mucosa can regenerate itself. In these cases, "hair of the dog" would actually be highly harmful and likely make things worse" - From Wikipedia

5. Watching TV Will Ruin Your Eyesight.
Not true. What parents should say to kids watching most of the programming available is that "Watching TV will make you dumber and most likely fat as well." which is a far better warning.

4. If You Shave Your Hair Will Grow Back Thicker.
This one cracks me up. If this were true by the time we were fifty we would all look like hedgehogs.

3. Put A Jacket On Or You'll Catch Pneumonia
Catch it from where? Is Pneumonia hanging outside my front door waiting for me to go outside and then say "GOTCHA, you didn't have a jacket on!" There is no science behind this one at all. No evidence, none, that wet hair, cold weather, or going outside without a jacket can cause Pneumonia. The best advice? If you see someone with Pneumonia, stay the hell away from them or you can catch Pneumonia.

2. Black Is Not A Color
I had to tie this post into Art somehow! I don't care what the science is on how you see or don't see black and white. The absence of color, it reflects all of the other colors...whatever, that's all great if you happen to be a scientist, but it has absolutely no effect on learning how to paint. None, it's just plain silly to think so. If you are a painter, black is a color, and I can prove it. Look to the right. See, it's a color. I found this on the shelf next to all of the other colors! Need more? OK. Go outside and burn something, anything, and then go inside with the pile of ash and add some vegetable oil to it, and let me know what color you get - hint it won't be taupe.You want to know something that isn't a color, Cotton Candy. Cotton Candy is something you get on the boardwalk and at the circus, and it is wonderful if you don't eat too much...but it's not a freakin color. Black is - end of story.

1. If You Don't Stop That, You Could Go Blind
Half of the people reading this know for a fact - this isn't true :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Seven New 6 x 8 Minnies!!!

 I have been really busy with a project which hopefully will be posted here soon. My galleries need new work so I had to take a week off from it. Here are the first seven Minnies.

I liked the drawing on this one so I thought I would add the pic of it. All of these are 6 x 8 Oil on Panel. 2014.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Winner Of The Free Minnie Giveaway!

Last September I gave away a free painting to a random follower of this Blog. Here is the winning painting! I left it open as a commission so this was requested by the winner. Congratulations again Peg!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Candy Crush or Candy Swipe? How About Neither One.

So there is this video game everyone seems to be playing called Candy Crush. It turns out it may be a rip-off of a game created two years earlier called Candy Swipe. So the owners of Candy Swipe published a letter and got some lawyers, and everyone is posting on Facebook, and playing the game, the Candy Crush has lawyers, and patents, and is trying to protect it's IPA because millions of people spend money on the free game and apps, and more talking, and more lawyers, and on and on and on and who cares?  Not me, don't play video games - can't stand them. When I read that this particular game has a feature which makes you wait a half hour unless you pay money to continue I chuckled...until I read how much it earns a day with that trick.

If I don't play the game then why am I writing a very passionate Blog post on a subject I know almost nothing about? Well, I didn't really care...BUT, and I mean a big BUT -The company called King, that owns Candy Crush, is trying to trademark the words "Candy" and "Saga" and prevent others from using the words...And that is when the story got my attention.

No company, group, or person  should own the rights to single words that already exist. They should not be allowed to copyright or trademark candy, or saga, or art, or illustrator, or even apple for that matter, and then limit or profit from it's usage.

"While King’s trademark of the word “candy” is getting the most traction, the company’s attempt to trademark “saga” is just as absurd.
This is peculiar for many reasons, including the fact that the word originates from an Old Norse word meaning “narrative.”
That any company should claim the rights to an ancient noun would be mildly hilarious if it didn’t have real legal implications for a small studio like Stoic, which may not ever be able to trademark their own game’s name." From a great article on http://www.forbes.com

Personally, I think companies should create new words. "Photoshop", for example is a good one. If they made Candycrush one word, who could say it wasn't theirs? But to be able to tell people they can't use the word "candy" is just wrong. If you want to copyright or trademark wolfcognottin, go right ahead. It's the word for when a company knowingly sells a product that will do harm, but that people will love anyway and spend lots of money on. McDonald's for example, makes the majority of their money wolfcognottin. Nothing came up on a Google search which means it doesn't exist...til just now.

When a company tries to trademark the word "candy" and "saga" to make money off of them. I will not buy their product, and I will tell all of my friends what they are up to and hope that they won't buy their product either. I hope no one ever spends another nickle on Candy Crush Saga...

Below are some links if anyone wants the whole story:



One last thing. To anyone who plays these games regularly I might suggest, or beg actually, that you carry around a book, or at least a magazine, and read something. It's cheap, fun and will definitely make you smarter.

Monday, February 3, 2014

How Waves Form

Often, people who buy my wave paintings say that it "feels" like they are there, that they can "smell" the ocean. When I am painting waves, I am actually not concerned with the level of realism. I am still figuring out how to paint them and I know that getting things to look real just takes practice. Getting things to "feel" real however, takes study...lot's of study. I go to the beach at least three times a week and stare at the ocean. I love doing this anyway, to me it is one of the most relaxing things I do.
Waves have anatomy, and like a person, there are reasons why they move the way that they do. If anyone has ever seen a figure drawing or painting done by a person who never studied anatomy, you might cringe at the sight, and yet I know many people who paint waves have never actually studied how they move. One of the most interesting aspects of waves, and the most difficult to paint is the fact that while the top of the wave is moving toward us, the surface below is moving in the opposite direction.

A few factors determine how strong an individual wave will be. These include:
  • Speed of wind: The faster the wind is traveling, the bigger a wave will be.
  • Time of wind: The wave will get larger the longer the length of time the wind is hitting it.
  • Distance of wind: The farther the wind travels against the wave (known as fetch), the bigger it will be.
 A great article on how waves form from the site How Stuff Works:

Here are two videos and a diagram, just a few of the many things I have read on the subject.

Below is a link to a great video on The Weather Channel about the huge waves in Hawaii:

One of my favorite myths I have heard about waves is that they come in in predictable numbers. Not true based on my observations. Much like the idea that no two snow flakes are alike, it is simply unprovable.

And below, just a fun video of some HUGE waves:

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Are Artist Feuds A Thing Of The Past?

When I was in art school there were feuds going on everywhere. This teacher said this, and then this teacher responded with that. While the students were running back to tell the other instructor what was said about them, and I do mean running, they seemed to have missed the point. The point of WHY something was said.

One instructor called the drawing program I was in "No Focus Drawing". (It was actually called High Focus Drawing). A teacher in that program responded by calling the other teacher's class "paint by number". But why did they feel the need to do this? Was it because they had small fragile egos and they needed to knock someone down to build themselves up? That might be the modern day interpretation, but I don't think so. I think that they were passionate about their belief systems, and when they felt that someone was teaching something that was contradictory, they said so. They were trying to convey to students how strongly they felt about what they were doing, and that is a wonderful thing. I had a teacher who was so passionate about drawing that he threw me out of his class in disgust. It worked out well for me because he suggested that I try the "High Focus" which wound up being exactly what I was looking for.

The problem is that I think the passion gets lost in the gossip. Students wind up just running back and forth saying this one said this, and this one said that.

Picasso and Matisse had a long standing feud which has been the topic of many articles and shows.
Could anyone say for sure which of the two paintings  is better or worse?

Bob Dylan is rumored to have despised Andy Warhol. The rumor is that part of the reason that Dylan hated him is because he blamed Warhol for getting  Edie Sedgwick addicted to drugs, and that it destroyed her life.

The man who gave us "Visions of Johanna" hates the guy who gave us silk screens of a soup can...shocking. For about a million reasons I side with Dylan...If someone took all of Warhol's work and burned it right now I'd be fine, but if they took Dylan away...  Of all of the feuds I have heard of, this one actually makes sense. I didn't like Warhol very much to begin with, but hearing that was the icing on the cake.

The only feud I was in personally that I don't regret was with another instructor who worked briefly at Scottsdale Artist's School in Arizona at the time I was teaching there. It started when he was acting extremely inappropriately with a model in his class. She was a friend of mine and came to me asking what to do. I decided to approach him in the parking lot, which was a rather bad call on my part. He ran and hid behind the front desk woman, I think he thought I was going to beat him up...All we did was exchange words but it traveled around the school so fast the next day! I had actually heard that we had gotten into a fist fight and all sorts of exaggerated tales of what had happened. Had I heard that I had challenged him to a ten pace duel I wouldn't have been surprised. The feud lasted a few weeks and then he was fired. He deserved all that he got, but I definitely should have handled it better. Hey, I was young.

A few art history jabs which are fun:

Manet told Monet to tell Renoir to give up painting because he had no talent.

Degas said of Toulouse-Lautrec that he was "merely a painter of the period who wouldn't last." and about Seurat"s work, "I wouldn't have noticed it except that it is so big." and famously said of Mary Cassatt "She paints too well to be a woman".

Marc Chagall said of Picasso: “What a genius, that Picasso… It’s a pity he doesn’t paint.”

Francis Bacon said of  Pollock: "they’re just decoration. I always think they look like old lace.”

Salvador Dalí said of Picasso:  “He finished modern art at one blow by outuglying, alone, in a single day, the ugly that all others combined turned out in several years.”

The New York Times Magazine called Norman Rockwell "bad art". I didn't throw out my Rockwell books. I chuckled and went back to drawing. The problem is that someone might believe that Rockwell's work is bad because of the article and that would be a shame. It was an opinion that should have been left unsaid.

The unfortunate truth is, that no one hears the passion, no one really cares about what you think, they just like spreading the gossip...

The good news is that I really haven't heard anything about anyone lately. Hopefully, artist feuds are becoming a thing of the past.