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Martin Dimitrov artist blog. 

Large-Scale Nocturnal on Location

50"x60"

50"x60"

A new project - painting a large nocturnal painting, on location. I loved the mood created by the warm street lights, the flickering distant city lights, and vast shadows. Since the lighting of the scene did not change much during the night, I was able to return to the scene for multiple sessions. There were some interesting challenges: 

1) Transporting the painting. It was too large to fit inside my car, so I made a wooden box, which attaches to the roof-racks. The canvas slides inside the box and is secured using bolts, so that it does not move during the ride. 

2) Lighting. A book light does not work for a large canvas. Thus, I decided to use battery powered furniture lights. The lights were held in position by a smart-phone "goose-neck" holder, and the smart-phone holder was secured to a telescoping stand. It was a strange contraption. 

3) Easel and wind. I used one of my studio easels - a basic 3-leg easel. The easel had a weight attached for stability. The canvas was additionally tied down with ropes to guard against the wind. 

On to the next one. 

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Times Past 2

28" x 36" oil on canvas panel

28" x 36" oil on canvas panel

I have not posted to my blog in many months. I hope to reverse that trend, and make my blog, once again, the place where I share my latest works, thoughts and process. 

The painting above was completed a number of months ago. However due to the heavy paint application in the background, I had to wait before varnishing it and taking a photo. It was painted using the natural morning light. 

Painting in process

Painting in process

Below is a thumbnail study. Maybe 3"x4". I always do these preliminary studies to help me evaluate the composition and to decide on the crop and dimentions of the final painting. 

small thumbnail study for Times Past 2

small thumbnail study for Times Past 2

Winter Poem

Donald Journey (http://instagram.com/donaldjurney) inspired me with his idea to paint a landscape based on a poem. It is a beautiful idea, and a beautiful poem that Donald picked for his #thepoetryofplace Challenge. Here it is: 

The sun that brief December day
Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
And, darkly circled, gave at noon
A sadder light than waning moon.
Slow tracing down the thickening sky
Its mute and ominous prophecy,
A portent seeming less than threat,
It sank from sight before it set.

Extract from: "Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyl" by John Greenleaf Whittier

Snow Bound, 12" x 14.5" oil on canvas panel

Snow Bound, 12" x 14.5" oil on canvas panel

The poem brought me memories of winter landscapes from Bulgaria. I used these memories as a starting point, but I also wanted to stay faithful to the poem and depict the hills of gray and the cheerless, sad sun. 
I started with a couple of thumbnail drawings in charcoal, to explore composition ideas. Next, I did a quick thumbnail study in oil. I was pleased with the small studies, so I started the painting. I painted on two versions of the painting in parallel. One of the two versions was looser and more experimental. It proved very valuable, since I was able to transfer some ideas from it to my primary painting.
Although I explored using some subtle color (on a thumbnail as well as on my second version of the painting), I decided to stay almost exclusively in grayscale. This is because, I felt that stripping down the color was more true to the emotion of the poem. Color simply did not fit into that painting. 



This Morning at the Sunrise Spot

The weather could not be any better nowadays (especially in the mornings and evenings). So I am really enjoying coming back out to my sunset and sunrise spots (except that there still are a lot of mosquitoes at night)

Electric posts before sunrise 9"x12" oil on panel

Electric posts before sunrise 9"x12" oil on panel

And here are a couple of picture with my phone of my sunrise spot. How beautiful in that place for painting :)