Landscape/Interior Honorable Mentions from The Artist’s Magazine‘s 28th Annual Art Competition
Erie, Pennsylvania • bradlethaby.com
My Brother’s Keeper is a tribute to Brad Lethaby’s brother, who retired from the Erie Coke plant, which is one of northwestern Pennsylvania’s last holdouts of the steel industry, once such an important part of the state’s manufacturing history. Lethaby worked on the painting in January when there was ice on the lake. He emphasized the “warm glow of the sky against the blue hills” to create a sense of heat above the plant’s “huge ovens, continually burning.” The artist explains, “The bottom portion is quite crude really, but that seemed to fit the feeling of coal dust and steel.” Starting with a gesso-primed hardboard panel, Lethaby sketched his design in charcoal and then went right in with paint, using a palette consisting of black and white and earth tones, plus a warm and a cool version of each basic color. Needing the painting to dry quickly for an upcoming show, he used Gamblin’s Galkyd to promote drying.
Lawrence C. Barone
Sackets Harbor, New York • www.thegalleryfineart.com
Starting with sketches and photos from Maryland’s shoreline, Barone used Photoshop to organize his composition for On the Eastern Shore. The software also allowed him to test changes to the piece before finalizing them in pastel and to create backups of earlier stages of the painting. “I now take more risks with my painting because I have references to help me return to the original image if things go wrong.” For this work he drew his design on medium-weight Arches watercolor paper. Next, he applied several layers of Golden acrylic ground for pastel, which is transparent enough to allow the drawing to be seen, and let it dry. He applied pastel and dampened it to create a fluid underpainting and followed this with more pastel, using considerable pressure and sometimes blending it with a vinyl eraser. Toward the end of the painting, he exposed earlier layers and defined edges with a single-edged razor blade. The pastels he used include Terry Ludwig, Unison and Great American.
Narberth, Pennsylvania • www.alexandratyng.com
For her winning painting, Alexandra Tyng says she “wanted to capture the feeling of light that touches only the top of something, leaving pockets of mystery in the deep shade.” She worked from a small plein air sketch for color reference and from photos for composition and details. “The photos also helped with decisions about brushwork and the level of detail based on the scale of the finished piece,” she says. She began her painting on Belgian linen primed with acrylic gesso and toned with burnt umber, ivory black and titanium white thinned with Gamblin Gamsol. Then she jumped right in with color, using both chromatic and earth hues, mostly from Winsor & Newton.
For larger works such as this one, Tyng says, “My process is slower and more contemplative.” For about two weeks, she worked wet-into-wet in sections, letting the painting dry partially between sessions. In addition to using a variety of brushes (synthetic and natural), she used a palette knife for adding light accents.