Friday, November 27, 2009

Shollenberger Park

To receive more information about this painting click here.

This was the first painting that I did with the North Bay Plein Air Meetup group.This is a fun group of painters including folks at all levels of ability. If you're in the area look them up as they have a paintout practically every month. This was painted between the Marina and the main part of Shollenberger. You can see photos of more of the paintout paintings along with photos of folks painting at the Meetup link above.

To see more of my plein air paintings please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Limantour Wetlands

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The northern chapter of the California Art Club had a retreat where 40 artists stayed at the hostel at Limantour near Point Reyes. On the last morning a group of us went to the wetland area where I painted this painting. I did some designing to make this painting work the way I wanted it to.

To see more of my plein air paintings please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Silent Cove

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This was painted on the American River across the river from Historic Folsom. I was looking for some water scenes to paint and explored this area. The bridge into town is just up to the left of this painting a few hundred yards. There were some good views of the bridge and on the other side of the bridge and if I had more time I would have painted more paintings from this location. Maybe another time. I chose this spot because the water was calm here and I like the still pool of water with the rocks protecting it. I like these scenes and will no doubt be painting more of them. This painting will be in the Prelude Show for the Plein Air Rockies exhibit August 7-26, 2010.

To see more of my Capitol Plein Air paintings painted in the Sacramento area please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Eucalyptus Light

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This was painted near where I was staying in Fair Oaks between Folsom and Sacramento. I was drawn to the way the light was cast across the field framed by the eucalyptus.

To see more of my Capitol Plein Air paintings painted in the Sacramento area please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rain Girl - SOLD

To receive more information about this painting click here.

It was storming pretty hard the first day that I painted for the Capitol Plein Air in Sacramento. I decided to go over to my brother's house and set up under the carport to get some shelter and to paint his front yard. This is the house that I grew up in. I was ten feet away from the edge of the carport roof and still was getting soaked. My niece came home from school and stood where you see her in the painting which was about 6 feet in under the carport. I knew right away that I should paint her there with the rain soaked driveway. She was a trooper and got soaked but never complained. She only posed for a half hour or so and then I finished it without her. It was a lot of fun to paint my niece in her over-sized raincoat in the pouring rain and visit with my nieces, nephew, sister-in-law and brother.

To see more of my Capitol Plein Air paintings painted in the Sacramento area please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I'll be posting more...

Hi all. I have a lot of catching up to do on my blog. I will start by posting images from Capitol Plein Air which was held in Sacramento last October. I'll be posting by the date the paintings were painted versus the date I post which helps me keep track of the events and paintings and when they were painted. I now have Photoshop on my new laptop so hopefully I'll be posting more often.

Starting with Capitol Plein Air I will then post images from my 2010 events including:
- Carmel Art Festival
- Los Gatos Plein Air
- San Clemente Plein Air
- Door County Plein Air
- Alameda Plein Air

Followed by events I have yet to paint at including:
- Plein Air Rockies
- North Tahoe Plein Air

I hope you enjoy my posts and would love to get feedback.
Thanks,
--Al

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Plant by SLO Mission - Sold


To receive more information about this painting click here.
I painted this by the entrance to the San Luis Obispo Mission for the Saturday morning Quickdraw. I was just off the front steps and I liked the way the morning light cast the blue shadows against the warm adobe. The green of the plant just popped out against the backdrop.
To see more of my San Luis Obispo paintings please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Arroyo Grande Vista

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The effect of light is what captured my attention in this scene and that quickly disappeared. I had to get the light and shadow color relationships down quickly as they were gone in 20-30 minutes. Much of this was painted from memory at most of the scene quickly became flooded with light and the shadows disappeared. This was painted up in the hills between Arroyo Grande and my host family which was south east of San Luis Obispo.

To see more of my San Luis Obispo paintings please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Evening at Shell Beach

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Here's a painting I started late afternoon at Shell Beach. My friends Wendy Brayton and Carole Gray-Weihman joined me.



Wendy and I painting as the sun was setting. Work, work, work...

To see more of my San Luis Obispo paintings please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Coastal Trail

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This was painted near Montana del Oro. As I was walking around the area I came to like the shapes and coloration of the bushes against the rugged coast with its walking trail. I could of just sat out there all day and enjoyed the crashing waves and the chirping birds. It doesn't get much better than being out painting in such a location.

To see more of my San Luis Obispo paintings please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Coastal Farm - in private collection


This was painted on a foggy day east of Arroyo Grande for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air event. I felt like painting a structure that morning and this was a nice scene to paint with the layers of mist behind the barn. We passed this scene several days as it was between our host family's home and the coast.
To see more of my San Luis Obispo paintings please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hollister Peak - revisited

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I love to paint the Sisters when I'm at the San Luis Obispo Plein Air event. This is on a frontage road just outside Morro Bay looking east on the way back to San Luis Obispo. Carole and I started our paintings and then came back to finish them a day or two later. On the second day Ken Christensen was setting up just west of us about 100 feet away. He had a large, blank canvas out. Less than a couple hours later Ken stops by to visit and he had already finished his painting. Man, does he paint fast!

To see more of my San Luis Obispo paintings please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Off Old Creek

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First day for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air event. Found this scene off the Old Creek Road north of Morro Bay. This painting didn't make it into the exhibit.

To see more of my San Luis Obispo paintings please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tessa in White

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This was painted at l'Atelier aux Couleurs in Petaluma, CA where we were hosting a Peggi Kroll Roberts workshop. This was a 40-60 minute pose on the last day of the workshop. I love painting the figure and this was a fun pose with the translucency of the white dress.

To see more figurative and plein air oil paintings please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dick and Mary's Sunrise - in private collection


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This was painted on Lake Tahoe off the dock of my host family's home. Dick and Mary were gracious hosts and have a beautiful home in a beautiful setting. On the last morning of the North Tahoe Plein Air I got up early to try to paint a little 6" x 8". When I got out there I found one of the other two painters at the house, Carole, had beaten me too it and was a half an hour ahead of me. I decided to walk halfway up the dock and paint the sunrise on the lake with the distant mountains and clouds reflecting in the water. Every morning that we were at the house we were presented with a unique, beautiful sunrise.
To see more of my North Tahoe Plein Air paintings and other lake and landscapes scenes please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Emerald Blue

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I hiked down with all my gear to the north side of Emerald Bay not knowing exactly what I'd find from lake level. Driving by over the years this spot had a certain kind of magic and I've always wanted to paint here. It was a bit of a hike on a paved trail and my pack didn't seem too heavy. When it finally started to get heavy I came across a friend, John Deckert who was on his way up after painting a couple great, color sketches. At the bottom I found Vikingsholm Castle which is quite picturesque. I decided to hike around the north side of the island to try and get a better angle and to get closer to the island. After checking out a dozen potential spots to set up my easel I decided to paint this angle. The light was really interesting and I started to feel the magic of the place. The scene was flooded with blue and I tried to capture it. A couple times I almost scraped off the canvas as I was having a hard time capturing the atmosphere. I was pleased with the final results. Then there was the hike back. Almost immediately I was wondering how I would make it up the slope with all my gear. That was a hard hike back up but I had a delicious sandwich waiting for me that kept me going.

To see more of my North Tahoe Plein Air paintings and other landscapes please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ski Run

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This is back at Alpine Meadows looking south west at some of the dry ski runs. Carole painted her award winner looking 180 degrees behind me. As we were painting I kept hearing this noise in the woods near the empty parking lot maybe 100 yards away. After a little while this guy comes out of the brush and calls his dog to follow him back to the lodge. I'm working out my painting as the sun is rising and some areas are getting more interesting and other areas are getting flooded with light. I hear more rustling in the woods. I look over and I see some cyclists coming up the hill. I'm trying to figure out the foreground as just below the bottom of my painting is a huge flat parking lot. Again I hear the rustling. I continue on the foreground trees and adjusting the values to maintain the depth in the painting. Again the rustling. It's been going on for over an hour now and I can't take it anymore so I stopped and stared into the woods until I see what is making the noises. Nothing. Grrr. I continue to stare and then I hear it again and try to focus in on where the noise is coming from. Again. It sounds like its coming from the big pine tree but what could make such a loud rustling noise way up in a tree. Again with the noise. This time the top of the tree shakes. Holy cow!

I narrow my focus to the limb that I thought was at the center of the ruckus. Then I see it. From behind a large clumping of branches and pine needles this large black butt of a bear appears. My jaw drops. I look at the limb and ask how can it support so much weight. It must be a little cub. It jostles around again and I see it full on the side and it ain't no little cub! It then tears down the branch to the trunk and scurries up the tree another 30 feet or so. I had no idea that they could climb trees let alone fly up them like that. I guess I still have that image from Bonanza of the two bears at the base of a tree waiting for this guy to come down and then they finally wander off. So much with the idea of climbing into a tree to get away from one. By this time I remember to tell Carole to look over at the tree. She doesn't see it at first and then gets her camera and starts to walk over to take pictures. I'm thinking, okay, I just saw it fly up a tree in seconds, I bet it can go even faster on flat ground. Meantime a runner comes into view and is obviously rather tired having run up the mountain and is now slowly running under the bear in the tree that is just 20 feet off the road. Headphones on, oblivious that there is a bear over her head. The bear doesn't care. Same with some cyclists. He finally runs down the tree and runs 15 feet or so and stops. He sits up and stares at Carole and myself. Gulp. We stare back. He finally goes into the brush and disappears. He must have been 300-400 pounds, small for a bear but big enough. I kept wondering where Mom was. So much for the excitement. Back to painting. You got to love painting in plein air!

To see more of my North Tahoe Plein Air paintings and other landscapes, sorry, no bears, please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Meadows on the Truckie River

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On the Truckie River just north west of Tahoe City is this beautiful meadow. North Tahoe Plein Air enlarged the boundaries in which the artists could paint this year and you could now paint most of Lake Tahoe and up the Truckie river. This spot was just down from the Alpine Meadows turn off where I painted "Alpine Vista" earlier. The shadows changed quite rapidly here so we came back a second day to finish our plein air paintings. Typically we don't like to spend more than a couple of hours on a painting at a time as the light will have changed significantly in that amount of time. It's better to come back a second day at the same hour if more time is needed. On the second day Christin Coy and Richard Lindenberg came down to paint the meadow and Carole Gray-Weihman was up just up ahead.

To see more of my North Tahoe Plein Air paintings and other landscapes and river scenes please visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Alpine Vista - North Tahoe Plein Air

This little 6" x 8" painting was painted from the parking lot at Alpine Meadows ski resort. When I was in my late teens, early twenties I use to ski here quite a bit. It has such a different look without the snow. Go figure! I painted another painting here looking to the right of this one and there's a little story to go with it. Check back in a couple days to find out.

To see more of my North Tahoe Plein Air paintings and other landscapes and mountain scenes visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Calm Waters in Endo Valley

This was painted in the Endo Valley a few hundred yards up from the other river painting. As I was walking around this area trying to find the best place to set up I discovered a piece of rebar sticking straight up about a foot near this bush. I couldn't figure out why it was there out in the middle of this beautiful valley. I started painting and about a half hour later I saw these two guys who I thought were fisherman trouncing around through the bushes. When they got closer I realized that they had no fishing rods and asked them what they were up to. They said they were looking for markers left in the 80s. As I went back to painting, I turned back to them and asked "what kind of markers..." They said "rebar"! I saved them a bunch of work, well, that was one of 3 or 4 that they were looking to remove. I felt like that was a good sign for the day; now back to painting...

To see more of my Estes Park Plein Air paintings and other landscapes and mountain scenes visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rocky Mountain Overlook

Just outside of Estes Park I painted this little 6" x 8" plein air painting that was off the main road in the Rocky Mountain National Park. We drove around the park a while and then came across this scene off an overlook turnout. I hiked down a ways to find something to put in the foreground and found this scene. Hope you like it!

To see more of my Estes Park Plein Air paintings and other landscapes and mountain scenes visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

View of Tyndall Gorge - Rocky Mountains

Mark Rittorno, Carole Gray Weihman and I went back to Sprague Lake to paint from the opposite side looking up into the mountains. We walked around the lake and found a great spot to paint from. All three of us set up our easels side by side so that we couldn't see each others compositions and started painting. It was quite interesting to see that all of our layouts ended up being quite similar anyway.

More folks stopped and chatted with us than on any other day. These paint-outs are great to introduce children and adults alike to plein air painting. I was also amazed at how many people already knew what plein air painting was all about. And not just the local folks who may be use to the Estes Park plein air event, people from all over the country. This was a great day to be out in nature with beautiful scenery, friendly folks and painting!

To see more of my Estes Park Plein Air paintings and other landscapes and mountain scenes visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In the Forest - Estes Park Plein Air

We met up with Wes Hyde for a morning during the Estes Park Plein Air and painted near the stream in Endo Valley. Wes set up to the right of my scene and painted the stream under the trees. I liked the way the light was cast across this old dead tree so I set up here to paint it within ear shot of Wes. I liked the way that some of the tree was almost turning orange as it was decaying next to the grey of the outer skin.

To see more of my Estes Park Plein Air paintings and other landscapes visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Endo Valley Cascade

This stream meanders through the Endo Valley in the Rocky Mountain National Park. I was starting my painting here when out of the brush behind me this guy stumbles out and says "I come all the way from California and I still can't get away from you!" or something to that effect. It was my smiling friend Mike Bagdonas, the only artist I've met that is significantly taller than me. And a darn good painter! We chatted for a bit and then he went around the bend in the right of my painting and painted his scene. Ahead of him was Mark Rittorno, and ahead of him was Carole Gray Weihman. Meeting up with other artists at these plein air events is one of the best parts of the events.

To see more of my Estes Park Plein Air paintings and other landscapes and river scenes visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sprague Lake Morning

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Mark Rittorno, Carole Gray Weihman and I painted together for much of the Estes Park Plein Air event. This was painted on the first morning at Sprague Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Forest. I headed east around the lake and stopped on a little bridge overlooking the lake with this marsh in the foreground. There was something about the deep values in the foreground water that transitioned into the lighter colors towards the horizon along with the distant mountain that made me want to paint this scene. Later in the week I painted from the distant shore looking back over my shoulder at Tyndall Gorge. Check back in a few days to see that painting!

To see more of my Estes Park Plein Air paintings and other landscapes visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Upper Beaver Meadows - Rocky National Forest

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This was painted on the first afternoon painting in the Rocky Mountain National Forest. The clouds were coming and going as we were painting at this location. We had planned to come back here so I could finish this.

When we did return the clouds were thick and then the thunder and lightning came. I decided to start another painting since it was a completely different scene. Carole, Mark and I were huddled between the Jeep and Toyota for a wind block. We soon decided that wasn't a great idea with lightning coming so close. We were one of the highest objects out there (and being 6'2" I was the highest) so we reluctantly packed it in. I continued to paint from the passenger seat for a while but it soon became impossible to see through the thick rain. Ahh, plein air; you got to love it!

To see more of my Estes Park Plein Air paintings and other landscapes visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Portrait of a Girl - Quickdraw

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This was painted at the Wyoming Plein Air Quickdraw in down town Cheyenne near the train depot building. We had 90-120 minutes to complete the painting before the whistle blew. We then framed the painting and took it over to the Plains Hotel to be auctioned. This portrait was a bit of a challenge as the elements came into play. The shadows from the heavy clouds were causing the light to go in and out and then it started to rain towards the end of our allotted time. To see more of my portraiture visit my web site; Alfredo Tofanelli Fine Art.

Note: If you click on the image to see it zoomed up you can see the small rain drops on it as this photo was taken right before I took it to the auction. They are most obvious on her cheek.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wild Horse Country - SOLD


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This is painted above Green River,Wyoming in the wild horse area. It is just off Interstate 80 and there are some 30,000 wild horses. We saw the horses on most days in groups of 1-20. This view is looking south towards Utah. Below are photos of me painting this painting and a close up of the painting blocked in on the easel.




Thursday, August 13, 2009

Water Lilies - at the Cheyenne Arboretum

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Carole and I each taught a day of our workshops at the Cheyenne Arboretum. We decided to go back to the pond for one of our required days painting in Cheyenne as part of the Wyoming Plein Air event. I was intrigued with the reflection in the pond and the coy swimming partially in and out of the shadows.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bull at Wyoming Capitol Building

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For the Wyoming Plein Air event we had two weeks where we could paint anywhere in Wyoming but three of those days had to be in the city of Cheyenne. I chose to paint this sculpture on the lawn of the State Capitol building. I painted this over two afternoons. The first day I blocked it in and was having fun with the colors in the bronze until the clouds showed up. The second day was cut short too as they turned on the sprinkler; I guess they wanted me out of there. See photos below to see the start and end of the first day. You can also see how the light changes so much in 2 hours!





Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tollgate Sunset

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This was painted near interstate 80 in Green River, Wyoming. We really liked the area around Green River as Carole and I passed through on our way to Cheyenne to teach a couple workshops. Once we finished the workshops we checked in for the Wyoming Plein Air event and then headed back to Green River to paint for a few days. I spent a couple evenings on this maybe for an hour or two each. The first evening there were these great cloud formations as a storm was brewing. Maybe an hour in to it from out of the blue both Carole and my hats blew of at the same time. We both darted across the road trying to get our hats back before they were gone for good. We looked down the road by the hotel and a wall of dust, maybe 12 feet high was quickly heading our way. My first thought was a funnel touch down but it was just a large gust. We grabbed our easels and ducked behind the truck for cover holding on to everything as the wind was trying to take it all away. Dust everywhere. Heavy rain soon followed as we tried to tear our gear down and get into the truck. We watched the storm pass through the rain with lots of thunder and lightning as the sun went down.

When we went back to finish the paintings a few nights later it was a completely different sky so I went with the new sunset. It was a calm night and a few folks stopped by to chat and let us know that this was a great spot to take photos. We agreed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quick portrait demo of Mike

I did this quick oil demo, maybe 15 minutes, at my workshop in Cheyenne, WY. I wanted the students to start with just two values depicting light and shadow and designing interesting shapes to help describe the form and likeness. I later added a third light value.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Alameda Sunset - Water Scene Award

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I did this painting late after painting earlier in the day. I thought I arrived too late to catch the sunset but Carole talked me into it. I walked down a ways to get a better angle on where the sun would set in my painting and then quickly started placing color spots down as the sun was setting fast. I didn't even have the board covered by the time it got dark so I went to the car and dug out my head lamp, the type that mounts on your head, and went back and finished the painting. The light uses LCDs so the colors were off and I had to paint more of what I knew than what I was seeing on the board. I was pleasantly surprised when I brought the painting into the house that night. The judge for the the Alameda Plein Air must have also liked it as he gave it the Water Scene Award.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rebecca at Julie's

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This was painted at the 2 hour quick draw for Alameda Plein Air. Rebecca worked at Julie's Coffee and Tea Garden and I ask her if she would pose for a painting. She was a terrific model and fun to paint. We set up in the garden patio in the back of Julie's; great spot. I had 2 hours to get my board stamped, drive up to Julie's, paint the portrait, frame and wire it, drive back and check it in within 2 hours. Weew! Carole Gray Weihman and Victoria Brooks were painting inside of Julie's too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Verdi


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The folks at the Frank Bette Center arranged to have the artists paint at Cardinal Point in Alameda. I arrived a little late and Verdi asked if I would paint her portrait as all the other artists had already started their paintings. We went out into the outdoor atrium and she sat for me for about 2 hours. She was a great model! She wouldn't take a break and held her pose beautifully.

Waiting at Julie's

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This was painted at the Alameda Plein Air in a cafe called Julie's.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

San Clemente Sunset - Sold


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This was painted at the San Clemente Plein Air in the hills above San Clemente as the sun was about to go down. I liked the atmosphere in the scene juxtaposed to the contrast in the palm trees. I received an Honorable Mention award for this piece at the main event.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Old Friend - 2nd Place Award in Quick Draw

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This was painted at the San Clemente Plein Air - Quick Draw. This was an unusual quick draw as it was 3 hours instead of the average 90 minutes. The quick draws are typically in the center of town and the artists are restricted to a certain area in order for the public to be able to watch all the artists paint. The the artists at the quick draw could paint a landscape, cityscape, a still-life or a model. Their were two models this year and I had set up ahead of time before the models arrived. I received 2nd Place for this quick draw!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Point Lobos - Morning Mist

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I painted this on the last morning to paint for the Carmel Art Festival. This is painted off the corner of the lower parking lot and when we arrived the fog was thick and I could barely see the distant bluffs and trees. I decided to stay in the parking lot while Sterling hiked up and painted his award winner. The scene look rather simple at the time because there were just large shapes to wotk with due to the fog. I decided to do a 16x20 and quickly started putting down color spots based on the distant bluffs. Of course the fog started to lift and I had to go back to my memory of the scene. Luckily for me, it never lifted completely.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sun Drenched

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After the morning fog we decided to head farther south in hopes of finding some sun. We found this scene off of a restaurant. As we moved in closer to get a better painting spot we discovered three other artists were already painting the scene and they welcomed us to squeeze in to paint. I discovered later that they were local painters and not involved in Carmel Art Festival. Their work was great!

I really enjoyed painting this scene. I seem to work best when I know there isn't much time to paint as the fog was fast approaching. This is one of my favorites; at least for now.

Carmel Cypress

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Sterling Hoffmann took me down to this beach area just south of Carmel to paint. It was pretty foggy when we got there and Sterling painted a large Cypress just to the right of these trees. I looked around the area for almost an hour before settling on this scene.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Carmel Sunset

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This was my first painting that I painted at the Carmel Art Festival this year. I was looking northwest from the beach off of Ocean Avenue. The light was fading fast so I had to get my first color spots down before the light changed too much.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Best of Show at 2009 Napa Plein Air Biennial

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Alfredo receives Best of Show at the 2009 Biennial Juried Plein Air Exhibition at the Napa Valley Museum. Two paintings were accepted into the show with Light Play receiving the 1st Place. The prize for the award is a One Man Show at the Napa Valley Museum in the spring of 2010. Some of the other award winners were Carole Gray-Weihman, Wendy Franklin, Frank Gannon, Wendy Brayton and Larry Cannon. Other friends in the show were Camille Przewodek, who won the Best of Show in a previous Biennial, and Sterling Hoffmann.


Camille Przewodek, Carole Gray-Weihman and myself, Alfredo Tofanelli are the artists behind l'Atelier aux Couleurs: the Art Academy in Petaluma, Cailifornia where we teach weekly classes and host painting workshops for top plein air painters and colorists from around the country.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Portrait Demo at the Pelican Art Gallery

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This was a demo that I painted at The Pelican Art Gallery during our show that was held there between the end of March and the middle of June. It was a four person show for the folks behind our art school, l'Atelier aux Couleurs in Petaluma, CA. The artist were Camille Przewodek, Dale Axelrod, Carole Gray-Weihman and myself, Alfredo Tofanelli.


Another artist with the gallery sat for me while I did an oil sketch on a 12x16 canvas board. I was demonstrating how to get a likeness by sketching lightly and building the value up as you work the whole painting at once. This allows you to make adjustments as you bounce around the board. Any early errant marks, since they were put down on the board lightly, will not take away from the likeness. This is done in a similar manner as a charcoal study, it's just that oils are less forgiving.


I use to start my head studies and portraits this way but rarely do anymore. They can be valuable as a rehearsal to the color painting but I find it more of a hindrance as you don't want to loss your beautiful drawing. Typically when I paint a head study I will only sketch in the big shapes with linework and then go right into blocking in the big shapes and shadow patterns in color. Adding features way down the road only after I have the correct color relationships down on the large masses.