Neal Hughes: En Plein Air

NOAPS Hughes Olsen House 20x20

“Olsen House”, 20×20, Oil, by Neal Hughes; Winner of Best Landscape in the 2019 NOAPS Fall Online International

The soft lighting in the “Olsen House” makes the viewer begin to imagine…we first wonder what is the time of day, and then if the house has inhabitants.  Then our minds begin to wander about the painting, creating it’s story for ourselves.  The artist has given us hints; the slightly unkempt foreground, yet a door through which we can enter.  Our eyes travel around stopping where we think we find a clue as the dance of warm and cool colors lead us through the painting.

NOAPS Hughes MimsCreek14x18  “Mims Creek”, 14×18, Oil.  Painted during the En Plein Air Texas Competition, San Angelo, Texas.  Private Collection.

Neal Hughes has been an artist for his entire life.  He started at a young age, and continued at the Philadelphia College of Art with a degree in illustration.  His illustration took center stage until he began his current focus on fine art.

NOAPS Hughes DreamBoatNocturne18x24  “Dream Boat Nocturne”, 18×24, Oil.  Winner of First Place at the Cape Ann Plein Air Competition, Gloucester, MA.  Neal Hughes Studio (Collection of the Artist).

Hughes has garnered his wealth of knowledge from different sources: museums such as the Brandywine Museum and the Philadelphia art museums; and the many books in his personal library.  Among his favorite artists are Sargent, William Merritt Chase, Thomas William Dewing and Childe Hassam.

NOAPS Hughes RiverPalm20x16  “River Palm”, 20×16, Oil.  Painted during the Lighthouse Plein Air Competition, Tequesta, FL.  Neal Hughes Studio (Collection of the Artist).

Working exclusively in oils, Hughes’ favorite genre is the landscape.  He can often be found at plein air competitions; his painting ‘Olsen House’ was awarded First Place at the Grand Traverse Plein Air Competition.  He often includes man made objects in his paintings; boats and architecture are favorite subjects.

NOAPS Hughes ChurchNocturne20x20  “Church Nocturne”, 20×20, Oil.  Painted during the Wayne Plain Air Competition, Manyunk, PA.  Neal Hughes Studio (Collection of the Artist).

Hughes paints with oil primed linen, which he stretches for large paintings, or mounts to Gatorboard for smaller paintings done en plein air.  Using bristle brushes, his palette consists of primary colors and a few earth colors: titanium white, cadmium lemon, cadmium yellow, Indian yellow, cadmium red, alizarin crison, utltramarine blue, pthalo blue, yellow ochre and terra rosa.  He begins by carefully planning his composition and value structure, then blocking in the large shapes.  For his block in he uses a mixture of ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson for the darkest areas, then adding terra rosa for a slightly lighter value, ending with cadmium yellow or red mixed with titanium white for the lightest values.  After the block in he continues by adding more color and making further adjustments.

NOAPS Hughes MorningMist30x40  “Morning Mist”, 30×40, Oil.  Studio painting based on plein air study, Rockland, ME.  Neal Hughes Studio (Collection of the Artist).

Neal encourages the artist to paint as often as possible…”the most important ingredient once you get past learning the basics is just hard work.  Experiment with techniques…..the more successful artists are constantly working and challenging themselves to make progress.”

To see more of Neal Hughes’ work go to www.nealhughes.com.

Neal Hughes is represented by the Sylvan Gallery, Wiscasset, ME; The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT; J. Russell Jinishian Gallery, Stonington, CT; Susan Powell Fine Art, Madison, CT; the Hughes Gallery, Boca Grande, FL; the Chestnut Hill Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Warm Springs Gallery, Warm Springs, VA; Design Domaine Gallery, Spring Lake, NJ.

To view the NOAPS 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition go to www.noaps.org.

Edited by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director

 

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