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Ray Hunter

by Linda M. Gosman
When California artist Ray Hunter lived in Montana, the atmosphere was so clear he could see for miles, an effect that forced him to manufacture detail to make his paintings look more realistic. "Then I moved to Oregon and had to subdue my palette to capture the fog, mist, and rain," the artist says. "Now in Santa Barbara, California, the light is incredible. My colors have light-ened and warmed up considerably."
To capture this sunbathed landscape the artist paints more transparently, using fewer earth tones and more non staining pigments that can easily be lifted. Over the years Hunter has refined his painting techniques. At first he used dry brush with heavy pigment on dry paper. Later he began working wet-in-wet with numerous glazes. "Now I combine the two approaches into what works for me," Hunter says.
For a painting surface, the artist stretches a piece of Arches 90- to 300-lb cold pressed paper and staples it to a board. He uses primarily Holbein pigments, laying in washes with a 1" or 2 flat brush and adding detail with vari-ous sizes of sable or blended rounds.
Depending on the subject, Hunter tones his paper with a cool or warm wash, avoiding the whites. Once the paper dries he establishes the midtones and at least one dark as a reference. He then focuses on the painting as a whole, playing light against dark until completion. Hunter finds marinescapes fascinating, and his most recent works incorporate the figure into such settings.

"Below Shoreline Park, Santa Barbara. Watercolor


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