Tuesday, December 29, 2009


December has been a very busy month. I haven't been able to do as much painting as I'd like.
Mostly I've scribbl

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

in progress

Working on a portrait of a young woman and her violin. I think the violin is a beautiful instrument and hope mine will turn out alright-- adding to the overall appearance of the portrait rather than detracting from it. I often have difficulty with the lines and angles of an instrument being held.

My first focus is on the face: her expression is focused as she positions her instrument.
Everything else is secondary, but still very important. After all, I want the face to fit the rest of the painting, and not look like the only thing I cared about. I've just begun the hand and hope to define that more next time I work on this painting.

Portrait in progress, in white and burnt umber. Oil on linen.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Watercolour

Worked on watercolour painting today. I started a landscape. It's a bit larger than I usually do so it will take me awhile to get it to look closer to what I have in mind.
Beginning of watercolour landscape on 140lb watercolour paper

While waiting for my paper to dry out a bit between washes I worked on people. I love doing faces, but unfortunately when I don't have someone modeling for me, or at least photos to go from, my people often turn out looking like distant, albeit fictional, relatives. :-p I decided to work on hair, trying to show better color and texture. However, it didn't work out too well. I gave up trying to make it look realistic, and just had fun.
3.5 x 2.5" Watercolour on 140lb watercolour paper

Thursday, October 29, 2009


It's raining again.
The wet and the wind have left the landscape looking dull in its muddy greys and browns. It almost makes it hard to believe that such a short time ago the autumn colors were at their peek. Was this favorite spot of mine really that bright and color-saturated, or did I just get carried away with my creamy yellow paint?
This first painting was done October 19th, and the second on the 24th. They were done quickly (2 - 3 hours, until darkness fell), on location,
en plein air.
The first was done on a warm day. I went alone, and in the quietness of sitting in the woods painting, I got to observe a lot more than I usually can. I even got to see a coyote ambling through, which was pretty exciting. It didn't notice me and I was able to watch it for some time. Then, when it was starting to get a little too close for comfort, and was headed straight towards me, I stood up and it fled.

The second time I had a good friend with me, and we made too much noise to go unnoticed by the wildlife. That day was cooler and damp. I was shivering by the time I packed up to go home. The ground was slippery with fallen leaves, wet from the previous day's rain.

This particular area is full of tall, old oaks, growing on the steep slope. In their shade, hundreds of young, grey-barked hard maples grow. Their leaves give the beautiful, lush green atmosphere in the summer, and the glorious yellows in the fall, which I was trying to capture.
I just started doing Plein Air paintings this year (these paintings being my third and fourth attempt). I have a long way to go in developing my skills, but I'm enjoying the challenge and discipline of this style.