Sunday, February 17, 2019


Below is the finished painting. I wanted to wait until it was dry to scan it before posting. While my camera can take excellent photos, it is not a substitute for a quality scan.

 Beach Combers
7.75" X 11.25"
Original Oil

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Building Waves

I really enjoy painting water, except at the beginning, some parts in the middle, and toward the end.
Fortunately, I know that and can work through areas and stages which don't look "wet" at all.

This small piece (7.75" X 11.25") is a good example of what I mean.

 At this stage I am blocking in the colors. To me it doesn't look like much at all and the painting is truly in one of those ugly stages.

Using a very soft brush, I blend the edges of the colors together. Sometimes I am a bit heavy-handed and need to add more color blocks. This is also a good time to adjust the depth and hue of the colors.

At this stage I like the painting again. I see form and direction. The addition of the light blue (which is a shadowed highlight) really helped.

The highlights are the fun part. Here is where the wave starts to come together. The "white" is titanium white and cadmium yellow deep. My brush moves around the painting adjusting each section. Sometimes an area which I thought should be light looks better darkened and vise versa.

Near the end of the painting I reach another difficult section. The wave is nothing without a convincing watery stage. Introducing blues and sand colors, I weave them in among the foam.

The birds and sand will be the final segment.

Thanks to my blog followers for your patience. It has been a busy show season and my blog fell among those things which did not get done. I'll strive to post more regularly. Thanks for following.

Sunday, December 2, 2018


One Step Away
44" X 36"
Original Oil

After I took this photo, I glazed the vegetation in the bottom right with a warm burnt sienna-raw sienna mix with liquin. This toned down the attention the plants were drawing from the lion.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Color subtleties

At first glance, a lion's main body color appears tan. In creating the sense of form and depth, I am using warm and cool colors. The backlighting effect is further enhanced by having the body darker behind the lightest part of the sunlit mane.

Saturday, November 17, 2018


Now that I have the main structure of his head worked in, it is time to work on the part which inspired the painting - the backlighting of his mane.
While the lion is a great subject for this piece, the lighting that morning would have drawn my attention if the animal had been a gemsbok, impala, giraffe, zebra, or any mammal. The sun had barely cleared the horizon and lent a pink glow to the landscape. Cast shadows were a striking blue.
Having a male lion walking right toward me really was the icing on the cake.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The eyes

When I begin on the head, I like to start with the eyes first. That way the lion will keep staring me down to do a proper job on the rest of him. To increase the intensity, I've purposely made the eyes look straight out from the painting so they will follow the viewer no matter what position he is relative to the piece.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

New painting

Generally I like to follow a large painting with one more modest in size. Here I am going bigger. This next piece is 44" X 36".

There are some logistically challenging aspects to a painting this tall on my easel. My ergonomic horizontal hand rest enables me to easily paint anywhere on a wet piece. However, its vertical support bars limit how high and low a painting can be positioned on the easel. The entire top part of the piece requires me reach up. Granted, this is much less of a burden than painting the Sistine Chapel on one's back, but it is not as comfortable as working on something smaller or horizontal.

I saw this lion in early morning light on my trip to Africa this summer.