Friday, April 29, 2016


One of the buoys I was particularly excited about getting to was this lower right yellow and blue one. So much of the painting has warm tones and this one I knew would make a statement.

Monday, April 25, 2016

My favorite buoy

Even before I began this piece, my favorite buoy was the big red one. Its glowing color, the sun reflected on it, its black cap, its rope, and its subtle reflection on the shake wall all worked together to make it stand out. At least it was my favorite until I painted the upper right orange one.

And then I painted the vertical buoy with its lower red stripe. I think that is my favorite ... until the next one.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Fun part

Though the shake siding at times felt tedious, it is just the background I need for the fun part, the buoys. There are several things which make the buoys challenging to paint. The piece is 25" X 18" so the buoys are small. They will use primary colors which I don't often employ in my paintings of the natural world. And, they are attached by ropes of varying styles and colors.

The first buoy I chose to paint was the horizontal one with the red stripe. I think I will move around the piece rather than paint the buoys in some logical order.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Shake Siding

With the shadows blocked in on the wall, it is time to develop the shake siding. I am using two main color mixes. These lighter and darker taupes are made with titanium white, raw umber, van dyke brown, paynes gray, and yellow ochre. I also use the more blue shadow color and drag it across the lighter shakes to give them a distressed look.

Shake siding is common in New England, especially on the coast. As I work (and work) on this piece I am thinking all shake siding should be outlawed! My next thought -  why did I want to paint this?????

Friday, April 15, 2016


There are subjects which I know up-front are going to be a challenge. Yet, I don't shy away from them because I really want to paint them. This idea has been rolling around in my head since before I had a digital camera, pre-2008. Hoping that my filing system for my prints would do its job, it only took me 8 minutes to track down my reference photos. (Not bad with over 20,000 photos!)

This complicated piece took a lot of pre-planning before I started the drawing on my gessoed board.

Monday, April 11, 2016


Shore Break
30" X 24"
Original Oil

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Artistic License

My middle bird was enhanced with some artistic license. His beak was getting lost in the water so I brightened the section of water around his bill slightly. The shadows on his breast are blue in this light but I thought a little extra ultramarine blue with an edge of cerulean and manganese blue would give him added pizazz.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Adelie Penguins

This "surfing" penguin is the primary reason I wanted to paint this scene. It was my first full day on the Antarctic peninsula and we had wonderful sunshine and thousands of Adelie penguins to watch, along with cormorants, skuas, seals, and one gentoo penguin.
The Adelie penguin breeds further south than any other bird and they were first discovered in 1840 by a French Antarctic expedition.
When these penguin are wet, their coats form a smooth insulating layer. On sections of this first penguin I used reflected water colors to create cerulean and ultramarine blue sheens.

Friday, April 1, 2016


The painting didn't really come alive until I added the whites. First I started with the reflected sunlight on the rocks. This titanium white has a little raw umber, burnt sienna, and paynes gray. As I moved up the painting to the larger sections of white I used a mixture of titanium white and cadmium yellow deep. For the shadowed white under the first penguin, I used either a warm tone (raw umber mixed in) or cool tone (cerelean blue and ultramarine blue.)