Tuesday, April 29, 2014

More in my East Coast series

After finishing the ferry, I thought I would continue with two more East Coast pieces. It has been a while since I have done a piece with a focus on water, one of my favorite things to paint.

While sailing Nantucket Sound off Martha's Vineyard, I had the chance to be eye-level with several buoys. Bell-buoys are the most striking but something about the this day's light and the touch of rust on buoy 25 captured my interest. A big thank you to my cousin Steve Besse for taking us out on his boat.

Buoy 25
Original Oil
6.5" X 14"

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Last Boat
Original Oil
14" X 21.5"

If this looks a bit different than the work-in-progress images it is because this image is a scan of the painting. While working on a piece it is not practical to scan it in progress. I grab my small backup camera and then try and adjust the colors in Paint Shop Pro to match what is on my easel.

The painting will change a little more once I spray varnish it. The darks become more intense, not so sunken. I adjusted a little for that with the brightness/contrast function in Paint Shop Pro.

This has been a fun exploration of color and textures for me. Don't be surprised if you see some of these hues in future wildlife paintings. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Almost There

Finishing the loading platform took a bit of planning. I wanted it to read well but not have so much tight detail that it would take away from the overall painting.

The directional arrows on the pavement had to "feel" like they are white but in shadow. After mixing several colors I found I needed to go darker with more lavender.

Next up, the barrier railing and the last passenger.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Finishing the Boat

Since my last post I have worked on finishing the boat. I continued painting lighter sections as the boat recedes to suggest the metal boat plating.

The windows in the "black section" in which you see inside the boat and the opening below where you can peak into the car deck took a fair amount of time. I wanted them to read well but not overpower or distract from the more vivid colors reflected in the windows and on the boat.

One section I was not looking forward to (and yes, even an artist can have those parts in a painting) was the upper railing. Not only were there sections in-between the railing where I had to repaint the sky and remix the exact colors, but the railing is a grid. It needs to appear solid but not.

When finished, the deep purple of the passenger loading platform will help make the yellow of the sky glow.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Painting Metal

Metal is not something I usually paint. With 75% of the painting a metal boat it is kind of important here. The sunset colors and reflections from the metal make this part an interesting challenge.

As I move back into the distance, the color on the boat gets lighter and in adding even lighter vertical streaks, a sense of metal plating develops.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A black that isn't black

I don't own Ivory Black or any black paint. This "black" portion of the boat is a deep purple (ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, and a tiny touch of VanDyke Brown.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


One of the reasons I wanted to paint this subject is the exploration of color. I know mixing the colors will take a bit longer than usual because I am working with hues I don't normally use. And I am loving it! Already I can see how some of these colors can be used as accents in my wildlife paintings.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Almost 4 years

I've been wanting to paint this for almost 4 years. Other paintings would take precedence or I'd forget about it for a while.
It was the last ferry of the day from Wood's Hole to Martha's Vineyard. The sun had set and the sky was aglow. The normally staid black and white ferry became awash in pinks and purples with peach reflections dancing in the windows.

Below is my first stage, the raw sienna/ burnt sienna turpentine wash value study.