Sunday, August 30, 2015


For most of this painting I am using a small angled brush. Only when I have tiny details like the Roman letters do I break out a small detail brush.
Angled brushes are my preference. The flat surfaces hold their shape and when used at an angle, it is easy to paint lines. The lines also have an inherent softness which is hard to achieve with a detail brush unless you also use a blending brush.
Interestingly, some of my strongest paintings are done with very few brushes (2-4.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Paying attention

In a painting like this, my drawing is the departure point. Much thought goes into each section. I want cracks, some lines which are not straight, some "chips" missing from the stone. Each element contributes to the age of the fountain.
I feel like racing toward the main subject but know I have to take my time and give each part of the painting my attention. "Happy accidents" happen as I move paint around the gessoed board. Oh, that looks like a crack, that a stain on the marble. Letting a little of the underlying gesso peek through in places creates an interesting effect. Here is when painting alla prima works particularly well.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


In painting wildlife in their natural habitats, I don't often get the chance to paint finished stone. I'm finding the color and sweeping brush stroke texture of the underlying gesso is aiding in the 3D illusion of the stonework.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


There was some scaffolding covering up one of the buildings in the back. I moved it out of view.
 Amazing how strong a single paint brush can be!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


What do I do when I have a competition deadline pending? You would think I'd choose a simple painting subject using my normal methods.
How about trying something new with a complex subject. In addition, why not make it a difficult shape (a square) and make it a medium-sized painting (16" X 16".)
I can't really explain my reasoning except to say it is a good way to push myself.

You'll be able to see the subject is anything but simple as it "emerges" out of the painting.
 My "new" is the gesso. I've been using Venetian Red gesso for about a year. I like it and think it has enabled me to see colors in a new light. What if I mixed the Venetian Red with a yellow ochre gesso? I had an empty pint can around and put a bit of each in it, then shook. The color was a soft orangey red and I used it for three small paintings.

Now what if I gessoed the top layer with broad strokes of yellow ochre gesso and then dipped my brush in the red/yellow ochre mixture and applied that? The result is below.

Pretty wild. I think it will add a nice glow to the painting.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

International Guild of Realism

 In the Pink
Original Oil
7.5" X 13.5"
My painting In the Pink has been accepted into the 
10th Annual International Guild of Realism Show. 
This year the show will be held at 
Principle Gallery
208 King St.
Alexandria, VA
 August 18th - September 18th.

If you'd like to see a show which has pieces 
created by some of the best representational artists working today, 
this is the place.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Completed painting

Mountain Glory
28" X 38"
Original Oil

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Warm vs. Cool

The whole painting was rather cool (cold if you are talking about the snow) until I painted the antlers. While you need the whole body of the caribou to complete the painting, it is the warmth of the antler colors against the cool mountain background which is the more important part of the piece. And why I wanted to paint this.
I have some warm tones in the foreground which give the impression of tundra in the fall.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Mountains balanced

With the background shadows lightened and more blue (cerulean blue and manganese blue), I am ready to start on the foreground.

Monday, August 3, 2015

A bright blue

The close shadowed mountain is painted mostly with ultramarine blue. I really enjoyed playing with such a bright color.
However, now the background mountain shadows are too purple-y (warm) and too dark. Time to repaint those sections.