Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Starting the birds


For this piece, I decided to start on the heads first rather than completing a bird and moving on to the next.

Saturday, February 20, 2021



I like to block in the larger sections of water before paintings the highlights. This way the lighter paint can blend in to the wet darker sections.

Quick phone photos.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Heading to Florida - Virtually

 It has been snowing on and off at our home for several days so I thought a "painting visit" to Florida was in order. 

home with 8+ inches, photo by Linda, 2/17/2021

Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida is a wonderful spot to see wading birds. One of my favorite, the roseate spoonbill, will be featured in this piece.

I start with the mangrove. One could paint every branch and leaf but that would distract from the birds. Much of what I am painting is the suggestion of the foliage.

Saturday, February 13, 2021



Wild Mustang     22" X 32"    Original Oil


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

More Horse

 For an animal in a painting this size (22" X 32") I would generally use a larger brush. However, I am finding a small flat angle brush more satisfying. After his coat is complete, I will blend some of the edges to soften the look.

The horse is a bit too light in places. I'll be adjusting this once I start working on the foreground.

Friday, February 5, 2021


   Sunset inspired this painting.

  To take me around, I was fortunate enough to have a private guide associated with the Pryor Mountain Mustang Center and the Wild Horse Foundation who knew the name of every horse and to which stallion band it belonged. We took a small ATV to the general area of the horses and then starting hiking. My first glimpse of a small herd among trees took my breath away - and it was like that the rest of the trip!

   We had a perfect ending to the day. The very last vestiges of the sun were present and lighting the whole area with a rich orange glow. The color on several red bay stallions was amplified.  After an 11-hour day with these magnificent horses, this was more than I could have hoped for.


quick cellphone photos of the painting in progress

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Wild Mustangs

   After completing such a complicated painting (see Buon Cibo, Buon Vino), it is a bit refreshing to move to this straightforward composition. A simple design can seem deceptively easy. But, with few distractions from the main focus, everything is more exposed.

   I started with the sky. This I thought would be the easy part. After mixing several colors, I applied the paint carefully, not too heavy so it felt "airy" in places. The background mountains were painted next. A darker, richer sunset color was placed next to the mountains. It was then I realized the sky was just not the right color. The next morning I grabbed the palette knife and scraped off as much sky paint as I could. Not an auspicious beginning.

   However, I found I could take parts of the peachy color I had mixed the day before and add naples yellow to achieve more of what I wanted. With the bits of wet paint still in streaks on the board, this new color became what I envisioned. Next to the mountains I left a sliver of the dark peachy/red color which will tie the background to the horse.

I've blocked in the ground color with lighter peachy areas which will be the base for sunlit sections. To offset the left side darker area of the ground, the right bottom edge will be in shadow.

Before continuing on the ground, I will complete the horse. This is one of the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustangs. These horses are descendants of the first horses brought to America by the Spanish.