Sunday, December 11, 2011

Just sketch what's in front of ya!

Just did a little sketching at the kitchen table today.  Nothin' fancy.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Backward Glance II - WIP

Okay, so I decided the last painting I did of this pony looked more like one of those funky horse-like creatures in the movie Avatar.  So I'm taking another crack at it and at the same time zooming in on the pony so he takes up more of the canvas.  I'm liking it much better!  Still some work to do, but here's a sequence of shots.  I didn't start with a wash like I usually do.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Backward Glance - Study

Tonights effort.  This is just a 9"x12" study for what I hope will be a larger painting, maybe 16"x20".  This is based on a photo taken by a friend of mine, Thyra.  I've already done a painting based on another photo she took...what can I say, she's a terrific photographer and was gracious enough to let me use some of her photos as inspiration!

I'll definitely do another study that fills up more of the canvas with this horse before launching into the larger piece.  Never done painted a horse before, but I'd sure like do more...just my favorite animal!  We have two horses for my girls and neither is big enough for me to ride, but I don't care...I just enjoy looking out my window and seein' them in my pasture.  Hmmm, I should just go get some pictures of my own horses - now there's a thought.   9"x12" canvas board.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Paintin' with my daughter, Rachel!!

Had a wonderful afternoon painting with my youngest daughter, Rachel.  We started out just painting a purple sphere and then decided to make it a grape...and in the end decided it looked more like a plum.  So a plum it is!!  9"x12" canvas board....with none of that cheap student grade, this was artist quality all the way, baby ;-)  Oh, and colors chosen by Miss Rachel!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ranch on Wood River - Final

I've been neglecting my painting lately.  But given I'm home the next couple days taking care of my wife after surgery (which went very well), I think I'll "reapply" myself.  So tonight I finished up the Ranch on Wood River painting.  Mainly some touch-ups in the foreground and barn, but I also added in some more clouds behind the tall pine tree.  

Shooting these pictures at night is really tough, especially when you don't have proper lighting.  The foreground isn't quite as bright as what you see here.  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Reach for the Sky...

So finished another painting tonight based off a photograph taken by an old high school friend named Thyra.  With her permission, I've grabbed several photos off her FB to use as inspirations for paintings.  She's an amazing photographer! Just want to say thanks, Thyra, for letting me paint from a few of your photo's!!

I have no idea where this is, but the orange rock contrasting against the blue sky and grayish-blue bushes in the foreground just really caught my eye.  I added a few clouds for some interest in the sky.  Spent a few nights on this one and decided to call it done tonight. It really doesn't do the photo justice, but I think I did alright capturing the colors. Thanks again, Thyra!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Back from Disneyland...

Well, we just got back from the "happiest place on earth" and I'm inclined to believe it.  We had the most wonderful time at Disneyland!  We were there 5 days and did and saw just about everything there is.  We also have very tired feet so it was nice to kick back today before we're all back to work and school.  As fun as Disneyland was, I did miss painting so I put in a little brush time tonight...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ranch on Wood River

Started a new painting tonight based on some photo's I took while down visiting my dad and stepmom. They have the most wonderful cabin in Rocky Point, OR, I nice little town along the north shore of Klamath Lake.  I grew up in southern Oregon and it was nice to get back there for a long weekend.  You can take boy out of southern Oregon countryside, but you can't take the southern Oregon countryside out of this boy.  I miss it!

So's a start from a picture I took along the Wood River...

9"x12" oil on canvas board

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thomas Kitts Plein Air Workshop - Day 5

Whew!  Last day of the workshop.  What a great week it's been.  Awesome teaching, wonderful folks to paint with and a lot of hard work.  This morning we painted Vista House and the gorge from Portland Women's Forum.  So here's a few pics from today...

So here's my setup...not a bad view, eh?!
(the Gorge that is)

My easel at the finish line.

...and the finished painting.

We sort of took over this little section
of the park.

Thomas did a little drawing at the end of the workshop
and gave away three of his demos...I won Monday's

Over lunch Thomas talked about varnishing and
demoed some varnishes, including this painting
I did some time ago.  The darks had sunk in, but
the varnish REALLY brought them back to life!
So in another post I'll talk about some of the take-away's for me from this workshop, but I'll this workshop was worth every penny!  Thomas is a terrific instructor and really hones in on the areas your struggling with with clear instruction on how to deal with the problems you're having in your painting.  I'd recommend a Thomas Kitts workshop and I'm hoping to take another one in the future.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thomas Kitts Plein Air Workshop - Day 4

Another good day painting!  Started off on Portland's eastside water front.  Thomas did a 3 hour demo...lot's of good teaching.  He picked a tough subject so it was interesting watching him solve a host of problems.  We were down on the dock and it was pretty cold in the morning.

Thomas working out a very loose sketch.

From there we headed to the Gamblin paint factory.  That was a blast!!  I was surprised at the size of the factory. The put out a lot of paint for 20 or so employees.  It was cool seeing the raw pigments which come in from all around the world.  They didn't allow us to take pictures in that area, but we were allowed pictures in the rest of the factory.

Fresh batches of newly mixed paint.  This is right after
mixing with the oil.

I got such a kick at watching them fill the paint tubes.  

Mmmmm.....Ultramarine Blue anyone!

Finally, we finished up the day at Sellwood Riverfront park.  This was a free paint.  Got some more great instruction from Thomas.  He gave me some good tips on establishing the value relationships between various parts of the painting.  I started out painting a scene that was lit by the sun which was slightly behind me, but by the time I was finished the sun well in front of me.  Painting in such bright light resulted in a very dark painting, especially when compared to a painting a did the day before in the shade which turned out much lighter.

My location at Sellwood Riverfront park.
Started off in the shade, ended in the sun - hot!

After I came in out of the sun I discovered the
intense light made me paint this way too dark.
Tomorrow, the location is Women's Forum up in the Gorge.  We'll also do some critiquing from this weeks efforts.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thomas Kitts Plein Air Workshop - Day 3

What a fun AND educational day today!  We were back on Sauvie Island today.  Thomas started us off on this I high bluff with a 360° view of this nature reserve.  For the morning exercise he had us divide our canvas into four boxes.  Then he had us all face south and started a timer.  We had 15 minutes to paint what we saw in front of us using one box, then when his timer went off we had to rotate our easels 90° and paint what was in front of us and so on around 360°.  Didn't have much time to think, which of course was the point...less thinking about the mechanics of painting and just focusing on painting the SHAPES we saw.

My setup, ready to go!

After the exercise we lined up our easels and the group critiqued
set of painting.  A VERY valuable exercise!

After this exercise we picked which one of our four small paintings we liked and then had about 45 minutes to paint a larger version of that painting.

Then off for a lunch time lecture at Bybee Park and more painting in the afternoon.  Ahhh, this time with plenty of shade.  I chose to paint this the old farmhouse on this park land.

View from my easel.

The three (really six) paintings from today.  Thomas demoed
some finishing touches on my painting of the house.

That's it for another day of truly excellent teaching (thanks Thomas!) and alot of hard work!  Tomorrow, eastside of the river downtown, a tour of the Gamblin paint factory and more painting out at Sellwood Park.  Nite!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thomas Kitts Plein Air Workshop - Day 2

Man, today nature kicked my butt and reminded me I've got ALOT to learn.  We painted at Luscher Farm City Park in Lake Oswego.  Thomas started off with a drawing demo, teaching us alot about how to setup the correct proportions between various subjects in the painting, site-size method.  He then had us painting in a tight group so we could overhear as he went around and gave some one-on-one instruction to each person.  Many valuable lessons learned.

I tried tackling a portion of a large barn, a couple of outbuildings and some trees.  My perfectionism got the best of me as I spent too much time "drawing" and not enough time actually laying in paint to capture the shape. My morning painting was disappointing.

He turned us loose in the afternoon to paint where ever we wanted.  I still wanted to practice painting a structure so I tackled a white house near the barn.  Once again I got my artistic butt handed to me on a canvas!  I left my camera in the car so I didn't get any pictures on sight, but I've snapped a picture of the two paintings I did.

Tomorrow, back out to Sauvie Island. I'm learning alot, but I must say this plein air painting ain't for the faint of heart!  Geesh!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thomas Kitts Plein Air Workshop - Day 1

Whew!  What a day!  Tiring, but in a good way.  Joined up with a gang of about eight folks out on Sauvie Island.  Started the morning off at Bybee park (I think that's what the place was called).  Thomas went over materials and some color basics.  Thomas answered a lot of great questions and picked up a few new terms I hadn't heard before like "sinking-in".  Good discussion on the usage of various mediums.

Then off to the wildlife refuge at the west end of the island for a painting demo by Thomas.  He demoed while we ate lunch.  He did a fantastic job explaining his decision making processes as he painted, he pointed out trouble spots and what to do about them, the importance of transition colors, and much more.  He was up-staged a couple of times by a couple of Blue Herons duking it out in the background ;-)

Finally, he turned us loose to paint.  It was interesting to see the group spread out and the various things that caught each individual's eye.  I found a composition I liked and painted for about 3 hours.  While we painted Thomas went around and spent some good quality one-on-one time with each of us.  That was probably my favorite part and where I learned the most.  So here's a few pics before bed.  Headin' out to a Luscher Farm City Park for tomorrow's workshop!

Thomas Kitts Demo
My setup on location

Just a few of my fellow painters

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm Ready!

Just received a shipment from Jerry's Artarama with some new paints, 9x12 panels, and a few new brushes and other odds and ends.  Finished putting the handle on my homemade wet canvas carrier.  And went over Thomas Kitts checklist of things to bring for the workshop.  Got it!  Check!

Headin' off for some camping up at Little Crater Lake tomorrow with my three favorite girls and then Monday morning headin' out to Sauvie Island bright and early for the first day of the plein air workshop.  I'm excited...a whole week painting with a great artist.  He'll hand out the list of other painting locations on Monday.

Ooooh...midnight...I better get some sleep!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Homemade Wet Canvas Carrier

Well, in preparation for Thomas Kitts Plein Air workshop coming up next week my project for this evening was to build my own wet canvas carrier.  My little canvas carrier can carry 5 panels at a time up to 12"x16".  Or two canvas 3/4" canvas 12"x16".  Not bad for one evenings work!  All I need to do is put a handle on it tomorrow and I'm all set!!  Here's a few picks.

Still needs a handle...and some stain!

Use these small grooves when doing 1/4" panels.
These two large grooves are for 3/4" canvas.

Testing it out with some 9"x12" pa

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Backyard Maple - Plein Air

Took my wife in to Dr. appointment (everything's okay) this morning, brought her home, tucked her in to catch up on some sleep and did a quick plein air in my backyard while she slept.  This was fast and dirty, but I kinda' like it!
6"x 8" canvas board

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Plein Air Evening

Wow!  This evening was absolutely perfect for painting outdoors.  Grabbed my easel and collapseable bucket and headed outside. This is the same setup I'll be using at Thomas Kitts Plein Air workshop coming up Aug. 15.    This view is from my backyard toward one of our favorite neighbors, Dennis and Mary.  What caught my eye was the white fence framed by those two large trees and the old rusty burn barrel.

I started out with plenty of light, but by the time I got to the details the light was pretty low.  Can you guess how the painting looked when I came inside and put it under the lights....yep, a bit on the light side.  I tried using a few things I've learned from the Richard Schmid November DVD I've been watching.  The collapseable bucket worked great for hauling various items outside and then doubled nicely has my paper towel trash can.  Thanks Kevin MacPherson for that tip!

So here's tonights effort.
6"x8" canvas board

Friday, July 22, 2011

No Painting, but a nice addition to my easel

So I've been wanting more space to set things on with my French easel and spotted this nice little shelf up on Jerry's Artarama. I ordered it just got it today. It's the George Hensen's ShelfHelp...and frankly, I'm impressed. The shelf is 16"x10.5" and comes apart so that it can be packed up within the French easel. Comes with a nice little holder for some brushes and the lip on the right has a number of grooves for keeping your brushes from rolling away. It feels pretty sturdy, too.

I've also been reading through Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting by John F. Carlson per Thomas Kitts suggestion in preparation for his workshop coming up in August. It's a bit of tough read as Carlson is very "wordy" and they simply wrote a bit different back then. However, I can already see myself in some of the statements he makes about the things beginners tend to do and things I've struggled with in my short time as painter.

So it's been a busy week with no painting :-( but I'm looking forward doing some more painting soon. Gotta' practice up before the workshop and get some thoughts and questions for Mr. Kitts down on paper. I'm looking forward to getting as much from his workshop as I possibly can!!
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

House with a View

Today I painted this little 6x8.  Was also very excited to get two Richard Schmid DVDs from SmartFlix.  Stayed up way too late watching them, but it sure is amazing watching a master "sculpt" an image with brush and paint.  I'm not thrilled with the picture quality.  You'd think with four camera's in the house I could find one that works, but one's packed up for my daughters trip to summer camp, two have dead batteries and one is torn apart from me trying to fix a lens that would open.'s my lovely iPhone pic...iPhone 3G that is, doesn't even have one of the better camera's :-o

6x8 oil on canvas board.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Oregon Coast Sunset - WIP

So whenever we're on the Oregon coast I come back with a gazillion sunset pictures.  My wife makes fun of the fact that I have a hundred pictures of the same sunset, and a handful of the family (slight exaggeration, I think)!  So tonight I started painting one of these sunsets.  The struggle is not to blend the heck out of it.  In fact, as I develop this one further I'm going to try and keep or move more towards a "painterly" approach where the brush strokes are defined and add interest and motion to the painting.  It's still very blended right now, but I've got lot's more to do.  I like the start though!  9"x12" archival quality canvas.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Evening's Plein Air Effort

Grabbed my easel as soon as I got home and headed outside this evening.  This is just one of the views from my backyard.  As the sun sets it strikes that tree just right and sets bark this bright golden color.  Certainly didn't do it justice, but so some improvement over my last plein air attempt so I thought I'd post it.  6"x8" canvas board.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Follow the Dirt Road

Another painting tonight.  It sure can be a struggle deciding how to simplify sometimes.  Probably tried to capture too much detail tonight, but enjoyed my paint time!  This one is done with a limited palette: viridian, ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow pale, and titanium white.  Oh, and the underpainting was burnt sienna with a little alkyd medium.  The actual painting looks so much better than these picks :-(
8"x10" canvas.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Villa - Finished

Well, I'm bachin' it tonight.  Wife and kids are out of town so I'm staying up insanely late...painting.  Did my first value study.  Who would've thought painting with black and white could be so hard.  I'm sure it was just the subject I picked. Yeah, that's it I'm sure.  That one I'll keep to myself ;-)

Tomorrow I plan to get outside and do some plein air around our property.  But for now... 

I think I'm done with this Villa, at least until I find something else to'm done....I think.  Yes, done.  Painted from a magazine.  Tossed in a picture of my makeshift picture holder. You like?  Okay, posting the pictures and off to bed.  8"x10" canvas board.

And my picture holder...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our Barn - Finished

Few tweaks to finish up the barn tonight.  Pictures are horrible, but the painting turned out nice.  I replaced my Thalo Green with Viridian.  Must say I'm enjoying the greens I'm getting with Viridian.  Saw some amazing photo's on a friend's facebook and got permission to paint from the photo's so I've got some good material to work from at night.  Can't wait!!