Monday, July 31, 2006

painting people

"The Lookout"

oil study on Masonite

I could not load my daily painting practice from Friday of fresh garden tomatoes. (I'll try again tomorrow) So it must be fate that I post this painting of people at the beach. It is another day of 100 degree heat here in Omaha, looking at this painting may help keep things cool.

Actually, this is a study for a larger painting. I love the little guy in the red shirt and wet pants. It looks like he is standing guard while Mom gives the other little guy a dip. I also like the way he held his pinky finger out.

This was from a trip to Nova Scotia, my idea of heaven on earth. It is one of the most beautiful and friendliest places to be and a great place to paint. I can't wait to go back.

I tried a different technique with this one. I did the underpainting with acrylic utlramarine blue. Then completed the painting with oils. The acrylics dry very fast and give an interesting surface to paint on.

Friday, July 28, 2006

daily painting old tools

Just a plane

Made in U.S.A.
oil on canvas board
still wet give it a week
I was visiting my friend and fellow daily painter, Darren Maurer(Apple and Linen by Darren Maurer) in Sioux City. I stopped at a local antique mall ( a very bad habit for the artist on a budget). This plane was one of several items I brought back with me to paint. I have a new rule for purchasing anything that is to be used in a still life practice painting. The object must be less than $15.00, be able to be used in at least two paintings and most important....I need to think it is cool!

The plane met all three requirements. The name of the painting comes from the only identification engraved on one of the blades. Is that a sad commentary on our time and country?

I enjoyed this one a lot. Again I used my shadow box and for the first time used a lamp for additional lighting. It was a very gray day outside.

Celebratiion time! This has been my first full week of posting daily paintings on my blog. I am learning... I hope you are enjoying it?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Painting marigolds

oil on Masonite


No. 2
oil on canvas board
still wet but
give it a week

This is the story of two paintings of marigolds. Marigolds are my favorite flower( I know I say that about every flower) but I love the brilliant color, texture and most of all the smell.

The first painting I like better because the neutral greenish gray background helps highlight the brilliant orange flowers. I also like the way the light comes through the glass. Tricky brush work in this one that I wish I could say just flows onto the canvas. The truth is I struggled to make it look right and most times struggling with paint only produces .....ugly paint. This time the gods of practice were looking the other way and it worked.

The second painting was a challenge from the start. The photo here is actually slightly darker than the original painting. What a difference trying to paint clear glass with a nearly white background. I settled on a more impressionistic look than what I originally intended. (Is that what we call artistic license?) These margolds are much more featherly than the others. I don't think I did them justice.

This is a painting challenge I need to come back to again... remember this one: Glass with white background and intense color object.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Daily painting practice jelly jar


Today's daily painting : the jelly jar. I was scrounging around the kitchen for something to paint and I spotted this amost empty jar of raspberry jam in the refrigerator. It called out for a portrait.

almost there.

The knife has given me fits. I wish I could get the fine detail in.
I am pleased with the color and drawing. I may try different lighting and compositions based on this subject in the future. It was a lot of fun.
The color in the final photo is a little warmer than the original. The previous photos are closer to the real painting.

Jelly Jar
oil on
canvas board

Friday, July 21, 2006

painting flowers practice no.2


This is the first time I have drawn in the composition usig charcoal first. Ususally I would just jump right into drawing and painting with the brush.
The benefit of course is the composition is worked out ahead of time and is easy to correct. But once I started painting into the charcoal the turpentine wash blended everything together and all that careful drawing was gone. There must be a clever way to avoid this. That is why they call it practice!


I read that many painters save all of the old paint they clean off of the palette. It all goes into one big bucket. It makes a beautiful gray that can be used for blocking in the composition. I started saving all of my scrapings and this is the first time I have tried it. I really like it and I love how I am not wasting all that paint.

in the

The values are close. The glass needs some help though. I didn't get the darks and halftones in there.

Oh no,

The petals and leaves started to droop after a while. I have read that it is better to complete the flowers then move on to the other objects that don't droop and die on you. Of course, I didn't remember that until just now.

6x8 oil
on canvas board

I'm not pleased with the final result. I don't like the way the large pink zinnia came out. I can see I need practice on the details. I love zinnias though. They are so individual, a great summer flower. I save my seeds from each year's bloom and replant. So I am sure I will be painting many more of them in the future

Thursday, July 20, 2006

drawing practice shell study

Here is a drawing exercise of some shells. My wife has a large collection so I thought it would be an interesting subject to try.. The way I begin is to site size the drawing as best I can. The goal is to get the outside shape as accurate as possible before working on any details or shading. I line up different horizontal points (the height) then I use my pencil and my thumb to measure vertically(side to side). Then after as each point is checked and corrected connect the dots.

Next, I
am just looking at positive and negative spaces. Black and white. Then I break it down to halftone, black and white.

3 hrs and the sketch is as far as I want to go. I should do this type of exercise every week. Training my eyes to see only the main shapes and tones is one of the best exercises I can do.
I may try to do this as an oil painting. The pinks and rose with the shadows would be a great challenge.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

first flower study

Beginning with the set up.

You can see my shadow box. I painted the inside with acrylic burnt sienna. The window of my studio is a north window (I am sooooo lucky). It is about 4 ft. away.
No preliminary drawing, just started painting.I brushed in the background with Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine blue.

2hrs into it!

I'm trying hard to match the values and colors. I'm pleased that I have not gone too thick too fast. That is a habit of mine I get into trouble from being in a rush. The drawing is not as acurate as I want to get. Keep practicing!

3 hrs into the day.

You can see the light getting stronger.

To much on the highlights but over all not a bad workout.

Here's the final.

I stopped after 4 hours.
I enjoyed the process on this one. Luckily we have planted several daisies this year, so I'll have more to practice with.