Doing a Series

Having passion for a subject is just the right set up for doing a series of paintings. What better way to practice a new style or colors you like than to do this over and over with a subject you love. My love of the…

Painting Shapes and Light

This is a photo I took while scouting out some rock formations in the California Sierra Nevada’s. I loved the way the light was hitting the rocks and that one small tree. I then cropped the image to the composition I liked and opened it…

Workshop Fun

I want to thank the wonderful artists that showed up for my June 1st workshop. There were lots of discussions about how to apply pastels, what paper to use and all the extra fun things you can do with the media. Each of them found the benefits of doing notans and underpaintings.
I was so intrigued, they each decided to paint on a very small surface, about a 7×7 and that in its self is a tough thing to pull off so kudos to all of you! They all tried the alcohol underpainting technique.
Karen pulled off a very nice mood painting, in fact, she did two paintings one with an underpainting and another without, Dotti loved the colors you get from pastels, she has a wonderful sense for color and Tracy has a nice light touch with the pastels, which is a big plus and she totally made the painting her own.

All in all, I had a great time and it is my hope is each of them walked away with some new fresh ideas and a love of pastel painting.

June 1st 2019 workshop


Discovering Pastels


Pastel demonstration results

Thanks for showing up for my pastel demonstration. I had so much fun interacting with all of you. The black areas of the photo needed color so I decided on cooler colors in the background trees and several warmer colors in the foreground grasses.  If…

Subject for my demo May 4th 2019

When looking for a photo reference for my Demo on May 4th, I came across this photo I took several years ago near Consumnes River. I love all the bright colors, the way the ducks and clouds lead you to the focal point.  I cropped…

25 minute Pastel Exercise

OK I had fun today I did 2 pastel paintings each taking 25 minutes with underpaintings.  These are my quick studies for future paintings or just warm ups to get me started. I got my studio ready picked the pastels I wanted to use, set out my small watercolor set and my botttle of alcohol (no not my wine at least not yet). This is a great exercise to get me ready for a larger painting. I can work out the kinks, see if it feels good and if not I have very little time invested in it.  My conclusions: the first painting I like the composition but I need to make sure my WOW factor the sunlit row of trees needs to be better defined and have a more interesting shape and colors. Also, I will need to add warm colors in the other backlit trees on the right. I know the rocks will need more defination but this was a study and in 20 minutes you don’t have time to noodle. The second study I also like the compostion and it feels warm and sunny so I think I can move forward with this one.

Give it a try, after all, time at the easel is always fun and don’t be so hard on yourself these are just studies.

The rules I followed:

  1. Start to finish 25 minutes.  I allowed only 5 extra minutes for the drawing and underpainting.  The time it took to dry was not counted in the 25 minutes.

Can technology help you as an artist?

I say YES!  I use my iPhone on location all the time to capture photos of what I want to paint, not for pictures but for values. OK, I can admit tools do help my tired eyes to see things more clearly and take out…

Just off the Easel

Spillway 20×16 $400 SeaSaw 14×7 $300

Here’s a teaser for my workshop

Do you struggle with understanding why values can make or break your painting? Or how to see values?  Take a look at the images below and squint your eyes so they are blurry.  These images are the same the only thing that has changed are the values. Which of these images do you think will catch a viewers eye from across a room? This is just one of the subjects I will cover in my workshops.

Got painters passion? What the heck is that?

You may have heard of a saying “I’m in the zone” well that’s what painters passion is all about. I have spent days on location, plein air painting in the heat, rain and yes even in the snow to be “in the zone” and happy…