Thursday, June 11, 2015


"Brothers" 9x12 watercolor on Arches rough

 Here is a painting I did for my oldest son's birthday, he is the one on the left. The reference I used is a snapshot I took as my first and third sons were walking away from me in a crowed parking lot. I isolated the figures quite intentionally and placed therm in a very ambiguous environment. I added a long shadow to help the composition with an uncertain sky the only real background. I used a very limited palette of  Ultramarine, Cad. Red  and Raw Umber. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015


"Sunflower" 8x8" watercolor

This is a little painting I did of a Sunflower. The colors in the actual painting are so much more vibrant and the splatters of paint are more noticeable but, as with most photos of my art I have such a hard time getting it right. Perhaps the color on my monitor is not right, or maybe I am too picky. How does it look to you?

Friday, February 6, 2015


Another acrylic pop-are style portrait: 
My refrence photo: 

 I did some sketches on my compy
The question beard... or no beard?

  he decided he liked the beard, good choice...
"Marty" 12x16" acrylic on canvas

Saturday, January 31, 2015


Here is the process of painting of "Buddy": 

Refrence photo:

I began on a white canvas with  a teeny bit of black then added phthalo blue, burnt umber 

Next I added ACRA Magenta, Cad yellow light, and a green background. All the colors I used to paint the dog were not mixed  I used transparent. color straight from the tube.
and layered them so the viewers eye could mix them

Last I added more transparent burnt umber. 
 Budddy 16x20" Acrylic on canvas

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Portrait of Sam

Here is a commissioned painting I did of a sweet doggy. I did it very loose and colorful. I know that it looks a little like watercolor but, it is done in acrylic. I did do most of the dog in loose washes and glazes of transparent acrylic paint as though it were watercolor.

"Sam" 16x20" Acrylic on canvas. 

reference photo that was sent to me.

This is the sketch that I came up with. I often do a thumbnail sketch in Photoshop because it allows me to make quick changes to see how different things look. and it is also very easy to email the image to  the client for approval.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Star Light

I did this painting for my brother and his wife for Christmas. When I asked what they wanted as a Christmas gift she asked for a painting that combined both their favorite things, she loves lighthouses and he loves Star Trek. this is the painting that I did. I did put a little Starship Enterprise in the sky.

"Star Light" 10" x 14" watercolor 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

" Point Wilson Lighthouse" Finished

Now the painting is getting really close to being finished. I paint all the little details that make it finished. Most detail belongs on the focal point, in this case the lighthouse. I very seldom paint the fine detail anywhere else but the focal point. 

 Now this is the painting after I mat it. See how much better it looks when that distracting bloom is cropped out of the sky. I matted it to 11" X14"
I am glad that I finished this painting, I'm happy that I didn't give up on it. Actually most paintings I paint at some point I look at and think "this is not going to turn out well, perhaps I should give up."  I am usually glad that I don't. The three reasons that I almost gave up on this painting were; the bloom in the sky, that really I fixed that with the mat. The buildings being too light, that was an easy fix. The worst thing was the blue blotches from the watercolor leaking through the tape when I masked the buildings. See for yourself... What do you think?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"Point Wilson Lighthouse" Step by Step 5

I am adding more details to the buildings and darkening the foreground. The roofs look too bright, but don't worry I am going to put a blue wash over it. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

"Point Wilson Lighthouse" Step by Step 4

I add some more color to the sky and paint the rocks in the foreground around the fog.  I paint shadows on the buildings. The lighting on this painting is the deep blue of evening, just after sunset. Shadows are always tinted the opposite color of the light, so I am painting the shading on the buildings with an orange tint. The buildings are actually darker than the background but they appear lighter because of the contrast.  
I add a layer of color on the roofs and another layer on the road so the salted  texture is diluted.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

"Point Wilson Lighthouse" step by step 3

I don't know if I can save this painting but, I decided to keep at it. The worst that could happen is that I end up throwing it away and I was going to do that anyway, so what have I got to lose? some time? I won't really loosing that because I will learn something from painting this. Besides, time spent painting is never time wasted. 

About the problems this painting has, The bloom in the sky really isn't that big of a problem because it is mostly in the area that I was going to crop out anyway. The buildings being too light is not really a problem either, I'll just add another layer of color. This may turn out for the best after all because it will make the buildings stand out more from the background. So the only real problem is where the watercolors leaked in between the tape on the buildings, I guessing that it won't be that noticeable when the painting is finished. So here goes. I darken and shade the buildings, and add more to the foreground. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Point Wilson Lighthouse" step by step 2

I really want the light from the lighthouse to pop so I wash the entire painting, except the light, with indigo. While I am at it I throw some pale shadows on the buildings. 
 I mask the buildings and I paint the sky and a few rocks. 
Here is where I see lots of  mistakes, I masked out the buildings when I painted in the sky, I shouldn't have done that, now the buildings are too light, also I used tape to mask out the buildings and some paint seeped under the tape and if that wasn't bad enough, I have a huge bloom in the sky. These problems would be a little easier to correct if I hadn't have used a highly staining color. now I don't know if I can save this painting. I'm not that far into it perhaps, I should just start over. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"Point Wilson Ligthouse" step by step 1

I am going to paint Point Wilson Lighthouse Located in Port Townsend Washington. I will use this as my reference photo: 

The problem is, I want to paint the lighthouse on a foggy evening at dusk. I don't have a photo of the lighthouse under those conditions. But, I found an image of another lighthouse in the foggy, dusky conditions I am looking for. I will use this photo to reference the mood and the color of the painting.

 Here is my beginning sketch, with some masking fluid applied: 

Monday, August 4, 2014


"Matthew" is a 16"x 20" painting done in acrylics on a panel
Matthew is also a 3 year old little boy
Matthew's  parents wanted a portrait of him to match the one I did for their wedding
 I matched the previous portraits style and repeated  the same orange from his father's hair in Matthews shirt and the same brown circle and white background so the paintings look as though they were painted at the same time instead of 7 years apart.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Playing catch up.

Well it was pointed out to me that I haven't posted to my blog for a while. Actually I must admit I kind of forgot that I have a blog. Well I didn't really forget, it just was not at the top of my to do list in fact it gradually moved to the very bottom. For the next few days I will post a few of the paintings I have done in the time since I last blogged.  

Elizabeth 10x10 watercolor

This is a little painting that I did for my friend Elizabeth. She is one of the most amazing people I know. I saw a photo of this daisy and the bright happy colors reminded me of her, so I painted it for her. Elizabeth is fighting cancer and yet, she remains one of the most happy, loving people I know. See her blog here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Painting in Progress "Little Boy Blue" Watercolor on Yupo

Little Boy Blue 11x14 watercolor on yupo

Well I have had so much fun painting flowers on Yupo, synthetic paper, that I wanted to try to do a portrait. I wanted to paint something simple, when I remembered a picture I took of my little boy a few years ago that I thought would be perfect. 

Here is the beginning. I paint Big washes of color and then tilt the paper to make the color run. 

 Here is the next step. Be patient with me on this painting. Yupo is funny stuff. I paint an area of color and then I have to wait all day for it to dry before I can do the next area.

Next I painted the hair. I was toying with the idea of leaving his hair blue but, I got carried away. And.... I was trying to add more shadow to his shoulder and ended up lifting all the old color. that was too bad because I kinda liked that area. One of the hazards of painting on Yupo all the color lifts really easily. I usually paint with lots of layers but, on yupo you have to go with just one. On the bright side you can pretty much lift, or erase, anything you want. Usually with watercolor anything you paint is there pretty much forever.

I painted his shirt brown to balance out the brown hair. while the paint was still wet I accidentally dropped a piece of paper on the wet paint. I kind of liked the texture it made do I did it in a few more spots. well see if I decide to leave it. I also added a little shadow to his eyes and some color to his lips.

 Just adding some some more shading

I'm not sure if I like it or hate it. I am working on the shading. this is getting frustrating, when I paint in watercolor I usually do lots of glazing in many layers. I can't do that on this paper because all the color will just lift off. All the colors on the face are very subtle I can't get a good photo of it with my camera.

Well this is it. I framed it but I haven't varnished it yet, I still may want to make some changes.
What do you think?