Thursday, July 30, 2015

Little Island

I have painted this view many times and it still inspires me. The Daniel Smith palette is what I used and I worked on a quarter sheet of Sanders Waterford paper. The pigment fell just right onto the surface because I worked on wet paper that I let dry in between layers. I liked the island and the hills in the background.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Family History

Pam had lots of family heirlooms in her house when I was last there. These items made for great still life subjects. I don't know the story behind these items but I know that they have some history in the Ziehe family.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Sky Was Fun

I painted this picture because I was enjoying the cloud formations. I put the rooftop in for an anchor. I recently took this class on Craftsy that gave me some new techniques with painting the sky. Craftsy is a great place to take classes online I highly recommend it.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Leaves Are Pretty Too

I really enjoyed drawing and then making this painting. I was in Pam's garden it was in the afternoon and the light was sweet. I first laid in the ink sketch with a Pitt artist pen and used my Daniel Smith watercolors that I had preloaded on a palette before leaving Austin. As to the paper, it was Canson watercolor. 9 by 12 inches
A image from my Stillman and Birn sketchbook. I went down to this area in my hood on a recent Sunday to get this sketch for a larger painting. It's part of the nice drainage system they have here where I live. I noticed it during our recent rains in May.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


This bunch of flowers was fun to paint. I worked with lots of water because I wanted soft edges. After it dried I sharpened some the edges to add a bit more variety.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bridge Too Big

11 by 15 inches One battle that I constantly fight when I am painting on site is proportions. In reality the bridge is smaller than the land masses. I guess I just focused too much on the bridge. Every piece even the failures are good because its mileage outside which I think only makes one a better painter. I really enjoyed just letting the paint do its own thing with the paper. Good paper and paint always make the experience so much better.
This is a page from my sketchbook. I was waiting for my order at Green Mesquite. These two men were sitting at the counter eating.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Red Crane

30 by 22 inches This is a glimpse of downtown San Francisco painted from one of my photographs. I think its a little too controlled and tight. I may try a looser version. I was of course attracted to the red piece of construction equipment, trolleys and the people. I used a variety of watercolor brands on Langton Prestige 300 gsm paper. I probably spent about 30 hours on this piece.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Single Engine

As I was finishing up this piece a seagull flew by and I added it as a finishing touch. The original plan was to make the painting about the clouds. The birds are part of a marina so they should be stars too. I used Daniel Smith watercolors and Canson Montval Watercolor paper (124.4 lbs Rough).

Monday, July 13, 2015

About The Sky

I treated myself to about $100.00 worth of new watercolor paper when I was in California. This is gray toned paper. I worked wet on wet and used gouache to make the cloud stand out. We were hanging out at the Richmond Marina. I took my a watercolor palette loaded with Daniel Smith watercolors. They are my current favorites.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Garden Corner

I was in California for a few days. It was a bittersweet visit as Pam's father had passed away. She didn't feel like getting out and about along the coast. So I took advantage of her beautiful garden and tried to take care of her. She had lots of items from her parents home strewn about the house that made for beautiful still life paintings. I also was testing out various sketchbooks from Stillman and Birn. Its now one of my favorite product lines. I took lots of photos but my focus was on sketching and painting with the intent of making larger paintings from those sketches.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sunflower Triad

Finally finished this one. I painted the flowers long ago and couldn't think of a background. Lately I have been playing with color theory. So one night this background popped into my mind. There you have it.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Smoke Break SC

This is a small exploration study for a larger cityscape of Charleston, South Carolina. I'm exploring what I want to make the painting about so I'm playing with multiple sections of the photo. I'm naturally drawn to figures in a painting. However, when you have beautiful historic buildings added to the mix, its hard to decide what to focus on. I was drawn to the body language of these two guys in a store doorway.