Wednesday, June 30, 2010


5" X 7" Oil on Panel
I wish I could have taken a better pic of this painting but I have a large painting sitting on my easel and it's in the way. I take my pics there because I use daylight bulbs at the easel and they help take better pics without having to adjust the colors too much. This sky looks much better in person and I was really happy with the outcome of this one.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Santa Ynez Twilight

"Santa Ynez Twilight"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
Who could resist taking a long walk on a nice winding trail through the grasses in the valley in evening light. Great sunset skies and maybe a deer or two out grazing. We have deer who jump over our neighbors fence to eat her roses. She bangs cake pans at them to scare them off. The deer look at her like she's crazy, haha. There is a farm close by that grows hay and you can see the deer "en mass" out there in the evening having their banquet.
This painting was done primarily to play with painting in the trail. I like adding thick pure paint to create the texture suggesting the loose kicked up dirt...the little specks of highlights...I think I'll paint one with a big trail in it. Did one a while ago so maybe it's time to do one again.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lupine and Oak

"Lupine and Oak"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
A study using some colors I tend to enjoy using quite a bit. I like nice rich dark greens and ochres. The distant mountain is a very nice greyed down violet which even though it isn't a large area on the canvas it really intensifies the depth in this little painting. I'm starting to find the challenge of painting a large scene in a very small canvas pretty fun.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sap Green

"Sap Green Sketch"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
Horrible title but basically this is a sketch I did to try out some old sap green paint I had. I was recently discussing it with a fellow painter and realised I hadn't used it in over 17 years. I was a bit rusty with it but it's in there and eventually things started coming back on using that particular color.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Evening Skies

"Evening Skies"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
A sketch done to work out sky colors and adding soft pinkish clouds that happen with evening scenes. I like these clouds when I see them and wanted to do some since I hadn't in a while. The vertical format is also fun working with.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Going Large

On The Easel This Morning.....

Just wanted to show what some of these small daily paintings lead to. This painting is still being worked on and is not finished. Not all will be used as a reference sketch for larger pieces but some have. This one is one of them. This is a big 22" X 30" piece. I really liked the color combination of the background and dark oak tree. It's a simple composition but to me that simplicity was what enhanced the painting. This one is about mood, atmosphere and color. I'm still working on the grasses and the highlights on the oak tree so it has a few more hours headed it's way.
If you look to the right of the larger painting you can see the smaller original sketch that I worked from. I added some additional background oaks to promote some distance since this would be much larger and have the room for it. I wanted the feel of those oaks being just over the sloping hillside so there are no trunks on them. Overall and with a little more tweaking this should end up pretty well.
***Click on the image for a larger view***

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Previous painting now glazed...5" X 7"
Occasionally I like to look over my drying paintings and pic one to experiment with glazing. I wasn't crazy about some of the colors in this painting so it made a good choice for doing a bit of glazing on. I use me medium mixed with just a dab of Indian Yellow and simply brush it on over the entire painting. To darken it up a bit you can add some red or alizarin crimson but AC is a very intense pigment and you barely put any of that color note into your mix or it will overpower the Indian Yellow. I like the aged look it brings to your painting and it is a great and very easy way to enhance the color harmony of a painting.
By glazing your original colors still show through but with a nice warm glow. Although you can't really see it well here, the blues in the sky are still blue in the painting but now are just warmed a bit. Sometimes a painting is too stark, pale in color or just too strong in colors and glazing is a way to dull down that overall look. You can brush on very light coats of glaze and then let dry a few days and come back and apply another coat of glaze to slowly bring your painting to where you like it. You can also try glazing with other colors too. It's a very old technique and brings a fresh look to your body of work.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Days End

"Days End"
6" X 7" Oil on Panel
I painted this one late last night before bed. This is a scene looking across my neighbors field to the ridge across the way just before sunset. I wanted that orange-ee glow on the trees. I think I got some of it but could have pushed it some more. I also wanted to get much looser on the foreground grasses. When I finished this piece I stepped back and noted not only it's plein air look but also immediately felt it reminded me of a Ted Goerschner painting but with less Goerschner color. I'm in no way up to par with Goerschner but little things about this one reminds me of his work. I think in that trying to keep loose and work fast I departed a bit from my norm which is good because it is good to venture out at times and see what happens. Most of the paintings on this Blog, these small works, are for that very purpose. Trying different color combinations, brush work, ideas, composition experiments. That's how you evolve.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mustard on Chalk Hill

"Mustard On Chalk Hill"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
At the end of our street is a field that looks south across the Santa Ynez Valley. The view from the Chalk Hill area is one I have really grown to love. When the weather changes I am never far from my camera. The changes in weather or in seasons usually bring awesome vistas over the valley. This scene was back at the beginning of Spring when the mustard began to bloom here in California. This years mustard was incredible and even the drive along the freeway was a steady stream of mustard and other wildflowers.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Meadows Edge

"Meadows Edge"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
At an Army reunion back in July I made some nice hiles around the Kansas countryside since we were staying at a ranch of one of the guys I served with. This little meadow bordered his ranch and the neighbors ranch. I was out eploring with my friend and taking reference photos. The area we were at was called the Flint Hills and had some awesome properties. If it weren't for tornados Kansas would be a great place to live....they probably feel the same way about earthquakes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Full Sail

"Full Sail"
6" X 6" Oil on Panel
Ok...graduations are over and the yard is good and mowed...time to get back to painting. I did this one after family that had been up for graduation was over. The last of them left this afternoon so once things were back in order here I managed to get this little painting on the easel. I wanted to paint water and went for this sketch. I added the boat because the composition looked boring. Had this been a larger piece I would have made the water rougher and kept it just primarily a water scene. I really need to brush up on water and this sketch was a good start.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sundown Trail

"Sundown Trail"
6" X 6" Oil on Panel
This is a study on low light and contrasts. Sometimes you are just out to experiment with your paints...test ideas on a canvas or panel, trying ideas in your head and nothing more. This little study was done with little time to paint do to conflicting errands and family commitments. It's good to try and paint everday and most of the time I do but some days you are left with an hour or two in the wee hours when everyone has gone to bed, haha, so you have to make use of it before even that time has gone.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Oak Sketch

"Oak Sketch"
6" X 6" Oil on Panel
I painted this one this morning just to put something up on this blog. I've been busy working on a larger piece and it's been a while since I've worked very large at all. It takes a little while for me to paint large the way I paint small, hahaha. I was using the new Utrecht paints I had recently bought on the large painting but wanted to try them out on one of my daily small paintings to see how they handled. I was already more than happy...almost giddy, with the great greens these Utrecht paints make. I'm using Cad Yellow Light, Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson to make my greens and these honestly work as good as Winsor Newton paints....mainly, the WN Cad Yellow Pale. Using the Utrecht colors I was able to easily mix my favorite greens and they were rich colors....I'm very happy with the Utrecht paints so I'm really glad I gave them a try. Another nice thing is they are pretty affordable paints.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


"Nocturne Green and Blue"
6" X 6" Oil on Panel
Wanted to try a nocturne again. Nocturnes are always fun to paint. I wish I had taken a better picture of this one because the grasses don't show as well here. Still, it's a good image of what was painted. Funstuff!