Thursday, September 30, 2010


6" X 8" Oil on Panel
Trying to cram the mighty tall eucalyptus trees onto a 6x8 panel, haha. Sometimes painting is too fun and the things you come up with in your mind just have to be painted. The only regret here is that the size of the panel can somewhat limit just how majestic these trees can look...I'd like to one day but put together a 3 foot by 6 foot stretched canvas to go really large for these guys....that would look cool.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Truck Trail

"Truck Trail"
6" X 8" Oil on Panel
Decided to paint an early morning scene of a truck trail similar to the ones above a camp near Cachuma Lake. These trails reminded me of truck trails near a summer camp I went to in the San Bernardino mountains with the Boys Club years ago, Camp Norris. They headed off to Jenks Lake or the riding stables. We would hike along them or ride in the trucks sometimes. Good times back then.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Skiff Sketch

A Skiff
6" X 8" Oil on panel
Out my norm again....painted this little skiff to learn to get better at them. At heart I'm a boatnik and have been for years. Lately I've been looking up skiffs and drooling. This one is based on the Tri-werx skiffs built by George Williams of Falmouth, MA. Classic looking workboats. This is not a good representation of a Tri-Werx skiff in that the bow is too rounded looking here...almost like a fiberglass boat or even a Mexican Panga.. A TriWerx has a much sharper looking bow...great looking boats....I'm not sweating it because this is only cause to do another painting.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Eucalytpus Study #2

Eucalyptus Study #2
6"X8" Oil on panel
#2 is actually a stretch since I've painted eucalyptus trees many times. I like their shape and their colors. They are stately trees and they have such a dominate size over the landscape...just a lot of fun to paint these big guys. This study is probably more for the more tonal feel of the paintings background. I like tonal works but I don't paint many of them. This was a way of enjoying that process.


Color Study
6" X 8" Oil on Panel
I had some ideas about color that I wanted to try out so this is the result of last nights color study. I like trying things out on small panels like this to see what works and what needs work. I've been using Utrecht oil paints lately and am pushing some of the color mixes with it to see how it handles. Utrechts Cadmium Yellow Light has turned out to be a really great yellow to work with. The Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson have worked out perfect too.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gaviota Seascape

"Gaviota Bluffs Vista"
6" X 8" Oil on Panel
A scene on the bluffs at Gaviota looking west out to the Pacific ocean. The skies were hazy, almost storm like that morning and barely cleared in the afternoon. Still, it was an enjoyable day spent exploring the bluffs and working my way down to the water. A recent storm had washed lots of interesting things up on shore.
This painting is on masonite panel prepared with an acrylic gel that gives it the extra texture. I like the look of it but it is heck to photograph. The lights pick up the texture way too much for showing online but the painting looks great in a frame.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yellow Moon

"Yellow Moon"
12" X 16" Oil on canvas
Was wanting to try out a very pale background so I came up with this one. A simple landscape with a moonrise going on. Contrast is a bit off so the moon stands out a bit more on the actual painting. Fun little painting to do.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Farm Off 99

"Farming Corn Off 99"
12" X 16" Oil on Canvas
Saw this sight on my recent trip up north. We took Interstate 5 and at various parts of it route 99 runs parallel to it. This farm was just below Willows and pretty close to the freeway. The clouds have a lot more subtle variations of color but aren't showing up well in this pc. I think if I did a larger painting using this one as a reference I'd push the atmosphere more in the mid and foreground. My reference photo had much stronger contrast to it and I back that down some but I'd like to see it backed off even further. I also tried for a simpler version of foreground grasses too...not my usual type so I'm going to let it sit a few days and see how that looks to me then.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Grey Morning Near Lompoc

"Grey Morning Near Lompoc"
12" x 16" Oil on Canvas

I've driven many times to Lompoc which is about 30 miles from here and the closest Home Depot! I live in the center of a funny triangle...Lompoc to the West, Santa Maria to the North and Santa Barbara to the South...or, Home Depot to the West, In N Out Burger to the North and art supplies to the South. Here in Solvang we have Ace Hardware, Rite Aid and a Subway Sandwich place and that's it. the Winter months I see scenes like this along the highway headed for Lompoc. Very grey days and great fading-in-the-mist eucalyptus trees. Only painters like that kind of weather. This one was done alla prima in about 3 hours tonight. A very fun painting!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quiet Time of Day

"Quiet Time of Day"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
This one reminds me of the light along the hills north of Santa Barbara in the early evening hours. I didn't set out to paint this one like that. I painted the sky and hillsides but got busy running errands before I could finish it. I started another larger painting but stopped on that one too for the same reason. I came back to work on the larger piece but decided to finish them up in order and came back to this little one. My original vision was gone for the painting and I ended up painting in the rest of the scene as you see here.
The reddish tint in the foreground grasses came from a walk I had with my daughter yesterday in Eaton Canyon. There was a lot of smaller plants that had this great red color to them lining a lot of the valley floor and I loved the contrast of those plant colors against the dark oak trees behind them.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rancho San Carlos De Jonata

"Oaks at Rancho San Carlos de Jonata"
15" X 30" Oil on Canvas
Worked on this one over the weekend. I saw this scene while being given a tour of this Ranch just north of Solvang and Buelton, CA. Luckly I have become friends with the owners of the Rancho, a wonderful couple, and they have offered to let me come to visit and paint or take pictures. I was driven through the various areas of the ranch and told of it's history which is super interesting if you like history like I do. I need to go there again for some evening shots.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Evening Light Study

"Evening Study"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
This is a study on varying light and will serve the purpose of being my reference study for a larger painting later. I painted this last night in the prospect of adding more dramatic light to the trees. This is a small 5x7 and although I could have worked more detail into it or spent more time refining the overall look it is just a study and what I was looking for was answered already here. What I will change in the larger piece will be to include more dark shadows in the upper tree areas hit by the last light. Adding the shadows will add more volume to the tree and promote the brighter lit foliage there. The study works well and supports the idea that it is always better to work out something in your head on a smaller canvas then go larger.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Afternoon Moment

"Afternoon Moment"
5"x7" Oil on Panel
I suppose to the eye this painting is about the foreground eucalyptus tree or the trail but it isn't. I painted this one to work on that distant mountainside. I wanted a late afternoon glow on it and I wanted it to be very distant looking...playing with the atmosphere of that part of the painting. I like the soft and very faint transition up to the sky colors.
What made the mountainside appear very distant was keeping the darker shadow colors in a lighter value. The mountain is basically a pink mix of titanium white and alizarin crimson. The shadows are the same mix with a bit of ultramarine blue added which makes it a light violet if you don't go too heavy with the blue. Looks cool.
The fun part of the tree is the last thing done to it...adding the trunk. I'm getting better at keeping the edges of the trunk loose which has taken me a while to get better at. It's working, hahaha.


Night Colors

"Night Colors"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
Venturing once again into painting the colors and light of the night. Night scenes are always fun to get creative...adjusting colors and letting them play off of each other. The light is probably the most fun of painting a nocturne. I like to keep certain parts very dark and then pick a spot to let the light shine through...a luminous area of the canvas to allow the viewer to "see" through the darkness. Charles Rollo Peters did just this at times on the adobe walls in his nocturnes. The rest of the painting would be shrouded in mysterious darks and pale color. We have a mission in town, Mission Santa Ynez, and Peters painted a nocturne of it. Very cool!