Work In Progress…

9″ x 14″

This summer I have been concentrating on watercolor paintings – from very small to medium in size. This landscape is an elongated vertical format which highlights the shadows on the path as well as the morning light coming through the trees.

I have used illustration board, 300 Lb Arches single sheets, Arches watercolor blocks and currently am trying the Fabriano 300 Lb single sheets. I am actually a bit disappointed with how this paper takes the watercolor but am working through the difficulties.

I began by sketching on the watercolor paper then started laying out my color.

I am now at the point of fine tuning and adding greater depth and contrast. Comments are welcome, especially if you have a favorite watercolor paper or board to work on.🎨

From Sketch To The Final Piece

It is so nice to be finished with a couple of recent watercolor paintings but they weren’t without their obstacles. I generally make a working sketch when a project is complicated but I did not examine my sketch of the “Ocean Painters” carefully enough to work through the difficult shade areas or take a good look at the “bench” when beginning the painting. Artists who have worked with watercolor know, once the color is down, it is difficult to make changes afterward. I took my chances and made some changes anyway and for the most part, it worked out.

The palm tree painting was straight forward but my “Ocean Painters” will need a bit of tweaking here and there but is basically done.

I continue to learn something new every day and definitely with these two paintings.

Small Watercolors and Working Ideas

Now that I am back in my studio, it is time to finish up a couple of watercolor paintings and work out the details for a couple of more. From early in my high school days to now, I have always loved working in the controlled environment of my own room as opposed to “En Plein Air”. Painting outside is fun and though I am getting to paint outside more, the illustrator in me needs to work on paintings at any hour of the day without worrying about the changing light. I also tend to work on several paintings at a time and below is a sketch of a painting I plan to do in watercolor as well as oil.

Blessings🎨

Scribbles From The Road, Part 2

Fields of Canola Flowers

Our travels continue on from Coeur d’Alene to McCall, Idaho. The Pacific North West or “PNW”, as it is known as by those living in this region, is absolutely beautiful. We traveled through mountains, farmland and ranch lands and as driving through, we are struck by fields upon fields of bright yellow. We were in Grangeville, Idaho and cars everywhere were pulling over so that people could take photos. The need for fueling up our truck came at the perfect time for me to get out and ask what we were driving by and was surprised when I was told that they were Canola flowers.

Of all of the items I buy in the grocery store, I have never once put any thought into canola oil but seeing those fields gave me a new appreciation for what is being harvested each year.

We traveled up the next mountain range and this was the sight as we were leaving…

As we climbed the mountain, we were struck by even more beauty…

White Bird Hill Summit mountain pass is at an elevation of 4,450 feet. Located at the southwest corner of the Camas prairie, White Bird is near the Salmon River crossing point for the Lewis and Clark expedition and also the location of the 1877 Battle of White Bird Canyon, which was the first fight of the Nez Perce War where the U.S. Army was defeated. The summit was named after Chief White Bird. Photos of this view do not adequately show the elevation or beauty but trust me, it is stunning!

We traveled down through canyon along side the Salmon River.

In part 3, I will share the photos of McCall and it’s landscape.

“A Little Meyer”

12″ x 16″ watercolor

In our yard, we have a dwarf Meyer Lemon tree which produces the sweetest, best tasting lemons! This little tree was the perfect subject and of course, it was so nice not to have to travel anywhere to create artwork. Today I finished this small watercolor painting and am pleased with how it turned out. Generally when painting, I know when to be “done” but with this particular project, I was getting way too close to overworking it and had to force myself to put my paintbrush down.

Here is a recap of the process:

1. The concept drawing

2. Drawing and beginning stage of laying down color

On the edges of the lemon and part of the stem, I painted an art masking fluid

The above photo shows the project almost completed and below, the finished painting.

Like the majority of my work, this painting shows my strong illustrator background but I enjoyed allowing myself to get looser in some of the areas behind the lemon. It is my hope that you find helpful hints in the creation of this painting.🎨

Merlot In The Morning 

18″ x 24″ watercolor on Aquarelle Arches watercolor block

I have been working for quite some time on a vineyard series of large paintings which include acrylics, oil and watercolor. This particular painting was taken from reference photos taken at quite literally the crack of dawn! Although this painting maintains my typical control with the paint, it is more stylized then my usual realistic approach.

Beginning stages of the painting: