Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Punta del Morro - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 9"x12"

      This is from a reference photo I originally saved from a Virtual Paintout "excursion" when the subject was Puerto Rico a few months ago. I didn't submit anything that month for reasons I don't remember. But, I finally decided to try this one out as a test for Fabriano's cheaper "Studio" line of paper that's only 20% cotton. I picked up a 9x12 pad the last time I was at Jerry's in Raleigh to try out. 
      Overall, this piece worked out OK on this paper largely because it was loose and wet. I let each layer dry before applying another. But, even then, there was significant lifting and loosening. The one spot that needed a minor correction in the form of lifting almost immediately started pilling. A subsequent painting on this paper proved this is quite possibly one of the worst papers I've ever used. Though it's supposed to be cold-pressed, it acts a bit like hot. The paint doesn't seem to sink in very well and lifts and re-wets too easily. This might be a good paper for quick sketches with only a couple washes, but I wouldn't use this for anything much more serious. The description on Jerry's website (which I'm sure comes from the manufacturer) says this paper can "withstand vigorous painting." Nothing could be farther from the truth. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Cogburn - gouache

gouache, 2017
available, 11"x15"

      I've had this rooster reference photo sitting around for years, originally planning to do a very loose watercolor. I finally pulled it out and a realist gouache showed up.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Grim Mower - gouache

gouache, 2017
available, 7.5"x11"

      Just a fun little piece to get back into gouache. I haven't done anything in gouache in a while. More to come.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

39 Cadillac - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
nfs, 11"x15"

      Loosening up on car paintings always feels like a double-edged blade. I'm inclined to render cars photographically as I did for several years. But, as I've mentioned here before, I no longer want to be a camera; I want to interpret and paint loosely. So, sometimes I try to split the difference and render some parts tightly and some loosely. Baby steps. The grillwork on this one is loose partly out of necessity. If I were painting this on a full sheet or even a half, I might have been more exact in the execution of all that grill chrome. I've done it before. But, at this size I'm not sure my hand is that steady. So, we went loose and gave the impression of lots of chrome grill tines (for lack of a better word). The yellow is a factory color of the period, I think, though the original color probably wasn't so bright. The original isn't for sale because my daughter expressed an interest in it when it was still in progress -- mostly because her favorite color is yellow.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

67 Camaro RS #2 - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
nfs, 11"x15"

      When the recipient of this commission of his first car saw it he immediately had to have another for his father since they shared the car. Works for me. Of course, no two paintings are identical. So, there are a lot of differences between the two, some things are better on the first one, some are better on this one. Overall, I might be a little happier with this one than the first one.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

'51 Nose - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 8"x10"

      This probably should be called "Rusty Cadi Redux" because I've painted this particular image before - back in 2011 (Rusty Cadi). The original was auctioned off for the local United Way a few years ago. But I've always liked the reference photo and thought it would be fun to revisit it in a slightly looser style. So, here it is, though the style isn't much looser than the first attempt.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Red Window - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 11"x15"

      Just a quick flower-in-a-window painting. There's actually very little I would change or do differently. That's weird.

Monday, June 26, 2017

AJ - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
nfs, 6"x9"

      Here's another quick portrait in Payne's Gray. This one worked out better than the last one.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cadillac #1 - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 11"x15"

     I got a wild hair recently to see if I could play with the logos/badges of various auto manufacturers and their products and drop a little impressionism/expressionism on them. It might make an interesting pop art series. Since I also recently bought a Cadillac (a VERY good deal on a used SRX that I couldn't pass up), I thought their latest logo crest would be a good place to start.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Edgefield School - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 11"x15"

      Just a fairly quick impressionist landscape of the old school in Edgefield, a magical place. As always, I wish the sky had scanned better; it's a moderately better one than usual.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Barry - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
nfs, 6"x9"

      This a quick portrait sketch playing with a loose wet style I've admired for a while. I've also needed to get back to monochrome for a while to keep my understanding of values strong.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

67 Camaro RS - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
nfs, 11"x15"

      This is a commission I did for a cousin of my wife. It's a gift for her husband, his first car. Fairly straightforward.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

49 Cadillac Hearse - marker

ink, 2017
available, 9"x12"

      I found some Winsor & Newton Pigment Markers on clearance locally so I thought I'd give them a try. I just bought a couple grays as I've been wanting to experiment more with grayscale and with markers. This is a first attempt. Not bad if I say so myself. The two pens I chose were a bit darker than I expected. I was looking for four levels -- two grays, black and paper white. Not really what I got. Even so, they work nicely in a horror theme, obviously. I'll be playing with these some more for both finished pieces and preliminary grayscale sketches for watercolors.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sidewalk King - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 11"x15"

      Ran into this majestic creature and it's twin in front of an Asian restaurant in Salisbury the same morning I shot last week's reference photo. I thought he would work well for a loose still life.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Salisbury Morning - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 11"x15"

      From a photo taken early one December morning in downtown Salisbury, NC. It was too early for pedestrians or even much traffic. The stark contrasts and long shadows caught my eye.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Take It On The Run - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 11"x15"

      This is from a reference photo I've had for several years afraid to tackle the detail and the shadows. I finally decided to jump in and I'm glad I did. This worked out better than I expected and pops right off the page/screen.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Decoy #3 - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 9"x12"

      Another duck decoy. Both the texture of the chipping paint and the glossy reflections work nicely here.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

47 On The Block - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 11"x15"

      This is from an old photo from the late '40s or early '50s found in one of those caches of "found photos" becoming popular on the web these days. When I thought I was done I felt the buildings in the background were too dark and intense, demanding too much attention. So I used one of John Lovett's tricks and added a very thin layer of white gesso over them and the most distant car to tone them down and push them back. Worked like a charm.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Edgefield Barn - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 11"x15"

      Just another barn somewhere. I made up Edgefield because the barn is on the edge of the field and I couldn't think of anything else. I may continue to use Edgefield as a fictional place where all sorts of art lives.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Charleston - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 11"x15"

      This is from a photo I took in Charleston SC a couple years ago. The building is a 19th-century warehouse just a short block from the riverfront. In the 1990s it was converted into offices.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Red Barn - watercolor + ink

mixed, 2016
available, 9"x12"

      A quick, little ink and wash sketch of a barn in early fall. This one is actually 5"x7" on a 9"x12" sheet to help set off the image.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Church Street Church - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 11"x15"

      I called this one Church Street Church because it isn't a church anymore; it's an Italian restaurant. I couldn't find the original name of the church that occupied this building. Beyond that, I'm quite happy with this one.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Buick Super Hearse -- watercolor+ink

mixed, 2017
available, 9"x12"

      I haven't done Virtual Paintout in a couple months. This month we're in Ghana. As is evident from many paintings on this blog, I'm drawn to church buildings. So, while I wasn't looking for a church in the Ghana Street View images, I did happen across one that just happened to be having a funeral at the time the image was taken with a Buick hearse parked out front.This checked a couple things off my favorites list -- it's a car AND a hearse (to cover the horror theme). One of the few late model cars I've ever done.
      The original ink drawing is below.
 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Minnow - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 9"x12"

      I might have rushed the details on this one a bit. My father was an avid bass fisherman, so I've seen lures and all other manner of fishing equipment my whole life. But it wasn't until I started painting them that I realized just how much detail is put into making these things look as realistic as possible. I guess fish are smarter than we think. And, maybe the chrome hooks are actually invisible underwater.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Food Truck - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 11"x15"

      This is another piece from the same day as last week's painting. I'm still on the fence with this one. It's loose, but not loose enough. Where it's tight, it isn't tight enough. I liked the composition and idea as soon as I saw it. I'm just not sure about the execution.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sunday In The Park - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 11"x15"

      This is from a photo I took during a Sunday afternoon food truck rodeo in the area. Not exactly my normal scene, I thought I might see a thing or two worth painting. I was right. I'm pretty happy with the looseness of this portrait. I'd like to go a bit looser with the color, but the drawing itself works well and retains a strong naturalism/realism.
      Below is an ink drawing I did as a preliminary.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Gulf Presbyterian - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 9"x12"

      This is a little sketch of a church not too far from my home, but done from a Google Maps Street View image. My biggest issues with this one is, of course, the trees, with which I'm never happy, and the small suggestion of a graveyard. I should have made that a bit more prominent. The shadows on the building could have gone a bit more cool or warm; it doesn't matter which. They just need to have some color. The red door color was a change from the original to add pop and an obvious focal point.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Decoy #2 - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 9"x12"

      Here's another duck decoy. I'm very happy with the texture on this little fellow -- and the form shadows on the head. They worked out nicely.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

55 Desoto - ink + watercolor

mixed, 2016
available, 9"x12"

      A quick, little ink and wash classic car. This one works out pretty nicely in spite of a general loosening of the details in the chrome grill.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Camper - charcoal

charcoal, 2016
available, 8"x11"

      The most famous attendee of everyone's favorite summer camp. Something special but off-beat for St. Valentine's Day. Remember what happens to lovers in horror movies.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

53 Skylark - watercolor + ink

mixed, 2016
available, 9"x12"

      Not much to say about this one. Just another ink and wash classic car. I really like the graphic nature of Buick's old vertical grill. The ink on this one has a unique look because I used Arches cold-pressed watercolor paper instead of the smoother paper I normally use for inks. The paper texture made for a lot of skipping -- or micro-skipping -- in the ink line. I like the look a lot, but I'll probably stick to the smoother papers most of the time.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Salisbury Corbel - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 11"x15"

      This is architectural detail from a building in downtown Salisbury NC. I just thought it would make an interesting subject.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bethabara Blacksmith - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 11"x15"

      When I saw this historical re-enactor (and real blacksmith) at an event at Bethabara Park early last fall I wanted to get shots of him doing blacksmith stuff; you know, hammer, fire, red-hot metal. I circled for a good half-hour. But he was talking a group of kids showing them some nails and hooks he'd made. I settled for a shot of him leaning on his anvil. The pose, costume, actor and accessories all work just as well as an action shot. And, I'm pretty stoked (get it;) about how this portrait worked out.
      Bethabara Park, by the way, is a partially restored and preserved 260-year-old Moravian settlement in Winston-Salem NC.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Susan - watercolor

watercolor, 2017

      A portrait of my sister in better times. She's been fighting cancer for three or four years and was this week admitted to Hospice care as there is little more any of us can do for her.

      Update: Susan lost her battle early this morning (Friday, Jan. 27).

Monday, January 23, 2017

Roadside Vineyard - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 11"x15"

      From a Google Maps Street View image acquired but not used during Virtual Paintout's Napa Valley month.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Punkinseed - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 9"x12"

      Another "sporting" still life. Again, quick and easier than I expected. I wasn't sure about some of the color and lighting effects. But, I'm very happy with this one.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

County Line - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 11"x15"

      This is from a shot taken during our one decent snowfall last year. It happily breaks one of the cardinal rules of composition -- actually, almost two. 1) There's a heavy line running up the center of the painting. 2) the horizon line also is in the center of the space. The second problem is easy; the actual horizon line is mitigated by the curved line of the tree line. The first problem is ignored because of the graphic nature of the image. Not all images conform to rules (and why should art have to?). Besides, everything else about this image follows other rules like leading and unity. There are five leading lines pulling the viewer into the painting. The line the tops of the trees make against the sky mirrors the tree line on the ground. There's also unity of color in that only four colors were used.
      So, breaking the rules is OK if you have a good reason and the image calls for it.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Dean - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
nfs, 9"x12"

      This is a portrait of my late brother-in-law attempted in the loose, impressionist style I've been chasing. Frankly, I think this is the most successful portrait/figure I've done in this style. It has it's issues, though very minor. But it's right on target and the things I would change are greatly outweighed by those that are just right.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Danbury Baptist - watercolor

watercolor, 2016
available, 11"x15"

      A loose view of the front of the little Baptist church in Danbury, NC. I wasn't sure about the warm light reflected back into the shadow areas of the eaves and under the porch. But it works pretty well. The reference photo was taken very early one June morning, a nice contrast to January's usual chill.