Saturday, January 30, 2021

life drawing


This model has a face like a 40s movie star (Linda Darnell?). 
Her skin tones were so subtle--not so warm, I think, as I've made them.
So, again, not so much like her, and there are a few little mess ups (not so glaring that they ruin the overall effect, I hope), but I think I got the light and how it models her face, and that's more important to me.

Friday, January 29, 2021

week 1: snowy river


Week 1 in a Zoom class on winter landscapes taught by Bill Rogers at the Chesapeake Fine Arts Studio.
They have classes, free demos, and open studios (life and still life!). So check them out.
I did enjoy this class and the way its conducted--you paint along.
Next week we're painting a boat on the hard (on land, that is) in snow. I am looking forward to that!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

virtual life drawing


This started out 11x15, but I just could not get the arms right.
It's not a great likeness of the model: why do I never notice things like the nose being too long till it's too late? Getting a likeness isn't all that important to me, but it would be nice!
I was going to go further, but ... I feel like it's enough. Though I am awfully tempted to paint her tank top!

main st


The third painting from photos taken on the eagle walk.
I love scenes like this. I'd like to collect more photos of little towns hereabouts to paint.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

nature walk 2


The eagle walk was family friendly so there were a bunch of young kids along and I got a couple of good reference photos of them--"good" to me meaning they're basically just shapes and colors that I can superimpose on my landscape shots.
I had high hopes for this but, after the initial wash, felt discouraged most of the time I was working on it. 
Darkening the area behind the kids really gave it a boost, and a focus.

Monday, January 25, 2021

nature walk


Took a walk a couple of weekends ago to look for eagle nests, and we found some--staying very far away; getting close could make the eagles abandon the nest--and saw a pair bringing nesting material to it. I love walking when it's cold out.
I got a few nice pictures, and am getting around to trying to figure out how to paint them.
I try to convert what I'm looking at into shapes, but it's fifficult when the edges are hard to define.
And I've exaggerated the color--so much so it looks like springtime!
Still trying to figure out how to paint distant trees! I want that smoky effect I so often see.

Friday, January 22, 2021



I posted this on Instagram, where it got a number of likes; proving once again that I dont know what people like!
I was trying to pInt something simple simply. I think I pretty much did that, though I went back into the sky to add more blue.
To me this painting is just not very interesting. Maybe it's the uniformity of the grays? The absence of strong light?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

winter tree


Every winter, I am drawn to the bare trees, the lines. the shadows ... and always say I'll paint them but then I get, idk, intimidated, or maybe it's just laziness.
Finally sat down and made a drawing from a photo I took a while back.
Started painting without much of a plan ... and kept going that way.
I'm saying its finished. And while I like a little passage here and there, overall, to me, it's too heavy handed. Okay, so, next time: leave whites; and either expand or contract color palette.
I think I definitely will trace this (maybe eliminate some lower branches?) and do it again.

Monday, January 18, 2021

railroad crossing


I've had this reference photo so long I can't remember where I got it from.*
I like the way the buildings seem to be stagger-stacked upon one another ... But every time I thought about trying to paint it, I'd think it was too complicated and put it aside.
I came across it again the other day and finally had the breakthrough thought: only draw/paint the parts that aren't white.
I really messed up the background, primarily by going into it too many times ... But I like the house on the top right, and I'm happy about the breakthrough!

 *It's not on my current laptop, or the one I used before that! I don't download copyrighted photos, so hopefully I am not impinging on anyone's rights (I won't be selling or reproducing this little sketch in any case!). In recent years, I've mostly painted from my own photos. If you know where this photo is from, please let me know.

Sunday, January 17, 2021



Since I found it kind of hard to make sense of the body, I thought I'd try to leave it somewhat undefined and concentrate on the face.
I can't say it's a good likeness of my Melo--I think it's the mouth; I didn't get the drawing right and so he looks like he's pouting--and I think I'll try to soften the edges of the whites.
But I like the ears!

Friday, January 15, 2021

the meadows


A path leading to the beach at the Meadows, a Nature Conservancy property that's a popular birdwatching site.
Of course I see things I wish I'd done differently, and maybe will, next time I paint this scene.
But I am happy with color of the distant trees. I often struggle to get a color I'm happy with-- it's usually too gray, or too green or purple, or too blue!
These were in the too blue category, then, right as I was finishing, I dropped a little cool red in ...