Saturday, August 30, 2014

Introducing my new DVD

It runs a tad shy of two hours and was recorded and produced during my recent "California Vibe Watercolor Portraiture" workshop in Salt Lake City at 21st Studios. I paint a male and female subject while fielding questions from my workshop participants and talking about what I am doing in terms of shapes, values, inventive/expressive color choices, hard/soft/lost edges, and kinetic brush movement. It is a DVD just packed with advice, two fun painting demonstrations, and throughout, laced with a wee bit of Lobenberg humor. Buy it, you'll like it! Contact me at with your order and your snail mail address. You can pay with check or money order. Upon receiving your payment, the order will be promptly fulfilled. It sells for $45.00 (includes shipping and handling).

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Doing my California Vibe Watercolor thing in Beautiful Bend, Oregon

This month, I conducted my 5 day-long California Vibe Watercolor Portraiture workshop in absolutely beautiful Bend, Oregon under the incredible auspices of Art In The Mountains. The first photo shows me with my workshop students. They worked very hard and rewarded themselves with some excellent CA Vibe watercolor portraits. Following the group shot is yours truly mugging it up in front of the AITM art trailer and a sampling of a few artists with their creations. The last photo is me mugging again (sorry) in the viewing mirror above my demonstration table and just before my first demo. on the first day of the workshop.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

New California Vibe Watercolor Portrait and a Killer Year!

This is my latest California Vibe style watercolor portrait (11 by 15 inches, 140lb. cold press watercolor paper) of Ron Cunningham, artistic director of the Sacramento Ballet Company. I also painted his wife and co-artistic director, Carrine. Her portrait appears in an article about my work earlier this year in the French magazine "Pratique des Art".  This has been a very exciting year for me exposition-wise as well. One of my self portraits was printed in the International Watercolor Society catalog and two of my self portraits in the Thailand World Watermedia Exposition catalog. The cherry on top will be an article about my On-The-Go plein air sketching in the September issue of Plein Air Magazine and an article about my self portraiture watercolor art in the September issue of The  Art of Watercolour Magazine, a European publication. But . . . as my wife reminds me, I still have to take out the garbage!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

California Girl

This 11 by 15 inch watercolor portrait that I painted a few weeks ago almost crashed and burned with an ugly all purple face until I added some Daniel Smith metallic blue color. Saved by the metallic!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Getting ready of my Bend, Oregon Workshop

I will be in Bend, Oregon in August giving a workshop on my "California Vibe Watercolor Portraiture" style. I was fortunate enough to be contracted about a year ago to conduct this week long workshop for "Art in the Mountains", a prestigious workshop venue that hosts some of this country's best watercolor artists. Check out the link here. My California Vibe portrait style is not too formulaic. I approach each CA Vibe portrait with differently with a sense of play and experimentation. This does.t always spell out success, but it sure is fun and exciting! What is in common to all the portraits is fun and expressive color, textures, shapes, and brush movement. But to conduct my workshop with too much free form can often be too much for my students to grapple. They can easily get frustrated. These two portraits of a same young man has a simple, free form plan that I think they can sink there teeth into. The painting model is too take a 3 to 4 inch flat brush as well as a large round brush and quickly lay down some large, free form washes, wet-on-wet and with a set of from three to no more than six colors already mixed and ready to go on the painting palette. All the colors need to be on the light end of the value scale. Then it is time to walk away and let the colors do their thing while drying. The second and final operation is to render the facial features, darker values, a few more glazed-in colors, and some textural touches like splattering. The first painting is the more complex one with about six different hues while the second one takes a more moderate approach with a minimal range of hues. What do think of this approach, dear reader?  By the way, in their Sept. issue, the European magazine "The Art of Watercolour" will have an article on my California Vibe style of self-portraiture. I'll be sure to post photos when the time comes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Watercolor Portrait Play Time

This young lady was one of my art students last semester. She gave me several wonderful selfly files. She had the magic touch when it came to photography. This play time quarter sheet watercolor was done from one of them. I played with color, taking off paint and putting it on again, and using a little conte. Her hand got a little camouflaged but I think that's OK. What do you think dear reader. Be Honest. I'm opened to the good, bad, and butt ugly.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

People Sketching on the 4th at Lake Tahoe

You are overlooking the beach with your wife, another couple, and a big picnic cooler at 3 p.m. waiting for the Fourth of July fireworks to light the night sky on  beautiful, blue Lake Tahoe. That's about six hours of waiting, lake gazing, people watching, convivial conversation, and eating. I don't know about you, but with six hours to blow, I need my sketch pad to practice some figure drawing what with all the beach "models" cavorting about. All sorts of shapes, sizes, and positions! Not easy, but great practice. I often like to populate my landscape paintings with people and practicing on getting down quick gestural figures is just what the doctor ordered. These were drawn directly with an ultra thin Sharpie pen and followed with washes made with a water-soluble black Tombow pen and a Niji Waterbrush. The all-plastic Niji brush holds water in the handle that is delivered to the brush tip by squeezing it a bit… no need for a separate container of water! Here are the tools below: