Thursday, February 26, 2009

I was in country

Yesterday morn., I arrived at a ranch outside Sacramento, set up my watercolor plein air equipment, and spent about 5 hours having a ball... except... when the junk yard looking ranch dog ran up to me barking and attempted to lick my h2o palette (he turned out to be friendly pooch but with an odd need to eat Schminke watercolor paint) and the panicky feeling I got when I heard thundering horses hooves and prepared to die in a stampede (all this noise made by one stinkin horse frolicking in the field behind me). I even heard a pleasant trotting sound, turned around, and saw a small carriage with a fringe on top go by! This is the 21st century for god's sake!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Follow my blog.

If you want to follow my blog, simply click on "Follow this blog" on the top right and just below my masthead. I'm not sure what the advantage is to you or to me for that matter! Now that I've added this widget, is there anyone out there who can tell me the pros and cons of it? I'm also on Facebook and am in the process of figuring out why! Hey, I'm 62! sometimes takes time to figure these things out. The photo is of me demonstrating an ink/wash sketch technique to my Sacramento City College summer plein air class.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Water Color Portrait in Progress

< Yesterday I gave a private lesson to a young, very talented lady by the name of Heather. She loves water color and wants to learn the fine art of portraiture in this medium. We did three hours of painting (from a color reference photo and painting on a half sheet of 140lb. cold press)) starting with laying down a light wash for the skin ranging from yellows to warm and cool reds. Those washes go right into the hair, over the "whites" of the eyes, and even over the "white" of the teeth. As we progress, notice how little detail is put into the teeth! That was followed up with painting the darker values in the facial features such as the eyes, nose, and mouth. I most always like to start with the eyes as you see here. The trick with facial features is to make them look natural and not to outline them. The world is made up of value variations and not lines. Some values merge, some contrast. It is all there if you have sensitiized ("sensitized"...did I just make up a word??) your eyes to see them. Speaking of values contrasting and merging, check out the "line" or hard edge between the jaw and neck and the merging or value graduation from the left side of the neck to the middle of the neck. Finally, we finished up with the hair...the dreaded hair!!!...the most challenging part of the portrait. Yes, I "cheated" and used some conte crayon for some strands... so sue me! By the way, in the fourth photo, you see my student surrounded by my painting, the reference photo, and an open Chrles Reid book for inspiration on painting hair without having to go in and paint every strand...just masses of color and value and a few strands.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stone Cold Potato, Two Sisters, and Odd Tomato Out

I'm in the throes of teaching my spring semester acrylic painting class at Sacramento City College. Some color mixing assignments have been followed by some "simple" potato and tomato painting exercises on 8"X10" canvas. Here is my potato and tomato efforts. I hope to post a few of my student's efforts next week. Mashed potatoes rock and Campbell's Tomato Soup bring back yards of good memories!

Monday, February 9, 2009

They Lost!

A few posts ago I wrote that the Sacramento Kings, one of the worst teams this year in the NBA, was about to undergo a change in fortune. Managment hired me back to use two of my paintings on two new posters. One poster for Chris Webber and one for Vladi Divac. Their jerseys are being retired. C Web's was retired last Friday in a dramatic half time ceremony during a game between the Kings and The Utah Jazz. It was like the good old days when the Sacramento Kings games were sold out and Arco Arena thundered with cheering fans. Anyway, last Friday, all the ticket holders got a Chris Webber poster by yours truly, and I have the photos here to prove it. They lost to the Jazz by only 3 points...and...continued one of the worst loosing streaks in their team history. I felt that since they had come back to reuse my watercolor paintings, that the team's loosing streak would be reversed but Noooo!!!!! Maybe there's something wrong with my theory about a direct relationship between management commissioning me to do art and how well the team performs. I always thought I was a level headed artist or is that an oxymoron? Speaking of morons, was it a little brash of me after the pre-game interview, to request singing the national anthem and to introduce C. Web over the public address system?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Watercolor on 140lb. cold press

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pune, India and my Painting Friend Milind Mulick

Here is my finished acrylic painting on stretched canvas painted from a reference photo of a street scene in Pune India emailed to me by the fantastic Indian artist, Milind Mulick. We are at the finish line of a "paint off". Milind has already posted one of his acrylic renderings of this scene and will post another soon. I did a similiar "paint off" of a farm truck with some other artists a few months ago, and it was a kick in the canvas to compare the results. Karin Jurick does this type of thing every month and with any and all artists that may want to participate. It is fascinating to view the results. I will be adding another Mulick painting of this scene (he is putting the finishing touches on it) to this post soon. Stay tuned. The top is Milind's acrylic and the bottom is mine.