Sunday, December 27, 2009

Turkey Dinner

Turkey Dinner 6"x8" acrylic (SOLD)
This was our Christmas dinner. When we took the turkey out of the oven and saw how good it looked I grabbed my camera and took some photos. The turkey tasted as good as it looked.
I put together a demo of the painting below this post.

Turkey Dinner Demo

In the top photo you can see how I block in all the shapes of the painting trying to get the color and values (lights and darks) close to what they will be in the final step. You can still see the pencil sketch of the roaster. I put a hint of a reflection from the roaster on the table.
Middle Photo
At this stage of the painting I start defining the forms of the turkey and the roaster. The legs and wings start taking shape and I work on the roaster with a variety of greys trying to give it a shiny look. I put in the reflected light from the turkey on the inside of the pan, reenforcing the shiny look of alumnium.
Bottom Photo
Now its a matter of readjusting the colors of the turkey with different yellows, oranges and browns to fine tune the shapes and give the skin that roasted look. I add the highlights to give it a moist look. I make some adjustments to the pan and the painting is finished.
I hope you enjoyed this demo, it gives you an idea of how a painting is constructed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Ornament

Christmas Ornament 7"x5" oil   (SOLD)
Last night I set up my easel in front of the Christmas tree and painted this ornament. I had the lights in the room turned down so I could observe the lighting from the tree. The only trouble was I had a hard time seeing the paint I was mixing, so I had to keep going in the kitchen to see if I was mixing the colors right. I spent about two and a half hours on it before finishing up at 11:30.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quiet Time,Cardinal

Quiet Time, Cardinal 7"x5" acrylic
During snow storms the birds find refuge in the tree right by our front window. It gives me the chance to observe the birds up close without them being alarmed.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Moon over the Lake

Moon over the Lake 5"x7" oil

I went to the lake before dawn on a cold ,cold December morning to watch the sunrise. I wanted to be in place to photograph the changes in the sky as the sun made its appearance. I remember my fingers being numb that morning because I forgot my gloves. The moon was going down so I decided to photograph that before it dissapeared. This painting is based on the pictures I took that morning.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Spring Creek Afternoon

Spring Creek Afternoon 5"x7" oil (SOLD)
This is one of the streams we fish in Northcentral Pa.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Annual Small Works Show

These are the two paintings I have in the show this year. The image of the covered bridge was used for the advertisement of the show in Nouveau magazine.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Halloween 8x10 acrylic
I always wanted to do a painting with a candle lit pumpkin but never got around to it. Tonight I had originally planned on doing a still life with a round hanging lantern lit with a small candle. It has the same shape as a pumpkin, and thats what sparked the idea for tonights painting. Does it bring back memories of when you were young?

PS: If you click on the picture you will see a witch ready to fly in front of the moon. Thats what the one trick r treater(witch) is looking at. I separated her from the others so you would wonder what she was looking at. Enjoy your Halloween.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hidden Brook

Hidden Brook 11x14 acrylic (SOLD)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day Lilies II

Day Lilies 2 8"x6" oil (SOLD)
This is a close-up of the day lilies that grow in our front yard. I posted a painting I did of these ( a far away shot) on a rainy afternoon on June 20th . This is a more intimate look at them.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Threatening 5"x7" acrylic $45.00
The weather this year has been so unpredictable, a sunny day on the lake was no sure thing so one eye was always kept skyward.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Passing Clouds

Passing Clouds 5"x7" oil
On this night the clouds were flying by covering up the moon, then there would be a break in the clouds and the moon would appear again.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Trip to Northcentral Pa.

Spent the week up Northcentral Pa. The weather was nice, temps in the 60's during the day. Here are some pictures from the trip.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Setting Moon, Valley Forge Park

Setting Moon, Valley Forge Park 5"x7" oil ( SOLD )
On my last visit to the park I got there right as it was starting to get light out, and when I came around the one turn there was the full moon bright as it could be.

Monday, September 21, 2009

An Early Start

An Early Start 5"x7" acrylic
My favorite time to be out, just as the sun is coming up. This is a lake we fish at in the Poconos, the boat ramp is to the left thru the opening in the trees. I'll do small pratice paintings like this to work out the design, lighting, and colors, and if I like it I'll do a larger painting using this as my guide.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Dam at Valley Creek

The Dam at Valley Creek 8x10 oil

Went up to Valley Forge Park at dawn this morning. If you like seeing deer this is the place to be,most of the fields have deer feeding in them. I like the orange sunlight that lights up the landscape this early in the morning. After getting my fix of looking at the wildlife and landscapes, I went down to Valley Creek to do a painting of the dam. The sun was just starting to reach this area when I started the painting.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Falling Spring Branch

Falling Spring Branch 6"x8" oil $80.35

I took a trip out to southcentral Pa. on Saturday to get material for some paintings. On the way up I stopped off at Valley Forge Park right before sunrise to get some pictures of the landscape and wildlife. The full moon was still up and with the mist laying across the fields it made for some interesting scenes. After about 45 minutes of looking around I was back on the road. I had wanted to do a painting of Falling Spring, so after searching around a bit I settled on this spot. I got the painting 90 percent done on location and finished the rest at home. I looked at some other streams in the area before I left. On the way home I stopped off at Valley Forge right before sunset.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Toms Creek, Pocono Mnts.

Toms Creek, Pocono's 5"x7" oil $50.00
This is one of the streams we fish in the Pocono's. We can spend the day working our way upstream taking turns in the runs and pools, one guy spotting for the other. Most times we start early so we are the first on the stream which means fishing trout that haven't been spooked yet.
Its a relaxing way to spend the day.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pine Valley Covered Bridge

Pine Valley Covered Bridge 11x14

I was out last year looking at some of the covered bridges in Bucks County. This one has a small park next to it so it was easy setting up my easle right next to the stream . I worked on it from 9:00 till 11:00. By the end of the two hours the lighting had changed so I photographed the details of the scene and painted them in when I got back home. The important part, setting the mood of the scene was done on location. This was a bigger size (11x14) than what I usually use outside. I guess I was feeling brave that day.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wet Morning Plein-air Painting

Woke up at 5:00 am this morning with plans on going out painting , when I looked out the window and saw it raining I thought maybe I'll stay in. As it started getting light out I changed my mind. I was itching to get out anyway rain or not, so I grabbed my small paintbox which is perfect for painting inside the truck.

I went to Core Creek Park which is about 8 minutes away.
I settled on this area I painted before in the winter. Capturing the overcast misty atmosphere was my goal this morning. Constant pratice in all types of weather helps you learn about the qualites of light and how they effect the landscape. These paintings were done on 5"x 7" canvas panels.
Enjoy your day.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

High Water

Took the painting to the Delaware tonight to paint the water and finish the painting but was greeted with high water. In the bottom picture you can see the dark strip of blue water, thats the rocky point UNDER water. When the river level drops back to normal I'll try again.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Refining the Image

I worked on the clouds, started giving them some form. I painted the treeline in the back a cool blueish green to make it recede into the distance, and refined the treeline in front of it with warmer and a little more intense greens. I started adding the reflections in the water on the opposite bank. The other fisherman I wiped out and will reposition him later. I made sure I maintained the original idea of a shaft of light spotlighting the fisherman and lighting the treeline in back of them. Next I will attack the water and see if I can make it look like it has current and eddies and a sense of movement to it. What I should do is go back up there and study the water, make some sketches and write down what I see. Unfortunely it is pouring out AGAIN so this evening is out,and tommorow we are going up the Poconos fishing. So Sunday evening would be the next possible time to get back up there and they are calling for rain then too.
Well, we will see.
Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Block In

I have blocked in the four major shapes with thinned paint. Using thinned paint makes it easy in case you have to make adjustments to any of the shapes, its just a matter of wiping the area with a rag and readjust your shape. Now I'll start refining the different shades of greens in the trees, and try to build some volume in the clouds.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sketching in the Composition

I thin some paint and indicate the major areas of the of the scene. As you can see I put in the clouds, knowing they are the lightest value in the painting. The horizonal line running a quarter of the way up from the bottom is the far bank, and the blank area right above that is the tree line. The two marks are the fishermen, and the rocky point with the vegetation. I've kept everything simple, sky, background trees, river, rocky point and fisherman.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fishing the Delaware River

Saturday evening my two brothers and I went up to the Delaware River to do a little fishing. We were wet wading so I didnt bother bringing my camera (in case I fell in and ruined it). I had walked upriver a little and as the sun was going down behind me a shaft of light lit up the area my brothers were fishing in . Not having my camera I had to memorize the scene , I took note of what objects were the lightest, medium, darkest values. I went thru the same mental excersize I go thru when I'm painting. When I got home I did this 5"x7" sketch of what I remembered,which is only the important parts that make up the scene.
In the upcoming posts I'm going to show the progression of the painting as I go thru the steps from sketching the composition to the finished painting.

Monday, July 20, 2009


This is a pastel painting I did of a chipmunk. I tried to capture that curious nature they have.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Morning at Valley Forge

Morning at Valley Forge 5"x7" oil

This morning I went to Valley Forge Park, got there as the sun was coming up. Treated to a misty sunrise(something you never see staying in bed). There were deer in pratically every field you passed. Saw three foxes, one had a rabbit in his mouth as he ran across the road in front of me, I wasn't fast enough with the camera. Finally settled on a scene to paint before the sun got too high. The 5"x7" and 6"x8" panels are just the right size for early morning painting when the sun is moving fast and you are trying to capture the light before it changes too much.
I did another painting of Valley Creek at the white covered bridge but it didnt come out too good, I picked a subject with way too much detail, so I did my best to capture the lighting conditions without any detail, took reference photos for the details and I'll use the sketch for my color. In a later post I'll show the sketch and the finished painting.
I haven't posted since July 1st because I have a few paintings in different stages of development, and we have been doing more fishing this year, which is a good thing.
Enjoy your day!