Friday, December 26, 2014

Original acrylic painting, still life, Blueberry Pie, 8x10

Blueberry Pie  8x10  acrylic

I painted this still life this afternoon while I still had enough natural light coming in the kitchen window.  I used acrylics because I wanted to finish the painting in one sitting and I knew there would be a lot of overpainting, so with the acrylics drying as fast as they do I could paint one layer over another within minutes.

I used a limited palette of cad. yellow med, crimson, ultramarine blue,  phthalo green, burnt sienna, and white.  I couldn't seem to mix an acceptable grey/silver for the pie plate using blue,sienna,white so I mixed phthalo green with crimson for a grey and added varying amounts of white to control the grey values.
I was going to paint the slice last night but it broke apart as I was taking it out, so I said I'll eat... uh I mean paint the rest of the pie tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


8x10 oil

This is a small waterfall cascading down a rocky ledge emptying into Cedar Run, a trout stream in upstate Pa.
This was one of the first streams we fished when we started going up there 25 years ago.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Landscape painting,autumn cornfield, Core Creek Park

Autumn Cornfield  8x10 oil

Another overcast sky from this fall. I did like the contrast the tan colored cornfield provided against the stormy looking sky.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sunrise Sketch

I was up right before dawn this morning looked out the kitchen window and saw the beginnings of a quick sunrise. I knew it was supposed to be overcast all day so I had no plans on going out in the 26 degree temps.
But even on overcast days you get a very brief period of time right before sunrise when there is color in the sky. I did a quick sketch on an Aceo card using my cigar box easel.  Within minutes everything was grey in the sky.  Now I can make the coffee.

A little later I did an 8x10 as a practice piece to see if I want to develop it into a bigger painting.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankful Turkey

6"x6"  oil

This one is thankful he made it thru another Thanksgiving.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gathering the last bit of autumn color

I went to Core Creek Park  at dawn last Saturday to try to catch the last bit of autumn color before its gone. I didn't take my paints only the camera because I wanted to record as much as I could during the first hour after sunrise. The moon was setting during this time slot so for me that was a added incentive .
I am looking for ideas, possibilities, inspiration, and I love the light at that time of morning.

The first rays of sunlight lighting up the trees. A lot of times I paint from the spot I'm parked at, I have a view looking down to the lake which is in back of me here. We will be back to this field in an hour.

I liked the shadowed area at the bottom of the brush and the shadow going across the grass.

An explosion of color.

My first thought was to put a deer in the field highlighted with sunlight.

The picture doesn't show the rich colors in the tree, I like the highlighted edges.

The same tree looking from the side.

I was getting ready to leave when I spotted these deer. This is the same field I started at (first picture) an hour ago. This is prime mating season, I guess they wanted a little privacy so they headed into the woods.

A nice 8 point buck.  Wait for me dear.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Using outdoor sketches for reference

8x10 acrylic

8x10 oil

These two paintings were done from outdoor sketches I did one morning when I was out with my brother Chris.  ( From the post on Sept 1st ).

The two outdoor sketches from that Saturday morning.

As you can see I changed things up a little. I gave a little depth to the top painting, and changed the lighting on the bottom so the picture reads a little easier.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Our trip from upstate Pa

We had a good week even with the overcast weather all week except for Friday. We lucked out and had no rain except for Monday night. We caught fish at every stream we fished so that was good.

We visited our old campsite when we arrived.

There was still some fall color left along the streams.

The colors of the trout matched the colors of the landscape.

I did some painting in the mornings before we headed out to the streams.
This is a sketch from a small section of a Kousa dogwood tree with its spiked red fruits.

A quick sketch of the maple tree out back.

The one night there was a lull in the action spotting wildlife so I grabbed a knife block and set up a still life.

This painting I worked on over a couple of nights, it was from a painting trip with my brother Chris at a local park.

I couldn't forget about our nightly visitors.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A couple days outside

I got out a couple days last week to do some plein air painting but the weather has not cooperated lately. It seems like we have had our share of leaden skies and rainy weather and these two days were no different.

I settled on a view of a farmhouse at the end of a field because it made a good focal point because of the contrast it provided on this overcast day.

8x10  oil

I stopped off at Core Creek Park to look around and spotted some egrets in a backwater section of the lake. I pulled over where the best view is ( on the bridge) but traffic is buzzing by right next to you so I set up the easel on the passenger seat and did a quick 5x7 sketch

I did this 11x14 painting in the studio the next day.

My brother and I are going on our annual fly fishing trip this week to upstate Pa.
Here are some images from past trips.

Tom and jumping trout

Photographing the night sky

Spring Creek reflections

early morning

our campsite for the first 18 years

the walk back to the cabin after a day of fishing

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Autumn oil painting

The Island 6"x6" oil

Maria and I went up the Poconos last weekend to view the autumn colors and do a little fishing at Promised Land State Park. This is a little island that sits in shallow water at the one end of the lake.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Autumn is approaching

Heavy Overcast  5"x7", oil

I stopped off at the park after work looking for something interesting to paint. The skies were heavily overcast all day with breaks in the clouds for the sun to sneak thru.
 I wanted to try to capture the mood of this cloudy day.

The sky kept changing as a new set of clouds came in to replace the one's that were just there. I waited till a good set came by that had some good contrast, fixed it in my mind and painted the clouds from memory.
The whole tree line looked dark with a few individual trees standing out from the rest.
I was supposed to be concentrating on the sky but got caught up in the tree line with a hint of autumn color.
It was great being out.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

20 minutes of practice

I was at  Core Creek Park for the last 20 minutes of sunlight today.  This is what it looked like when I got there. I took this picture before I set up knowing I was going to lose the sun shortly.

By the time I was halfway through the painting the sunlight was gone completely, I painted the sunlit trees first before the effect was gone.
I try to keep the major shapes of the painting simple, it helps me cover the canvas when time is limited.

When I got home I cleaned it up a little.

5x7 oil on canvas

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bucks County landscape painting, Cornfields along Rt. 413,

11x14 oil

I was on my way to a local park to paint when I saw this cornfield up ahead, the top of the corn stood out like a neon sign.  With the camera ready on the front seat I was able to get one shot off as I passed by. I make sure the exposure is already set for the light conditions so I can just point and shoot, it doesn't matter if the picture is blurry, I'm only interested in capturing the light.

I find painting the complexities of cornfields is not so hard if you simplify the shapes and values, it helps give the appearance of tightly packed rows of corn.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Plein air practice

My brother Chris and I got out for a couple hours early Saturday morning for a little plein air painting practice. We only had a 2-3 hour time frame before we had to be home to take care of the days commitments.
A ten minute drive put us at Core Creek park right before sunrise. On the drive over  I saw mist hanging over an open field and mentioned that the lake will have a good blanket of fog over it.
I had started my painting before the sun cleared the tree line and stayed with that lighting even though the sun was blasting us in the eyes when I finished.

I didn't or I should say I couldn't take any on location pictures because I broke my rule of making sure I have charged batteries for my camera before I go out. When I went to use the camera it was flashing low batteries. Chris had his camera so he was the photographer for the day.

This is my sketch of the scene, 8x10 oil

Chris captured the scene with the sun up over the tree line and got a different effect.
I liked the shadows under the background trees and the fog lit up by the sun.

5x7 oil

We went to another part of the park to scout another spot and as we were setting up I noticed the sun starting to fade so I quickly put down a quick sketch of a patch of light and some trees.
When we looked up thru the trees it had completely clouded over.

I did get one picture of Chris with his sketch on the easel before my camera quit.