Friday, October 29, 2010

Iris sketch

A glimpse back at summer...this was done in my sketchbook and iris remain one of my favorite flowers. They are tricky to paint, because of their tissue like petals and can quickly become too heavy and opaque. A light hand is the way to go here....oh and keeping the golden hearts clean is a must! Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Monastery view

Back to the workshop...I always have trouble remembering the tall purple flowers' name in the foreground. You see them everywhere in Europe in the summer. I think their name starts with an S...oh well...the painting was one I wanted to do for quite some time and had a challenge with the tall dark trunks of the palm trees.. it's important to vary the colors for interest...I think I've said that before...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

painting within a painting

I'll give you a break from the workshop paintings and post something from one of my's a painting within a painting..I sketched my watercolor set that was on the tray on the plane and you can see the set painted in my sketchbook on the bottom right, but it's all one sketch...hmmm kind of like a dream within a dream.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Direct from the farm

The workshop week continues...another one painted from one of Mel's photos. I need to travel to some exotic places to take pictures for subject matter! I guess that would make a good excuse! All the usual suspects when it comes to colors, prussian, ultramarine, cad red for skin tones, raw sienna and alizarin added to make the violets.

Monday, October 25, 2010

More lines

This was another painting done in the line style of painting the "drawing" with your brush first. Here you can see the contrasting colors shining through the washes. I pushed this work to the more illustrative direction..especially those clouds! But all in all I like the reflections and figured hey, in for a penny in for a pound...the paper was already paid for!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Line painting

Yet another from the workshop...this again was from my pile of pictures I brought along...It was a really wet and loose attempt at the scene. Mel had demonstrated his technique of drawing with your brush first, not with a pencil. You also vary the colors of the "underdrawing".. I lost most of those during the process.. they should be visible in the end...Below is Mel's painting...he also talks about this in his first book...Watercolor: Simple, Fast and 28 I think.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Another workshop piece. I had brought along a bunch of photographs from a trip several years ago. It's always good to bring along some pictures to a never know if you'll be rained out (like we were 4 out of the 5 days) and have to paint inside or if you just want to paint something different.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

drawing to paint

I had great fun with this was from a photo Mel provided and I decided to give it a go. The lesson learned from this piece is that a drawing that works and is in proportion is really the foundation of a good painting....drawing...the "secret" to painting..who knew?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Re-evaluate value

I'll let you evaluate my value study...does it add value to the overall experience? How valuable is it? Light to dark values make you value your approach to the painting..knock, knock..who's there? Orange... Orange who? Orange you glad I didn't say value! all kidding aside...I do realize the importance and it does slow me down and makes me look at the scene before diving in with random color selections.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I think I'm going to switch my subject matter to abstracts! I've gotten so many comments and emails about my last post...wowie zowie. Thanks everyone! So to completely flip the's a typical Vermont scene I did during the Mel workshop. Tomorrow I'll post the value study I did prior to painting. Yes there is "value" to doing a value study..I'm a

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Below the Surface"

Now here's something waaaaaayyyyyy different for me...a little abstraction. Hmmm how do I feel about this? Well, let me know what you think... I do know that I had a great time painting's so un-restrained and it's kind of nice to paint something that doesn't have to look like something for a change! This piece is in a VT Watercolor Society group show at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe. The opening reception is tonight, but I can not attend unfortunately...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tree scape

This was the first painting I did during the Mel Stabin workshop I took a couple weeks ago. We were pretty much rained out every day, but one...but I managed to step outside under a covered porch and paint the tree scape outside the studio. It was a fabulous week at a great place...check out the workshops offered at the Landgrove Inn. Great food, great location, great people...a winner!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

View of the Boat

This should have been yesterday's 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue... Hope you all had a nice day..thanks also for all the recent comments...This piece was done from a photograph and I really pushed the dark trees and lively shadows in the foreground. If you look closer the darks are made up of various colors...this adds interest and avoids a dull solid color dark.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Multi exercise

This is a fun exercise I do in my workshops...I've posted about this before. You divide a half sheet of wc paper by using white artist tape..try to divide it in odd numbered squares and rectangles. It's a study in variety, variety in sizes, shapes and taking one still life and picking a variety of images from that one set-up, trying for cohesion in either color, texture, paint application, theme etc..etc..I think it gets you out of the head set of trying for a "completed" painting.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cottage 2

Another small sketch of a cottage I did this past summer. Variety in the greens is where this is at. I guess variety in every color is the way to go. Not in an overkill way, but in a subtle way, just to give the eye some much to think about.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

red roof

This was a quick sketch I did this summer looking out of a cabin we were staying in across to the neighboring cabin. It's small: 9"x6"...Thanks for all the great comments everyone! It's nice to know you are following along!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Red Blossoms

This should be more familiar to most of you. I know it is to me, gladiola... I just came back from a 5 day Mel Stabin workshop(it was great!)...we unfortunately had 4 days of rain and were forced to paint inside from photographs and not the beautiful Vermont foliage! I'll post my efforts soon... (22"x15")

Friday, October 1, 2010


Rain rain go away...come again...way way later! Boy oh boy have we seen rain and I'm quite frankly done with it! This painting reminds me of the lovely summer we had...oh well, next year. The water table needs it I guess! Does this mean we'll have a mild winter? Hmmm.