Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Working more or less all over just to get some tone down helped me see where this drawing was going. I could see that there were a lot of areas that were still too light and would need further layers of graphite but this was fine - dedicated time in the studio would take care of that. At least the work seemed to be going in the direction that I wanted. Working on the ear, I laid in the deepest darks  then slowly built up tone creating shape and form but further shaping and definition would come in the final pass. Next I'll work on the arm and back then darken everything overall to finish off.

Monday, June 29, 2015


After deciding that I had done enough to the braids, I worked around the eye and the nose a little, again keeping things lighter that I should. I'll be working over most areas a few times until I attain the correct tonal value. I also worked for some time on the area around the ear and started to add more details to the hair directly above, feeling my way along as I'm a little unsure how to created the correct effect. Still at this point, I'm happy with the way this one is going so far.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


I had been wanting to do something like this for years but only recently was I able to have the opportunity to do so. I think that the idea came about many years ago after seeing Raymond Ching's amazing drawings of Vanessa Thompson in his book 'The Art Of Raymond Ching'. There are two pages of drawings of Vanessa in the book and also a large watercolor - the drawings especially are stunning!
So starting with a relatively large sheet of drawing paper, I roughed out the basic shape then started work on her braids. I tried to keep from going too dark as I wanted to have the choice to darken areas as needed later on. I was hoping this would lead to a better balanced work and would keep the drawing from being too much like a black and white photograph.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I loved the form of this Asian pear, especially the drooping shape of the stem. Deciding to make a painting of it, I set up in bright light from outside then started with a light drawing on smooth (hot-pressed) Arches watercolor paper. After that I probably laid down about 6 or 7 thin background washes letting each one dry in turn until I was happy with the tone. Then I painted in a yellowish-green mixture for the pear. Slowly color was built up over time leaving a thin underwash for the lightest area, then the final details were added to represent the texture of the skin and the slightly wrinkled stem. The shadow was added last and look quite some time until I was finally happy with it. Size is 7.5" x 11".

Sunday, June 21, 2015


I loved the pattern of snow and shadow when I first saw this little scene awhile ago. Setting up to paint in the snow is not always welcome, especially when it is a cold and blustery day - still I managed. A small piece of canvas was tacked onto a board and later when I had got most of the painting finished, I took it home to live for awhile in my studio. More recently I worked on the snow in a few places until I was happier with the balance then sat back satisfied. Next I'll get this one into a frame and hopefully hanging on someones wall. Size is 5" x 7", oil on canvas.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


I did this small study when we were in California. Often it is possible to set up along a roadside somewhere and complete a plein air painting without too much distraction. I usually keep these studies of a reasonable size so that it doesn't take me too long to finish them. Also the light changes quite a bit over time so I keep these painting sessions between 1 to 3 hours long. On some occasions I do come back the next day and finish off if necessary but being only a 5" x 7", that was fortunately not needed with this one.
For some reason I couldn't get a good photo of the finished painting and now it is at McBride Gallery where it and others are hanging during the 35th Anniversary exhibition so I'll have to wait till later to try and get a better pic of it. The show runs from June 7th to June 28th and some of the paintings featured on this blog will be shown there.

Friday, June 5, 2015


I saw this farm while on the way to Bombay Hook wildlife nature reserve on the Eastern Shore some time ago. We had left home early in the morning and I remember watching the sun come up over the water as we crossed the Bay Bridge. Mist still lay in some hollows here and there and I marveled at the colors of the clouds. A peaceful mood prevailed as another day was born - one that I felt lucky to witness. As with a lot of my work, the painting was worked on for awhile then languished for some time in the corner of my studio, it was only lately that I finally finished it off. I tried to capture the mood of that particular morning so the colors were kept somewhat muted and details only suggested. Size of the work is 12" x 16". Oil on canvas.

Monday, June 1, 2015


Started some time ago, I only finished the wing and back section of this work just recently. Although taking quite a bit of time, this study was for me an exercise in creating form, depth and texture. I wanted the drawing to reflect the wonder I have for these large falcons so took care to try and capture details and a likeness. Final size is 6" x 9" - graphite on paper.