Saturday, June 30, 2018


In my last post, I mentioned working on another painting featuring those snow-covered logs. Here is the beginning where I am establishing the darks and some of the mid-tones. Obviously with this view, I have drawn in for a much closer look at the end of these logs and found something I think is worth  exploring in a painting. I began with a basic drawing working on the major forms first then indicating some of the smaller details. I am still feeling my way here so am a bit tentative with the washes of watercolor but off to a good start I think.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Early one Sunday morning, I came across these logs over in the reserve near the white farmhouse. They had been cut from a large tree that had some decay in it and was in danger of falling. Stacked next to the road, I marveled at the contrasting textures and unusual composition they made lying there. Since it wasn't all that cold, I was able to do a few studies there and then from different viewpoints and angles. Later I rushed back to the studio to start work on a larger version and grabbed the first sheet of watercolor paper I could find (the back of a painting that I had done years ago). Unfortunately the painting soon bogged down so was relegated to the pending file folder. Time passed until recently when I began another painting of these logs drawn from some of my original references. That painting was going so well that I pulled this one out of retirement and after giving it look over, decided to finish it. Most of the logs were already completed so I mostly worked on the snow and grasses trying to create a rhythm amongst the various shapes and it was finally done last night. Size is 14" x 21" (36cm x 54cm) - watercolor on paper.

Saturday, June 23, 2018


I recently completed this small 5" x 7" oil of the sea at Shek O in Hong Kong. We had earlier walked the Dragons Back trail that takes you up over the mountain nearby then around the side and down to Big Wave Bay. From there, it is a short walk over to Shek O. The main beach there is not so interesting to me as it lacks character so we prefer the walk through the village to the headland where there are many amazing rock formations. This area is a favored site for wedding photos and we usually see small wedding parties there with various photographers in tow.
The waves can be quite spectacular in the bay (by Hong Kong standards) so apart from the small village charm, it can be a great place to visit and get some inspiration. We prefer middle-of-the-week visits as otherwise the place can be packed (especially in summer). So a great place to go for lunch, to swim or in my case, to draw and paint!

Thursday, June 7, 2018


I saw this abandoned house as I walked through the fishing village of Tai O on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. A popular tourist destination, we usually visit Lantau whenever we go back to Hong Kong. We go to see the giant Buddah and also to Tai O, mainly for the atmosphere and lovely sea views as this is one of the few villages that still retains some of its character and charm. Most places like this have been razed in the name of progress or left to rot and ruin - shame really. So glad I documented many of these old villages over the years both in my sketchbooks and on film.
Initially this painting was supposed to be a small study for a larger work but I ended up doing far more work to it than I intended - no matter.
For me, the interest initially was in the way the afternoon sun cast a strong shadow across the building. I loved the way the shadowy interior contrasted with the sunlit portion of the wall and floor. The bright fabric hanging on the right had been recently washed and was hanging out in the sun to dry. It created a nice colorful area in an somewhat monochromatic study - the small red incense holder just to the right of the door frame helped too.
Size of the painting is 11" x 7.5" (28cm x 19cm). Watercolor on hot-pressed Arches paper.