Monday, June 26, 2023



Before working on this smaller oil, I had hiked and explored this area quite extensively. Ospreys nest here as do Bald Eagles plus there are the usual assortment of other marsh birds making it an exciting experience every time I visit. I prefer to go there in winter although by then, the ospreys and a lot of other breeding birds are gone. Still, there is always plenty to see and I find new things to paint each time. This is one of a few different studies I have done around there and I am hoping all this work will lead to a larger oil sometime soon. Size is 8 x 10 inches (20 x 25 cm), oil on canvas.

Saturday, June 24, 2023



I finally finished an adult bald eagle study! Beforehand, it had been only the young eagles that had interested me, mainly because of their more interesting plumage and their darker bills. But I intend to do a color study of and adult sometime so wanted to feel my way forward with a drawing first. I decided the only way to do an effective portrait in this case was to darken the background and set the white of the head against that - so that is what I did here. When I got the darker tones sorted, I started with the bird's eye then moved to the bill then started to modulate the long pale head feathers. Working downwards, I laid in many layers of graphite until I arrived at the result you see here. Size is 12 x 9 inches. 

Friday, June 16, 2023



While mixing up some paint the other day, I realized that I had too much so wondered what to do with the left over. There was a small canvas panel nearby so I began spreading on the blue adding some white as I went trying to get a graduated sky. The resultant shape suggested a mountain top so I added almost pure titanium white for the snow and started adding in a little burnt umber for the rocks. The shadow followed and the painting progressed from there. Since I had started the work with my palette knife, I decided to do the whole painting using only that instead of brushes as I normally do. I only used two colors and the darker grey is a mix of mostly burnt umber with a little pure cobalt blue added in. This is the first palette knife painting that I have done and for me, was a enjoyable experience. I did learn a lot from doing this one that I'm sure I will be able to use on my next mountain scene. Size is 7 x 5 inches.

Thursday, June 8, 2023



Barn Swallow studies done while they sat on some old and weathered planks down near the dock. Others were flying around giving their 'svittt svittt' calls looking beautiful in the weak sunlight.

I drew these ones in my sketchbook before doing the watercolors as a way of getting a little better understanding of their shape and form. Fortunately they sat for some time although some of them were always coming and going. Surprisingly some of them landed quite close to me so I didn't have to use my scope at all. I think this is the first time I have drawn and painted Barn Swallows - I was surprised just how beautifully colored they are. Size of these studies - 12 x 9 inches.