Tuesday, October 31, 2023



Next to where we are staying is a restaurant serving crab (along with other dishes) and I walk past the rear of the building almost every day. So when I saw this stack of baskets in the weak sunlight, I thought about making them a subject for a painting. To do them justice, I wanted to paint them life size so cutting the largest board I had into a square, I primed the front using 4 or 5 coats of acrylic primer sanding between each coat. A single thick coat of black acrylic took care of the back. Positioning the baskets on the board and drawing them in detail took most of one day - I left some areas at the top blank as I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do there. Then starting in oil (which I hadn't used for some time), I began working on the lower slats of each basket trying to get close to the actual tone and color as I could but also realizing that the painting would need some adjustment later on. Satisfied with what I had done so far, I left this to dry off for a while. Next I'll finish the lower sections and begin thinking about the background.

Sunday, October 29, 2023



We don't always see Great Blue Herons down at our local lake but always look out for them as they are often close to the path that runs around the edge of the water. This allows a quite close approach and as they are usually used to seeing people walking by, I can be sure to get some excellent references as they go about their lives. This bird had taken a pause from fishing and was beautifully back-lit by the early morning sun. After a quick sketch, I began this slightly larger watercolor when we got back home. I used gouache for this study since I had the paints out on my desk but kept the washes thin so as to build up the correct tones. Being slightly more opaque than my usual watercolors, I found the color built up rather quickly so it didn't take long to finish. Size is 12 x 9 inches (30 x 23 cm).

Friday, October 20, 2023



I am a bit behind in my posting on this blog but in an effort to catch up, I give you this smallish watercolor of rocks and water seen on a most amazing visit to Bruny Island with good friends. I believe this is near Penguin Island which we walked to after lunching on a wonderful white-sand beach. The incredible beauty surrounding me while I stood on the shore was one of those moments that will forever live in my mind and I could have stood there for hours just absorbing the land, the sea and the sky. For some reason, it has taken me a long time to fully understand some of what I felt during that trip to Tasmania, truly one of the most incredible place I have visited in the world! This small study is 7.5 x 11 inches (19 x 28 cm), watercolor on Arches paper.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023



I did this small study in my sketchbook as I am planning a series of rock and water paintings. I have always been drawn to this subject and have done many paintings along this theme in the past. I'm thinking that most of these will be in watercolor as I haven't used this medium in the way it was intended for some time and have created a new folder full of small references that I hope I can convert into paintings. Often though, I start a painting only to abandon it after a while as I begin to see that perhaps my idea isn't going to work out the way that I had intended. Sometimes this is because of my technique which can be perhaps a little more detailed than could be so I am trying to keep most of these watercolors a little looser. It does to some extent though, depend on the painting itself and what are my goals for the finished piece. So with this in mind, I kept the water quite loose in this study and it has seemed to have worked. Perhaps some of this will transfer over to the larger painting when I get to it - I will have to wait and see!