Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mind Storm

Over the last several weeks here in the Bay Area there has been stormy skies clearing away to some truly amazing color and light. I've been wanting to actually get out there and try painting some storm clouds. However with the holidays here, there has been no time. So I decided to paint a few thumbnails and small studies from memory and imagination in gouache.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Rainy Day at Stowe Lake

This was last Saturdays outing with two friends. A very, very cold and rainy morning at Stowe Lake. Since it was raining we took refuge under a replica of a Chinese Pavilion a few yards from the man made waterfall.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Issac of Gouache

Monday's Gouache figure study of Issac at the Riley Street art store.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Oh Snap, Way Back

Way back to the early 90's. In my late teens to early 20's I was really into graffiti art and worked in this piece for a school project painted at the Belmont pit. The piece is about censorship and at the time certain types rap music was considered very controversial. To my surprise a student of mine mentioned I was in this book called Graffiti LA. Here it is, it sure brings back some memories.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


What can I's been a busy month for me. Unfortunately for this blog not much of it was art related. Since I only had one lonely post in the middle of the month I felt the need to post at least one more. This is from a growing collection of unfinished sculpture from life. It's a 12" figure in Sculpy that has been baked. It's a total of 9 hours of work from the model, normally it should be a minimum of 18 hours. As unrefined as it is there are some gestural qualities that I do like .

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dipsea Trail

Sunday's plein air painting, somewhere on the Dipsea trail of Mount Tamalpias. We decided to set up near a small stream surrounded by towering trees covered in fury moss. The lighting was low key for the duration of this study except for about 10 minutes when the sun peered through the canopy of trees and illuminated a small part of the creek. Which was absolutely stunning. Another thing I found challenging was painting ferns for the first time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Metson Lake

Saturdays painting with some friends at Metson Lake in Golden Gate Park.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gouache Studies

I took my class painting on Sunday to observe atmospheric perspective at the Monte Bello space preserve. I was not satisfied with the painting I produced in the afternoon so I stopped at the vista lookout on my way home off the 280 just before the 92 interchange. The view was amazing with the fog catching some warm sunlight as it was rolling over the hills.

Lately as I'm driving around the bay area there has been some stunning light and color in the early mornings or twilight. I wish I could just stop wherever I am and start painting, but obviously that would be dangerous in the middle of the freeway. So these two little color studies are from memory/invention. I haven't done many of these but they were fun to do.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

JFK Drive

Today's gouache color study in Golden Gate Park, JFK drive & 6th Ave.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mostly Plein Air

Sunday's plein air painting with two friends at lake Merced in SF. Well it's mostly plein air. It was getting late in the day and I couldn't stay out any longer to finish it. So...I took a photo to use as reference to work on it at home. I would say 75% of this color study was done on location mainly the middle and background. The other 25% percent I used a photo to paint in the silhouetted foreground of the branches and tighten up a few other shapes. This is the first time I have use a photo reference to finish a plein air painting. I must admit I feel somewhat guilty to do so.

Friday, October 10, 2008

3 Plein Air Paintings

Plein air paintings during this week. (1)Trees along Middle Drive West in Golden Gate Park. (2) On the beach at a very windy Fort Funston. I had to hold my easel with hand and paint with the other. ( 3) Elk Glen Lake in Golden Gate Park.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fun with Gouache

Fun times with gouache considering I just started using this medium over mid summer. I feel that I have past that point of being seriously frustrated with how gouache behaves. By no means do I feel that I have mastered this medium, but it has become enjoyable to use.

The first one is painted from the car studio in Golden Gate Park. Second Painting is of my son when he was 10 months old. Experimenting with painting on tan Reeves BFK paper.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Warm Day at the Coast

Another beautiful warm day at the SF coast, I just had to go painting.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sunday's Drawing Marathon

It's that time again for a another drawing marathon put on by the Bay Area Model Guild. The first half of the marathon I painted the models in the long pose of three hours. It turns out I got a little over zealous and should have concentrated on one of the models to paint as you can see I ran out of time. Those poor neglected hands and feet.

Round 2, or the second half of the marathon. I decided to get some drawing in with good old charcoal. Overall a pleasant day of drawing and painting the human form.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Foggy Coast

Sunday's foggy coast painting at the Point Lobos lookout in SF. I feel I have been spoiled over the last week painting outdoors with sunny and warm temperatures in SF. The sun and blue sky never really emerged on this day, however it was nice to paint with a few friends and have lunch afterward.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thursday's Figure Drawing

Charcoal pencil and white chalk on blue paper. About 2 hours of mark making.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sutro Baths

A mid morning painting at the base of Sutro Baths. Played a game of dodge with the sun while while half way through painting this one.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Landscapes in SF

Paintings from Thursday and Friday in warm sunny SF... sort of. It's some what rare to have 70 plus degree days at the beach so Thursday I went to do just that. Painted with a friend near the Cliff House by Ocean beach, what a beautiful afternoon it was.

Friday I was able to get in two paintings. The first was in the late morning at the water lily pond in the botanical gardens of golden gate park. I went painting with the same friend from Thursday and another friend who joined us. We all happen to be classmates and again the weather was great for SF. After lunch we headed out to paint another location in golden gate park. We ended up at Stowe lake and the fog rolled roll in on us, thus ended the warm sunny weather.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hanging Lilies

Hanging Lilies painted in gouache.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Red Sonja

It's been a year since I've owned a Wacom tablet and I thought I would celebrate by doing a digital painting in Photoshop. I think I'll have to try Corel Painter next, it has more of that textural look that I love in traditional painting. The character is Red Sonja the she devil with a sword.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mondays Figure Drawing

Two drawings from Monday night, 20 minute poses.

Monday, August 11, 2008

China Camp

Friday's Plein-air painting in Marin.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

It's Wet

Today's plein-air painting with some friends off of Pinehurst road in the East bay.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Moleskin Watercolor Sketchbook

Yeah! I finally got my new Moleskin watercolor sketchbook so I had to break it in. Gouache on the right , color pencil and watercolor wash on the left.

I Swear, It's Not Me

This painting is from Monday night's long pose of Issac. If you know what I look like, let me assure you that this is not a self portrait! This is 2 hours worth of work. I don't always have the same approach to painting from the model, however for this two hour pose I wanted to try a slightly different process than my usual ala prima methods.

In preparation to painting, I gessoed both sides of a sheet of watercolor paper, tinted one side with a light blue color and taped it down to a board. Using a blue color pencil I quickly drew in an outline of the model. Next, I used white gesso to paint the overall large shapes that I saw illuminated by the light source. This is a quick way of creating a rough equivalent of an under painting and was done within the first 20 minutes of the pose.

Next, I put in the background with thinned out washes of paint establish some shapes and color. A good rule to follow is working from "lean to fat", or thin layers of paint with turpintine that will dry faster under the thicker paint which is sometimes mixed with linseed oil. Only after I have blocked in the majority of values and color of the background will I start to apply paint to the main subject or model. Since color is relative to it's surroundings, this gives me a better chance to pick the right colors to mix and paint in the figure.

Now the really fun part of painting begins for me. This is the part where I do my best to match the values and colors I see. I identify the smaller shapes as well as think about anatomy when it applies. Once I'm happy with the initial shapes of color and value, I'll work on edges and blending. The face, for example, has a nice crisp edge to define the profile contrasted by the softer edges in the middle of the head. This where the color of the blue tinted gesso comes into play and can work to your advantage or not. Many times a painter will let some of the color from the under painting peek through. You see it a lot in old master paintings. I randomly picked this blue and had no idea what the colors in the environment would look like before I started. In this case, it did not necessarily help me out all that much because the blue did not exist anywhere in the pose. That means if I want to accurately capture what I'm seeing I will have to paint over all of the blue tint. However, I did find a way to use some of the tint. If you look at the neck area in shadow, I thinned out my paint mixture so that it was somewhat translucent to let the blue tint come through. Your eyes optically mix it with the thin layer of paint to make a pale green color.

In the last stages of this painting, I concentrated on getting the head to look some what finished. As you can see I've pushed the values to give it a little more pop and added some highlights. This is not a finished painting but I am satisfied with how it turned out for a 2 hour session.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

John Carter of Mars

John Carter is a main Character from a novel written by Edgar Rice Burroughs was the topic in the Character of the Week hosted on Concept

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Got Sol

Yeah!!! I finally got to try out my new Soltek easel. I've been wanting one since 2001. So far, so good. No complaints and easy to use.

Painted this today with a friend who had the day off. It's the Lower Crystal springs reservoir off the 280. It's been awhile since I've done a color study in oils and boy did I feel rusty. If you look close enough you will see rust.

Martian Hands

Okay, they're not really martian hands but hand studies for my four arm martian below falling to his death.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Baby Boy

Had some left over paint on my palette and wanted to get a little more mileage with my new friend gouache. So...I painted my baby boy at nine months. Well he is 20.5 months old now and yes this is painted from a photo. I wish he could sit still for a portrait, but the reality is he is more on the bouncing baby boy type.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Landscape in Gouache

This is my second outing painting a landscape with gouache. I prefer to paint in oils, however gouache is winning me over as my new medium on the go. I was out today with my family taking a stroll around Stowe Lake in Golden Gate Park. My wife was kind enough to walk our toddler and feed the ducks while I found a spot to set up and do a quick color study.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

DSG Beastie

Every now and then I'll wander on to the Concept site and look through the different forum sections. The Daily Sketch Group is somewhere I always take a peep. There's a daily topic and anyone can post their sketches as long as it 's under 3 hours. This weird looking beastie is DSG 1382 a crustacean/elk. It's all done in photoshop , 1 hour and 15 minutes before going to zzzzzz land.