Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Palace of Fine Arts

It is hard to believe that I have lived in San Francisco for the last 7 years or so and this is the first time that I have painted at the Palace of Fine Arts. I loved the grand scale of the architecture and will be back again to do more paintings or drawings. These two small gouache paintings were painted with a few members of the North Bay Plein Air Painters. The first painting was a longer study that took about a 90 minutes. The second was a quick study around 35 minutes.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fall Color at Stow Lake

More Fall color in Golden Gate Park. This tree is between the Chinese pavilion and the man made waterfall at Stow Lake.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fall Color at Stow Lake

Fall color at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park with the Sutro tower in the background.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Quick Figures in Gouache

Two small figurative studies painted in gouache, 20 minutes each. Painted with the Thursday drop-in figure drawing group at Riley street art store in San Rafael.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Memorial Park, San Mateo

A few weeks ago, we went on our first family camping trip with three other families at Memorial Park in San Mateo. The nice part about going with other families with kids is that we all took turns watching the kids as they played and explored the campsite, giving me some free time to paint two small gouache paintings. Each painting took around 70 minutes or so. The first one is the swimming hole and the second one is from the site we reserved within the Azalea campgrounds.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nishi Honganji, Kyoto

I was in Japan from September 1st - 11th to attend my sister in-law's wedding in Kyoto. The ceremony was held at Nishi Honganji, the headquarters of their Buddhist temple in the older section of the city and was visually stunning. Since we were busy with the family, I only had a few brief opportunities to paint.

The first one is based on my memory of the wedding day. The ceremony was held in a building adjacent to the main temple and afterwards, we walked in a procession to the main temple as an attendant held up a red umbrella in front of the newlyweds.

The other two gouache studies are from life of the main entrance of the Nishi Honganji temple gates. One is painted from the courtyard inside the grounds and the other is across the street from the gate.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Downtown San Jose

These are small color studies painted with gouache in downtown San Jose. It was a warm sunny day spent with some students from the SJSU Animation/Illustration program. The first painting is the Center for the Performing Arts. Below is SJ Museum of Art.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

20 Minute Figure Studies

20 minute figure studies painted with gouache.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Alum Rock Park, SJ

Wednesdays plein air outing at Alum Rock Park with a few SJSU A/I students. It was my first time visiting and painting in this beautiful park and I will definitely be back to explore the many other areas this park has to offer. We met in the very back parking lot and walked up the trail that follows the creek for about 15 minutes or so until we came to this bend. Since it is summer and dry, most of us set up down in the creek. I would love to go back to this spot during in the winter and see the creek flowing with water.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lands End, NBPLA Painter's 2011

Two paintings from Sunday's outing with the North Bay Plein Air Painters group meet-up. It's a friendly group of painters that meet on the last Sunday of every month. This time it was at Lands End on the Sutro Baths side in San Francisco.

Unfortunately for me, I was too picky about finding a location to paint. I didn't find a composition that really inspired me partly due to the heavy fog and lack of sunshine. So that meant I spent a lot of time walking around looking for a spark of inspiration.

The first painting is a 30-minute color sketch to help me loosen up. I didn't really care if it turn out in my favor or not. It is mostly painted with a palette knife. The second painting took about 70 minutes. I would have liked to have spent more time it had I started earlier. I'd say this is more of a study than a painting. I am not happy about the composition, but I always feel compelled to paint the ocean when I am near the coastline.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer in Honolulu

These are my three gouache studies from my summer vacation in Honolulu with my family. I wanted to do more paintings while on O'ahu, but my two boys a 4.5 year old and 15 months had different ideas like going to the beach and me being the lifeguard.

The first two are painted from the Moana Surfrider Hotel in Waikiki a little before sunset and a nocturne around midnight. The second painting is at the tide pools just north of Sandy's beach.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Centuty of Landscapes: Selections from the California Art Club

A Centuty of Landscapes: Selections from the California Art Club, San Francisco chapter has it's openning reception with the artist on July 14th. A small plein air painting of mine the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park was accepted to the show. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the reception as I am on a family vacation in Hawai'i. I did bring my gouache kit with me, so I hope to have some paintings of Oahu to post when I get back to the Bay Area.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Palomarin Trail

Yesterday's plein air painting on the Palomarin trail in Marin County.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lands End in Sequence

Lands End in San Francisco is one of my favorite places to paint en plein air, especially when it is warm and sunny. This may not be my best painting of the Lands End area but I had my camera with me so I decided to capture my progression as I developed the painting. I hope you find it useful.

I always find ocean water a challenge to paint, so here I am doing my best to simplify what I see. I don't always follow the same approach to painting but I do use a few fundamental techniques the majority of the time. Anyone who paints outdoors knows that the light is constantly changes, which meant that I had to move my easel several times during this painting to escape the glare on my canvas panel. For this reason, the colors in the photos will vary some.

I start by thinning out my oil paint with turpenoid and create a very simple line drawing. First, I focus on the biggest or most important shapes. I also consider the positive & negative shapes to help with composition and balance.

Next, I quickly block in some color and value with thin washes to get rid of the white of the canvas. When painting water, I think of three layers- top, middle and bottom. I put down the bottom color first. Since this is painted in oils, whatever color I choose for the bottom can affect the middle and top layer of paint, especially if you scrub or mix your paints while applying them to the canvas. Lightly mixing the bottom layer with the middle layer can create really nice effects. When it does not work, I'll scrape that section of oil paint off and start painting again until it feels right or until I run out of time.

From here, I'll put down some color notes and values in the larger shapes to give me a sense of what the finished painting could look like. This can take a few tries to get the right relationship between colors and values. Once I have that, then I start adding the finer details. I am very careful not to change the colors or values set up in the previous step because if I do, I end up "chasing" the continually changing light, value and color, which can result in a muddy, unfinished painting.

As the painting evolves, I make color adjustments to prevent certain areas from looking too flat or homogenous. I closely observe the scene to understand which edges need to be softened. In this case, water will obviously feel softer than the hard rocky surface.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saplings & Cala Lilies

Saplings and Cala Lilies from Thursday. Painted on Stow Lake drive in Golden Gate Park.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Japanese Friendship Garden, San Jose

Wednesdays plein air paintings at the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose. It was a warm and sunny day spent with some of the Animation/Illustrations from San Jose State University.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

China Camp, Sun & Rain

Plein air paintings at China Camp in Marin County on Saturday. The three oil paintings are in order as the day progressed from sun, passing showers, rain, down pour & then a beautiful clearing of storm clouds as sunset was about to begin. This is the first time I have actually painted in a downpour. Thankfully there were several trees to take refuge under and continue painting. It is also my first time having small rain droplets on my palette and mixing it into my oil paints, a very strange experience indeed. The last painting is a small & quick color sketch as the clouds started to clear.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pioneer Mother Monument, Golden Gate Park

Pioneer Mother Monument, Golden Gate Park

The Pioneer Mother Monument in Golden Gate Park is located near the entrance of Stow Lake Drive. It is sculpted by American Charles Grafly, 1915. On the base of the monument there is a plaque that reads...

"Over rude paths beset with hunger and risk she pressed onward toward the vision of a better country. To an assemblage of men busied with the perishable rewards of the day she brought the three-fold leaven of enduring society - faith, gentleness, and home with the nurture of children". _ _ Benjamin Ide Wheeler

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stow Lake, Seagulls & Paddle Boats

Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park complete with paddle boats and seagulls.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Conservatory Drive East

Tuesday's painting from the car studio on Conservatory Drive East in Golden Gate Park.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sea Bowl, Pacifica

The view from the Sea Bowl parking just off of highway 1 in Pacifica.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Stow Lake Drive

Today's gouache painting in Golden Gate Park on Stow Lake Drive.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Conservatory of Flowers & Ocean Beach

Two more gouache paintings from Thursday & today. First painting is the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. Second painting of Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A New Watercolor Moleskine

Gouache paintings in the new watercolor Moleskine from Friday & Saturday. Both are painted from the car studio in Golden Gate Park. The first one is near Elk Glen Lake at Middle Drive West & Transverse Drive. Second color sketch is across from Mallard Lake on MLK Jr. Drive.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Finished 1st Watercolor Moleskine

Yeah! I finally finished the last two pages of my watercolor Moleskine today and it only took me 2 years & 9 months. The first of two gouache paintings is on JFK drive near the tennis courts in Golden Gate Park. The Second is on Presidio drive in San Francisco's Presidio.