Today is the two year anniversary of my son James's passing away. I started this blog as a way to keep me busy afterwards. I worked on this over the weekend and it is based off a photo from a diving trip we took to Belize back in 2007. James and I got to do a lot of things together but this was probably one of the best. This photo is from the first day of the trip and James's first real dive in the ocean. I did this painting in oil paint and it was alla prima, meaning I did this in one go. I have not perfected my technique with this so i will have to improve his face and some details on the scuba gear to make it believable.
This is another oil painting from the weekend, I worked with Armand Cabrera on this. He helped protect me from myself and pointed out what was right and wrong on this portrait of my daughter Tiffany. Portraits are hard and require a lot of practice but it is easier to learn with expert feedback which can immediate set you straight when you need it.
I worked on this oil painting today with Armand Cabrera, in his art class at the Great Falls Foundation for the Arts, in Great Falls, VA. It is always a pleasure to paint with Armand. He is a great Painter and great teacher. Every artist faces problems when they try to convert the three dimensional world into tow dimensions of paint and canvas. Every time I paint with Armand, I can see the improvement. He helps me when I get stuck, spots problems before they ruin a painting, and he helps we produce some of my best art, the stuff which really moves me forward. This painting is done from a photo and sketch notes I took during a visit to Cape May in the early summer. I will finish it up tomorrow with some small tweaks and adjustments.
I was in art class today with Armand Cabrera at the Great Falls Foundation for the Arts. This is the first painting I worked on it the morning. This is from a photograph I took in the foothills of Colorado near Denver. I will need to add some branches and foliage to the Cottonwood trees and the grasses in the foreground will need some attention, but it is a good start.
I worked on the BuffleHead duck. I am happy with the bird, but I want to change the background to add a more green tine and to improve the movement in the waves. Below is the original block-in and the top is the modified bird.
I finished up the Wild Horse Sanctuary painting today. It is from South Dakota and is not too far from Mt. Rushmore. It is well worth the visit if you get out that way. These horses are on the "Wild Side of the Sanctuary. They had been looking down on HQ building and then decided they had seen enough and galloped off.
I cleaned up some in the studio and then reworked the sky to give it a more transitional sky for this sunset. After in drys I will add the parachutist silhouettes coming in to land at the drop zone. Have a great weekend.
I worked on the Sunset over the Bay, the Chesapeake Bay. On the top, I added some layers to the sky, water, and some with the trees. I will work some on the foliage and work the shore line. It's coming along.
I try ( and don't succeed as much as I should) to carry a small sketch book with me and sketch while I wait for appointments or waiters of anything. I did this tiny sketch (about 4 inches tall) in a little red sketchbook. This is a sketch of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in North Carolina on the Outer Banks area of the Middle Atlantic region.
A Khamsa Hand card for a family member's birthday. I had seen these but had never knew what they were called. The family member whose birthday is coming next week is currently obsessed with these so I personalized this one. I added Columbine flowers, Minions, and Pug dogs.
I started this oil painting a year ago but was unhappy with the initial block-in and the first attempts at fixing. I pulled this out today and totally reworked the water, the sky, and I better defined the buoy's structure. I blocked in the Sea Lions. This is a better painting now and I will be able to finish this now and show it with pride. This is another painting rescued from oblivion.
I pulled out this block-in of Horses at the Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota. You can see where I have added colors to the rocks, the grass land on top of the ridge and I blocked in the horse running on the ridgeline. I want to refine the grasses a little more and then detail the horses to finish this one.
I make Birthday cards for friends and relatives. It is fun as they are the challenge of doing something completely different artworks. They usually aren't original designs but they end up different than an oil painting. My one niece is obsessed with the Little Pet Shop figurines. This one is a super rare Super Cat figure which was available only at a Comic-Con convention and it sells for $600 on eBay. I know nothing about these things but it was an interesting exercise of reproducing this from a photo with watercolor pencils and ink pens.
I worked on this today. I blocked-in this Brook Trout. This is from a photo from the motivation file, which is cut out photos which intrigue me. This will need some more color variations in the scales, which is the beauty of these creatures.
So no traffic problems tonight on the way home, so I worked on this painting. I worked on the water and reflection, added highlight detail to the blossoms and just generally added detail, worked on softening edges, and plotting the finishing touches.
Tonight is a pencil sketch from the weekend. I had the Hell commute tonight because of an accident on the beltway. I new record of stupidity, the 4 hour commute. So no artwork tonight just dinner a post and to bed. Hopefully, I can get some real work done this weekend. I use lead pencils with dark lead, 8B and 9B for the darks and an HB medium dark pencil with a blender and a kneadable eraser to get the lighter sections inn this sketch.
The commission for the Pagoda, Washington Monument and Cherry Blossoms is almost finished. The water still needs some work, the blossoms need some highlights, and some small details need to be added to the pagoda to give it shape and depth. It will be finished by the end of the weekend.
Today is Tiffany's birthday, the oldest daughter. She loves her Sci-Fi, comic book characters, and video games. So here is a Bat Girl sketch for her. Personalized with red hair, Blue eyes, and Doc Martins boots just like she likes them.