Monday, September 30, 2013

Commuter Art 5

I've been driving myself a lot lately, so I haven't had the opportunity to do many sketches. But last week I was a passenger again, and managed a few.

Sept 24.
Corner of Wilmington and Morgan. I end up drawing churches a lot because the architecture in downtown Raleigh isn't inspiring. There are a lot of state government buildings, which look, as my boss says, "like auditrons." And if you know what that is, you're really dating yourself!

Sept 25.
First Presbyterian on Salisbury Street. I kind of gave up on this drawing, the church has SO many facades. Doesn't that one on the left look like a surprised face?

Sept. 26
This is not my yard; it's a diorama in the Museum of Natural Sciences. Which is a FABULOUS museum, and you really need to visit it, and also the Nature Resource Center, which is a total science geek experience.

Sept 30.
This place on Capital Blvd sells doghouses. And patio furniture, and what must be, from the paint colors, play houses.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Grassy Field - sold

4" x 4"
oil on panel

You can view this painting here.

I painted this for DPW's Paint the Grass challenge. There's a really pretty field on my way home from work—it's part of a horse farm, so it's very scenic with white rail fences, shady trees, ducks, and of course horses. This time of year the light on it is gorgeous when I'm driving by. This is actually part of the Commuter Art series; it's not all downtown.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


10" x 8" oil on panel

You can view and purchase this painting here.

This is a departure for me - I rarely paint figures. I liked this scene from a photo I took on a beach vacation a few years ago. It was a very warm sunset, with incredibly orange light falling on everyone, but the water outside was still cool and green. 

I've pulled out this photo a few times and considered painting it, and never quite settled on a composition I liked. Sometimes you have to stop trying to tell the whole story, and just tell part of it. Here's the original photo (I blurred the faces to protect everyone's anonymity). There are all kinds of possible ways to crop this scene. I like all those pretty pastel colors on the left, where the people are sitting outside.  That could be its own painting.

I zoomed in a lot and simplified the scene.

Initial sketch. Trying to decide how many bottles and plates to include.

A temperature/value underpainting. It's all warm - even the purple has a lot of red in it, rather than blue.

Starting the "correct" values on the sunlit areas. Not that different from the underpainting, given how orange-red the light is.

Adding detail in the shadow areas.

Refining the table in the foreground, and the first pass at the tree. I used Viridian, a color I don't use much, but it was perfect for the palm tree. The last bit will be the dishes and glasses, and a string of lights above.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Starsky and Hutch

8" x 10"
oil on panel

You can view or purchase this painting here.

So this was a somewhat different approach for me. I decided to start with a strong line drawing, and let the lines be part of the finished piece. For some reason that now eludes me, I sketched with a red Sharpie. I'm not sure what I think about it. The ink bled through the paint, no matter how many layers. Some parts seem kind of cool, some kind of cartoony.

What I originally liked about the scene was the yellow truck against the cool fence with leaf shadows, but gradually that car in the alley seemed important. I don't know the model, it might have been a Mustang—it was some sort of groovy car from the late 1960s/early 1970s, the kind police detectives drove around in. Hence the title.

The original sketch. From one of my Commuter Art photos.

The sunlit areas.

The shadows.

Sky and shadowed trees. Here I decide the trash bin behind the groovy car is just distracting, and I paint over it.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Commuter Art 4

Commuter Art: a week of sketching in the car on the way to/from work.

Aug 28
I don't know the name of this place, but I've taken about 10 photos of it, one of which will show up later as a painting.

Aug 29
Color Graphics - printers.

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