Monday, October 15, 2018

Eagle Point Park

Another painting from Bluffstrokes. The first painting I did was something that I was comfortable with.
9 x 12 oil on panel

Sunday, October 14, 2018

vista off Balltown Road in Dubuque county Iowa

This was done during Bluffstrokes Plein air in Dubuque, Iowa. I was there last year and tried a vista from a ski resort, not a successful painting. Scenes like this are something I don't do enough of. Trying it during a competition is risky but it was a great opportunity given this view with changing leaf colors. There is a lot you can take home from a competition besides awards and sales. Painting from life is a how you learn about atmosphere and color. This was a great learning experience, plus I did sell the painting.
12 x 16 oil on panel

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Herd of Three

I am feeling a little rusty on my watercolor painting. 

Worked out the compostition beforem trying to not loose their legs.

Thursday, August 30, 2018


The thing about hanging around with better artists is they push you to try things you are not comfortable with just to keep up. Scenes with multiple animals or people is one of those. 
8" x 5" sepia and india ink on paper

8" x 5" sepia on paper

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

process gif

click on and play. If I had enough time to try to figure out how to make it play without enlarging and hitting the play button.

More from Paint the Point

Mineral Point has it all, great architecture, beautiful far off vistas and great scenes like this.
16" x 12" oil on panel

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Paint the Point

One of my paintings from Paint the Point in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Painting cattle plein air is a challenge. I would place one in a spot and follow it around to fill in the details. These models did take a break when the farmer came around with feed. I was relieved that they came back to this spot giving me time to get some more details. 
14" x 11" oil on panel

This was the original. When I got home I reversed the Longhorn and a few other changes. Now I just need to leave it alone.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Little Free Library

My 2 hour quick paint from Mineral Point Wisconsin's Paint the Point. This was painted on an off white watercolor ground. I spray it with clear acrylic after I am finished and frame it without glass. 
12" x 9" watercolor on panel.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Lessons Learned

I participated in a quick painting recently. The artists were told without notice a choice of two places and then they had to paint, frame, and have the art on the walls of the display in a total of an hour and a half. I have taken classes by some great teachers. Some students walk away from workshops expecting to leap into painting like the teacher. You may not feel like you benefited from the class til years later. This experience proved it. Along with years of subjecting my work to critiques, sometimes brutal; I learned a lot from the experience. I sat down and put this together, using lessons learned from those great teachers.

When I first set up, I started by centering my subject and realized this would not work and wiped it off. I noticed the triangle would lend itself to moving the sculpture to the right. Similar to a facial profile that faces toward the open space. By comparing the two versions, the triangle works leading to the sculpture.

Next is adding depth of color:
Using Photoshop I picked the green colors to show how it grays and moved toward blue to add depth. Also the brushstrokes went from short in the distance to wider in the foreground. Love a sunny day to use shadows to pull the eye toward the center of interest and add depth.

Repetition of Design:
This was an element that was drilled into me by one of those great teachers. It helps connect the center of interest with the environment. You can also see how the rectangular windows in the sculpture are repeated in the windows in the buildings behind it.

Friday, August 3, 2018


Sketching warm up. The deer in Thousand Hills State Park just stand there making it easy to take decent photos.

Sepia ink brush and watercolor

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

quick paintings

I was late setting this up, but managed to get some of the nice clouds yesterday. I used a no. 12 brush then a no. 4. This is a 6" x 6" study painted from an abandoned bridge. I great place to paint.
6" x 6" oil on panel

Another small study of the view from the west of the new bridge. 
7" x 5" oil on panel

Monday, July 23, 2018

plein air painting places

When I turned this painting in, the comment was, "Not many people know about this bridge". I am sure the locals know but I am not one of them. When going to a new location for a plein air painting event you can scope out the place on the internet. Start by doing a search on the area and Googling images. Pinterest is also a good place to find images. This one was found through: 
I also use Google earth and using the street view drive through the area hoping to spot a nice scene.
10" x 8" watercolor on aquabord

Sunday, July 15, 2018


A long overdue portrait commission. 
12" x 16" oil on baltic birch panel

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Painting horses in watercolor. I am trying out several types of paper, this is on soft press.

Painted on Arches which I found easier to work on.

Another one on the soft press.

One on hot pressed paper.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Watercolor plein air

More artwork on the Fabriano soft white watercolor paper. It has been a while since I painted in watercolor.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

watercolor on board

I purchased a jar of Daniel Smith watercolor ground in titanium white and buff titanium. I brushed buff titanium on a  gessoed baltic birch panel then sanded it. The brush strokes still show on this one. Maybe putting another coat on will fix this. The ground does a good job of handling the paint, The main problem with this one is I applied the ground over a gessoed board which resisted the watercolor. White gouache mixed with a little ultramarine blue was used on the sky. The rest was transparent watercolor. I washed this off leaving faint images that can now be painted over with another coat of the watercolor ground.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Garden Tour 2018

This weekend was the annual Fort Madison Area Arts Association garden tour. I managed to paint two gardens, the first is the winery. They gave tours and a nice talk on making wine along with samples of various wines made at this vineyard. 
10" x 8" oil on panel

I tried painting a goat at the other site. It took some following the goats around to get a likeness. I have an upcoming plein air event at the Van Buren county fair. The fair should be easier since they will be in pens most of the time. I did take photos and along with this study I should be able to paint a better goat.
10" x 8" oil on panel

Sunday, June 24, 2018

watercolor soft press

Sometimes when you get a bargain there is a reason it is a bargain. I bought this watercolor paper that was marked Fabriano extra white soft pressed 300 gsm. The 300gsm converts to approximately 140 lbs. I bought this at a warehouse sale and was pleasantly surprised. I expected it to be more of a hot pressed paper which is OK for the price. It seems more of a cross between a hot pressed and cold pressed surface as you can see from the photo. It makes a nice wet into wet affect. I am not a watercolor landscape painter but for a study this paper will work nicely.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Sunrise at Rodeo

Quick sunrise study. If I had brought a few more panels I could have painted different scenes because it changes so fast. 
8" x 6" oil on panel