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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Steelville plein air

Last week I participated in Steelville Missouri's plein air competition. This was painted at sunset on an 11" x 14" panel. The rules stated that it must be painted entirely plein air, so not touch ups later. Painting sunsets require planning by drawing in the shapes before. I could plan that the area on the left will remain dark, but the rest changes quickly. I think I should have gone to this location two days. The first day with a small study then, hopefully the next day the weather repeats itself for me to paint the larger image.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

peony study

Small study painted plein air. 
4" x 6" oil on baltic birch panel


Painting the rich colors of some flowers is challenging. This is supposed to be a deep red. I may go back out and try again, this time getting over my fear of the dark.
10" x 8" oil on baltic birch

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Forest scenes

I managed to get out this afternoon. Just shades of green with a bit of brown, This is a small 4" x 6" study. 

Another 4" x 6" study.

In the end I decided to do a different forest scene. 
9" x 12" oil on baltic birch

Water perspective

Working on painting water above and below. Figuring out how to transition to the bottom view. This was also done with water soluble oils. Still not getting the hang of them.
6" x 12" oil on baltic birch

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Klondike Park Quarry

I paint this plein air but never submitted it because I did not get the foreground water finished. I had to cut it short to make it to the plein air painting event in the Daniel Boone home. Ended up with only an hour to paint there, Then on to a winery for another painting. 
14" x 11" oil on panel

I reworked this from the photo. I am going back and forth over this and I think I like the simpler plein air version better.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

water soluble oils

I found a set of water soluble oils in the discount section. Getting my painting to look like the ones on the internet that resemble a watercolor is another matter. The color choices are limited and there are a lot of hues. I do like the ease of clean up. It may take me a while to learn how to get that watercolor look without loosing the dark values.
12" x 9" 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


I just got a new fountain pen with a fine point. The colt in the front is drawn in medium point and the horse in the back is the fine point.

Both of these are in fine point

The top is fine point and the bottom is medium point. It does skew the results when the ink is different colors. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Recent plein air paintings

Plein air painting in Sugar Creek Winery during Augusta Plein Air Art Festival.
11" x 14" oil on baltic birch

Plein air painting in Canton, Missouri during the River Bluffs plein air event. I intended to paint several horses grazing in the pasture, but this one came up to me and just stood there.
11" x 14" oil on baltic birch. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Augusta Plein Air

Last week I participated in Augusta Plein Air Art Festival. I had a good time painting the nocturne while enjoying the company of some fun artists.
10" x 8" oil on baltic panel

This was my first painting during the event, a mute swan named Harry who lives at the Defiance Ridge Winery. This area is known for its many fine wineries that offer great vistas for the plein air artists. This one sold that day. 
12" x 9" oil on baltic panel

Klondike Park is located in an abandoned quarry outside of Augusta along the Katy Trail. This was my third attempt to capture the rocks after I wiped off the first two. 
11" x 14" oil on baltic panel

Sunday, March 4, 2018

No Burnt Sienna

I usually have a large tube of Burnt Sienna. I could not find it so I had to figure out how to paint mix some sort of brownish color. When painting plein air it helps speed things up since landscapes tend to have a lot of browns. I got here too late to join some friends and catch much sun before it set. It was good practice for a quick paint.
14" x 11" oil on canvas

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Painting on a Cold Day is Worth it

Barge Ties
It was a cold, windy morning yesterday. I usually start out with good intentions, but bail. Twice I left when the hardier artists braved it out to produce some wonderful plein air paintings, while I worked from photos that do not do justice to the winter scenes. This time I came prepared with insulated overalls and two sets of gloves. I stuck it out long enough to finish this scene. 
12" x 6" oil on canvas panel

When a Tree Falls in the Forest
The afternoon was better as I shed the insulated overalls and even the gloves. I took my dog Catfish along for the exercise. He found a rabbit skin left by a hunter and of course did not listen to my shouts to "drop it" and ate the whole thing. That came back up when we got home.  
12" x 6" oil on panel.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Rodeo Park After the Snow

The snow is so inspiring but the cold is discouraging. This is from a photo reference. I am watching the weather site hoping for a nice overlap of snow on the ground and warmer temperatures. I started with a still wet orange ground. It did take heavy application so of white to get the snow covered branches. It ended up being a struggle I may try to avoid in the future.
12" x 6" oil on canvas

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

not yet ready for plein air

Working on commissions and graphic jobs is nice but I miss plein air painting. However, my plan to do a plein air painting was quickly cut short, because it is really cold out there. A lot of the public areas are still closed for the season which meant finding a place that is not gated. After all that I painted for probably 20 minutes then took a photo and finished at home.
14" x 11" oil on canvas

Monday, January 8, 2018

Walking Out the Red Gate

This was from my hard copy photos taken before digital. I took a lot of bad photos trying to catch these guys without blurring and paying to have those bad photos developed.
20" x 10" oil on canvas

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Summertime Wading

Something to remind me of hot summer days. 
12" x 12" oil on baltic birch