Saturday, May 20, 2017

Peach Rose

We have had a lot of nice days for plein air painting. Last Thursday I went out with Jessica to paint in the Bentonsport rose garden. Two paintings, one a keeper the other not. It is easy to blame the painting panel; this one started with a orange pink ground on a canvas panel. The other was a white gessoed hardboard panel painted with a ground that seemed to soak up the paint. I could not get the value range I wanted or maybe it was me overworking the painting.
9" x 12" oil on canvas panel

Saturday, May 6, 2017

This and That

Martin Pond in Shimek Forest. The green stuff I think is slime algae at least according to my internet search. Most of the sites are dedicated to getting rid of it. I kind of like painting it.

Another location in Shimek Forest, this one near Bitternut Lake. I brought my dog along for some exercise with the condition he stays close enough I can see him and if not, comes when I call him. I got halfway through this painting and he did not come when called. I packed up and when he finally came we went home. If he can't behave we are going home maybe next time he will listen to me, then maybe not.
11" x 14" oil on canvas

I stopped along the road to take the reference shot for this pastel. I then combined two photos. The problem with that is getting the scale correct. I had to brush off the cows on the left and redraw. 


Portrait commission.

Rough in with ultramarine and burnt sienna.

Working on the flesh tones

I kind of like the unfinished look, but the client wanted more.

Finished portrait.
14" x 11" oil on linen panel

I have heard an artist complain "Why paint a portrait you are not going to sell?" Painting a this was a challenge and a learning experience. I had a hard time with the finer details working with a brush, 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Walnut Tree

I have not posted much lately, it's not that I have not been painting just not finishing the paintings on my easel. I had a chance to plein air paint at the home of fellow plein air artist, Carroll Michalek. Joined by several other artists this gave me the opportunity to learn and exchange ideals.
10 x 10 oil on canvas

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Three White Hats

I am working on two portrait  commissions. To brush up on my people skills, I pulled up this photo that I had on my challenging list. This reminds me that I need to sketch hands more, especially waving.
10" x 8" oil on canvas

Monday, March 13, 2017

Landscape with Cattle

The current exhibit at the Burlington Art Guild is of abstract paintings by Tim Laffey. Every good composition can be abstracted and hold up. That is what challenged me to infuse somewhat abstract nature scenes into my animal art. I dropped this painting into Photoshop and applied a filter called cutout to test my painting. 

After looking at this I am wondering if adding a small cow on the hillside might improve the composition.
10" x 8" oil on canvas

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hare in the Grass

Early morning brings out the rabbits around here.  I spotted one in the snow yesterday morning and me without my camera. I had to rely on my photos from last year for this painting.
8" x 10" oil on canvas

After the more recent post I decided to abstract this painting.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Indian Lake

I started this plein air and had to quit early to make it to an opening reception. I tweaked it later, changing the foreground some and working on the waves. It was a very windy day and I could not really make out the waves.
12" x 9" oil on canvas

I did get this small study earlier. The bark came off the tree exposing the wormholes that I imagine led to the demise of this evergreen.
6" x 10" oil on canvas

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunset on the Treetops

Just after painting the river plein air, with the sun low on the horizon, this scene appeared. One of those scenes that pass by too quickly for me to capture, leaving me to rely on my camera and memory. 

I started with a pale burnt sienna wash followed by ultramarine and sienna mixes for this rough in.
6" x 12" oil on canvas

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Skunk River Access

Such a nice day that I took the dog out with me plein air painting. I know that sounds like he paints :) What he does do is wade in the water as soon as he is off the leash. I take about a couple of hours to paint so he should be dry by then. Unless he goes back in for one more dip, which he did. Oh well, we both enjoyed the weather.

12" x 6" oil on canvas panel

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Late Afternoon Light

The last snow fall and I got out to photograph after it melted off the branches. 
12" x 9" oil on canvas

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Project AWARE

This is from last year's project AWARE, i.e. A Watershed Awareness River Expedition.

Sponsored by the DNR, adventurous volunteers, spend 5 days in canoes and kayaks picking up trash along Iowa River ways. Most anyone can do it; all you need is some free time, a strong back, and a weak gag reflex. You will, in return, enjoy the company of like minded individuals and be treated to a show of some of Mother Nature's finest work. Described as RAGBRAI on the river, this is definitely on my bucket list. The volunteers in these painting were cleaning up the Des Moines River, by Bonaparte, Iowa. In 2017, from July 10th through the 14th. Project AWARE will be cleaning the Cedar River to bring it back to its natural beauty.
12" x 9" oil on canvas

10" x 10" oil on canvas

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Early Morning Early Fall

Finished painting 
16" x 8" oil on canvas

Started this painting by trying out some acrylic markers I just bought. I think I may need to play with them more. First rough in.

I painted oil over the acrylic. My original intention was to paint acrylic, maybe next time.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Horses Two Quarters

I had fun with these two. I decided to get a little detailed for the sake of those shiny coats. The original photo did not have a distant horizon just grass all around. I have been experimenting with Prussian Blue for the greens. Often adding a hint of brown or red to the hansa yellow and prussian to tone down the "electric green" it creates.
14" x 11" oil on canvas panel

Started with blocking in the horses. I always find it hard to position the legs of partially hidden horses, so I procrastinate. The two horses were from two different photos. I use Photoshop to cut out the horse on the left and place it into the photo of the other one. It works if the photo of the two horses were taken the same time of day.

Once the horses were fully complete I used a palette knife to create the background. Trying to create a feeling of depth I added a bit of gray blue to the front greens.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

White Oak Lake

I missed posting this from a plein air outing last fall. 
14" x 11" oil on canvas

Lacey Keosauqua Creek Oil

This is an oil painting of a previous scene I did in pastel. The local art center is having a themed exhibit titled "Many Hats". My take on that is to paint the same scene in different mediums, pastel, oil, acrylic and watercolor.

Dun Horse

I started this painting years ago and put it aside unfinished. It was composed in Photoshop by moving the horses around on a background. Below are the various versions. 
16" x 16" oil on Ampersand gessobord.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Abstract in Nature

Painted this plein air last fall. The scene had an abstract quality to it. I like a lot of abstract art and have swapped my art for theirs. This I was painting just for the fun of it.
12" x 9" oil on canvas

This was painted a few years ago with the same idea.

Another abstracted landscape painted a few years ago

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sports awards

I have a commission to draw the nominees for the sports banquet. This job was given to me at the last minute and I was also expected to write the short bio from stats in outline form given me. I guess the bios are right but if they aren't it is because I don't know what they are talking about.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Under the Shade Tree

This was an update originally the front legs seemed natural. 

Back to painting from photos. This time challenging myself to fix an image by filling in the background with something I made up. I also edited the main image mostly to make it easier by simplifying it. You don't have to paint every spot unless it is a commission.
12" x 6" oil on canvas

I cut out the background to make it easier to concentrate on the horse shapes.