Friday, December 31, 2010

Corner Station — Stage 2

Not a ton of progress yesterday, though I began building up some detail in the signs, pumps and the ground plane at left. Still some straightening to go, along with continued building up of color and values. Happy New Year, everybody.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Corner Station (lg) — In Progress

 Round Rock Gas Station (24 x 30) — Step 1

Happy Holidays, everyone. I hope you're all still enjoying family and friends for a few more days. My blog posts have been few and far between the last several weeks, but now that I've completed my short move (a short move is still a move, trust me) and made it through Christmas shopping, I will be back to posting on a more regular basis. 

Because I've been away so much of late, and because my latest project is a large piece and will take more time than the usual 6x8 or 8x10, I've decided to post it in stages. That way, at least people will know I'm not twiddling my thumbs. 

The picture above is the beginning of a larger studio version of a rough field study I did back in October in Round Rock's new Chalk Walk Art and Music Festival (see field study below). Referring to the field study for color notes and photographic reference to fine tune the composition, today started out by blocking in the main color. I was very happy with how quickly it went, considering the size of the canvas. I used Kevin McPherson's "best average color" method, which can be a huge time saver, because you start right in with the more or less correct color and value for the main color areas and get it down with a big brush. Because of the beauty of the oil painting process, there is no real need to start with a line rendering (I did, however, mark the half-way points along all four edges and the center of the support). The slow drying oil paint, instead allows you to push the shape edges around until you're happy with their location. Another time- and paint-saving element of the block in process that I find especially important on larger paintings is adhering to the well-worn maxim "fat over lean." Thinning the paint and using a big brush makes this stage go so much faster. Now that I've mapped out the composition, in the next stage I'll go in with thicker paint to start adding nuanced color and values and make the edges read as they should. I hope to post again in a day or so.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Afternoon Haze

Afternoon Haze, 8x10

One of the many barns on the outskirts of Malvern, Ohio, this one sits just south of U.S. Highway 30 as it heads east from town. U.S. 30 in this part of the country is known as the Lincoln Highway, and follows the route that for two hundred years has been perhaps the country's most heavily traveled land route for immigrant settlers heading west from New York and Philadelphia. The first of my Ohio ancestors arrived there from Germany in 1825.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Last Light

Last Light, 6x8

The plan this day was to paint a beautiful Texas sunset over Lake Travis. We had a fabulous spot at the property of our wonderful and generous Plein Air Austin co-member, Lynn. Since I happened to arrive a few minutes late, however, and with every moment so precious, I decided to take the easy way out and paint the pretty, indirect light coming off the water facing north. 

It turned out to be no bargain. The subtle light and color shifts (which, like the actual sunset, were still constantly changing) were more than enough to demand all the focus I had. The exercise was valuable, however, and certainly one that bears repeating and continuing to learn to see and render such subtle, yet powerful differences.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Sale!


Friends, now through December 31 is the time to purchase any of my art that you may be interested in. Visit my store at, add the items you like to your shopping cart, and enter code DEC2010 during checkout for your 25% discount.

Please note that to help ensure arrival by Christmas, items should be purchased using PayPal, and done so by December 15. Items purchased by check will be shipped immediately upon the funds clearing the issuer's bank and, thus, those items are not likely to arrive before Christmas.

Don't forget — enter code DEC2010 for your 25% discount.


Monday, December 6, 2010

In The Barn II

In The Barn II, 6x8

Saturday evening, after a couple hours of painting, Plein Air Austin had our end-of-year party at Westlake Beach and Marina.  The weather was perfect and lots of family and friends showed up for the catered picnic. The scene above is not actually of Westlake Beach, but of the adjacent marina, the name of which I didn't notice. I was attracted by the clear skies and the bright, late afternoon light on the boats.