January 28, 2010

Corner Shop Revisited continued...

The lower image shows the blocking in of the trees, and completing the walls on the sunlit part of the building.

After a little more work, in the top image, the street lamp is more defined, details in the windows are added, and the shadows in the trees are darkened. The shadow area of the front of the building isn't really as light as it appears (bad photography) but I did lighten the sunlit part of the awnings.

I think I might let this rest here before adding anything else. I think the big roof area needs to be lightened a bit and maybe a bit more detail in the lamp and edge where the sidewalk meets the building (there's lots of weeds and things in the photo).

January 25, 2010

Corner Shop Revisited continued...

Here's the basic blocking in. I was essentially trying to map out the larger color shapes while pushing the shadow areas cooler and the sunlit areas warmer. I was very tempted to stop right here, because it has all the information for you to know what this image is, and has lots of contrast and great little bits of the ground color showing through. Nice and loose.

However, I decided to push on and see where I could take it, and in the process, maybe discover where that line between finished and over-done is.

Corner Shop Revisited

Acrylic on Canvas Panel - 9" x 12"

Going back and revisiting an early painting, to see if I could incorporate what I've learned over the past two years. Here's the original in oil for comparison.

Since I was painting over an old sketch, I first covered the panel with a deep red-orange mix I made from a bunch of old tubes I found at garage sales. It's a great ground color, and even better when it pokes through.

This is the initial sketching in I usually do in a dark blue, mixed with a little alizarin crimson and burnt umber. I decided to crop in tighter and eliminate a few items – the truck (since it wasn't in the reference photo), the building in the back, and a few other random street signs and wires.

January 23, 2010

Page in the Rain

Acrylic on Cardstock - 4.25" x 6" - Sold
I just love the way the neighborhood looks in the rain, even if I can't get outside to paint it.

January 20, 2010

Farmers Market Palm

Acrylic on Cardstock - 4.25" x 6"

Going through recent photos I found this one taken at the farmer's market in Oakland.That big tan area in the back is the Grand Lake Theatre.

I thought I'd do a quick sketch to see what transpired. Not terribly excited about the composition, but I have other shots and may even try making a composite. It's something I've been reading about a lot lately – taking reference sketches and photos and creating a new composition based on those.

January 12, 2010

Communication Breakdown

It has been brought to my attention that I should really be posting my replies to comments within the comments section on the blog.

I've been replying to emails that notify me that a posting has been made and I think these replies just vanish in the ether.

I've been diligently replying to all comments, but it turns out a lot of you aren't getting the replies, so I'll be posting all comments on the blog directly from now on.

Let me know your thoughts on this, and I apologize if anyone feels like I've been ignoring your great input. I haven't.


January 11, 2010


Charcoal on Paper

A new week begins, so it must be Sketch Book Monday! This is a cemetery in Japan about 2 hours North of Tokyo. A quiet place to contemplate the view and one's place in it.

January is supposed to be a slow month for me work-wise, but no such luck this year. Getting sidetracked from painting. Oh, and the xBox arrived. Tsk tsk.

Today I'm beginning a larger piece based on one of last week's sketches. I'll be posting various stages of progress throughout the week.

January 7, 2010

Kyoto Lane

Acrylic on Canvas Paper - 4x6 - Sold
Thought I'd try another quick sketch before embarking on a more lengthy piece. I liked this photo from my trip, but the winding lane is a bit cliche. And there really were two fiery maples at the end of the lane. Maybe I'll dig up a better shot that doesn't look so "bookend-ish". The road color is kinda tricky too. It really does reflect the sky, but it should have a touch of warmth in it. Something to keep in mind.

January 5, 2010

Divisadero Sketch

Acrylic on Cardstock

Saw this scene on my way home yesterday. Snapped it on the iPhone and couldn't wait to sketch it. At last, no fish.

I do like the subject and the general composition, so I think I'll spend a little time working this into something bigger.

January 2, 2010

Fish Head

Acrylic on Canvas Paper

I was pretty unhappy with the tones and values in the Fish Soup painting, so I thought I'd try a close-up on part of the image and see if I could do better. I'm really not liking this fish either.

January 1, 2010

Fish Soup

Acrylic on Canvas Paper

From a photo I took in Kyoto outside a fish restaurant (he's sitting in broth on a bed of tofu).

Talk about getting out of one's comfort zone! No trees, no sky, no rolling hills. And I don't particularly like fish.

The transitions in the colors, and the limited range made this very challenging. I'm not even close to what I was looking at. I may have to do some more of this type of thing to broaden my skills. Sounds like a good goal for a new year.

Speaking of new years... I don't know what the plan is this year. I've succeeded painting and posting almost every day of 2009. Right when I reached the 365 mark, I seemed to loose all steam. Perhaps I needed a different kind of goal for 2010, it was observed.

Many of you have suggested that this year I might focus on bigger paintings that take a bit longer than the 1 and 2 hour pieces I've been doing. Others suggested I do paintings that happen over various sittings, so I can show the steps as they proceed. And plenty of folks simply said "go for it" and just keep on bashing them out, full steam ahead.

Well, without a definitive plan in place, I guess I will just pound on through and hopefully the plan will reveal itself to me.

Thanks for all your support, advice and continued interest in this process as I keep on learning to paint.