Saturday, May 31, 2014

Vacation Paintings

It turns out mosquitoes were good for me this morning.  I was standing by Echo Lake in New Hampshire in overcast weather, and the mosquitoes were buzzing.  But the good news is that it made me paint faster and more simply.  Getting down the big shapes fast was a necessity.  I finished this painting in an hour and twenty minutes.

Flat light was also a problem.  Color was the solution. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014


For the workshop instructor, demos are part of the job.  People like to see the process and how a painting unfolds.  Last night I was invited to give a demo at the monthly meeting of the St. Louis Watercolor Society.  There was a very receptive audience in attendance, and I enjoyed myself immensely.  I love teaching and making people laugh!  But sometimes all that talking can distract from the painting thought process.  Last night I felt like the painting did not meet my expectations.

So this morning I got up and re-painted the same composition.  I tried to remember to keep the shapes simple, and not get so involved with too many color changes.  Also I felt that the first wash last night was a bit timid, so I was determined to make the first color and value application bolder in the re-do.

The best advice is a bit of a cliché, but it still applies:  Keep It Simple, Stupid.  K.I.S.S. Stay with your larger brushes longer and avoid the temptation to put in details too early. 

Happy Splashing!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Rule of Thirds

In this painting of Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine,  I was very conscious of the rule of thirds.  The foreground rocks form the dominant third; the grassy areas and sky form the other two thirds. The light is on the vertical third.  It is balanced by the small outbuilding and telephone pole. 

The color scheme is primarily the complements of red and green.  The textures are more notable in the foreground rocks, less noticeable in the grassy slopes and basically absent in the sky.  I could have chosen to put in clouds, but that additional texture would have distracted the viewer's eye. 

Can you tell I'm getting amped up for my return to Maine?  Come to my September workshop in Boothbay Harbor and see more beautiful scenes like this one!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

It's Derby Day!

Time for The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports!  Kentucky Derby 2014!