Thursday, March 31, 2016


Salisbury 9x12 oil on stretched canvas L7

I experimented with this one using thicker paint.  I thought it was a wipe-out but then I stepped back and realized I didn't hate it.  I want to work on the background row of trees.  I tried to break up the shape but it still needs more, maybe a tree or two in the middle ground.  I tried to continue the water to the middle ground but wiped it.  I may try again. I am getting better at the foreground grasses, a big brush instead of a tiny one - who knew!


12x16 oil No. 5 Raymar panel

I am working on my goal of creating 100 landscapes in oil.  I could see no reason for my oil landscapes to be inferior to my pastel ones other than practice and technique.  The 100 is my plan for practice, after all I did see my small alla prima still lifes improve. The technique involves classes.  I researched and decided to take lessons from Julie Airoldi, her landscapes are beautiful and I heard she was just as good at teaching.
I have been very pleased so far.  She had me start with a grisaille which I find a very comfortable way to work. It feels like getting the drawing and composition right before adding color. I let that dry for a week. The part that comes next was new to me.  I mixed 4 bottles of medium with different proportions of Gamsol to linseed oil. 3 to 1,  1 to 1, 1 to 3, and the last pure linseed oil. The first pass is a glazing one using transparent color and the 3 to 1 medium.  It added a little color but mainly served as an oiling out for the next layer of more opaque color. I worked on this again in the third lesson with Julie offering suggestions for softening edges.  I would have done this by blending the tops of the trees with the sky, she did it by adding a third color, mixed to show light hitting the edges.

I am happy with this piece, in the future I would like to finish with thicker paint and more visible brush work but for now I am calling this done and ready to move on to the next.


12x16 oil on cradled hard board panel

This is the version I worked on in my own studio.  Classwork is fun and interesting but I also want to be able to work on my own.  I used one of my standard Blick cradled panels but otherwise I followed the same techniques I used in class. This time I played a little more with imaginative color.  It was interesting to note that the panels were not what was giving me problems before but the lack of a system of mediums.

This needs a little more work, some sky holes to lighten up the trees closest to center and a little more definition to the other trees to break up the toy soldier affect.

Sunday, March 6, 2016


12x12 pastel on Uart 350

Pastel underpainting, alcohol wash

Block in


12x12 pastel on pastelmat tan/peach

I have been re-doing some of the pastels I completed in Ed Chesnovitch's class.  This version is on pastelmat, the original was on Uart.  I am enjoying the smooth surface. I have been working slower making sure to do thumb nails and notans and it helps.



Pastels again

Sunlit Oak
12x12 pastel on pastelmat wine

This is my favorite tree.  It's the view from  my sun room and former studio.  I did the first version of it in a class with Ed Chesnovitch and decided to re-do all the paintings from that class to see how much I could apply what I learned and improve on the originals.  I am happy with this one and especially happy working on pastelmat - my new favorite paper.