Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sole Mates

24" x 18" on 140 lb. watercolor paper

Friday, July 02, 2010

Henry's Dream

24" x 18" on 140 lb. watercolor paper

This car was parked behind mine the other day so I took several pictures of it. I liked all the chrome and the high contrast. I painted with a limited pallet of indigo, raw sienna, cobalt blue, and turquoise blue.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Family Portrait

I painted this for our first grandchild. She's due in August.
24" x 30" framed on 140 lb. watercolor paper

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Crayons, Marbles and String

I had tried painting marbles before with limited success. I think it just takes some observing. In this painting I returned to my favorite color crayons and added the marbles and a long piece of string. I used automobile detailing tape that was 1/8 inch wide to mask off the string and then masking fluid to mask off all the crayons and marbles. I then proceeded to put a blue wash over the entire paper. After removing the tape and masking fluid, I masked off the reflections on the marbles and the light on the crayons. Finally, I started painting crayons and marbles adding numerous glazes to get the colors the right value and intensity. I removed the masking fluid from the marbles and crayons and spent several hours adding and darkening shadows. I may have overworked this a bit, but I am happy with the results.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

An Experiment Gone Wrong

I drew the image for this painting in pencil and then drew over the pencil in black ink before applying watercolor paint. The composition isn't very good to start with, but the outlining in ink makes it look a bit cartoonish or, at best, an illustration. 24" X 18" On 140 lb. cold press paper.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

San Francisco Queen Anne

This San Francisco Queen Anne Victorian sits at the top of Pacific Heights in San Francisco. I brightened up the colors a bit from the original light beige to this brighter gold/yellow. I think If I were to paint this again, I would trace the image so to avoid the distortions I created when I drew the image. I think you have to either go pretty loose with these types of paintings or get it architecturally right. The windows on the second floor on the right side are on a curved wall which created some problems as well. I do like the decorative designs on the left part of the building (top and middle) and, in general, the depth the painting creates.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hey There Little Buddy

This isn't going to hang in someone's living room (maybe not even in their garage), but it is a painting that I needed to paint and really enjoyed painting. The drawing went down quickly with only modest changes. I like the juxtaposition of the small Nash Metropolitan and the hulking truck. The car comes back to the future and thinks these behemoths must eat little cars. The Metro is being squeezed off the road as the road stripes make no sense to the Metro either. It is a crazy new world!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hailey Idaho First Snow

24" x 18" 140 lb. paper

I painted a post card of this street scene this fall without the snow. I liked the composition so I created it as a larger watercolor painting. I took some artistic license that residents of Hailey might notice, but in general the feel of this painting reflects the town.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I did this painting as a commission for a friend from Iowa. He plans on framing it and giving it to his father.

18" x 24" on 140 lb. cold press paper

Indigo and Van Dyke Brown paint created the black.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Watercolor Sketchbook

I've decided to separate my finished paintings from my sketchings and have started a "Daily Sketchbook" blog. If you are interested in following the sketchbook blog, it is here:

Daily Sketchbook


Sunday, September 27, 2009


24" x 18" on 140 lb. cold press paper

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I did this painting as a commission for a friend who just bought this 2004 Ford Thunderbird. I took a lot of pictures for reference, but settled on this front-on composition because it best expressed the car's personality. Like the talking animated cars in the Chevron TV ads, this Thunderbird looks like it is smiling and wearing eye shadow. Perfect for the owner!

Friday, September 18, 2009


The Music Box Theater is the largest venue of its type in Chicago.
5" x 7" in Moleskin book. Watercolor pencils, ink and water brushes.


This is a sketch I did from a portion of one of the watercolor postcards I sent out. Watercolor pencils, ink and water brushes.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


This is an imaginary scene that I painted for the September Challenge on
Moleskine book, 8" x 5", watercolor crayon, watercolor pencil, ink and water brush.

Friday, September 04, 2009


The Shelton-McMurphey-Johnson House was built in 1888 overlooking the town of Eugene, Oregon. The Queen Ann architecture has been preserved and the home is now owned by the city of Eugene.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I wonder if the person who lives there tells that to friends who are trying to find her.

Watercolor pencils, ink and water brushes.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Staring at my morning cereal bowl with fresh fruit on top.


I've had a trouble capturing the likeness in portraits and decided to try something different. I turned the reference photo upside down and drew the image upside down on the paper with a Micron pen (005). This kept me focused on just the shapes and lines and not being concerned about what the person looks like. I drew it in less than a minute and then added the watercolor.

Although this isn't perfect, it is an improvement.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Click image to enlarge(24" x 18" unframed on 140 lb. watercolor paper)

I painted this for a friend who is a fanatic college basketball fan with a special interest in the Bobby Knight era at Indiana University. Knight once tossed a chair across the floor in an angry tirade.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


The historic Panida Theater (Panhandle Idaho) is still being used for showing films and presenting live entertainment in Sandpoint, Idaho:

Friday, August 14, 2009









We just returned from a road trip to Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. I took my sketchbook, ink pens, watercolor pencils and water brushes along to sketch along the way, at the park and on the way back. I'll post complete pages so, should you have nothing better to do, you can read the commentary.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

San Francisco Sketchbook: Metro Theatre

The old Metro Theatre on Union Street is shuttered and surrounded by chic boutiques. The icon of a bygone era closed three years ago and condos were planned for the site. But the building is still there, although plywood covers the entrance and the neon lights no longer glow in the cool evening nights of San Francisco.

Friday, July 31, 2009

San Francisco Sketchbook: Play Ball!

My brother bought us tickets to the Giants vs. Pirates game on Wednesday afternooon. A baseball game at AT&T Park is especially nice when the weather is beautiful as it was for this game. That the Giants won in 10 innings 1-0 made it even better. The giant Coke bottle and glove are iconic parts of the nine-year-old park.

I did the sketch during the game (making sure to watch for foul balls - although the people sitting on either side of us brought their gloves) then colored it in that night while watching the Mariners play on TV. Baseball obsessed?

San Francisco Sketchbook: Cable Car

What would a visit to San Francisco be without at least one cable car ride? Even though I grew up near San Francisco and we've been to "The City" numerous times, this form of city transport is always a joy.

This sketch was done at the Powell and Hyde Cable Car turn-around at Fisherman's Wharf.

San Francisco Sketchbook: Maiden Lane

Maiden Lane is only two blocks long but probably represents some of the most exclusive stores and restaurants in the city. Just off Stockton at Union Square, Maiden Lane is open to traffic early in the morning for deliveries. After that the small gates are put up to allow for foot traffic only. Restaurants put tables and chairs in the lane to enlarge their patron capacity during the lunch hour.

San Francisco Sketchbook: Stockton Street

San Francisco's architecture is more interesting if you look at buildings above their 3rd or 4th floor. So many of the older buildings are adorned with all sorts of sculptures and fascinating detail that dates them back to a time when decoration was as important as structural integrity.

This is Stockton Street next to Union Square.

San Francisco Sketchbook: Oregon Rest Stop

We just returned from a 4 day visit to San Francisco. I'll post some watercolor sketches I did while we were on our way and in San Francisco. Some I did en plein air.

Drawing/painting in a moving car while my wife drives presents some interesting challenges. It does force you to draw quick and loose, something I need to do more of. You've got to love Oregon rest stops, too. They are ubiquitous and almost always nestled in a grove of trees. This one is about 2" x 3".

Monday, July 20, 2009


Click to enlarge

18" x 24" on 140 lb. cold press paper

This is a scene from our backyard. We bought the ceramic angel last year to complete the flower island in our lawn. I've been trying to paint more florals since I don't have much experience with them and at times really struggle. I drew the statue freehand in one take which surprised me that the proportions looked accurate. I put in a lot of the background darks early to see how the contrast would look. I added more and more indigo on the statue to get the right 3-dimensional look. I'm not sure how I did with this. After a while it all starts to blur. I have to get away for a few days to retrieve a fresh perspective.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Wednesday, July 08, 2009


We're in Honolulu for a stay. I spent about 4 hours Tuesday and 2 hours yesterday doing some plein air sketching in my watercolor journal:

This wasn't plein air, but just a face I saw in a magazine.
I did this one waiting for your flight out of Portland Monday:

Thursday, June 04, 2009


(Click Image to Enlarge)
There was no reference photo for this painting. I had seen some renderings of wicker baskets and wanted to give it a try. A bike basket was an easy way to start. I masked off all the flowers. It took a long time, but the result was worth it as I was able to put the underpainting of green in with several washes using long strokes and a large brush. I kept going back in to make the underneath colors darker and darker.
After painting the fence and the background, I painted in the bike saving the basket for last. I decided to mask off the lightest of reflective color on the wicker and then, after putting a wash across the whole basket, added the darks and finally removed the masking to reveal the reserved whites. I eventually toned down the white on the wicker but left enough contrast to give the basket texture.
I do like the wicker basket, but I also like the way the background fades out into a misty, foggy distance. I'm also glad I let the foreground fade out as well.