Tuesday, December 18, 2007

An escape to an imaginary forest was in order on this rainy day.This is a small format (5x7 inch) watercolor/gouache study for a possible larger oil painting. Turner, Fragonard and the Dutch School are kept in mind.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I clipped a rough watercolor block to my steering wheel and sketched this scene of the San Francisco bay. It was kind of upsetting to see 30 or so haz-mat workers cleaning the rocky shoreline with oil soaked rags in the nearby harbor. Our recent oil spill was a real wake up call about how fragile everything is. The conditions were windy with some sprinkles, so I worked in my mini studio aka the car.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Backyard gouache study from the dinning room during the baby's nap.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's been a while since I have done some figure sketching. I decided to work with gouache and watercolor for these quick 20 min poses. I selected bristol 3 ply plate finish sheets as my 'ground'. This was enjoyable as some of the pigement washes can really retain an expressive quality that can otherwise be muted with cold press papers. Transparent washes of watcolor (Holbeini + M.Graham brands) were added to slightly model the forms. A structural mixture of gouache brown and regular watercolor brown was the frame work in laying out the painting, from thin to thick then back to thin washes.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

This is a small 5x7 invented composition on hot press watercolor paper with a transparent watercolor wash base followed with opaque gouache on top. I was thinking about how the Dutch painters in the 17th century would invent Italian landscapes from their studios in Holland. I am exploring here a romantic landscape, perhaps in Spain or early California before the giant oaks dissapeared. When you look at Ruisdael you never see sawed off limbs from standing tress but rather pure forms with twisted, broken branches in various states of decay. All very interesting areas to get lost into. In addition, I find the lone figure or small groupings in the landscape classical and timeless.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A California Buckeye tree gestures along a dirt pathway was my subject on last Sunday's outing. I am trying out a canvas panel that you can do watercolors and gouache on. It is very tricky as the watercolor brushes seem to be wasted by the thirsty surface of the canvas but offered some nice dry brushing transitions that I enjoy when I oil paint. This area also happens to be one of the only leash free dog trails in the county, so my luck would have it, every dog came by and sniffed my palette, studied my alien set up and sauntered along their with way with master at side. It's better though than the bee sting I got a couple weeks before in a similar spot.

The additional study is an invented doodle painting. I sort of do these to relax after painting outside. Gouache on a vellum finish bristol 4 ply card. The more reduced the color palette the more you can dance around with the density of the pigment and explore the dialog between paper and brush, something sorely lacking in digital painting.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I wanted to share some recent field studies in watercolor and gouache. The large rock formation is just outside of the Golden Gate bridge area. The cliffs had so many variations of color in the light brown palette - interesting to dive into that. All of these pieces were painted in one session from life. Extreme wind by the ocean, and a lovely bee sting at the end of the oak tree study are all part of the fun when you are outside, but I would not trade it for anything.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Gouache study with a very limited palette. I was taking inspiration from 17th century Dutch Landscape painters and a bit of the Constable/ Isabey storm obession they score their paintings with. I am also combining Chinese White (Holbein), Zinc White, and Titanium Goauche (from M.Graham). The Daler-Rowney Zinc White is super stiff and not so good, but could be interesting for weak glaze mixtures. I also coated the paper with a prepared sizing from W&N. They don't make it any more though.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Watercolor / Gouache sketches - very small 2.5 x 4.5 inches and one that is 3 x 6 inches. The darker tree themed one was inspired by my trip to Yale- British Museum of Art in New Haven, CT. A small but nice collection of Turners, Constable and Bonningtons among others. A couple of the other sketches are very rapid along the shoreline in CT and Nantucket, Mass.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Recent watercolor near Pt.Reyes, California.

Monday, May 07, 2007

This is an experimental landscape from imagination using rough fabriano (Aristico) paper with watercolor and gouache. I reworked the clouds a number of times. The surface stood up to repeated washes and scumbles. An Australian landscape comes to mind. I have seen a number of excellent water media artists that come from down under via art books.

Monday, April 16, 2007

An old school bus yellow crane floating on a dark oil soaked barge. Hints of russet pink on the island in the distance.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

French Broom in the foreground (yellow flowers) is pretty profuse in Northern California at springtime. Having just a small amount of time in the late afternoon I went for a small format - 5"x7" - using a Fabriano watercolor block. I was interested in capturing the dappled light on the ivy growing up the smaller trees. This was at a point in Belvedere, very quiet with just the daydream like sounds of the surf below undulating between the rocks.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

With the fog dissolving the view of Baker Beach in San Francisco, the focus was more on the twisted pine trees in the foreground dressed with dying vines on the left side of the picture. I sketched the white tee-off as this was one of the sections of the Lincoln park golf course. It was interesting to see every other set of players drive home a shot into the Pacific Ocean before they took aim at the green, is that cool for sea life? I am trying out more Holbein watercolors with Winsor and Newton perm. white and Holbein chinese white as opaque additions.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Today's gouache sketch (6"x9") on cold press water color paper. The block in was created using transparent watercolors, then chinese white was added to mixtures to make more opaque passages. Really a nice day with perfect spring weather.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I'm posting some more gouache studies, painted this past week. One outdoor, the other painted at home. I am using watercolors as a base and then introducing more opaque colors as I complete the pieces. I am using Holbein Zinc white gouache along with other colors on top of the more transparent washes of traditional watercolors. I am also using a cheaper student grade Montval watercolor block (10x14") which is really nice for reworking the surface. It seems to take a lot of rough brush work while building up a luminous patina.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Nice cloud day to sketch in gouache. Rapid studies of clouds and their cast shadows on the distant hills. The fence study was from the living room. A small oak takes form against the sky with hungry birds to the sides.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Gouache and watercolor fog study of Angel Island. 9"x21"

Private Collection

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I'm posting today's gouache study painted in my car. It is rare that I work inside like that, but I needed to listen to some music and relax a bit, after the work week. As things progressed the wet painting fell on the floor because I wedged the watercolor block just inside the steering wheel and it was precarious at best. Of course it popped out, and while it was sliding down between my feet, my brush made a mark across the surface on the left side. I ended up making a plant out of the main errant mark.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I'm calling this piece the Crepe Maker. It is inspired by the Sonian Forest in Belgium, near Brussels. Many painters in the 1600's were attracted to the landscape. In particular the painter Lodewijk (or Lodewyk) de Vadder, who worked in the period. He was granted the privilege to make taperstry cartoons for the city of Brussels in 1644. He and others were influenced by Rubens' technique with oils. Also the contrast between the vast size of the forest vs. the small scale of humans is a common theme around that time.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Study after Lorrain. An imagined roman country side with figures. I'm interested in studying invented landscapes. For example many dutch artists traveled to Italy in the 1600's. They made sketches then came back to create finished paintings of the low lands with hills and Italian atmosphere.

Monday, January 01, 2007

An experienced seaman lost at sea as a theme. 1640's? off the coast of Spain - perhaps.

Recent sketches from life. I was using a bottle of sepia ink with watercolors and gouache. Unfortunatley I had a major spill, what a mess. A few minutes later though I saw a bobcat. Random events you can say.