Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Just finished a recent landscape commission using Pt.Reyes National Seashore (West Coast of Northern California) for inspiration. Oils on linen - 80 x 29 inches. In my post from earlier this summer I shared a handful of digital color sketches and the client picked this one to develop.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I wanted to share some recent imaginative color sketches. A French pastoral landscape and an Italian campagna setting are both atmospherically set with fast changing weather.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Digital Gouache sketch from memory after a hike. Morning light with breaking fog, 8:30am. It was interesting to notice the buzzards looking dark in their shapes and with the right angle see them shift to a high shine against the muted hillside.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sun dissolving into the headlands fog. Digital color sketch from memory.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Recent gouache study for a larger painting. Thinking about Valenciennes, Poussin, Lorrain, Richard Wilson, and Turner. 6x6 inches with additions of gold gouache dip pen boarders.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A study of river side woods with the great Barbizon school painters in mind, in particular the friendship between Harpignies and Corot is evoked. I can't even imagine
how wonderful sketching and painting the Italian country side must have been in the 1860's with these great ones.

Gouache & watercolor on hot press paper with pastel pencil, pastel stick, sepia pen/ink and touches of lifting out with paper towel. 24,5 x 10,5 cm.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Watercolor and gouache sketch painted on location near the Golden Gate Bridge. 6x6 inches - Italia Acquerello paper by Magnani.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Just wanted to spread the word about the upcoming SketchTravel book auction that will be held October 17th in Brussels. Please check out the links to help out a great cause!

I've been lucky to be featured on the SketchTravel Blog today.

official website

facebook page

There are so many ways you can help!
1) Donate to Room to Read:
2) Visit and "like" the page:
3) Re-share this to spread the word.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thank you for those who attended my Watercolor & Gouache workshop last week. It was an excellent group of artists and I had the best time! Here is one of my demos of a Mendocino Cypress tree study. An old dilapidated fence rested at the base of the trunk, almost like a faint attempt at holding up the 100 year plus tree. We sketched outside and then carried on in the studio with painted value and color work.

Watercolor burnt umber with Sepia ink. Touches of dip pen work, and a Derwent Inktense pencil (Outliner) used for blocking in the shapes. In addition, white gouache and chinese white watercolor were used for the sky and foreground details. 6.5" x 9" on warm gray smooth card paper.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A study of parting clouds and mist above a bay - moonlight. Watercolor, dip pen with touches of gouache. Arches cold press paper, approximately 5x11 inches.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Drawing on a post-it note with yellow background (3"x 5"). Brush Markers, grey pastel pencil and permanent Pitt artist pens for details. This approach can be useful in working out ideas for projects. I have made hundreds of small sketches like this for various films over time. Warming up for concepts is something I recommend trying before diving into complex pieces. I like to do this when thinking of new paintings to be later carried out in oils or gouache.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Workshop Coming Up!

My Mendocino Gouache & Watercolor workshop is just around the corner. Please sign up soon: it's the weekend of September 17-18, 2011. Besides demonstrating my painting approach and how to tackle the local coastline and other landscape features, I will also be able to look at portfolios and give feedback on all aspects of your work.

Workshop Info

I also wanted to share that there are special discounts at local inns- just ask the Mendocino Art Center: 1-800-653-3328 ext. 10

*The sepia image is a recent digital painting exploring an invented Italian harbor, in the spirit of the Dutch Italianates.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Study in blue, brown, green and purple grays. Gouache & watercolor, Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California. Heavy overcast started to set in.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Painted yesterday in Penngrove, California, in the Sonoma wine country. There was an incredible change in the weather as the sun was setting.
The valley got more diffused and finally the fog shrouded the distant hills in a veil of blue mist by sunset. Gouache and watercolor on hot press Fabriano 'Artistico' paper. 5"x7". There are a few touches of warm gray watercolor pencil in the background mid way through the painting process. Big thanks to Kim's family for sharing their vineyard views!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Introducing a HD video clip showing the process of the 'Gouache Ruins' painting. The music gets louder at the end just to let you know. You can see the full resolution if you click over to my Vimeo link.

'Gouache Ruins' Speed Painting from Erik Tiemens on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An invented Italian architectural (theatrical) sketch of ruins with a limited palette of gouache and watercolor. Fabriano 'Artistico' rough paper 5" x 9 1/2". There is some pen work that had bleed through the lighter gouache, almost separating into a bluish stain. I taped the painting session for a tutorial down the road.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fall 2011 Workshop Coming Up!
I'm excited to announce a new painting workshop September 17-18, 2011. I will be teaching a Gouache and Watercolor class on the West Coast of California, at the Mendocino Art Center. Please sign up if you are interested. The location is superb for outdoor sketching and continuing the paintings in the large studio at the center. I will be painting multiple demos and assisting students with their thumbnails and sketch paintings.

For complete information click here: Exploring Gouache & Watercolor

The watercolor pictures here are from a recent East Coast trip. I had a chance to explore the coast of Maine and work on location. These are stills from HD video that was shot. I'm experimenting with possible tutorials this way.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A recent imaginative painting titled Autumn Storm. The medium is oil on panel, 9x12 inches with an egg tempera under painting. It could be a California landscape with hints of Dutch Italianate. Painters like Jan Both painted the transitional hilly spaces of travel with the often dry Roman Campagna setting in the distance. This at times can look similar to the vast pastoral valleys of California minus the classical ruins.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A small format oil on panel study inspired by the works of Jacob van Ruisdael, 1628-1682, supreme master of dutch landscape. In this case using cold press linseed oil as a medium and walnut oil as a brush cleaner, no turps for me!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Recent group of color & lighting studies for a fine art commission. 80 inches wide! Just got the linen canvas today from the John Annesley Company from Healdsburg, CA today. They create museum quality supports. Unbelievable quality.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

100 posts later! Here are some playful capriccios with a Roman 1600's theme. Current personal project that I'm working on.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Detail of the digital painting, left side. I used Painter 11 in creating the image. Taking various Dutch, Italian Baroque themes and placing them in a 19th century landscape format.

Recent digital sketch painting, experimenting with gouache like drybrush and textures.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oil study, linen on panel - 9x12 inches. Great cloud day several weeks ago near the Golden Gate bridge. This was painted on location with a small pochade box set-up.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Here are more shots and the Asilomar, Ca drawing.

Visited Pt. Lobos/Carmel area of California the past few days. What a wonderful spot to see the meeting of land and sea. I worked on a quick gouache sketch painting using Fabriano 'Artistico' cold pressed watercolor block paper (5"x7"). The paper had a strong coating of grey gouache from a previous painting-prep session, so this was nice to work on in the brighter sunlight. I painted thicker than usual and then finished with more watercolor touches and weak glazes. The Asilomar black and white sketch was created quickly using brush markers and a bit of pencil. I would like to take this further as a painting in the studio and work from these notes. I always suggest some kind of warm up thumbnail sketch to get a feel for the subject matter and potential framing before painting.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A small sketch on prepared hot press paper (300lb). Working on a dried wash of grayish paper bag brown, I put down a rapid under drawing with a dip pen and acrylic ink (burnt umber). Very simple palette of white gouache, sepia watercolor, blue gray gouache and black watercolor pigment. I took liberties with the location, not being topographically correct but getting the spirit of the location. Just as a note I used tube colors more than the half pans shown in the photo.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A few more sumi-e brush studies painted on rice paper. The tree study is based on a rapid pen sketch I made while walking on a coastal trail near Pacifica, California. The mountain study is more of calligraphic exercise from imagination. I'm curious to try other unique papers with ink and watercolor.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Recent experiments with sumi-e ink (水墨畫) Chinese & Japanese names (水墨画) brush drawing. Out of complete enthusiasm and ignorance I made up the brush characters in the sketch but enjoyed the process of seeing how you can't work back into the paper and make changes. It is all additive on the mulberry kozo paper (Shoji Gami). My daughter and I made some birds and flowers as well and added watercolor pigments for some color. I recommend that everyone try these materials.
The Asian Art museum in San Francisco has a wonderful collection of treasures including some contemporary sumi-e art work.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Wanted to share some rapid studies from my flat files. Experiments on blue gray and green gray toned paper. In addition the clouds above the water contain several types of opaque whites (Zinc & Chinese White - Titanium, different manufactures, materials, etc.

Venetian study - 3x4 1/4 inches - Gouache & Watercolor w/ dip pen & brush

Clouds over Water - 5x6 inches - Gouache & Watercolor w/ dip pen & brush

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Jumping back into it with a gouache and ink study from an oil sketch by Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes (Toulouse 1750 - Paris 1819). A remarkable painter and theoretician of Classical Landscapes. He was a major influence on creating the Prix-de-Rome du Paysage Historique... the big prize for landscape painters. Archille Michallon was one of his students and Corot being his student.

His Landscape with Ruins has a Roman setting. I think it's interesting to see nature take over the building forms and dissolve early architectural profiles.