Thursday, May 4, 2017


We are starting a painting of a fountain that many are familiar with in Chestertown, MD.  The photo came out very blue so we are going to change it a bit.

We started painting the initial washes laying in general mid value colors.  At the top I added some ultramarine for the little patches of sky.  There are a lot of sky holes in the photo and I didnt want to add all those.  Then I added some greens for the trees with some raw sienna and sap green, making sure more of the raw sienna was used around the fountain and more of the sap on the outer sides of the paper.  I used some winsor yellow with the raw sienna near the bottom of the fountain.  I used some perinone orange a little further down towards the base of the fountain also.  I put some dark greens in also near the edges of the paper with sap green and ultramarine.  The foreground I used raw sienna + quinacridone rose for the lighter areas and then ultramarine blue for the shadowed areas.  All this done wet on dry but all the colors were put in at once letting them blend together.  I painted the fountain in the shadowed areas only and leaving the highlights white.  I used ultramarine blue and ultramarine turquoise.  I used a little raw sienna at the base.  For the man I used ultramarine blue + winsor red and painted him mostly in shadow except for a few areas on the top of his arm and back of his head.

I have added the tree trunks using ultramarine blue + maroon perylene + raw sienna.  After mixing these colors I first put a wash of raw sienna on the tree and then dropped in the darker tree color.  As the trees get closer to you they are darker.  The ones that are receding I used a lighter wash.  Leave some leaf room by skipping the trunks in a few places.  You can see it here.  Don't get too detailed with the don't have to tell the viewer everything!  I continued the color of the tree trunk on the left through the shadow on the ground.  I also added in the bench on the right.  I used burnt sienna + ultramarine blue being careful to leave a little highlight on the top of the bench.

I started to work on the man scooping debris out of the fountain.  He already had a shadow wash of violet on him so I just mixed a skin color of raw sienna + quinacridone rose and put that on his face and hands.  I gave him a gray sweatshirt just by swirling colors on my palette together.  I put a little thalo blue on his shoulders as a bit of reflection from the sky which I actually noticed in the photo.  I continued to do his pants while his sweatshirt was still wet to blend them together a bit.  I used burnt sienna + ultramarine for his pants.  I added his hair with this color also, leaving a bit of highlight on the top of his head.  I then did the bucket with the same color only I added neutral tint to it to do the interior.  I did his scoop with ultramarine at the bottom portion because the upper part is metal.  After the man's clothing dried a bit, I added some shadows to his shirt with some violet dark that I had on my palette.

I started then to add the third value to the fountain using the same colors except with some raw sienna in the mix of ultramine + ultramarine turquoise.  By just looking at the photo and squinting I pulled out the darkest darks and painted those but exaggerating them a bit since the photo isn't very good.  Try not to get too detailed since your eye will tell it is a fountain and unless you are doing a photo realistic painting, don't put yourself through the torture!!  You are just giving the impression of a statue/fountain.

I also added some darks and light leaf areas to the trees.  I kept the dark leaves to the left and added lighter ones to the right.  For the dark I used hookers green + ultramarine.  I used sap + winsor yellow for the lighter areas.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Steep Hill Blueberry Farm - Class Painting

I painted this barn that is on a blueberry farm called Steep Hill on a beautiful sunny cool August day in Fayette, Maine. I brought my paints and sat in the shade to paint their barn which I have seen every time we come and have always wanted to paint it.  I knew I didn't have much time to paint and had to paint pretty fast because I knew it wouldn't take long for everyone to pick the berries so we could go back to the cabin to make a pie!  This is our very favorite place to go.  There is nothing like a summer in Maine on the lake.

So I started by wetting the paper in the sky area and the left side of the painting up to where you see the the violet part which is the rock wall.  I used a diluted wash of ultramarine blue for the sky areas and also put in a very light green above the barn for the distant trees while still wet.  The light green I made with sap green and winsor yellow.  I then added a darker green into the lighter green with sap green with a little ultramarine in it.  You can see where I added the greens near the trees all wet into wet.  I added raw sienna as the background brush behind the trees.  I let that all dry, then I painted the trees.  I used a few colors:  raw sienna, bluer violet (ultramarine + winsor red), (brownish blue)burnt sienna + ultramarine.  I started with the raw sienna, then while wet, I added the violet on the left side of the tree, being careful to save the raw sienna on the right side.  I added in the brownish blue on top of the violet also while wet.  When the tree was dry I added a darker brownish blue in spots.

I then started to paint the rocks and roof of the barn.  I used ultramarine + raw sienna with much more blue.  One thing I want to point out.  The M. Graham brand of paint has a different color version of raw sienna than Winsor Newton.  It is darker and not so light yellow.  I get a whole different color than those that have mixed ult. blue with the Winsor Newton brand raw sienna.  Some students who used it got a green color and that's not right.  It should be a blueish gray color.  I just put that in very haphazard and blending out the bottom with water.  I put it on the roof very roughly and then touched in some winsor red a bit.  This is where I stopped for now.

Then I worked on the barn.  I used the same color as the base color of the rocks for the front of the barn which is ultramarine and M. Graham's raw sienna.  You can drop in a little raw sienna in places too to vary up the color.  When it started to dry slightly I dragged the back of my thumbnail and scraped it to look like barn siding.  The left side of the barn I used the same color but I added a stronger bit of raw sienna to make it look more golden.

Now I added some darks.  The trees behind the barn I used M. Graham's Hookers Green mixed with ultramarine blue and some burnt sienna.  I loosely painted them in and went down near the flag, adding water to soften.  I also put a little raw sienna into that along the outer edges too to vary the color and make it look a little more sun struck.  I used this same green to do the trees on the left but watered it down and also added winsor yellow to some of the leaves.  All this is done very loosely with scribbly strokes.  Holding the brush away from the ferrel helps.  I also added this green to the grasses along the barn, adding strokes of raw sienna also.  When this dried slightly, I added the darker green around as you can see in the photo.  I also added darks for the front opening doorway of the barn and the left side of the trees using ultramarine + winsor red + burnt sienna.  It creates a deep violet.  The barn opening I painted using this violet halfway down and then  throwing in a strong mix of raw sienna.  I also added this violet along the roof edges as a shadow and in the windows.

Here is a little closer up of the rocks and grasses.  I started adding the darker sides of the rocks with a flat brush with ultramarine blue + winsor red + raw sienna.  That's the 2nd value of dark on the rocks.  Then a deeper value was added by adding burnt sienna to that mix I used for the 2nd value.  I laid in some sap green over some of them also to look a little mossy.  I added the greens and violets on my palette to put in the forground grasses and front grass.  I really just mushed everything together.  A very technical term!  Feel free to drop in different colors here and have fun....but don't go overboard!  I also did some spattering but that's not visible in this photo.  You can go back up to the top picture to see the finished painting.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Roses In A Pickle Jar

This became a class project by request, but I only have one picture of the painting in process and not a complete step-by-step. The colors for the roses are quinacridone rose, opera rose, winsor yellow, winsor red and a violet made with thalo blue and winsor yellow.

Some of the rose petals are warmer and some cooler.   The warmer ones I mixed the quin rose with winsor yellow.  The other cooler areas I used just quin. rose and/or opera rose.

You can see where i added winsor yellow to the pink areas to warm them up.  The leaves and stems are painted with sap green.  Again, where it is warmer I added winsor yellow and cooler I added ultramarine blue.  I used the sap green alone in many cases.  Sometimes I added thalo blue dropped in a few areas.

The black label is with neutral tint (black) and it is darker towards the top and I added quin. rose to the bottom portion with more water and lighter.

The green label is sap green.  I added winsor yellow in the middle portion and neutral tint (black) in the outer areas along the side.  I painted the label straight out and then later when dry, lifted out highlights.  After lifting out the highlights, when it dried, I gave it a glaze of thalo blue.

The shadow on the table is with ultramarine blue, quin rose and some sap green along the base of the jar.  I also added in some thalo blue with the ultramarine and dulled down the intensity of the blue with a little green.....not too much.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


I can't get enough of looking at all the fruits and vegetables at the markets and grocery stores....they are paintings in waiting.  These beets attracted my eye!  For sale on the link below.