Wednesday, December 2, 2015


 Here's 4 paintings that were painted at different times. With each one I was exploring various painting concepts.  Usually a slightly different approach to the brushwork, the color, materials, and the process.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Another in my thunderstorm at sunset series.  18x24 Oil.
Here's a detail image of the painting in progress. The tress and field are under painted with mostly burnt sienna.

A few of the details.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Abstract beauty of clouds.

Lately I've been fascinated with the abstract beauty of clouds.  Form, color, pattern, shape, and design. I've painted multiple small pieces, 6"x 8" or 8"x 10" attempting to capture the elusive mood created at late afternoon, early evening, or just before sunrise. As I have mentioned, I shoot numerous photos when the sky is dramatic. I'm read that forest fires in Canada and out west this summer have had an influence on the color we have seen this year in Wisconsin. This is a larger painting 18"x 26". It has a split complimentary color scheme, although I didn't specifically plan it that way.

I don't have images of the process this time, but I may post some of the smaller paintings later.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Battle Tech Illustration

When I was freelancing a few years ago (20 is a few right?), I painted a number of covers for Fasa Corporation.  The artists and art directors at Fasa were great to work with and I enjoyed those assignments immensely.  This was a Battle Tech source book cover titled "Explorer Corps".

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Mt Lemmon Drive

Mt Lemmon is located in the Coronado National Forest north of Tucson, Arizona.  At
9,159 feet, the drive up offers great views of the valley and mountain ridges below.
This is a private commission, painted from photo reference that was provided along with the aid of some research. I've hiked in the area and have taken photos but not of this specific view. I relied on the personal impressions from the client for inspiration.
After deciding the basic drawing and composition for this painting, I explored numerous color variations. The studies in the image above were all painted digitally in Photoshop. They allow me to think thru various directions relatively quickly, but I still prefer to create the final color study in oils.

I did 4 oil studies before I felt I was ready to move on to the final painting. The last image being the final study.  These are in my sketchbook and about 9" wide. I refer back and forth to them as I work on the final.
This is a photo of my drawing board with the painting in progress. At this stage the drawing is blocked in with acrylic paint. You can see the final color study on the left, along with various reference photos.
This shows the painting in progress. The plants in the foreground are partially blocked in, the background is in but not quite complete. I generally work from the background to the foreground although I don't finish one area completely before moving on. I make adjustments back and forth as the painting develops.

Mt Lemmon Drive 18x26


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thunderstorm at sunset

On numerous occasions I've witnessed something in nature that is so spectacular in person, that as an artist I think that would make a great painting, except it will look too unbelievable in oil point.  The colors are too amazing, or the scale, or something so dramatic that the essence cant be communicated thru painting without looking as if its fabricated. That was the case with the thunderstorm that we had a few weeks ago, right as the sun was setting.

This is a large painting 24x28. I choose a near square proportion because it made the subject feel heavy, ominous.  The reference photos were shot standing on our deck looking south.  There is beauty everywhere in nature. Sometimes one needs to look closely, and sometimes you just need to stop gawking long enough to grab the camera. I shot about 115 photos over 35 minutes, the color kept changing becoming more dramatic.  After 35 minutes the scene was still fantastic, dark clouds with lightning every few seconds, but there wasn't enough light for my camera skills.

Here are some of my preliminary studies, drawing, color and value work.

Details. While working this is the view I see thru most of the process. About 12" from the paining surface. I always hope that when people see my finished paintings that they will look closely at the details, and appreciate the abstract qualities. As well as the view from across the room seeing the whole.

One more image to add to this post. Is this cactus to crazy fantastic to paint? Saguaro cactus info...The saguaro cactus grows as a column at a very slow rate, with all growth occurring at the tip, or top of the cactus. It can take 10 years for a saguaro cactus to reach 1 inch in height. By 70 years of age, a saguaro cactus can reach 6 and a half feet tall, and will finally start to produce their first flowers. By 95-100 years in age, a saguaro cactus can reach a height of 15-16 feet, and could start to produce its first arm. By 200 years old, the saguaro cactus has reached its full height, reaching upwards of 45 feet tall. Some saguaros have been seen with dozens of arms, while other cactus never produce a single one. Why this happens remains one of the desert’s mysteries.
Thunderstorm at sunset. 24x28

Monday, July 27, 2015

Abstract qualities

Often while I paint, I focus almost completely on abstract qualities.  That was the case with this painting. Broken impressionistic color, brush energy, thick vs thin paint, pattern, design, and dark vs. light passages.

Color and shape studies.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 2015 sky

 Last night the sun set as huge thunder heads pasted thru dumping rain, and creating spectacular color, and light. Recently I purchased a new camera, upgrading my photo skills.  I'm still learning the settings and functions, but so far I'm pleased with the results.

 The color and light changed and intensified so dramatically.  The above photo and the 2 below are only about 10 minutes apart.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Morning sunlight breaking through the fog, back lighting the trees; the leaves glow with luminosity.  This painting came together slowly. I did color studies first, but the values and color intensity needed subtle adjustments as the painting developed.

The final digital color study.

The sketch book color studies.

 Detail 1.
Detail 2.
 Detail 3.
 Detail 4.
Detail 5.

These first three images of the process are mostly under painting.

I start with the back ground, then then foreground elements, but I also jump back and forth making subtle refinements.

You'll notice some color shifting that is a result of the photograhpy.  I did some minor adjustments of the color to the final image in Photoshop, but not to all the images of the process. 

The final.