Friday, May 16, 2014

Herring River Retreat

This is a large watercolor painting (28X34) that evolved from many smaller attempts.  I have sketched and done plein air paintings on this river at various times of the year.  It is a quiet, peaceful and rather lonely stretch. I suppose if I were a neighbor, I might witness some activities going on.  I tend to do my painting early and that maybe, is the answer for my description.

I like the eye path that the river makes to the focal point of houses.  The greenery is lush and that means mixing a lot of different greens.  I use pthalo-blue and combine it with my yellows, including raw sienna and burnt sienna.  That gives me plenty of green variation.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sunshine on the Delta

What a glorious day today.  I painted on the Sacramento Delta at the Reamer Farm in Clarksburg.  Temperatures have been up to 100 degrees by mid-afternoon, so I was out there a little after 8AM.  Some birds kept me company but it was a cool quiet morning and I had my umbrella to protect me from the sun.  No bugs were around and the grape vines were very robust with the drippers going.  This water is actually a slough which runs off the Sacramento River.  There are many of them which make up the Delta.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Church on Broadway

The Urban Landscape Painting Group headed out to Broadway in Oak Park last Wednesday.  It was a nice warm day with plenty of sunshine.  I set up my new umbrella that I just bought at Costco.  It allowed me to be out on the sidewalk to paint this scene.  I bungied it to a fence, otherwise, it would require a jackhammer to put it into the soil (made for beaches).
I always go on about Oak Park.  It is a changing scene with new housing units and shops opening.  Right next to us, they are completing a brewery with outside dining area.  The area has wonderful alleyways, old homes and plenty of homeless.  

Saturday, May 10, 2014


This acrylic painting was done a number of times switching colors.  I first did the portrait with a smooth blending of color and then did it a second time by putting in patches of mixed color.  I liked the latter so put it on my blog.  The blending technique gives a more photo-like appearance.

I doubt that I will ever become a portrait artist but it is challenging to do something different.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pleasants Valley, Winters

Another wonderful day of plein air painting in Winters, CA.  We met at the coffee shop and went out early to Pleasants Valley where we enjoyed the warm summer-like morning temperatures.  It is so quiet out here, that it seems you can hear someone speak from miles away.  There are deer and other critters scurrying around.  It is a communion with nature.

I have found many new greens from mixing pthalo-blue with raw sienna, new gamboge, or burnt sienna.  The green shades are always a challenge and it is mixing that makes the different ones.  Once they are down I sometimes add more blue while they are still wet to create darker shades.  Adding red to them creates almost a black for cast shadows.