Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Minister of Culture

Michael posed this past Friday and did a great job. He said that his father, Chuck Heaton, worked at the Plain Dealer for 51 years!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Guy named Guy

Guy did a great job posing for us last Friday. If you're interested in seeing what other artists are doing, visit Tim Herron's facebook page. On his wall he posts all of the art created at these portrait sessions.

Friday, November 11, 2011


This is Alphonso from last Friday night in Tremont. He thought he was going to model for only about twenty minutes, but was a trooper and stayed the night for us. He did a great job!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Another portrait in the sketchbook from Friday nights in Tremont.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Watercolor Class

The class is going strong on Monday nights 6 to 8:30 at Pat Catan's in Strongsville.

We usually set up one or two (or three, depending on the amount of students) still life arrangements and we paint from life. Students also have the option of bringing in their own reference material to paint from. Sometimes I do a demonstration painting, sometimes the students paint the whole time with me giving tips as needed. The arrangements are lit with a spot light, so everyone gets good subject matter to paint.

Photos are taken of the still life so students can continue their work at home, as the arrangement is unique to that night.

The store is loaded with artificial flowers, fruit, vases, baskets, etc. It's quite a setup and is unique as far as I know in the Cleveland area. When you sign up, there's only a commitment for two classes, so feel free to call or stop in. (440) 238-7318

Sunday, October 9, 2011


This was another sketch done at the Literary Cafe.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Medina Town Square Again

This is the second sketch from that same day last year. The gazebo in the town square with some of the tents of the farmer's market. The current gazebo was built in 1975, patterned after another in Bellville, OH (according to the Medina Community Band's web page).

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More Medina

This is from last year. I did two other watercolor sketches of the town square that day in my moleskine. I'm always vacillating between tight and loose, and this one was sort of tight. I wanted to see how accurate I could capture the architecture and still be loose.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Medina Town Square

After shopping at the farmer's market in Medina this morning, I painted this sketch of some of the buildings along the south portion of the town square. Toned paper was chosen because I thought the white of the old red firehouse would pop off. I usually carry a tube of Permanent White, Naples Yellow and Brilliant Yellow Winsor Newton gouache in my sketch bag for when opaques are needed (sometimes in portraits I use opaques to even out the skin tones). Here it was part of the plan all along.

The tree was a real inspiration. It was about a third dead and gave hints of the upcoming fall season.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Here's another watercolor in the moleskine sketchbook from portrait night at the Literary Cafe. David may well have been the best model ever. He never wavered or chatted, which is always a good thing in someone posing for a portrait.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Berea Arts Fest

The Berea Arts Fest is this upcoming Sunday, Sept. 11, from 10 am to 5 pm. I'll be demonstrating there as well as having a tent displaying my watercolors. The painting above was painted on site and is the civil war cannon at the Berea Triangle. I'm not sure what time the demonstration will be, but I hope to see a lot of friends and family up there!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Strong House

This is the house of the founder of Strongsville, John Strong.. I don't think there's another Strongsville in the entire country.

"The weak need not apply" is my motto for anyone thinking of moving into our fair city!

The red pencil line is a loose gestural line put in lightly with watercolor pencil. It results in a line that gets fuzzed out in spots once it becomes wet. Sometimes interesting, sometimes fussy, I'm still trying to figure out if I like it or not.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Classes at Pat Catans

We will be starting new classes at the Pat Catans store in Strongsville on Monday nights. There is a back classroom that is perfect for this sort of thing. Call up the store at 440 238 7318 for more details.

This was a demo I did to start generating interest in the class. Classes start second Monday of September, are reasonably priced and you aren't necessarily locked in for a long number of weeks. Nothing beats on site demos for helping your brain absorb the process of watercoloring.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Downtown Cleveland

I went downtown to check out the filming of the upcoming Avengers movie, and having forgotten my little stool, decided to hunker down on the sidewalk and paint a view of Euclid Avenue looking west toward our beloved Terminal Tower.

The concrete planters that I f hint at in the left foreground of the sketch are actually very, very cool and I have to do them justice in a future sketch.

I also posted this on the Urban Sketchers Cleveland blog.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Here's another portrait from Friday nights in Tremont at the Literary Cafe.

Monday, July 25, 2011

On Site Painting

Painting on site without any pencil drawing produces the most spontaneous paintings. Here's a painting from last week.

After letting a painting rest for a while (sometimes weeks), I return to it in the studio and refine it. Sometimes it takes just a little touch up, sometimes a lot. I often take a photo of it and bring it into photoshop and paint in layers on top to plan the next steps. I'll have a photo I took of the subject matter on one screen, and the photoshop version of the painting on another.

But it's hard to match the loose attitude that one had when it was originally created. I'll often wait until I have several paintings sitting around and touch them all up at the same time, once I've reentered the loose painting attitude that I was in while painting on site.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hanging basket

Here's a sketch from the moleskine.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


This was done at a Friday night session at the Literary Cafe. I had to use a little opaque gouache to touch it up. I have a tube of Permanent White, a tube of Naples Yellow and a tube of Brilliant Yellow (all Winsor Newton brand) so I can make some bright very light corrections if need be. I'm not a purist when it comes to these things. I prefer to get it right without opaques, but if need be I'll use em.

Brilliant White is the most opaque of the whites, and Naples Yellow helps get those creamy opaque skin tones. If I need to opaque any other color, I just mix the white with the brightest version of the watercolor color that I'm interested in and I can usually get a good match.

You'll notice I let the underlying pencil be. The search is the most interesting thing! If there's an inaccurate pencil line, that's what gives it energy.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gardenview Sketch

This was a loose sketch done at Gardenview. It's always a battle between how loose to make a sketch or painting or how tight. I prefer loose. I think this is just about right. It didn't take all that long, (about a half hour I think) and it has a satisfactory light and dark pattern. While the Moleskine sketchbook isn't the most forgiving paper to work on, if you start wet on wet, letting the colors bleed together, you can start establishing hard edges once it starts to dry. This leaves some of the fused wet in wet colors alone so that there is a bit of "mystery" to it all.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Literary Cafe

Friday night is portrait night at the Literary Cafe in Tremont. There is a sign up sheet for models, and the artists graciously donate their drawings to the model. It's free and a fun way to spend your Friday!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Berea Triangle

The Berea Art Walk was held in May at the historic Berea Triangle. It was a beautiful day, so I set up my easel and proceeded to paint this while I was set up next to the sponsor's tent.

It's from a large 18" x 24" rough textured Arches watercolor block.

The Rosander Event Kitchen (the restaurant and cooking school behind the blue green awning on the right) now owns this painting. Chef Brian Rosander came out to check out what I was painting and purchased it. I think it's hanging in the restaurant now.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Strongsville Watercolors

These are some recent sketches of the local scenery.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Night Portraits

Friday nights are Portrait nights at the Literary Cafe in Tremont. Sign up to pose and get your portrait drawn for free.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sketchbook work

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Here's two pages from my moleskine watercolor sketchbook.