Monday, October 29, 2012

Panoramic Photos

I take a lot of photos, and here are some I took over the last couple weekends while out sketching and shopping. I used to put these together in photoshop manually. Then the software reached a point where it automatically stitched them together, and now the new iPhone software does it automatically on the phone itself!

 It also helps you keep the phone level while you're swiveling with an on screen guide. It's amazing how far technology has come!

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Here's a painting done with no preliminary pencil work. The grapes are starting to ripen, which is a process called veraison.

The light yellow green, pinks, purples and greens are floated onto the dry paper, with everything blending together as you lay it all down. Eventually all of the paper is wet but the white sky holes. Things get adjusted (darks added, colors strengthened) as the paper slowly dries. Areas of the paper are wetter than others, and as the darks and colors are put in, some areas will fuzz out where it's wet, and others will leave a nice crisp edge where it's dry. Still other areas will form blooms or back runs, as the wet wash tries to spread out into an area that has *just* dried and the pigment ends up settling in the valleys of the paper, unable to spread out any further. You can see a little bit of opaque pink purple that I dropped in while it was still wet on the upper left of the cluster. The opaque paint can be seen to have spread out into the wetness before it runs out of steam. It's all a delicate balance of paint thickness, amount of wetness, and the varying degrees of pressure caused by them, pushing and pulling against one another.

At some point I dried the paper completely and started putting in the crisp darks to indicate the individual grape shapes and leaf edges and branches.

It's 10" x 14" on cold pressed Arches.

It takes a bit of experience to work with the different degrees of wetness, but that's where the surprises come in and what makes it an improvisational piece as opposed to having everything predetermined. One could make this exact same painting 10 different times and come out with 10 different results, each satisfying in its own way. That's the beauty of watercolor!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bay Arts 50th Anniversary Show

I was lucky enough to get these two pieces into the Bay Arts 50th Anniversary Show up in Bay Village. Stop up and check out the show if you get a chance. There's some nice stuff up there in the gallery of the Fuller House, including a terrific Bob Moyer watercolor and a great big George Kocar painting.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Gardenview Seating

Here are some demos from class recently. The photo was taken in the spring at Gardenview, with all of the wonderful lenten roses in bloom. I've been talking to the students about how important is to do a grey scale study first and to think values, values, values! I create my grey scale studies on the computer using my wacom tablet and photoshop (the days of marker comps are long gone for this old soldier, but I'm going to pick up some grey markers for on the spot studies. More on that once I get them). When working on that, all I thought of was making an interesting pattern based on the arches of the seats, knowing that the repeating round forms of the arches would help unify the composition. Once that was done, for fun I put on a layer of color. The fall painting was then created in class. The next week the spring version was created, this time with no value sketch.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Here's three portraits from Friday night of Melissa. I've been overworking some lately, so I wanted to make sure these were as simple as possible. I use an 8B woodless graphite pencil for the pencil work on all of these.