Here’s my latest art – both traditional and digital.

Dory Boat

Dory boats are small, flat bottomed fishing boats designed to launch and land from the beach at Pacific City on the Oregon coast. Haystack Rock is a mile off the beach and is the tallest of several large rock monoliths along the Oregon coast. This is the second small 8×8 … Continue reading

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Minto Island Poppies

Click the picture to see a larger version. The local group of artists that I belong to (Artists in Action) will be holding a sale at the end of June (at the World Beat Festival in Salem) to raise money for the group. This year members are painting 8×8 inch … Continue reading

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Poppies and Lupin

I’m testing Faber-Castell Gel Sticks. These watercolors in gel form are meant for kids. They are like a twistable crayon and come in a set of 12 colors. I thought I would try them out on a flower sketch.

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She Wolf Portrait

The last two days I’ve experimented with new art supplies. I bought a new Kuretake watercolor palette. It took a month to get here from Japan. So, I was anxious to try out the colors. I decided to use a portrait reference from the Julia Kay Portrait Party group on … Continue reading

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Four Flowers

I did these small flower studies all on the same piece of paper. The first thing I did was adhere the paper to a piece of 2mm Sintra PVC panel with some brushed on acrylic soft gel medium. I let that dry for about an hour under some heavy books. … Continue reading

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On the Willamette

I did this small study today to test out how watersoluble markers work on a smooth gessoed panel. It’s like working with a limited selection of watercolors. Also I discovered that ink just sits on top of the gesso. It does not stick or sink into it. So, if you … Continue reading

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Daffodils in the Woods

I’m looking for a way to do plein air paintings without carrying brushes or water or wet media. I did this small study to see how tempera paint sticks and brush markers handle on canvas panel. I laid in the major areas of color with the paint sticks first and … Continue reading

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Camellia Bush

  This bush is in our backyard. It’s in full bloom. I’ve been glancing at it throughout the day thinking about how I’d approach sketching it with paint sticks dabbing on the pure color. Finally, before dinner I found the time to sit down and try out my plan. Fabriano … Continue reading

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Donnottar Castle Scotland

Sketching from Google Street View. Testing tempra paint sticks on smooth paper with water. Strathmore Mixed Media 400 Series 9×12 inch (22.9×30.5 cm) paper, pencil, Mod Tempra Paint sticks, Arteza flat waterbrush, ArtGraf Viarco 6B water-soluble pencil, Kuretake #13 brush fountain pen with Platinum Carbon Black ink, and Molotow 2mm … Continue reading

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Freehand vs Traced Underdrawing

Today I did two small sketches (3.5×6 inches each) of the same photo reference to compare sketching freehand and sketching using a traced underdrawing. I did the freehand sketch first.

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Slide Miniatures

The other day I found a box of cardboard heat-seal 35mm slide mounts and an old custom built slide mounting press. I wondered if it still worked and if so, how I might put it to good use. It occurred to me that I could do miniature paintings and frame … Continue reading

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Willamette River

Winter in the Willamette Valley has its own stark beauty – cold and gray. I thought charcoal would be the best medium to express this scene interpreted from a personal photo.

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Yachats Trees Block Print

This is a seven color hand-pulled print 6×6 inches (15.2×15.2 cm). There are 10 prints in this edition. Some projects take a long time to complete. I worked on the first six colors over the course of several weeks last Spring. Then the project sat on the shelf for six months until I … Continue reading

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Sun Over Mountain

This little print (4×6 inches, 10×15 cm) is the culmination of two weeks research and planning and gathering of materials and tools. It is my first attempt at printing in color. It uses six plates to print six colors.

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Nikki – Linocut

When I first moved to Oregon and lived out in the country, I got a puppy to keep me company. I called her Nikki (wild dog of the north). She was a Collie / Husky mix – a very smart, sweet dog. I used this photo of her as a … Continue reading

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Experimental Brush Work


Experimenting today with getting a painterly look by combining brush marks made first in Wasabi then in Artist’s Touch and finally in Brushes. Wasabi provides wonderfully rich colors and thick oil brush marks. Artist’s Touch quickly adds chalk like strokes. I can import each version into Brushes in separate layers and then erase back one layer to reveal the other kind of brush strokes. I can also add brush strokes and do touch up in another layer. For instance, between the two trees I used various Brushes tools to add strokes using the same colors found to the left of the small tree.


Sent from my iPad


Working today to take this particular app mix to the next level. I like this look of a combination of watercolor and batik.

This is my interpretation of a work by Winslow Homer – Hurricane, a watercolor painted in the Bahamas in 1884.

iTouch, iDoodle 2, Artist’s Touch, DXP, and Brushes 2.1 apps, Pogo Stylus and finger.

Self Portrait


I’m experimenting today with textures. I took my picture with the MacBook’s built-in camera using the Photo Booth application. Then I added the picture to iPhoto and synched my iPod Touch to get the picture on the iPod. I first used the Artists Touch app to rough out the image and then I finished it in Brushes.
I’m always impressed by how dots of color form an image when viewed from a distance. When you get back far enough, you can see that I’m wearing glasses. The image appears photographic, but up close it’s just a bunch of dots and stripes.

Egg Shells


“White-on white” is a traditional photography assignment. I’ve been wanting to try it for a while now with Brushes. I arranged the white egg shells on a white plate and set them next to a large window just out of the direct sun. This created distinct but soft shadows.
I worked by looking at a reference photo on my MacBook while painting on the Touch.


Cherry Tree


It was a beautiful day today and the cherry trees are in full bloom. I sat out in the backyard and sketched this in about 20 minutes.
I tried two new things. First of all I made a paper texture in Photoshop using a combination of the Messotint and Grain filters. You can see a little of the original texture at the base of the tree. I then used a large transparent brush to paint in the the rich blue sky.
The other thing I tried was to paint without my glasses on. I’m extremely nearsighted. I attempted to paint what I saw in order to achieve an impressionistic rendering. At the very end I put my glasses back on to add a little detail. This “trick” really worked. It helped me ignore the details and see the whole. I became much more aware of colors and values and basic shapes.

Mountain Lake


This started as a scribbling texture test that turned into the sky above the mountains and evolved from there. Reminds me of the high mountain lakes of the Cascades. I really like the way the sky turned out and the colors in the lake.

Infinite iPod


This one was more of a construction than a drawing. I have a hard time making a clean black line in Brushes. Usually I get a ragged line that’s 2 or 3 pixels wide and I have to undo or go in with white and attempt to clean up the line. Very laborious! It was a good lesson.
I did the layout in Photoshop. I scanned the Touch on a flatbed scanner and used that image for the outermost iPod. I also photographed my hand holding the iPod and I pasted that image onto the screen of each iPod rotating it a bit to the left each time. There are actually 10 levels of iPods in the reference photo. In Brushes I was only able to draw 6 levels. The limiting factor was the wide of the line. I used the same (smallest) line width throughout the drawing.
The idea came to me while drawing the Hand X-Ray. Initially I was going to call it “Refrigerator Art” and use the line drawing on the screen of the iPod and photograph it hanging on the refrigerator. But after experimenting with it, I found I preferred the line drawing by itself.


Hand X-Ray


This is a “gag” drawing. I wanted to hold the iPod in my left hand and make it look like it was taking an x-ray. (See below). I used Google image search to find several hand x-rays which I used to learn what x-rays looked like. Bones are denser on the edges. I then drew the hand outline to line up with my hand as I held the iPod and filled in the bones looking at the reference photos for ideas about detail and shading. Later I discovered that several people had written X-Ray apps for the iPhone/Touch. So, the idea was not unique.




This is my second try at sketching on location. I drew this in late afternoon in about 20 minutes. I tried letting color define the shape. Instead of drawing the shapes first and then filling in with color, I looked at and then painted in the local color. The overlapping colors then defined the shapes. This worked well in the lower part of the stems and in the flowers themselves.
Here’s a comparison shot of the sketch and the subject.


Line Study


I’m just experimenting with line weight. Brushes has 3 different brushes and I wanted to compare the smallest setting of each brush to see if they looked different. I think brush #2 gives a slightly finer line.
When you save the large version as a tiff in Brushes Viewer, you lose some contrast. So, I increased the contrast a bit in Photoshop using Curves.



This is another image made with the Oil Canvas app. You start with a photo. In this case I used a photo I took of the birch trees in our front yard. “Big Canvas”, the makers of the app, have a Photo Sharing web service where you can??post your drawings.

Tree Sketch


This is my first attempt at doing a 10 minute sketch on location. It’s pretty primitive, but it does capture the idea of the scene. I was trying to get the basic shapes, colors and tonalities. What caught my eye were the interesting shadows of the limbs cast on the lawn and the daffodils. I had two difficulties – keeping an eye on the time and seeing the iPod’s screen in the bright sunlight. Next time I think I’ll set an alarm on my watch so I won’t have to keep checking the time.
I discovered something surprising. There’s a lot of detail in the blown up image done in Brushes Viewer. Look at the daffodils for instance. I found I could use this large image to experiment with various cropped versions of the scene.
Here’s a version of the same tree done with Oil Canvas, another paint program for the iPhone/Touch. You start with a photo and use different sized brushes to ‘paint’ the image by drawing color from the photo.


Vegetable Soup


I made the soup. My wife made the bowl.

This is an experiment to see if I can post directly from my iPod Touch. Looks like it worked. I first save from Brushes to my Saved Photos. Then I email the photo to Posterous.

This painting took me 2 or 3 hours to complete over a couple of days. I worked by looking at a reference photo on my MacBook while painting on the Touch.

Homage to Mondrian


It’s difficult to draw straight lines in Brushes on the Touch. I thought doing a Mondrian would test my skills. I researched several Mondrian paintings on the internet to see which colors he typically used. Believe it or not I started out the painting with a black background. I then blocked in the colors leaving a ragged black line between them and then, using a small, clear ruler I drew in thicker black lines over the ragged ones. I had to do a bit of touch up in the corners of the colors. If you look closely, you can see I left some imperfections in the lines. Also, I discovered that when you paint large sections of color, you have to go over the area several times in order to achieve a smooth, even color. If you don’t, you can see the brush strokes. Look closely and you’ll see some blotches.

Texture Study 2 – Clouds


In this painting I applied what I learned in Texture Study 1 to a real scene. I worked from a photo that I took in our backyard looking northeast. I spent 3 or 4 hours on this one over the course of two days. As I painted on the Touch I looked at the reference photo on my MacBook. I started by painting the gradated blue of the sky. This was the most difficult part as there is no easy way to make a blended color in Brushes. I then used the #3 brush set to large to paint the clouds. I saved the image at that point and the next day I made a duplicate Brushes document and added the trees. I first did the birches in the middle and then the maple on the right. Finally I added in the three firs on the left. I used an acetate sheet overlay on the Touch and traced (with water soluble ink so I could easily wipe it off) the outline of the three firs from the reference photo on my Touch. Then I went back into Brushes and used the overlay to check the placement and size of the firs. I had started them too small and too far to the left so I had to paint over my original fir trees. I really like the way the trees turned out – especially the birches in the middle.
Here’s the reference photo for comparison. I didn’t start with importing the reference photo into Brushes. I started with a blank canvas and just looked at reference
while I painted.