Below is my latest cloud formation painting titled “Afternoon Light”.  I’ve also included a previous painting from last year titled “Colusa Sunset”. Both paintings represent the same general area in Northern California in the central valley.

Afternoon's Light, 24 x 30, Oil on Linen

Detail of Afternoon's Light

Colusa Sunset, 16 x 20, Oil on Linen. Custom framed by Holton Frame Studio

New Painting

Ok, I haven’t added a new post for a while so here’s something to fill the gap.

Just completed a large version of a studio study I completed a couple of weeks ago.  This piece is 28 x 40 and it’s on stretched linen, the study is 12 x 20.

"Evening Solace". 28 x 40, Oil on Linen

Studio Study for "Evening Solace"

A New Experience: The Palette Knife

On a normal day in the studio or out on location my palette knife is used to clean off my palette or scrape paint off of a painting that’s gone terribly wrong.  Well not today.  Today I actually used this thing to help create my newest painting/experiment.  The title of the painting is “Spanish Bay Shores”.  It was actually a lot of fun playing with this technique and I’ve never had so much paint on my canvas before.  I’m not gonna talk about how I did it, 1 palette knife painting doesn’t make me an expert.

Can’t wait to head to the art materials store to pick up a few palette knives in different sizes and shapes.

Spanish Bay Shores, 14 x 18, Oil on Linen

Lost & Found Edges, A Demo

Edges: They’re one of the single most elements in a painting that can make or break the piece.  My demo of “Pescadero Point” addresses the technique of good edge work.  I refer to these edges as “lost and found edges”.  The name says it all.  Edges in any painting should consist of a balance of lost and found edges, edges that can be easily seen (found) and other edges that are not easily seen or (lost). These types of edges in your work will give your piece believability and allow your forms to fit easily into their environments.  Good edges will keep your forms from having that “cut-out” appearance.

I hope you find this demo helpful.

Pescadero Point Light, Pebble Beach, 20 x 14, Oil on Linen

I start the piece the same as any other painting.  I start with lining out the basic forms, blocking in my darkest darks and then moving onto blocking in the rest of the shadows.

I continue to block in my shadow shapes.  Notice the varying colors in the shadows.  I use a combination of warms and cools to create the shadows and the reflected light which is found in these particular shadows.

I now begin to paint the light onto the rocks, trees and more soft details are added to the background. Notice how even the light on the rocks moves from a cool light to a warm light as the rocks come forward in the painting.  I then begin to address the edges in the painting. I make sure the painting consists of both lost and found edges or soft and hard edges.  I believe most edges in a painting need to consist of soft edges.  Hard edges should only really be reserved for those areas in the painting where you want to lead the viewers eye.

These edges are create using a soft mongoose hair brush.  Using a dry brush technique I drag, very lightly, paint along the light portion of the form into the adjoining shadow forms. This technique does require practice and patience.  The hardest edges in this piece are found up near the cypress trees.  Note also the amount of colors in the shadows of the rocks.  A combination of warm cools and cool cools.  Using these combinations will bring your shadows to life, thus making your painting more interesting.

If you have any questions please let me know.

Coming Soon: Lost and Found Edges, A Demo

This new demo painting will be from Pescadero Point in Pebble Beach, one of my favorite areas.  The main focus of this demo will be rock formations and the edges the create believable forms.  We saw a few of these edges in the last demo of “Rocky Coast, Pacific Grove”.  I’ll be showing more details of the painting itself in order to better show different types of “lost and found” edges.

Be on the look out.