Experimenting with another sunset

Yesterday my dad and I drove out west along the Potomac river around sunset to see some scenic farms and a pond that hunters use to train their dogs. He’s taken inspiration from some of these places and for some pastel studies. It’s an interesting area because it’s a remarkably wealthy rural life lived out there with sprawling estates mixed in with some still operable farms. There were some beautiful cherry-tree lines drives, across from which we saw some hunters holding up what looked like a wild turkey.

We took a variety of pictures while out there (unfortunately not of the turkey hunters). This morning I worked one of them up into this sunset study, again learning from Turner, and also trying a wetter approach than on the last. To get the spreading light effect in the sky I wiped drying paint up and out away from the sun. It seems to have created a nice dramatic effect.

These small 5×7 studies have been fun, and despite their small size pretty potent. I think they’d look good in an oversized mat. Something for later. For now, here it is still drying.



Up too early for snow and painting

I am a little tired of the snow now. After a weekend where colors reappeared in the world, I awoke to this:

20140226-065033.jpgBeautiful of course, and my dog loved it–it’s nice to live on a suburban golf course because you get a country view without a country commute–, but I am ready to see colors again.

Over the weekend we went to a county park that’s an operating farm. I liked the colors, the light, and the geometry of the buildings so I took a few photos to work from back home. Thanks to my cat who woke me up around 5:30, I spent a little time on this small painting. I am working with a limited palette in this one: Cobalt Blue, Viridian, Permanent Alizarin Crimson (some quinacridone I forgot the name of), and Azo yellow (Sennelier Yellow Lake). I also mixed in a little Prussian blue with the cobalt/viridian mix for the sky. I will continue with this palette for the rest of this series, as it seems to be working well.

Here is my progress so far:


Some sketches

Over the weekend I took the kids to a nearby farm. They wanted to go all day but kept getting distracted playing together and riding bikes on one of the few days warm enough to play outside. By the time we finally got there the kids were asleep so I turned around and got some clothes to drop off for donation, then went back to the farm after that. I tried to wake them again but it didn’t work so I sat in the parking lot and did a brief sketch. When we got home the kids woke up and asked to go to the farm. I told them we went and I tried to wake them. They didn’t believe me until I showed them this drawing. That settled things


Today I spent a little time during lunch sketching, which is still a little awkward for me at work. Here is one from today.


I was also looking through one of my sketchbooks I don’t use often and found this sketch from a year ago. I like this one a lot. I remember I wore down a new micron pen all the way drawing this.


Thanks for reading. Another California painting coming soon.