Saturday, September 5, 2020

San Clemente House Portrait


"San Clemente House Portrait"
Image size 11.5" x 20"

I stopped doing the weekly paintings at the end of June.  I certainly didn't think that it would take two months before I posted another painting!  I guess I really needed a break.

This painting is a commission of a home in San Clemente.  I haven't painted a house portrait for about a year and a half.  I really enjoy painting them but had forgotten how stressful they can be to paint.  It's important for me to capture the look of the house, add artistic license, and have the clients be happy which causes me to overthink my decisions every step of the way.

This is a poured painting, which I think adds a lot of beauty.  The glow that is achieved by pouring thin veils of blue, yellow, and red in many layers gives a cohesive look to the painting.  I poured paints for about half of the painting and switched to direct painting.  This home is beautifully landscaped and having the plants as a focal point was important to the owners.  It would be hard to achieve the color and detail of the plants in a completely poured painting.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Artichoke Study

"Artichoke Study"
Image size 6" diameter
I love these round, handmade watercolor papers.  I attached a piece of rice paper using matte medium to it to give an interesting texture and seal the paper.  I painted it using thinned acrylics.

For the past 12 years, I've posted a painting each week and I've decided that I'm taking a break.  The original reason I started doing it was to make myself paint more often.  Lately, finishing a painting each week has become more of a chore than a joy.  I would rather be working on projects at my house than having a deadline for a painting right now.  I haven't really been happy with most of my paintings lately so I've decided to paint when I'm inspired and not have any deadlines.  I guess I'm getting lazy as I'm getting older.....

Monday, June 22, 2020

Falling Blues

"Falling Blues"
Image size 13" x 19"
I found this wonderful handmade paper that has a very textured surface in my pile of watercolor paper.  It didn't have any sizing in it so I sealed it with Matte Medium before painting.  I think you can see the texture of the paper in this photo.  The paints found their own direction to move on the paper and because I sealed the paper, I was able to get some good darks.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Fiery Sunset

"Fiery Sunset"
Image size 9" x 12"
I was playing around with encaustics again this week.  I'm not a fan of orange, but with the purple/pink mixed in I think it gives a nice effect.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Sky High Palm

"Sky High Palm"
Image size 22" x 22"
First, let me say that the border on this is not crooked as it shows in this photo.  The paper is warped and I couldn't get a good picture of it.  I'll flatten it tomorrow and post a new photo.

This is a poured painting that was a problem from the beginning.  I used a piece of 300# paper which, in hindsight, wasn't a good choice.  Too much of the paint is absorbed into the paper which makes it harder to get darker values.  On top of that, this paper has lost its sizing which was not immediately noticeable, but that made it even harder to get the darker values.  My final layer was the border and I got that dark value by using paint that was not diluted very much at all.  

It really doesn't even look very much like a poured painting to me so it was a lot of wasted extra effort.  Oh well, I'll try again with a different paper and see what happens.

Monday, June 1, 2020


Image size 3.75" x 6.5"
Encaustic, watercolor and alcohol inks

I had this small piece of paper that was cut from a finished watercolor painting.  I loved the colors in it and couldn't bring myself to throw it away so I covered it with encaustic clear medium, added alcohol inks, and more wax.   It was a good experiment. 

Monday, May 25, 2020


Image size 10" x 8"
For Memorial day I decided to paint an encaustic using patriotic colors.  I think the dull colors that I added to the red adds a bit of drama and interest.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Hazy Vista

"Hazy Vista"
Image size 5.5" x 7"
This is a quick little study in pastel.  I used a sanded paper that was pretty smooth.  I think it was Uart, but not sure.  It was an 800 grit paper.  It was a nice surface to use.  It had enough tooth to grab the pastel and apply several layers but not so rough that it ate my pastels.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Blue Beyond

"Blue Beyond"
Image size 15" x 15"
This week, I continued using wax colors already mixed on my encaustic palette.  I did empty a few tins of color, but still have many more to use up before starting fresh.

This color palette is much more to my liking.  To me, these colors are very soothing.

Monday, May 4, 2020


Image size 24" x 12"
Here's another encaustic for this week.  I was playing around with different opacities in the different wax colors.  Of course, they don't really show in the photograph.  These aren't colors that I would usually use for an entire painting, but I decided to use up some of the tins of color that I had on my palette.  I was getting too many colors and need a fresh start.  Next week I will probably do another encaustic painting and use up some of the blues and greens on my palette.  I'm excited to mix up tins of new colors but don't have room for them yet.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Crashing Wave

"Crashing Wave"
Image size 15" x 22"

I painted this as a study for a large encaustic that I want to paint in the near future.  I need to cradle the board and then I will be ready.  I've always loved the visual power of a crashing wave and wanted to reproduce the photo that I took many years ago. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Spring Growth

"Spring Growth"
Image size 8" x 9"
I was experimenting again this week with printing inks.  I left too much ink on the glass and it turned out really dark.  I had planned to use colored pencils as I had with last week's print, but the print was too dark for that medium.  I decided to use pastel but the paper I used is very fragile and it started pilling and getting very fuzzy.  Even with the pastel I still couldn't get the onion to feel light enough so I added some gouache as a final accent. 

I need to find a better printing paper to use in the future if I want to add a lot of color.

Monday, April 13, 2020


Image size 4" x 6"

This is a print using Akua black ink and then adding color with colored pencils.  I really like the graphic look of the soft color with the black image.  

Monday, April 6, 2020

Lone Lily

"Lone Lily"
Image size 4" x 6"
Watercolor on TerraSkin
I haven't worked on TerraSkin for a while so I got out a small piece and played around with watercolor.  I played around with the colors and layering and once I decided that I was done adding paint, I lightly spritzed it with water to add some texture.

Monday, March 30, 2020


Image size 6" x 18"
It really felt good to paint in encaustic this week.  I haven't had space on my worktables in the garage since July for my waxes.  I was attracting bees again after about an hour.  I had forgotten that they are attracted to the smell of the wax.  I'm looking forward to painting something big in this medium very soon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Tile Mural Finished

"Tile Mural Finished"
Image size, 12' x varies
Ceramic clay and glazes
I can't believe that this project is finished!!!!  Well, it's finished except for installing it, which is another big project.  It feels so good to be able to put my garage back in order and to be able to use my work tables again after 8 months.  I actually enjoyed cleaning my garage yesterday!  I've packed up all of the pieces in 8 boxes and will wait for the concrete base to be poured. 

This picture is pretty dark (rainy day here) so below are some closeup pictures that show the true colors better.  

The glass gems aren't shown in these pictures.  I can't wait to see them in the mural once it is installed.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Late Afternoon Eucalyptus

"Late Afternoon Eucalyptus"
Image size 19" x 7"
The surface for this painting is a piece of dark blue mat board that was coated with pumice gel to give it some tooth to grab the pastel.  I like the specks of blue peeking through the pastel.  It doesn't show that much in the photo but adds a lot of interest in person.  The sun was setting in the reference photo so the bottoms of the clouds were hit by the light, which is unusual.  As I'm looking at this now, I see that I need to flatten the shape of the lower part of the cloud and make the top more rounded.  They look like they are upside down because of the shape and the lightest part being on the bottom.  I guess I could just say I did that on purpose to make it a more surrealistic painting! Haha 

The large side of my ceramic mural is about halfway fired.  I'm looking forward to installing it.  I'm still waiting for the rains to stop for a few days so that I can have the concrete base for it poured.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Tile Mural, Small Side Fired

Koi Mural, small side fired

I've spent this week putting clear glaze on the tile pieces and fired them.  I've finished firing the small side.  It really feels good to be this far along on the project.  Here  is a pic to remind you of what it looked like before it was fired.

The rust color in the water has now turned green, although it is very subtle, and the gray had turned a dark blue.  I'm very happy with the result!

I have found someone to do the cement base for this project.  It is supposed to rain for a week so I should be getting that done about the same time that I finish firing everything!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Koi Tile Mural

Tile Mural
Image size, huge!
Glazed tile
I can't believe that I've finally finished painting this project!  I'm so excited (and scared) to start firing the pieces.  The large side is 12' long and almost 4' wide at the widest point.  The small side is about 36" x 30".  The colors are very pastel now but will be darker and more intense once they are fired.  The rust color in the water is actually a translucent green and the gray color is dark blue. I don't know if the green will even show up once it is fired.  Hopefully, I will like the total effect of the mural when it is finished!  

My next step is to add a clear glaze to each piece and begin firing them.  I think I will need to do about 15 firings because my kiln is small.  That's assuming that I like the outcome the first time.  Each firing takes about 6 hours to get up to temperature and twice that long to cool down so I can do 1 firing a day.  I only run the kiln if I'm home so I'll see how long this takes.  If I need to re-fire any pieces it will take even longer.

Below are close up pictures of the mural.
Small side
This should look very similar to the practice mural I posted a few weeks ago.  The fish and lily pads are in the same place but I made straight sides so that it can be hung as a painting.

The following pictures are of the large side going from left to right.  

Monday, February 24, 2020

Local Wave

"Local Wave"
Image size 4.5" x 8.5"
I love painting waves and I am enjoying working with pastels.  I used a small piece of mat board coated with pumice gel.  That gives such a nice tooth to the surface.  I'm happy with the more subdued colors in this painting.  Usually, when I use pastels, the colors in my paintings are really pure and bright.

I'm almost finished painting the ceramic pieces for my mural.  All of the pieces are laid out on my worktable in the garage and I am adding a variety of different blues and some greens to the water and bits of blues covering the fish to push them underwater.  I'm pretty sure I will finish the painting portion of this project this week.  I need to start interviewing concrete guys so I can pick someone to create the base for this mural.  I thought about trying to do it along with my handyman, but decided that I really don't want to take on that part of the project.  Ten years ago I probably would have, but I'm getting more selective in the projects that I choose to take on now.  I guess I'm getting lazy in my old age.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Onion Value Study

"Onion Value Study"
Image size 4" x 6"
I spent most of the week painting the pieces for my ceramic mural so this is all I finished for my weekly painting.  I enjoyed working in black and white last week so I decided to do it again.  Last week I used charcoal.  This week I used pastels instead.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Wave Study in Charcoal

"Wave Study in Charcoal"
Image size 10" x 13"
I've worked with charcoal very little in the past.  For this painting, I used powdered charcoal to give the paper a medium value base and then used my kneaded eraser to lift lighter values and vine charcoal for the darks.  I finished with white pastel for the lightest lights.  I enjoyed working this way and I like the black and white result as a change from my usual love of color.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Solo Garlic

"Solo Garlic"
Image size 4" x 6"
I found a sample piece of a sanded pastel paper that I haven't tried so that was the start of this painting.  It is called "Pastelmat" and I really like the surface.  It almost doesn't feel like a sanded surface because the texture is very subtle.

I like working on sanded papers, but usually,  it really eats up my pastels.  This one had enough tooth to grab the many layers but used the pastels much more conservatively.  Also, it was easier to fill the paper for more solid colors.

I enjoyed adding colors to this white object that aren't really natural.  I think it gives the subject a more vibrant look.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Practice Koi Tile Mural II

"Practice Koi Tile Mural II"
Image size 18" x 36"
Glazed Ceramic Tile
I decided that my tile painting had too many middle values, so I overpainted a lot of the background to give it more punch.  I'm much happier with it now.
Here's how it looked last week:
Which do you like better?

I've been painting the small side of the tile mural for my backyard.  I have painted the background color for the water as well as the lily pads and most of the fish.  I won't add the other colors in the water until the big side is painted up to this same point.  I want to paint the added colors in the water on both sides at the same time so that they will read well together.  

All of the pieces for the large side are scrubbed (to get all of the clay dust off of them) and laid out (again) on the paper pattern.  That takes a while to do just that!  I'm excited to finally be ready to paint the big side.  It will probably take another 3-5 weeks to finish that.  Then, after I paint the extra colors in the water on both sides, I will add a layer of clear glaze to all of the pieces (about 550) and start the firing process.  I can fit about 50-60 pieces in my kiln for each firing.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Practice Koi Tile Mural

"Practice Koi Tile Mural"
Image size 18" x 36"
Glazed Ceramic tiles

I finished painting the practice painting that will lead me into painting the huge tile mural for my yard.  I was really nervous about finally painting the clay because I didn't know how it would turn out.

I don't know if you can see in this photo, but two of the lily pads have the dark green veins oozing and they look really bad.  Also, I added a dark green around the edges which doesn't show because the glaze that I used was too transparent.  I wasn't sure if I could add more glaze and refire but decided it was worth it to try.  

I used my Dremel tool to grind the dark green glaze that had oozed out of place by the veins on the lily pads.

Then, I repainted the same background color over the areas that I ground. These are two different lily pads.
You can see how different the color looks before it is fired.  I also painted a different dark green around the edges but didn't take a picture of that before I fired it.

Here is a picture of a portion of the painting showing the newly fired lily pads.
I'm also not entirely satisfied with the color in the water.  I think it needs to have more really dark areas and also some greenish color.  This week, I think I will add some glazes to the water and see what happens.

Knowing that I can add glaze and change things really reduces my sense of anxiety about painting the real mural.  I'm very happy that I had this smaller version to use for practice.

I've started painting the small side of the mural.  It will take a while!

Monday, January 13, 2020

ACEO Fuchsia

ACEO Fuchsia
Image size 3.5" x 2.5"
I've been working all week on painting my "practice" tile mural so I just painted this ACEO for my weekly painting.  I haven't painted flowers for a long time and I thought it would be fun.  The background in person is a warmer color that looks better than this picture.

I'm almost finished with the practice tile painting.  I'm both excited and scared to see it once it is fired.  I've painted the fish and lily pads as well as the base color for the water.  Now I will add more colors in the water and over the fish so that they look like they are under the water.  That should be a really fun part to paint.  Then, I will put a clear glaze over each piece and fire everything.  Hopefully, that will all be done this coming week.  Fingers crossed....

Monday, January 6, 2020

View From Heisler II

"View From Heisler II"
Image size 20" x 16"
A couple of weeks ago I posted a painting from this same reference photo, but it was on a long, skinny canvas.  It had been done as a palette knife painting using acrylics.  This is also a palette knife painting, but I used oils.  It was much easier to paint since the oils don't dry quickly.  The first one looked a bit more abstracted because I had lots of specks of the black underpainting showing.  Below is a picture of the first one.  Which do you like better?

Also this week, I finished the bisque firing for all of the tile mural pieces.  As long as I don't break any, I can start painting.  I will first paint the 'practice' mural that I made from the first pieces I cut that were too small.  If that turns out well, I can paint the real thing.  If it doesn't turn out well I guess I will just sit down and have a good cry....

Related Posts with Thumbnails