Saturday, March 31, 2007


With Easter coming up next week, I thought it was timely to see if I could paint a rabbit. I thought the challenge was going to get the fur to look soft and furry. I painted a young chick once and was faced with the same dilemma. Wanting the little bird to look soft and downy I worked and worked until the result was convincing. It was well worth the effort. The lesson carried over to these rabbits and was easier because of it. The fur looks , well, like rabbits fur.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I heard from an art friend of mine that there is a request from Scripps Hospital in Encinitas to hang artwork on a wall down a hallway that patients and visitors use They want "pleasing" paintings I was told. I'm not exactly sure what that means but assume animals would qualify. They are good recognizable subjects and are enjoyable to look at. I want to start a series of paintings of the cutest animals I can think of . The panda has that "pleasing ahh" look so here is my painting of a cute panda.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Snoozing Burro

I've had some success with painting burro's so I thought I'd try another one. I'm fascinated with these small pack animals with long ears, a short mane and adorable little hoofs. Although they only reach a height of up to five feet at the shoulders, they seem to be able to carry huge amounts of weighty goods on their backs. I painted this little guy taking a short break while the tourists in the background are busily going in and out of all the shops hunting for more treasures to take home. The burro's owner is probably in the local bar having a cerveza before getting back to work.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Winning Jockey

I've given myself a break from painting racing horses to a portrait of a winning jockey. It must be a thrill to race around a dirt track on the back of an animal weighing at least a thousand pounds with other such animals all around you (hopefully not in front) wanting the same goal. Getting to the finish line first. I'm sure this is why a winning jockey has the look of immense relief and a smile that lights up his face from ear to ear. Hopefully I've caught that moment.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Horse Race ll

OK, here is my next racehorse painting. Horses are painted larger than my last attempt with a simplified background that frames the jockey's helmets and silks. I painted the inside and outside horses separately and unattached to the middle three which made for a very different composition than my last painting. Those two horses have to be painted more carefully because they can't be massed in with others where body conformation can be suggested. I have the feeling that the inside, rail horse, is going to win the race.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Horse Race

I like to pick out a subject to paint and since I'm tired of painting sheep, I've decided to tackle race horses. Since the Del Mar track is close to our home, I have lots of photos to work from. Del Mar doesn't have these wonderful post markers but I've seen a photo of a track that does, so I decided to add them for interest and color. Because the Del Mar track is changing to an artificial surface this season, I'm not sure if this wonderful rich dirt color will become a thing of the past.
Now, I think I'll try another horse race painting.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Each year our family goes to the Del Mar Fair. This year will be no exception. Of course, since there is a generation gap, there are differences in opinion which part of the fairgrounds we should see first. This painting shows where this family is going before seeing the mineral collection or the art show or the quilt display.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Hay Bales

I love farms and all the activity that takes place there. Hay baleing is fun to watch and photograph. This photo was taken late in the day when the sun was low and shinning light on entire left side of this subject. The trees in the background also helped create that value contrast. I'm pleased with the outcome of this painting.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Herding Dogs at Work

I keep thinking that if I do just one more flock of sheep I'll have the technique securely in place. The right value changes will go in their proper places so the viewer gets feeling of what I'm trying to put on the canvas. The herding dogs are lots of fun with flicks of three values and three color changes. I loved painting this one.

Sheep Shearer

I love doing figurative paintings. Since I had done a flock of sheep and a herder I thought why not try to paint a person doing the shearing. This is the result of this effort.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Santorini Burro

Donkeys and mules were the only the means of transportation in Santorini till about 1960. Still today for all the transportation of goods and materials within the caldera pathways is carried out by our charming friends! They really are tireless workers,carrying huge loads of items on their backs. You can see them trudging up and down the very narrow cobbled streets all day long. I loved this photo because of the beautiful cast shadow that was on the wall in back of this little fellow and enjoyed doing this painting of him. As cute as they look, they must be biters because most have little cages around their mouths to keep them from nipping tourists who want to get too close and be too friendly. I chose to eliminate that from my painting of him though.

Monday, March 5, 2007


I painted these sheep much the same way I paint a bunch of grapes. Mix a big batch of, in this case, sheep wool color and mass in the entire silhouette of the flock. Then I refined the sheep in back to look like, you guessed it, sheep's behinds. Then I indicated the animals in front with a slightly grayed value and popped in the ears where I felt the tops of the heads would be. It gives the impression of a flock of sheep without laboring over each one. The last application of paint was adding pure white on the top flanks to give them just a little more shape.

Saturday, March 3, 2007


I wanted this painting to be more of a sketch and not an overworked portrait of a little girl and her dog. I worked back and forth carving background and foreground at the same time and being very aware of the values. I think the background trees got a tad too much like arrows pointing to the main subjects but now enough to make me want to go back in and rework it. My whole thrust was to have freedom of brushstroke and indicate a cute little girl happily playing catch with her faithful dog.