Archive for the ‘Original Oil Paintings’ Category

Whispers From the Past

May 22, 2017

Red Corn Poppies burst out from the rocks beside the Heron petroglyph. The foliage is made of combinations of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium while the blossoms are blocked in with Cadmium Red Deep and Cadmium Red Medium. The blooms dance high above the leaves, therefore I reversed my usual sequence and painted the Leaves First and Flowers Last.

California Poppies clamor over the rocks to the right of the sweet bunnies. Their cheery blossoms are mixes of Permanent Rose + White, Permanent Rose + Cadmium Orange and Cadmium Orange. Some of the reds left over from the Corn Poppies are used for the blooms in shadow. Greens from the cactus make the leaves.

Deep centers are added with a mix of Magenta + Liquin.

Blackfoot Daisies snuggle between the two gourd pots. The flowers are blocked in with mixes of Dioxazine Purple + White, Pthalo Blue + White and Ultramarine Blue + White.

Jeana asked if I could add some bluebonnets somewhere in her painting. The bank with our herd of deer is a perfect place! My wrist is braced against the mahl stick to steady my hand as I delineate the little white “Bonnets”. Please remember, you may click on this or any of the other images to see them enlarged.

Another request was a Blue Jay, so here he is getting ready to land on an aspen limb.

Whispers From the Past     16 inches x 36 inches

Wouldn’t it be neat if those petroglyphs could talk? It would certainly be amazing to hear their “Whispers From the Past”! It looks as if the deer have heard them! I appreciate you following along, your questions and all of your kind comments. Y’all are wonderful! HUGS,


May 21, 2017

Jeana and I had originally talked about Yellow Black Eyed Susans in the container by Charlie. But now that the Yellow-Gold Aspen in the background are finished I realize that won’t work. If we were to also have Yellow in the foreground our painting would not have any depth. The basic rule, Warm Colors Come Forward, Cool Colors Recede still works however. The Red-Orange Rudbeckia I’m planting here are warmer and brighter than the cooler Aspens in the distance. 

After dotting the centers in the Rudbeckia, I let the heart shaped leaves of a Sweet Potato Vine dangle out of the container.

Now for some fun details, Petroglyphs! 

Jack and I used to live in Long Boat Key, not far from where Jeana lives. Herons are everywhere in that part of Florida. We used to have one that was a regular visitor in our yard, I’d feed him strips of raw bacon. At feeding time he would bang on our glass door with his nose (beak). So we named him “Nosey”! I thought it would be fun to put him on the container below Charlie. Please remember, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

Jeana loves Owls and I thought this ancient design was cool.

So an owl is etched on to the container next to Charlie.

Quail are special little birds. When we lived in Arizona a hen raised her brood in our back courtyard. After they grew up I’d throw bird feed out for them in the evenings and call “HERE QUAIL!” They would come running from all directions, the plumbs on their heads bobbing wildly! It brings a smile to my heart thinking of those sweet little babies galloping across the Arizona desert.

So we’ll have a hen and a couple of chicks parading across the gourd pot protected by Mr. Chippers.

Petroglyphs…..DONE! Next will be planting the flowers sprouting out of the rocky foreground. Hope you’ll come watch. But before we close for today I’d like to share a video with you. 

I’ve been working with a Chinese Discipleship Bible Study at our church, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran. I invited some of the group for tea in my garden yesterday. Fei surprised us with an impromptu singing performance. Though you’d enjoy this beautiful ancient love song from China! Listen closely at the end, you’ll hear a soft howling in the background. That’s MOLLY! She was sitting on the deck right behind us, singing along! Hugs,

A Little Surprise!!!!!

May 20, 2017

Sunlight pouring into the painting from the upper right casts Charlie’s shadow on to the wall below him. I have to make up the shape of the shadow, dragging it into the wet paint of the upright surface.

After the crevices and cracks are indicated on the wall I move to the cactus at the base. The prickly pads are blocked in with paint leftover from the riverbank on the right.

The rims of the individual paddles are highlighted and sharp stickers added. Just click on the image if you’d like to see it larger.

The entire unit of canvas and cardboard backing are laid flat in order to paint the rocks extending over on to the lower edge. Would you like to know how the painting was attached to the backing? Just CLICK HERE to see.

One day Jeana emailed and said two of the cutest little bunnies showed up in her yard. She was elated. I made a little mental note right then to add them in her painting. SO….here those cuties are, nestled by the gourd container at the base of the cactus! 

The finishing details are delineated with a fine liner brush.

And of course we had to have a bright red Cardinal join the menagerie! When our Mr. Chippers shows up here I truly believe it’s God’s way of letting me know He and Jack are thinking of me. Our Lord is assuring me Jack is safe with Him and I’ll see him again one day in Heaven. It always gives me a wonderful feeling of peace.

Cuties are done! I’ll be working on the Petroglyph containers in our next session. Hope you’ll come watch. HUGS,

Charlie the Raccoon

May 19, 2017

Lavender Salvia, painted with mixes of Dioxazine Purple + White cascades down the rock wall below the vines.

Next we start work on that cute fellow, Charlie. Combinations in various proportions of Burnt Umber + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White are used for his thick coat. 

The shadow side of his white face is blocked in with MUD + White and Ultramarine Blue + a tiny bit of Cadmium Orange + White. Pure White is reserved to highlight the sunlit portion of his face.

Now for his “Lone Ranger” mask! Please remember, you may click on this or any of the other pictures to see the image larger.

Charlie’s eyes get the “Jack White” touch. After painting the entire area of each eye with MUD a crescent of brown is made on the lower left portion of the iris. The sun is shining into the painting from the upper right. If it were coming from the opposite direction the crescent would be on the lower right part of the iris.

Pinpoint catch lights are placed at 1 o’clock.

Charlie is ready to go investigate the pots nestled among the flowers and rocks. My collector said he brings memories of when she was a little girl. Any time all the others went fishing or hunting, she and her dad would stay back looking for her “pet” raccoon, Charlie! With Colorful Smiles and Hugs,


May 18, 2017

The aspen in the foreground are richer golds and rusts made of Cadmium Yellow Medium + Cadmium Orange + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Yellow Medium + Cadmium Orange + Pthalo Blue + White and Cadmium Orange + Alizarin Crimson. I keep the foreground aspen in shadow to accentuate the sun gleaming on the ones in the background. 

Low growing brush beneath the aspen is painted a dusty red purple. The foliage colors are mixes of Alizarin Crimson + Ivory Black + White.

Reflections of the trees and grassy bank are pulled, straight down into the wet paint of the still water.

Now for the herd of deer grazing on the river bank. Jeana asked me to have 2 more mature bucks and 5 younger ones. Their subtle coloring is made of combinations of Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White.

Bodies are blocked in first, then I come back to add the details on their heads and antlers. You may click on the image to see it larger.

The “Boys” are finished. They represent Jeana’s Dad, her God Father, two Brothers and 3 Nephews. We’ll work on Charlie next! Hope you’ll come watch. With Colorful Smiles and Hugs,

Fall Aspens

May 17, 2017

As usual we’ll start applying opaque color with the sky. It’s a cloud free day so I am only using three mixtures: #1. White + Cobalt Blue. #2. Mix #1 + White + a little Pthalo Blue. #3. White + Pthalo Blue.

Sun pours into the piece from the upper right corner. The darkest Mix, #1, is used at the far left. Mixture #2 is in the middle while Mix #3 is reserved for the far right portion of the sky. The transitions are blended with my large Bright (Square) brush. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the pictures to see them larger.

A dear friend of Jack’s and mine, Charity Dakin, generously shared several aspen photos she’d taken. Isn’t this amazingly beautiful? I’m going to use it for the background of Jeana’s painting. But before we go on, I’d like you to look at Charity’s website. She is a very gifted artist, I love her work. CLICK HERE to see Charity’s gorgeous oils and watercolors.

Mountains behind the aspens will offer a dark backdrop for the sunlit trees.

The brush growing beneath the aspens is blocked in with several mixes of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + more Ultramarine Blue + a tiny bit of Cadmium Orange + White. 

The golden fall foliage is painted with muted yellows. Combinations of Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD + White, Cadmium Yellow Medium  + MUD + Cadmium Orange + White and Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD + Alizarin Crimson + White are used.

The light trunks are drawn into the wet paint under the trees. My wrist is braced against the mahl stick to steady my hand as I delineate them.

Using the same colors from the trees above; their reflections are pulled downward into the water.

Still, still water; not a ripple anywhere! Hope you’ll come back soon. I’ll be working on the bank, trees and herd of deer on the right in our next session. With Colorful Smiles!


A L-O-N-G Painting

May 15, 2017

We’re starting on a new commission today; it’s a little different format than usual. The painting is going to be 16 inches tall by 36 inches wide. That’s a really L-O-N-G painting; challenging and fun to design. Here’s the sketch. You may click on this or any of the other images to see them larger.

I begin drawing on the canvas with a brushed dipped in a thin wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. After establishing the horizon line and top of the distant mountain I move to the foreground. A wily Raccoon scales down the rock wall to peer in an old pot below.

The rocks below the wall are delineated. Cactus, Red Poppies and White Daisies nestle around the pots.

A herd of deer graze on the distant bank. Instead of outlining them, I wash in the basic shapes of their bodies with a #10 Bright, (square) brush.

For the grape vines above the Raccoon I prepare three different washes. #1. Magenta + Liquin. #2. Sap Green + Liquin. #3. Pthalo Blue + Liquin. 

The large leaves are washed in with the different mixtures. The thin wash applied over the white canvas is quite luminous.

A little MUD is added to the #1 wash mixture to use for the trees behind the deer.

Our plan is sketched on the canvas and we’ll being applying paint in the next session. If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to subscribe to my blog. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just enter your email address and click the button “Sign me up!”  It’s easy. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!


Harbingers of Spring

May 12, 2017


Work begins today on the Bluebonnets in the background. The petals are painted with mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Dioxazine Purple + White. A few strokes of Dioxazine Purple + White are applied here and there to mute the blue flowers, making them fall back.

Moving closer to the foreground the lighter, sunlit blossoms are made of pure Ultramarine Blue + White. This color is brighter than the mixtures used for the Bluebonnets behind so it will pop forward. 

White “Bonnets” are now added. The ones in the background are a mix of White + Ultramarine Blue while those in the sunlight are pure White. You may click on the image to see it larger.

Harbingers of Spring   14 inches by 14 inches

And that does it, we’re done! Our State Flower, Bluebonnets, are the Harbingers of Spring in Texas. When Texans begin to see these beautiful blue flowers we know our winter is OVER! YIPPEE!!!!!

Before I go today several of you asked about the board clamped across the top of my easel. I use it to hook my mahl stick on when painting pieces that will extend over the sides on a gallery wrap canvas. This way the mahl stick doesn’t hit the top edge of the canvas and scrape the paint off! I appreciate your questions and am always happy to answer. One of the main reasons I write this blog is to help my fellow artists. So ask away! With Colorful Smiles,

Bluebonnets – Up Close and Personal

May 11, 2017

Starting a new commission today, Bluebonnets. Up close and Personal!!!!! The basic placement was roughly sketched with a thin wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. Then I start washing in the Bluebonnet shapes with a mixture of Ultramarine Blue + Liquin. 

Moving toward the top of the canvas, a wash of Ultramarine Blue + Dioxazine Purple + Liquin is used for the flowers that will be in the background. Wouldn’t this make a cool fabric design? I could just see these Bluebonnets on white as a shirt or dress.

The foliage of those background blossoms is a blue gray green made of various mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + a touch of MUD + White. The muted tones will drop behind the warmer greens I plan to use in the foreground.

Standing on a step stool allows me to paint the top edge of the gallery wrap canvas without straining my shoulder. Here is a good chance see my studio setup. All of the Painting Furniture is on wheels, making it very easy to adjust to accommodate larger paintings.

Warmer greens are used for the leaves in the foreground.

The canvas, mounted to a piece of cardboard for easier handling, is laid on my taboret to cover the lower edge. If you’d like to see how the canvas is attached to the backing board CLICK HERE.

The leaves are finished except for a few touches here and there, I’ll complete the Bluebonnets in our next session. Right now the flowers and leaves are all the same value, that will definitely change when we’re done. Don’t Panic! (Even if I have!) SMILES,



Waiting for the Mail

May 9, 2017

The Hollyhocks behind the mailboxes are blocked in, Flowers First, Leaves Last. Several combinations of Permanent Rose + White are used for the blossoms. The clump extends over to the side of the gallery wrapped canvas.

The colorful mailboxes are painted with mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. They’ve been in use for quite some time. The turquoise is a bit faded with a few dents and rust adding character.

Next the deep centers of the Hollyhock blossoms are added with Alizarin Crimson + Liquin. Bright yellow stamens in the middle of the centers will finish these flowers.

Sunflowers nestle at the base of the wall underneath the “Kitty” shelf. They are painted in the same sequence as the Hollyhocks. The happy blooms are mixtures of Cadmium Yellow Medium + Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Yellow Medium + a touch of Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Yellow Medium + Lemon Yellow. The foliage is combinations of Ultramarine Blue + Lemon Yellow.

Putting in the large centers made of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) immediately identify these as Sunflowers.

Individual petals highlighted by the sun are delineated with pure Lemon Yellow.

The original plan was to have Orange Nasturtiums fill the planter under the turquoise mailboxes. But I decided deep Magenta Petunias would provide a rich dark in the foreground; giving more contrast and allowing the sunlit mailboxes to glow.

Orange African Daisies are planted near the Ultramarine Blue Geranium container.

I love the centers of these flowers. You may click on the image to see them larger.

Waiting for the Mail      20 inches x 24 inches

I guess the mail is late today so our sleepy little kitty decided to curl up in a comfortable spot and just take a nap. AHHHHH, life is good! With Colorful Smiles and HUGS,