Friday, May 27, 2016


    You know the slogan; Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. If you are like me you have paintings in a closet, under the bed and stacked against the walls of the guest bedroom. I've reached a point of needing to purge once again. I have given paintings away as gifts, donated to local charity causes, placed my paintings in my art club shows and still I have a "plethora of paintings"!

Plein Air Study                
I decided to repaint a sleeping bird on a branch over this plein air pond scene.  

Here I added sky and a branch in white to give me a base for adding color.  In step #2 I felt that I had covered up too much of the ground painting so I used paint thinner to remove wet surface paint to reveal the background, I thought it made a great feather impression.


Some paint removed.
I wish I could show you the final product but I got discussed with my work and the bird flew away to become another painting before I could finish it.

The idea is still good!



Every once in a while I paint like a wild and crazy kind of artist. Who knows where the inspiration comes from; it just shows up in my head. 

This is a diptych of two unframed panels. I have not figured out how to frame them to get a decent final product.


Cool Dude came about while I was taking a paste paper making class with Ginny Peach Street at Art Mondo. 
As I looked at the paste papers available I saw patters for a men's shirt and tie. Then I had to place all the pieces to make a pleasing design. 
Definitely different but what fun to create.

The last of the Pop Art Over Load pieces is a solitary tree with texture, texture everywhere. I used rice paper as the leaves on the tree using bold primary colors. 

You have to like orange for this one.

So what do you think?

Saturday, May 21, 2016


     When one door closes another one opens if you take the time and effort to reinvent yourself.
My goal of gallery representation just did not work out so I will "take the show on the road". No, not traveling outdoor tent art shows; been there-done that, I mean give the on line sales a go.

     Most of the articles I read and artists say it is very hard to sell on line because of so much competition, well it is tough whatever venue you choose. This method works for me at this time in my life and I have the right to try something and fail.

To help out with the web site set up I have enlisted the help of Liz Mayo of Artfully Managed which will save me a lot of stress and time. (

It should be a fun trip and a great learning experience.

Tune in for the grand opening to my very own art web site.

Saturday, May 14, 2016


Polly Hammett

       OK, here we go again. Above is a photo of Polly Mammett's style, I don't want to copy her but I feel that the artist within me wants to paint like her.


     This time I used acrylic paints on the same Yupo paper but I put my model into a vignette with a solid dark background, I got too confused with the ocean and the sand. Acrylics may adhere better to the Yupo substrate so that the glazing has a chance to work. Oh, the Vellum that Polly uses has arrived from Cheap Joe's. Vellum is more paper like than I thought it was.

After the background paint is dry I will start blocking in the figure with warm bright colors.

I think I need to exaggerate the light and darks then do a wipe off of the lightest side. I did try a sample wipe off of the acrylics on works but not as well as watercolor paints. The Q Tip did a pretty good job of removing the paint on the light side of her body but I don't think it has the original pop so even though black is a no no, let's see what happens.


Forget the wash and move onto the last step.


Step 5. Colored Pencil Transitions.
Colored pencils are use to create soft edges or transitions from on shape to another. Of course the hard edges are left on the focal subject matter. Pencils are used to draw the details of eyes, lips, jewelry and other smaller details. If you leave all the solid color shapes they are perceived as "flat" in the painting.

I did not try to soften any edges just enhance features of the painting. I found that watercolor pencils worked better than regular colored pencils on the Yupo paper. I don't really know how to work on Yupo so my next attempt will be on Vellum.

Ps. I tried another painting on my newly ordered Vellum and found it is strictly for dry pencil drawing. Water just made it buckle and watercolors would not move around at all.

Add another fact added to my body of knowledge.

Friday, May 6, 2016


     I finally have determined my style but I don't know what to call it; Flat Painting?
 While re- reading my art magazines I came upon an article interviewing  Polly Hammett and liked what I read. Next I U Tubed her and liked what I saw.

     Polly has a loose, simplified but dramatic style as she paints the human figure.  I have found an artist that I emulate so that will be my starting point. All of her techniques check off my boxes and all this time I have been trying to stick the proverbial round peg into the square hole.

     The next logical step is to order a book or DVD of hers to learn from. I may have missed it but I did not find a book but I did find her DVD Design with the Figure which I have played about five times while taking notes.

     Let me try to review the Five Step process that Polly uses:
Photo: Laurel on the beach.

Polly uses live models that she sketches from and takes photos of. I am using my grand daughter as my model.

My value study.

Step 1. Notan 
I enlarged the photo then transferred it onto Yupo.
Polly uses Vellum paper.

Make contour drawings which are turned into several 2 value studies to see which one pleases your sense of design. Here I have one dark / one light ratio but with a more intricate background you could have different number of light to dark ratios. I found it difficult to not mark in the local shadows of the photo. Polly says to not focus on the "things", instead go for the value shapes.
First attempt at blocking colors.

Step 2. Block in Color

     Using thick watercolor paint and a flat brush paint in the darker color values leaving the lights of the  focal point. Mid tones fall into the dark value. Forget local color and local values...this is a tough concept for me to do. Each new shape gets a new color. Polly lets her color choices have free rein, whatever color she likes she uses. That alone frees up some of my brain cells to make painting more fun. It is a process of warm vs. cool color contrast.

Step 3. Reclaim the Lights
Using a clean brush with clean water re-wet the light areas of the painting then swipe off the paint with a tissue or paper towel. This is nerve wracking after you put all that attention into blocking in the colors but it does make the colors sing. 
First Swipe.

Adding pattern with ClingWrap. 

Remove Cling Wrap.

Adding pattern to add interest.
Polly places wax paper over the painting cutting out the areas she wants to stamp a design for interest and contrast. Add a thick layer of paint onto the stamp and place over background dark areas. It should be a different color but within the same value and color temperature.

Step 4. Glazing 
This took me totally by surprise! Polly glazes over the whole painting with a watered down blue, green, yellow or even an Opera. It unifies the painting but I sort of liked it before the glazing. One swipe of the paint brush or all the colors with dissolve and you have mud.

All my work died right in front of my eyes.  Thank heaven I can wipe it all off and start over with some experience behind me. I do enjoy experimenting with art techniques but I hate failure. Maybe I will skip this step in my next try. If I had used watercolor paper I think this step would have worked.


I never got to step 5, the fun part.
And so I will try again maybe using different surfaces such as watercolor paper or vellum (on order) also acrylic paints might work better for me.