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Cousins at the Brook

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Cousins at the Brook (10 x 14) private collection

Cousins at the Brook (10 x 14) private collection

This painting is a Christmas present for my father.   He took the photo a couple of years ago while I was visiting him in New Mexico.  He, my daughters, and my niece all went to Bandieler National Monument.  It was just as hot and dry as you might expect summer in New Mexico to be.  When we had finished touring the ruins, Dad snapped this photo of the girls cooling off by the brook.  I liked the dappled light, and I know he will like the subject, all three granddaughters at once.

The palatte is cobalt blue, phthlo blue, French ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, raw sienna, cadimun yellow, and quinacrione deep red rose.

Prints available through Fine Art America.com.  To see more figurative paintings by other painters see: figures paintings

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Waterfall in Her Lap

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Waterfall in Her Lap

Waterfall in Her Lap (8 x 11) $75

Whether because it was hot or because of the economy or both, the art fair was slow this weekend. I had time on my hands. So on Saturday I asked a fair buddy to watch my booth and took photos of children playing in the long combination fountain and man-made stream running down the middle of the park. I got nice and wet doing it too. That evening I downloaded the photos and Sunday I painted this one at the fair.

I had fun painting her, but I think she had even more fun sitting under the waterfall.

The palette is quinacridone deep red rose, burnt sienna, yellow ocher, cobalt blue, and phthalo blue. I reclaimed some white with Chinese white gouache.


Or purchase a print at Fine Art America.com.

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The Red Shirt

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The Red Shirt (12 x 16) $100

The Red Shirt (12 x 16) SOLD

I’ve read that it’s advisable to place the horizon low when painting the sea to avoid making the waves look like a wall at the top of the painting. It’s a rule I violate frequently.

When I walk along the beach I am drawn to the leading edge of the ocean. Looking out from the edge of the waves the sea does feel like a wall above me. And the breakers rise many feet above sea level. In winter they they tower over the beach.

Standing in front of all that raw power I am awed that something so elemental is also so beautiful. My eyes follow the waves. I rarely scan the horizon.

I want to catch that feeling of being small and looking up into the waves, so when I place people right on the edge of the beach I often place the horizon high, or as in this case eliminate it altogether.

Pigment Notes: The water is phthalo blue, cobalt blue, French ultramarine, all dulled by burnt sienna and raw sienna. The beach is multiple washes, some salted, of burn sienna, raw sienna, and burnt umber mixed with a a hair of cobalt blue. Winsor red and cadmium yellow for the boy’s skin. Quinacridone gold, raw sienna and burnt umber for his hair. Winsor red and raw sienna for the shirt. French ultramarine and cobalt blue for his pants.

This painting has sold, but you my purchase a reproduction of it at Fine Art America.com.
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Beginning with a Child

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Blue Eyed Duckling (8 x 10) $175

Blue Eyed Duckling (8 x 10) $100

It seems a good omen to begin my painting blog with a portrait of a child–particularly since she is a child who wants to be an artist. She is beautiful and funny looking by turns. But I have no doubt she will be beautiful in the end. Her cheek bones say it all.

I did this painting Friday at Art in Valley (Corvallis, Oregon) a cooperative gallery of which I am a member. Painting while working at the gallery is fun but tricky. The comments of patrons are fun. Making sure I can stop at any moment without wrecking the painting is difficult. So is working as neat as the gallery environment requires.

But this young girl has such a distinctive expressive face that the painting just fell together. Another good omen for a beginning blog.

I find I use more pigments for skin than I ever would have believed possible. Her skin is cadmium yellow and madder red on the sunlit side and cadmium yellow and alizarin crimson on the shadowed side. Cobalt blue helps define her eye sockets. The edges of her shadowed cheeks have a hint of yellow ocher. There are hints of burnt sienna at the hairline. Her hair is yellow ocher, burnt sienna, and more cadmium yellow.

The blues and blue grays are mixed from the skin and hair palette. Mixing the background from the main palette often leads to good lively grays that set off the subject. I think it worked this time too.

Like most of the paintings I will add to this blog, The Blue Eyed Duckling is for sale. Prices posted on this blog will be lower than those for my paintings elsewhere on the web because I do not have to pay a commission here.


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Purchase a reproduction of this painting here.

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