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Town Center Park

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Dances With Fountains

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Dancies With Fountains (7 x 10) $75.00

I don’t think I’ve ever taken anywhere near as many photos I’d like to paint as I did the day of the Wilsonville Festival of the Arts. Hot sun on skin and lots of water is turning out to be one of my favorite combinations.

This one took a little more teasing out to make it a good image. The photo itself shows not only the boy but also his father and sister and sub machine gun style water pistol too, all cluttering up the background and obscuring the larger fountain. It was easy enough to remove the figures and the shadows they cast. To restore the fountain I need to use other reference material.

I have have been using much the same method for all of the paintings in my Splash series. First I mask the fountains, waterfalls, and water drops. Then I can paint the water without worrying about saving the whites as the masking protects them for me.

After the Mask Came Off

After the Mask Came Off

Dances with Fountains (in progress)

Dances with Fountains (in progress)

Once the paint is really dry I remove the mask from the water features and the figures but leave the water drops over water masked. Then I mask the highlights in the water-features and the splashes obscuring the figures. After I’ve painted the figures and roughed in the water I remove all the mask and add shadows to some of the water drops.

Should you like to try using removable liquid mask yourself, I have two tips. First, use cheap synthetic brushes to apply the mask and soap them before and during the process. Second, never use a hair dryer to speed the drying of a masked painting because sometimes it causes the mask to stick to firmly to the paper.

I painted the water in cobalt blue grayed with burnt sienna. The boy’s hair is yellow ocher, burnt sienna and cobalt blue as is his skin. I added some quinacridone deep red rose to key places in his skin such as his ears. His shirt is cobalt blue and burnt sienna again.

This painting has sold, but you may still purchase a print through Fine Art America.com.

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Her Own Little Fountain

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Her Own Little Fountain (12 x 15) $75.00

Her Own Little Fountain (12 x 15) $75.00

Yes, it’s yet another painting of the children playing in the water feature at Town Center Park, Wilsonville, Oregon. What can I say? I love hot sun on skin. And the children were cute. This little girl in particular was adorable. She was all over that stream and happily oblivious to the camera.

This is my second painting on hot-pressed paper. The last was a rocky seascape and I used hot-press to get more luminous darks. That worked well.

I wanted to test the wipe-out properties of hot-pressed paper. Wiping-out means to paint solid color and then to lift the high lights. Hot-pressed paper wipes easier than cold-pressed or rough paper. It thought it would be a good technique for skin on a hot summer’s day. What I discovered is that it works well except for highly staining colors. Quinacridone deep red rose is highly staining. Actually I haven’t found a red I like that isn’t highly staining. The closest I’ve found is burnt sienna which is really an orange. I think I’ll wait for a less sunburn scene where I can use the raw sienna before trying wipe-out with hot-pressed paper again.

The palette was burnt sienna, colbalt blue, quinarindone deep red rose and yellow ocher. I reclaimed some whites with titanium white.


Or purchase a print at Fine Art America.com.

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Splash Dance

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Spash Dance (8 x 11) $150

Splash Dance (8 x 11) $150.00

I started painting this young man on Saturday. Unfortunately the tummy bug that swept our family earlier in the week caught me just as I was starting to mask the whites. But I thought about him off and on all Saturday and Sunday. This morning I went right to work and here he is, the fourth in my Town Center Park series–one more happy extrovert getting wet.

I used tons of splattered masking fluid to keep the splashed water. I find flicking a damp flat brush produces a lovely semi-controllable spray of mask. The faster you flick the smaller the dots.

I’m particularly pleased with his shirt. To make it look wet and stuck to him I added a little cobalt blue to his skin tone and applied it very lightly to his shirt. Where the shirt is stuck to his pants instead of his chest I applied a grayed down pastel version of the same colors that went into his pants.

The palette is a raw sienna, burnt sienna, quinacridone deep red rose, phthalo blue, and cobalt blue. His skin is raw sienna and quinacridone darkened with cobalt blue. I washed him with burnt sienna at the end.


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Memorial Day Waterworks

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Memorial Day Waterworks (17 x 19) $275

Memorial Day Waterworks (17 x 19) $275

Yes, this is yet another painting of the Town Center Park water feature. This one is rather more ambitious than the previous two. I backed up to take in the feel of the whole stream bed. And I included not one but seven figures.

As you can see from the reference photo, I took some liberties with the geometry of stream bed. I narrowed the center wall of concrete and removed a trash can among other less major changes. I also slide the boys around a little so that they wouldn’t be directly above each other. Finally I eliminated the blond boy half hidden on the left hand side.

Refrence Photo

Refrence Photo

After the Mask Came Off

After the Mask Came Off

Once I was satisfied with the sketch I masked the boys and concentrated on the water feature itself. Masking an object against water or sky makes it easier to get the water to flow evenly to the edge of the foreground object.

Masking the boys also served as a final composition check as it made them stand out as the centers of interest. People always attract the eye and I expected the boys to so doubly because their skin provides the only warm tones in an otherwise cool picture and because their clothing and toys are the brightest colors in the painting. I liked the way the placement of the boys echoes the “S” curve of the concrete wall. Now that the painting is finished, I still like it.

But I’m probably still not done with this water feature. I like this subject and I’m learning the value of working in a series.

Pigment notes: The background is all burn sienna, phthalo blue and cobalt blue. To do the boys I added yellow ocher, cadmium yellow, and quinacridone deep red rose.


Or purchase a print at Fine Art America.com.

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Wading In On All Fours

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Wading In On All Fours (8 x 11) $75.00

Wading In On All Fours (8 x 11) $75.00

Another painting based on the the photos I took at the Town Center Park in Wilsonville last weekend.
This young man didn’t think just wading was enough. He had to really get down into the water. I think he had the right idea.

This is another limited palette painting. I used burnt sienna, phthalo blue, cobalt blue and yellow ocher. This time I reserved all the whites with mask. Notice how much sparklier they are than the Chinese white I used in Waterfall in Her Lap.

I’m going to put in a plug for the park too while I’m at it. Town Center Park has the most wonderful made made stream running up the middle with little two foot high waterfalls and lot and lots of little bubblers. It’s designed for toddlers and even babies to wade in and on hot days it’s a lively place.
If you’re taking I5 just south of Portland on a hot day take the Korean War Memorial exit to find the park. You’ll be glad you did. The Memorial is in the back of the park well away from the fountain. It’s worth a visit too.


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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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