Posts Tagged ‘still life’


Gallons of Galas

June 25, 2017

Gallons of Galas – Oil on Canvas – 11″ x 14″

Started as an example for my Saturday morning students. The reference photo is this bucket of apples sitting on a deck. I used this reference to cover three aspects of design.

First, cropping the photo to create a more dynamic composition. Second, to remove/replace objects which do not aid or enhance the focal point (the redwood stained planks of the deck were a distraction and did nothing to augment the bucket of apples). And finally, utilize a complimentary color to enhance interest in the red apples. Love the result.


Sunflowers in Coffee Pot

June 18, 2017

Sunflowers in Coffee Pot – Oil on Canvas Panel – 8″ x 6″

Started this as a lesson for my Saturday morning painters. I wanted them to see an example of using complimentary colors to make a painting “Pop”. Purple in the background and used in the shadow areas of the flowers help to tie the work together.


Fall 2016 – Studies for Oil Class

December 26, 2016
Sunflower Study November 19 - Oil on Oil Primed Canvas Panel - 8" x 6"

Sunflower Study November 19 – Oil on Oil Primed Canvas Panel – 8″ x 6″

I host an oil painting class on Saturday mornings. To help students, I start paintings along with them in order to help the students be comfortable with the early stages (and foibles) of the rough sketch and block in stages to their works. After the basics are in place, I move around to help the students get their works “on track” and feel more comfortable and content with their efforts. Often, my ‘starts” get wiped off of the canvas panels once I get home. Occasionally, my starts are encouraging and exciting enough that I will finish the works either in class or once I gt back to my studio. These are four of the works which received the nod this past semester.

Pitcher and Pears December 3 - Oil on Oil Primed Canvas Panel - 8" x 6"

Pitcher and Pears December 3 – Oil on Oil Primed Canvas Panel – 8″ x 6″

Candles for Christmas 2016 - Oil on Oil Primed Canvas Panel - 8" x 6"

Candles for Christmas 2016 – Oil on Oil Primed Canvas Panel – 8″ x 6″

Package and Ornaments December 17 - Oil on Oil Primed Canvas Panel - 6" x 8"

Package and Ornaments December 17 – Oil on Oil Primed Canvas Panel – 6″ x 8″


Coffee Pot Display

September 1, 2016
Coffee Pot Display - Oil on Canvas Panel - 8 x 6

Coffee Pot Display – Plein Air – Oil on Canvas Panel – 8 x 6

My wife desired to plein air paint with me. However, she was expecting a phone call and suggested that we paint at our backyard. The flowers were in full bloom, so it seemed like a good idea. While I set off to work on a scene adjacent to our bird feeders, my wife cut a few flowers and placed them in an old coffee pot.

My design did not go well and after fighting with it for about 1-1/2 hours, I decided to wipe the design off of my canvas panel. As I was “de-painting”, I noticed a nice opportunity in the display which my wife had arranged. I grabbed a small canvas and attacked the panel. Took little under forty minutes to crate a painting that worked.

Best part was having to alter the shadows on the pot. As I was nearing completion, the sun gave me some great shadows of the petals. Had to go with God’s gift and capture the opportunity.


Anatomy to a Still Life

March 15, 2016
Anatomy to a Still Life - Oil on Canvas Panel - 18" x 24"

Anatomy to a Still Life – Oil on Canvas Panel – 18″ x 24″

To help my students understand a process to create their oil / acrylic paintings, I created this work. It helps to illustrate (1) Thumbnail drawings as means to explore and test design options (2) Size and Angle relationships of the components (3) Basic drawing concepts (4) Breaking down the items to basic shapes (5)Roughing in to start the painting (6) A finished version of the composition (7) Colors utilized to create the work.

Toughest part, actually getting my students to create any thumbnail drawings. A bit frustrating to go through all of this, imploring students to work out their ideas in thumbnail drawings. Later, moving around to help students resolve problems with their works. First thing I request? “Show me your thumbnail sketches.” When they admit to not having spent any time on thumbnails, I ask for their sketchbook or paper and begin to work thumbnail drawings for them, helping to illustrate ideas for how they could have prevented their current predicament and options for possible solutions.


Christmas 2014

December 30, 2014
Christmas 2014; Oil on Canvas 10 x 8

Christmas 2014; Oil on Canvas 10 x 8

Sorry for the delay. Had this painting done and this post ready for a short commentary. Had intended to post this a week ago. Then life happened and in the rush to finish all preparations for the Christmas, I forgot to publish this post.

A belated greeting of Merry Christmas to all of you that follow my posts. Thank you and may you all have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2015.



Thanksgiving 2014

November 29, 2014
Thanksgiving 2014; Oil on Canvas 8" x 10"

Thanksgiving 2014; Oil on Canvas 8″ x 10″

Happy Thanksgiving.

A few days earlier, I utilized grapes as a prop for my Still Life painters and my oil/acrylic painters. I liked the set up but, unfortunately, I was teaching and assisting students and therefore, unable to paint for myself.

Once home, I decided to use the grapes along with a small pumpkin to create a set up to serve as a Thanksgiving greeting to my mailing lists. Before I started, I had assumed that the leaves in the background would be the difficult part of this composition and had assumed that the grapes were among the least of my concerns. Boy, was I wrong. The leaves in the background did prove to be a challenge, but the grapes proved to be difficult..until I REALLY looked and observed them. After starting the grapes and then scraping them out a couple times and getting frustrated, I took a break and got myself a warm beverage. I sat in front of the display nursing my beverage while contemplating how to record this element. By the time I finished my beverage I had resolved the issue and was able to swiftly capture the grapes and finish the scene.