Thursday, December 31, 2009

Zuma Beach on a rainy day

I had driven past Zuma Beach the other day and it was so lonely looking with the food stand closed and the beach almost deserted. I wanted to go paint something Wednesday and remembered the scene. I went back, but it was too wet to sit outside and paint, so I took some shots and went back to my studio to paint it. I kept the colors and values light to give the feeling of the gray cold day drizzly day. 9x12 on 140lb wc paper block.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I've been posting traditional media sketches up to this point, but I decided to post an image I did on my i-phone while waiting in the Cleveland airport for my flight to be called. The subject is not especially interesting, I just wanted to show what cool stuff you can do on the iphone touch screen with programs like Alias Sketch. The ability to paint with light is a cool departure and there is nothing to clean up! I'll continue with the traditional media, this was just for fun.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland - Town Center

I get to Yverdon several times a year it seems. I posted a view of the old 1800's church facade on the square a few weeks ago, so I decided to sketch the square from the steps of the church facing the other way. The old castle dominates the square in the other direction.

Here is the result.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

In Paris last week- Moleskine sketches

I had a wonderful Saturday morning sitting on a park bench for about an hour and sketching this view of the back of Notre Dame cathedral on its island in the Seine River. A couple of homeless guys were asleep in blankets behind me and occasional couples would stroll by, but I was pretty much alone. Weather was in the 60s and gray, but certainly comfortable for this time of year. I would have done additional sketches, but I had to catch a taxi for the airport to catch a plane to Geneva.
Paris has such great architecture. I sketched this dome on a department store near my hotel from the square in front of the Hotel de Ville, the "City Hall" of Paris. There was an old guy not too far away playing traditional French accordion music for tips while I sketched this. It really made it a Parisian (sp?) moment.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Morumbi, Sao Paulo, Brazil

I sketched this auto repair shop last week in a neighborhood in the Morumbi area of Sao Paulo. I leaned up against a tree and was a bit uncomfortable, but it was the best position available. Done in my highly portable Moleskine notebook.


I did this sketch in my Moleskine sketchbook back in September on a trip to Switzerland. I didn't post it at the time, but decided to put in on the blog.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sam's No. 3, Denver, Colorado

I had a few minutes while waiting for a collegue to return before we took off to the airport. I walked out of the Curtis Hotel and found a planter wall to sit on and sketched this funky restaurant at the corner of Curtis and 15th in Downtown Denver. I sketched it in my 5x8 Moleskine notebook and added a little color later. Nice breeze and pretty warm too.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Just this last week, 3 of my sons and I backpacked into Treasure Lakes, which is very up hill from Bishop, California. (My fourth son sadly had to miss the trip and take care of escrow closing on his new house.) We had all been looking forward to this trip for months and I made sure I brough along a small sewn sketchbook of Arches waterolor paper and a few brushes and my portable palette. The pages are loose, so it was more troublesome than a block, but it worked out in the end.

It was wonderful to sit on a granite outcrop on the shore of one of the lakes and try to capture the fantastic scenery. It was a bit overcast and the light kept changing, but it was so great to be far away from regular life and connecting with the scenes around me.

I would have painted more, but the fish were calling too.

Monday, July 06, 2009

I just came back Saturday from Milan, Italy. On Friday, I had a little time to walk around the Grand Canal area and get some gelatto and sit and make these sketches in my Moleskine sketchbook. Each are about 5x8 inches and sketched in line on the spot, water color added later in my hotel room. A nice relaxing afternoon and a good way to experience the place. Somehow sketching a place connects you at a deeper level that just taking a photo.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I just came back from the coolest trip to Dingle, Idaho (north of Bear Lake, if you know the area).  It's been raining all spring and the hills are really green.  Kathey and I and her brother Sid and his wife Vicky went to a farm house out in the middle of nowhere.  It was great!

I got to give some water color instruction and paint for several days.  We also took some side trips to Star Valley Wyoming, south of Jackson Hole, Preston Idaho, etc.

I love old farm junk and tractors.  Almost every farm has a place where they just dump old stuff that doesn't work, but they can't bear to get rid of.  The old truck was right behind the yard of the place we stayed and the faucet was just pure "rural" with the cast in letters and red paint.

Done plein air in my Moleskine sketchbook with water color added on  the line work.  I've got the sunburn to prove it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kirtland Temple and graveyard, Kirtland Ohio

I had a chance last week on a business trip to Cleveland to go out to Kirtland and visit the old town that was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1830's.  I had never walked through the graveyard before and I was pleased to find old headstones of family members who died in the 1830s around that time.  I sat in the passenger side of the rental car and painted this gouache sketch of the graveyard and temple in my Moleskine sketchbook.  You can see where I painted across the fold.  As you can tell, it was a cool overcast day.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Vila de Canoes favela, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I got a great chance to tour a favela while in Rio at the end of April.  It's generally not recommended to go in without a guide as the only govenment in the favela is the drug sellers. I tried to communicate the visual impressions I got with the makeshift powerpoles and the rat's nest of borrowed power, the activity of the people as they go about their business.  This was one of the more prosperous favelas called Vila de Canoes.  Favelas are squatter shanties that become towns on lands that were formerly public land.  Often they are right next to very expensive resort properties and sometimes the views of the beach and mountains are unrivaled.

Water color on 7x10 Arches 140 lb. block.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Zuma Beach, Malibu, California

OK, back to the landscapes.  We went to Zuma Beach Monday with Christy and her girls.  It was just beautiful.  I brought my small sketchbook along and did this really quick impression of some kids digging in the sand in the low tide area.  The other images is a quick sketch looking down the coast towards Point Dume.  One with some pen line work and one without.


Yeah, I know this is not a landscape.  I was painting Disney princesses with my grand daughters and I got tired of so much refined cuteness.  I guess my counterpoint was to do something scarey, so I grabbed a blank piece of copy paper and using the cheap watercolor set glued to the front of the princess book, I started with a mouth, leaving the white paper as the teeth and this is what came out.

Alexa (5 years old) was painting across from me and as the painting developed, she put up her hand by the side of her face to shield her eyes and said: "I don't think I'm supposed to see that!"

Shame on me!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sketches from Switzerland and Italy

I re-loaded these sketches as I thought the other ones were underexposed.  All are water colors and were done a week ago in Switzerland and Italy.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Paramount Ranch 2-28-09

Craig and I went to Paramount ranch this morning for a couple of hours.  I had never tried pastels before and we had been talking about changing media and experimenting with something new.  I felt I learned a few things about the medium and am excited to try again.  The tree scene is pretty much how it looked, but I think next time, I'd like to push the design around to get a more interesting composition.

The sketch with the bush on the left was done more quickly and I think the design is more interesting even though there is less detail.

Both sketches around 12x18 on Canson paper.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spice Market, Istanbul

This is a view of the Spice Market and a nearby Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.  The weather was cold and rainy, so I painted indoors from my laptop.  My wife Kathey is in the black coat walking towards us.  Pen and watercolor in my small notebok.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Near Somis, California in the lemon groves 1-17-09

Where else but in Southern California can you go painting outdoors in January and have the weather be 85 degrees and sunny? Craig and I and Dorota (a friend of Craig's from Disney) went out a couple of miles beyond Moorpark and painted these great lemon sheds. It was such a great day with bicyclists, horse riders and a few others going down the road enjoying being outside. We were really left to ourselves other than an occasional greeting.

I did these on a 9x12 block of 140 lb. Fabriano cold pressed paper with traditional water colors. We just took the morning to paint and were back home around 1:30pm.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Cabin in the snow, Twin Peaks, California 12-30-08

I thought this old cabin had great character with it's metal roof, red color and funky windows. Done in watercolor in my ring bound 6x9 sketchbook. I did some minimal line work in ink before going to paint which I think added something to the sketch.

Everything looked so wonderful covered in snow. These cabin roofs were the view from where we were sliding on the cookie sheet.

Next to our cabin there was a nice field with some slope. We were so eager, we went out with cookie sheets and the lid to a popcorn tin and went sliding. The snow had been rained on and had refrozen the night before so we had a really slippery time.

I decided to show the edges of my sketchbooks on these water color sketches to give a better sense of scale.