Monday, December 31, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

plein air

It's been a long time since I've been outside painting. I love doing it, just haven't had the opportunity lately.

So here's an old one that I did not feel was successful at the time. Had no idea how to get the willow's branches NOT to look dense and heavy. Still, I like the directness of the foreground. Always fun to be outside smearing paint.

Friday, December 21, 2007


For sale: 5" x 7", oil on canvas. $100.

I've been tagged. Twice. by Jason and Dan

I'm crazy busy now illustrating a children's book, but I'll do what I can.

The rules of Tagging:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I like Spam. (The tinned meat, fried crispy, yumm.)
2. I was nuts enough to do this.
3. I once shook the hand of Roy Rogers.
4. I still have my Roy Rogers lunch box.
5. My highest paying freelance job was illustrating a single hair follicle for a Rogaine TV spot.

Great blogs:
1. J. Matt Miller
2. Terry Miura
3. Aaron Coberly
4. Steve Atkinson
5. Xiangyuan Jie

Monday, December 17, 2007

single pear

I lost the roundness on this one; its bulk. Not sure why. Started out with it, lost it along the way. Looks nice anyway.

great artist

I'm working on 40 illustrations for a children's book, so I'm not producing much that I can show here.

Check out this guys work though:


Great stuff.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

nice pair o tomatas

Discovering the limits of representing life through pigments. Just couldn't get the very redness of this tomato. I've got a better understanding why the Impressionists went with broken pure color.
For sale: $90. 5" x 7"

Sunday, December 2, 2007

now cooked

A recent oil study. Color very tough to get. A fun challenge.

For sale: $80. 5" x 7", oil on textured paper.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

daily painting

I've started oil painting again, never having spent much time with a medium I love to work with.

I hope to troop down to the basement after I put my kid to bed and spend an hour smearing buttery paint around. Fun.

BTW, this is for sale: $100.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

art for Nordstrom

I started my illustration career in the mid 80's freelancing for Nordstrom. They had a great bunch of artists on staff, and that's also where I found my lovely and talented wife!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Scholastic illustrations

A few of the illustraions I did a number of years ago for Scholastic about a girl during the American Revolution.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I got tighter than I'd wanted, I might re-work to loosen things up.

Monday, October 15, 2007

phase 2

Since the structure and values were laid in on the first version of this portrait, most of the thinking work was done.

Just correcting placement of features and adding detail on this version. Not finished yet, I leave the picky details for last.

Friday, October 12, 2007

in progress

I thought it might be interesting to see the process I go through on a drawing.

Drawing can be described as simply putting the right value down in the right place. That's just what I'm attempting to do here; broadly establish the tones so I can begin comparing their relationships to each other.

My drawing teacher, the great Bill Parks used to hammer into us: "If you are drawing without comparing, you are drawing without seeing!"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I picked up a commission to do a couple of kid portraits. This is a quick practice sketch, it's been a while since I've gotten into charcoal in a deep way. What a lovely medium, so rich and velvety.

Friday, October 5, 2007

thursday sketches

I get over an hour to sketch while my daughter attends circus school. (No, we're not hinting for her to run away)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

kid stuff

More quick sketches. Ball point pen again. Not an attempt at perfection, but an exercise in maintaining the right approach. It's very easy to get sucked into rendering features. Instead, I'm trying to model a solid structure in space. You have to build the frame of the house before you can put up the vinyl siding.
As Sargent said: "If you work on a head for a week without indicating the features you will have learnt something about the modeling of the head."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Saturday, September 15, 2007

back to school

Been reviewing Andrew Loomis lately to get the proportions right on kids heads. Harder than you think, I keep having to add more forehead!

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Everyone asks me to paint realistically, but sometimes I just like to have fun.

Friday, September 7, 2007

pencil mileage

Draw, draw, draw. Worked in ballpoint pen to force me to get the structure right before putting in the features, since there's no erasing. Sargent (the great master) used to work until he got the eye socket just right, and only then put the eye in "like an egg on a plate".

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

bad cow

Another illustration that never ran. For an article on irradiated beef sold in grocery stores.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

have a lazy labor day

"Only those who take leisurely what the people of the world are busy about can be busy about what the people of the world take leisurely"
Chang Ch'ao


On his retirement. Boss wanted me to redo it showing him holding up a bunch of charts. Went with watercolor and ink line.

I think I got his eyes just right here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

ones that got away

Over the next few days I'll be running illustrations that for one reason or another, (generally clients or bosses who were WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!) never ran.

Baccus here was for our newspaper's Sunday magazine section's annual booze issue. I imagined the old boy snoozing after stomping out a harvest's load of grapes. My editor felt readers would think he was blotto. (Of course, it also had nothing to do with running a nekid man on the cover in the Sunday paper, no, no.) What do you think?

I wanted to keep the colors clean and simple like the sketch. Oh, well. Artus interruptus.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

love my job

Subtle or bold, I think working intricacies of color to be the aspect of painting that gives me the deepest satisfaction.

It's hard to see at this scale, but there's a little bit of orange in the blue, and bits of blue in the oranges. The green harmonizes everything. I loved painting this.

Monday, August 27, 2007


In honor of the end of summer, a random passage from Lin Yutang's work of genius: 'The Importance of Living':

"The three great American vices seem to be efficiency, punctuality and the desire for achievement and success. They are the things that make Americans so unhappy and nervous. They steal from them their inalienable right of loafing and cheat them of many a good, idle and beautiful afternoon."

Sunday, August 26, 2007

happens to me all the time

more than just technique dept.

Howard Pyle again:
"You must experience, you must put yourself into the painting, or it's not believable. People won't believe you, no matter what the image."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

more memory work

This is another idea for a promo card for my agent Steve Malk.

I really like the banana. My figure drawing instructor Bill Parks used to urge us to seek the straight lines in a curve. This banana was drawn with almost no curves at all!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Sometimes I'm inordinately fond of my color studies.

This one, for a project that never went to finish, is only 4" x 5", but has the exact feeling I was looking for. Wintery quiet but dramatic.