Tuscan Countryside

I’m posting this via my phone to see how this is going to work while I’m away. We will have a secure internet connection once we get to the OC condo in September.  In the mean time I hope to update my blog via phone.

So far I’m ok but can’t seem to get the painting photo on the site!

Okay got it.  I had to photograph it with the phone anyway due to size.  This is a large watercolor 12 x 15 which I added ink to at the end because it looked undone!

This will be the new normal until I’m settled in September!!

Until next time…packed and ready to hit the road.



Low Lake Mead Colors

Today I did another pastel landscape.  But instead of using the tinted pastel paper I bought I opted to use watercolor paper, which is much heavier, and did an under painting in watercolor then applied the soft pastels.  I find that the pastel papers are very thin and to me won’t hold up too well.  I do plan to use them for small paintings and studies but I like a heavy paper for my work.

I love the way this painting came out.  It was done from a travel photo from a trip out west in 2005.  When I look at this piece I feel what I was feeling when I took the photo. The lake level was so low at that time and the colors revealed were beautiful.  I took a photo of this painting instead of scanning as it is a bit larger than the glass on my scanner.  Is was done on a piece of 9 x 12 140 lb watercolor paper.

I think I will continue to play around with the pastels for a few days.  Tried a bit with the oil pastels to fix a painting I had already started with not much success.

Until next time……

ACEO Post 2

Today I actually spent quite a bit of time painting.  Started out doing a soft pastel landscape on a gesso coated piece of watercolor paper from a prior mess up.  Didn’t come out good at all.  Next I tried a small oil pastel on a tinted canvas piece that I had ready and did a beach boat scene, also not good!  Finally said give up and do a watercolor and be done with it!  Also not good.  Sooooo, spent a lot of time practicing with nothing to post.  Since I had four new little ACEO’s done just sitting there said if I’m gonna post something why not them!

So here they are.  Covered Bridge, from a Lancaster PA trip, Resort, from Marco Island visit last month, Iris, just a study and Black Eyed Susan’s from a recent photo! These seem to calm me when I get out of control and feel I’ve lost it all!  They take a bit of patience and control that I seem to lack these days when dealing with a large landscape scene.

What I did today may be reworked and completed at a later time who knows?  I hate wasting all that good paper you know so I will never throw anything away. There is always hope that I can salvage them into something worthy when the right mood strikes me.

Until next time, keep trying.

Venice Canal

This is a small ink and watercolor painting about 5 1/2 x 7 1/2.  This was reproduced from the large ink drawing that I did yesterday and scanned into the computer.  That drawing was an 11 x 15 that I scanned in two parts and stitched together in Photo Shop Elements since it was larger than my scanner bed.  I printed off the computer image onto the smaller watercolor paper and added the watercolor washes.

I used this photo of Venice Canal years ago to do an oil painting for my son and daughter-in-law as a gift since the vacation photo was one they took when on their honeymoon.  I know it is a well known photo op that you see everywhere but I am just so drawn to it! When I got the chance to go there myself a couple of years ago the large white building on the left was under restoration and was covered in scaffolding, so needless to say my vaca photos were not painting worthy!

I am fairly pleased with it although the paper wasn’t the best quality and I broke open some new student grade paints that I wanted to try out.  I picked up a set of Grumbacher Academy watercolors and gave them a go.  I use so very little paint and colors that I have to try it some more before I decide if I like them or not.  I do really like my Winsor and Newton Cotmans just wanted to check out something that is supposed to be similar.

More on the Photo Shop Element stitching of scans and how I feel about the new paints in a future post.

Until next time.


This posting I did last week when I was doing a bunch of pencil sketches.

Once I did the sketches I scanned them into the computer.  When I wanted to paint one I printed the scan onto watercolor paper and then inked and added watercolors.  This was my first attempt and I printed it out onto the watercolor paper before I actually cleaned it up.  My sketch paper isn’t bright white so the color of the paper gets scanned and I have to brighten the scan before saving it.  Live and learn right?  Anyway that is why the paper looks pinkish.  In addition to that the finished painting didn’t scan very well.  I made several attempts at it and this the best I could get.

Wanted to post it as I have several sketches that I plan to ink and paint in the future.  I don’t know what you would call these as they aren’t originals since the drawing is reproduced onto watercolor paper prior to adding the ink and watercolor wash to it.

Today I also did a large ink drawing that I really liked so decided I would scan it before painting since I occasionally ruin a good drawing when I add the paint.  In doing so I had to teach myself how to scan and stitch a piece that is larger than my scanner.  I have Photoshop Elements 6 and knew I could do it using this program but finding the right instructions proved lengthy.  When I finally found someone who explained it in steps I was done in no time.  Hence I wrote down what I did so I can remember next time this is needed.  Now that I can do this maybe I won’t try to keep my paintings scanner size or smaller!  Look out I’m going BIG.  No, this drawing was done on 12 x 15 good watercolor paper and in case I ruin it when I paint it I’ll at least have the ink drawing saved in my computer.  More on this next time, since I did reproduce the drawing on a smaller piece of watercolor paper and have almost completed it for posting shortly.

Until next time, continue to learn something everyday!





Sit Awhile

Today a choose a photo from living up north and a trip to Winterthur Museum & Gardens.  I’m always drawn to benches and their surroundings.  This photo was taken at a distance from the House from a high vantage point.

Started out doing a watercolor but ended up using a bit of gouache on the trees and needed to put in a few ink touches to make it more realistic when it was dry.

Used Canson XL 140 lb watercolor paper cut to 91/2 x 7 1/2.

Like this one, took my time, paused a few times to let things dry and feel it came out pretty well.

Until next time, sit awhile an reflect!

End of the Rainbow

This was the scene behind my home where they were actually building a new home! After a typical Florida shower this huge rainbow appeared and was actually making the home sort of glow.  The house at that time was not complete as I have portrayed mine to be.  It was magical and I couldn’t help but think that whoever was building that home they were being truly blessed in some way!

What I did here was really a strange combination of paper and media.  I decided to use one of the gesso coated watercolor mess up sheets and intended to use acrylics or water oils but jumped in with the watercolor out of habit.  I pretty much had to use the paints in a dry fashion as the paper wasn’t very absorbent.  I did get a bit carried away with the rainbow, it was not so wide in my photo or as colorful but you get the idea and then some!  I used a bit of white gounache over the rainbow to tone it down some.

This is a 6 x 9 sheet and I have to say I kinda like it.  Not where I was going when I started out but acceptable non the less.

I’m working on some pencil sketches that I want to scan into the computer and print off on watercolor paper and then add ink and watercolor to.  This would give me a way to preserve my drawings, since I feel that is my strong suit, and experiment with the reproductions in different ways.  We’ll see how that goes.  I do intend to continue painting with different mediums, to practice and to learn.

Until then, continue to be creative!


Day 27 Gondola Waiting

Messing around with a small piece of watercolor paper 5 1/4 x 6 1/2, 140 lb with Inktense pencils and water.  Worked from a cropped Venice photo to get just the one Gondola and the island of San Giorgio in the background.  Just practicing could be a future painting.

I’ve been studying other artists and the way they capture the source of the light and shadows.  I really need to pay more attention to this as my paintings are very flat and two dimensional looking.  Need to sketch, sketch and sketch and do more tonal studies of my subjects before putting the medium to the paper.

Until tomorrow.

Day 21 Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

Today I made the mate to yesterday’s painting, as they will hang in frames side by side in our den.  They will be replacing the two lighthouses I painted in the early 2000’s while taking a painting course.  I intended to paint the same paintings but ended up painting one lighthouse in a closer view and the painting today is of a different lighthouse all together.

The size and scheme are the same as yesterday.  I used the other half of the paper I cut to size to fit the frame and used the same medium.  Started with a pencil drawing, painted with watercolors and finished but using pastels for a final touch.  The sky is similar and scale is close so I think they will look nice framed and mounted in our beachy den!

Being from New Jersey and retiring to Florida makes it fitting that I would have a Jersey lighthouse and a Florida lighthouse displayed in our home.

Today’s subject is the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse which is located just south of Daytona on the eastern side of the peninsula on Ponce Inlet.  We took a day trip and traveled down the coast a couple of years ago and took several photos which is what I used to paint this painting.

Happy with the final result as I had a plan when I started and very closely stuck with it.

Three weeks of painting and my confidence is coming along.  I know I have to produce a piece and just move right along without fear of the white paper in front of me.

Until tomorrow.

Day 20 East Point Light

Today I allowed myself plenty of time to do a good painting.  I decided to do a painting of a subject I had painted in the past as a lesson way back when I took a painting course.

Originally I worked from a photo, which I couldn’t locate for the current painting, so I not only worked from the original painting but from some internet photos of the subject and my imagination.

Tried a different brand of paper and cut it to size for a frame I plan to mount it in.  It is approximately 8 1/2 x 11 1/2.  Started out doing a watercolor but ended up doing mixed media as I finished the painting by using soft pastels to fix the sky and just kept the feeling going throughout the whole painting.  Didn’t come out at all as expected but got more learning and practice.

East Point Lighthouse is located in my home state of New Jersey on the Delaware Bay in the town of Heislerville in Maurice River Township.  Off the beaten path in a place where you can catch some good sunsets if there is a breeze blowing because otherwise at certain times of year the bugs will drive you away.  Mosquitos, flies or green heads can be terrible!!

Until tomorrow, goodnight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!