Tuesday, April 24, 2018

"Trial and Error"

"Trial and  Error"
16x20 oil on canvas

First off, this is my copy of a Trisha Adams painting. Trisha's choice of color and style makes her paintings by far a leader in modern impressionism.  I love her work and I have wanted to try the loose impressionistic style for awhile but haven't really had the opportunity.  When I saw her painting like this one I knew that was the one I was going to copy to try my hand at impressionism.  Its not as easy as it looks but I am happy with the outcome.  I still prefer realism but at least now I know I can do it if I want to.  This painting is not for sale since it is a copy, and I don't know the name of her painting but I would like to say thanks Trisha for making such a beautiful painting for me to copy. Maybe one day I will be able to do a workshop with her!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

16x24 oil on canvas
This cutie is my 2nd full color portrait and a commission piece.  I am getting a better feel for skin tone and how to manipulate it.  That crochet hat was the hardest part of the painting but in the end I am very pleased with the whole piece. I finished it in November 2017.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

"Mayley" 9x12 Oil pastel on watercolor paper

Now that my arm is healed from surgery I am doing a few small works to get back in the game.  This is my first oil pastel.  I used Sennilier oil pastels on watercolor paper.  I saw this picture on the internet and just had to paint it.  This is for a friend whose daughter is named Mayley.  She was very shy and when I spoke to her, she would hide behind her mother and peak one eye around. So I named it after her.

The World of Green

12x12 oil on panel

The World of Green
Green, what would we do without this color?  Its nature is unstable, and long ago, green has turned to a dull, dark brown color in the backgrounds, clothing, and trees of paintings that we love and admire today in museums.  We have come a long way in correcting its temperamental properties and learning to extract and mix the exact color green we desire.  Below is a brief history of each green that I have found in my research beginning with the earliest bright green available.

Is a copper ore deposit associated in nature to Azurite.  The earliest bright green available, and was first used in Egypt and China.  Egyptians used this as eye paint even before the first Egyptian dynasty.  In Western China, it is found in many paintings from the ninth and tenth centuries.  It was popular in Europe during the Renaissance and by 1800 was replaced by synthetic green pigments.

Dates back to the early Greeks and is the color used on the copper roofs of many cathedrals, churches, and basilicas.  It is a blue-green acetate of copper and was the only green available in this period of time.  It was made by treating copper sheets with the vapors of vinegar, wine, or urine and scraping  the resultant corroded crust.  Placing copper in ammonia will cause it to turn blue.  Adding a few drops of acetic acid (vinegar) precipitates a light cyan-green salt.  This is one of the unstable greens I talked about in the first paragraph.  The gases of the atmosphere would cause it to blacken. It was incompatible with other pigments and susceptible to moisture with rapid deterioration. The modern name we give this color is viridian.  

The most poisonous of colors and my favorite green, was developed in 1808, and produced commercially in Germany in 1814.   It was so poisonous that it caused many artists sickness and even death.  It also darkened when exposed to air and metals and was not compatible with other pigments. Turns black when heated and smells of garlic.

Used more as a dye or painting manuscript, it was made from the juice of Iris flowers.  Iris flowers were blue and when crushed and mixed with Alum, a beautiful transparent green was created.  Iris green was the main rival to Sap green.

A versatile color that was made from Buckthorn berries and cultivated in Europe since the Roman times.  The ripe berries when mixed with Alum made Sap green.  Like all oil paint during the medieval time, it was kept in animal bladders and had a consistency similar to syrup.  Its previous name was bladder green.  Not sure I would have been a painter if I had to open an animal bladder to get my paint.  Glad I live in the 21st century.

A dull, transparent green found in many early works in India and Italy.  This color came from deposits of volcanic celadonite and/or a mineral of sedimentary origin (green clay) which has been exhausted and was also known to be called Green Earth. Even though its physical properties were jelly-like and unpleasant to work with, It became popular as an underpainting for skin tones that was used by Michelangelo and other artists as early as the 11th century.  Other common uses for Terre Verte were priming wood panels, tinting parchment and as a base color for fresco work and a bole for gilding.  Today, we can mix Pthalo Green and Raw Umber or Chromium Oxide green, Raw Umber and a black to create the color Terre Verte.

A neutral, delicate blue-green introduced in 1835 was very popular and fashionable.  The pigment comes from Oxides of cobalt and zinc. However, due to the cost, lack of coverage, and poor body its popularity declined.  It is easily duplicated on the palette and cobalt greens of today are nowhere near the pigment of long ago.  

 I have a conflicting report on this, Gamblin, a company who make my favorite oil plaint says it is an undervalued cool green with moderate mass tone and very muted tint. No combination of blue and yellow will yield this unusual color. And it makes valuable grays.  Will research more.

Another green pigment that became available in the late 19th century.  A bright, cool, transparent blue-green color that is an excellent all around colorant.  First synthesized and patented by Guignet of Paris in 1859,  the nontoxic viridian replaced Verdigris and Emerald green as a glazing color. The popularity of this green led some to believe that it would replace all other greens both ancient and modern. But it did replace Verdigris and Emerald green by the turn of the 20th century.  It is lightfast and compatible with all other pigments and is unaffected by diluents such as acids and alkalis. 

Introduced in 1862, this pigment has a cool, muted, earthy tone with reliable permanence.  It is an opaque dull yellow to mid green that has a nice coverage and is lightfast.  It has a high tint strength and is unaffected by light, acids, alkalis or heat.   Its pigment is made of Anhydrous chromium sesquioxide.  It can be made my mixing Cadmium yellow light and Ultramarine blue.

A dull, brownish earthy yellow green made of Iron oxide, Arylide yellow, Copper Phthalocyanine.

A most beautiful vibrant blue-green produced by the further processing of Phthalocyanine Blue.  First manufactured in 1927, it has a high tinting strength with extreme transparency and will quickly dominate your painting if used in heavy quantity.  It is a wonderful lightfast glazing color that resembles Viridian but is more intense and slightly darker. This pigment is made of Chlorinated copper Phthalocyanine. There is a warm version made and it is PHTHALO EMERALD with a yellow green shade instead of blue-green.  It is made by adding bromated copper to the Chlorinated copper.

My resources are Gamblincolors.com website and the Wilcox School of color.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

"Pavo Manibus Reliquit"

"Pavo Manibus Reliquit"

This is Latin for Peacock Hand Left.  I have been out of work for 8 weeks due to right arm surgery. My daughter suggested I try to do an abstract with my left hand.  I did impressionism instead. She is a 24x48 palette knife oil painting on canvas.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Dry Brush Technique....
     An interesting concept that was brought to life by artisans in the marketplace that needed a quick yet dry to the touch way of painting portraits.  The concept...1 tube of oil paint, any color, but more common color is black plus sewing machine oil and watercolor paper.  That is it.  This is my practice piece.  Just an apple, something simple, it took an hour.

It gives a rough look in the light areas so I will have to find a way to smooth it out.  Check out this website http://www.art-portrets.ru/dry_brush_technique.html to view some amazing dry brush portraits by Igor Kazarin.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

"Centenis" from the beginning


I first start with a sketch. For this painting, I am going to do an underpainting first before I lay in color.

This is what I use for my underpainting.  I like Gamblin paint because it is creamier than others however you will see me use other paints because I am an art supply hoarder and cannot pass up a clearance sale.

After 1.5 hours, I have nice idea of where the shading and composition will be and it gives me an opportunity to change something before color goes on.


Another 2 hours into it I like to start laying down color in the background first.  This gives me a sense of what I would like to do with the subject.  I have also added more lights and darks to the giraffe (but not color)

I have watched a tutorial on realistic fur from Jason Morgan. So I am going to try his technique. I put a thin glaze over the giraffe and let that dry until the next day and I kept working the background,  My glaze is made with Liquin and a small amount of my paint. That must dry before I do anything else to her.

Today I only put another layer of glaze on the giraffe and let it dry til tomorrow.

Well I hope this works because right now she is ugly and I am nervous.  I lay in small strokes of fur in white.  I used titanium white but next time I will use zinc white because it is the most transparent of the white family.  I have almost completed the background, I will probably not do anything else to it until I get most of the giraffe done.  I may need to blur it a bit more because I want the contrast of a crisp clear giraffe in front of a blurry background.

This is all I have for now......more to come later....

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


30x48 oil on canvas, private collection
I took some pictures of the eagle at the Montgomery zoo and came up with
this composition. The eagle is reaching down to grab the viewer. This is not my normal
style but I enjoyed trying something new.  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

"Leonis Magnus"

2013 "Leonis Magnus" 36x36 oil on canvas
private collection.

  This is Daniel the Lion from the Montgomery Zoo.  The mane is not as good as I would have liked it to be but all in all, it is a good painting.

Monday, September 24, 2012


"Elephantus" 36x48 oil on canvas
2012 private collection
Another elephant from the Montgomery zoo painted in cool and warm tones. Will enter him in the 2013 Energen art competition in January....well I didn't win but was honored to be chosen to display him.

Friday, August 17, 2012

"Olivia lawrence"

16x20 oil on canvas, practice piece #2 and 1st official portrait painting
This is Olivia Lawrence, a beautiful girl that attends church with me that has a sweet spirit about her and I was so glad to be able to practice my skill on her.  This was so hard as I am teaching myself how to paint but in the end I think it turned out pretty good.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

2012 Energen art competition

My Painting of "Zeus," Montgomery zoo's white tiger was chosen to participate in the 2012 Energen Art Competition. Although he did not win any prizes it was still an honor to be chosen and have him hang on the wall with other great artists from Alabama during March 12th to 23rd. If you get a chance to be in Birmingham during that time, stop by and view all the artwork, the plaza is open 8 to 5, monday thru friday.

Friday, November 4, 2011


18x24 acrylic ink on gesso board, 2011
This is Raphael revised edition. I changed the background from ink to acrylic and used my palette knife. Also added a few light colors to the subject. Raphael is the baby giraffe at the Montgomery zoo.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Fall Up"

"Fall Up"
18x24 oil on canvas, framed, 2011, sold.

The original photo was taken by Alicia Morrison and I got her permission to paint this beautiful fall tree. I love the composition of a squirrels eye view looking up the tree. Fall is a favorite time of year for me and I am glad I persevered to the end with this one. That statement will make sense if you read my previous post.


30x30 oil on canvas, 2011, sold.

As an artist I have learned that most paintings go through the garbage stage. Meaning at one point in the life of your painting, you will want to throw it in the garbage! Don't do that. Underneath this colorful painting is a sad black and white painting that never got to show its face because in total frustration and a weak moment, I took my palette knife and covered it... and this beautiful painting emerged. Well, now when the garbage stage is upon me I will have to decide do I persevere and finish what I started or do I take the risk of covering what could be great and create a new idea. So I decided for now that every great idea should have a chance to be finished so with a renewed mind and determination not to fail I have revived my black and white painting on another canvas with a new twist which I think is much better than the first.