Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Lupins at Sunset

I hope you like this one? Nancy is enjoying it and in my world that is what counts! Below is the final output, and below that are three of the stages I captured while painting it.

Lupins at Sunset
ArtRage, 13 x 20

Stage #1

Stage #2

Stage #3

I hope you like this one as much as we do!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Lake Tahoe Trail

Here is my final stage of the meadows that are above Lake Tahoe. In proximity to Mount Rose Resort. These meadows are just wonderful!

ArtRage, oil and custom brushes, 24 x 30

Saturday, March 3, 2018

My painting process using ArtRage

I have a friend named Alex Zarucki that I think has the potential to be a great Russian painter. I wanted to share with him my technique that I have recently been using for how I paint my landscapes.

Using this image as a reference I will end up painting my final painting in 5 stages. Here is the reference:

For Stage 1 I will set my canvas color and paint the sky color on the Canvas layer. The brush is not important at this stage, just the colors. The layer selected in the image below is NOT the layer I painted on! I painted on the "Canvas" layer.

Stage 1

Stage 2 is painted on the SC2 layer. For this painting I used the default Square Canvas 6 brush instead of my favorite SC2 - 34% brush. I did not want any grain to be seen this time. This is the first time I have painted with this brush.

Stage 2

Stage 3, 4, and 5 are all the same, using the Monet 4% brush settings that are in the screen shot. I think you get the idea how to finish your painting! Leave some of the canvas exposed to get that relief or three dimensions!

Stage 3, 4, 5

Enjoy and I hope this can help you to get painterly paintings! I can Thank this technique of painting to my wonderful friend Daniel Ibanez. He is a Master in painting "painterly paintings". See him here at: Daniel Ibanez - Youtube

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Janesville, Elysian Valley California, Hopkins Ranch

I miss this place. With views like this one we never stopped enjoying the landscape. Sadly, because of the altitude we were forced to sell it. Nancy could not tolerate the 4300 foot elevation. We both miss it and it was one of the hardest decisions we ever made.

ArtRage 24 x 36

Monday, February 19, 2018

When you really don't like your own work...

The first few stages were great. Then came the flowers at the end. I just don't know. To big? Yup. To bright? They were. I toned them down and blurred the layer.  Wrong tint/hue? You bet. I lowered the brightness, changed the hue to slightly blue and dropped the saturation. Did this all help? I think so. But can I continue to tweak this some more? NO! I don't want to. I got to the point on this painting that I can not stand to look at it anymore. It is to depressing. It is dreary and I do not enjoy looking at it. It is time to move on!  Here is the final and stages below:


Sunday, February 11, 2018

If only Monet could have painted in digital...

I will never compare with Clyde, but I have to admit it is getting easier for me. Finally!

Here are the three stages of my latest digital rendition of Monet's water lilies:

Stage #1

Stage #2

Final: ArtRage 17 x 22

Look closely at the smaller flower on the top right: behind it is the color indigo. Right before I painted this painting I read about how Monet would paint the color Indigo Blue behind the lilies so that there was the perfect shade behind the while pedals. So, I looked online for what the color was in RGB values and used those values to accent the flowers. The blue is not shining through my pedals but you can see the beautiful purple/blue that goes so nicely with the white/pink flowers.

I am really enjoying this painting. I hope you like it too! 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

100% home grown goodness!

This painting represents what my new to be; home state of Virginia is all about. The painting is taken from a photo I took on a trail that is about a mile from my home. Indians used to roam these forest lands 300 years ago. It's wild to think that where I walked on this path, native Americans roamed too. I hope you like it!

Powhatan, Ford's Colony, Williamsburg Virginia
ArtRage Square Canvas 2 & Oil Brushes

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Another Autumn Painting

Says it all. I like the colors of orange and blue/purple autumn fall scenes and this one is no exception. I hope you like it!

ArtRage Oil Brush

Friday, February 2, 2018

Lake Tahoe Flowers

Late last summer I was in Reno for a couple of weeks minding the store (warehouse) and on a Sunday I got the whim of driving up to Tahoe to this meadow I had always seen from the road. I would say it is at about 10,000 feet elevation. It was early in the morning, a little bit passed the golden hour but the light was still warm and glowing brightly. I plan on painting a few paintings from my photos I took that morning and this painting below reflects the morning in my memory.

The purple flowers in the foreground were just stunningly purple. I do not think I have seen a more beautiful purple in my life! Everything was just right. I hope you like my work!

ArtRage Oils, 16 x 24

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Just a Walk in the Trees

ArtRage is so easy to crank out good artwork. Little to no effort creating this image. I just wanted to paint some beautiful orange colors. Wham!

ArtRage  5.0.5 64bit. iMac

Friday, January 5, 2018

Acrylic Paints and Digital can live together!

I took the time to bring my Aspens acrylic painting image into ArtRage to add flowers and fix the left tree trunk that got distorted while I was painting with real acrylic paint. I did not notice the mistake until after the paints had been put away. See if you can spot the trunk fix. I added other touches through out the painting too. More highlights here and there. I think it worked out really nicely!

I hope you like the final output!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Aspens via Pallet Knife

This painting was inspired by a YouTube video I watched. I can't find the link right now but if I do I will update this post.

Aspens in Acrylic, 16 x 20 on Fredrix Canvas, Pallet Knife

Not bad.  I did notice later on that the second tree from the left is missing some trunk. It was painted but it was overlapped with other colors and it looks like it disappeared. I'm done with that one so I do not have plans of fixing it. It's fine for what it is. Kind of a study in pallet knives. This was painted in early December. Had thought of adding flowers to it to color it up some with warm colors. Don't know now.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Another one bites the dust, in a good way!

This latest effort was a good and bad experience. And, I am just fine with that. Painted on a cheap canvas panel (to much grain). 18 x 24. I am using a new acrylic paint called MyArtScape. Very nicely pigmented paint that is some where between a soft body and hard body. Leaning towards soft body. Slightly harder than Liqutex Soft Body paints. And the 48 colors - 22ml set is cheap (inexpensive)! The Yellow Green is an excellent mix and I enjoyed using it. Below are the five steps and a final cropped image that helps this abysmal looking painting:

Acrylic 18 x 24, canvas panel

The inspiration comes from this video below, which looks nothing like mine! Yushkevich does a great job and focuses on his reference image. I kind of went nuts with the green!
Yushkevich Victor Nikolaevich

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Been there, done that. Will I get it this time?

Michael James Smith is an absolute wonderful artist, but damn... I do not have the patience to paint in his style. I spent the last week studying his new painting videos and website. I blocked in one of his paintings using acrylic then threw it out. Acrylic does not blend for me so I added it to the heap. Then, I painted another block in on a 12 x 12 panel, in oil. So far, so good.

Painted the nondescript sky; check. Good so far. Then came the background trees... Even with my glasses on the dabs of paint were just way to small for me to deal with. It just looked like blobs of paint and did not look like branches, leaves, canopies, trunks, shadows, or anything to do with a row of trees. Their crap. Crap, Crap, Mega Crap!

Liam; I am your grasshopper! You are my master and I have strayed. Forgive the clown that just does not seem to be happy with your ways.

Out of this whole negative journey I have learned a few things; which is good:

1) I got my setup headed in the correct direction. Thank you Michael!

2) If you have succeed at one form of painting then exhaust that style until you can do it in your sleep and is no longer a challenge.

3) For me, if a painting takes longer than two to three hours to paint I will fail. I do not have the aptitude for the small details required for realism. I "cannot" do realism. It is not in my personality.  

Remind me in the future to stay the Liam course until I am tired of painting using his style.

Cue sera sera!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

I'm headed back to Liam...

I tried the MJS (Michael James Smith) way of painting and failed miserable. Looking back on my failures "I think" the reason I failed was because the brush tip I was using for the detail leaf work was to large. I could not seem to get the paint on the canvas lightly enough. Or, my touch is stronger than his is and he has learned how to control his delicate touch. I couldn't do it. I tried another artists's acrylic style landscape (Chuck Black) and ran into the same issue of the leaves being to big. I went into my watercolor stash of brushes and found much smaller liner brushes. Will be trying those on my next landscape.

Here is my latest Liam. Not bad. Not great but the technique for me is coming along. 

I did take this photo using my new CREE LED lighting. What a difference the colors have using these lights compared to my CFL T8 lights.

Summers End by Liam Rainsford:

And my attempt at a Liam:
16x12 Oil on Fredrix pad canvas

Thanks again Liam for taking the time to make your videos and helping us striving artists to copy and use your paintings. I have learned so much by watching your videos!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The School of Michael James Smith

Well...  I am taking the plunge and it is really deep down here.

YouTube Artist Michael James Smith has gained a huge following in only a years time. I was there in the beginning. He is over 100K followers already. He must be doing something right? Liam Rainsford still only has 10K followers and he has been on YT for 4 years. Something is wrong there. They are both great artists. But the people like what they want to like right?

Here is my first serious attempt at anything close to Michael's style of painting. It is just a simple study I did in a pad/book of water color paper.

MJS Study

This "quickie" took me about 5 minutes to paint the acrylics, then the oil on top took another 15 minutes. Here are some things I observed:

1. The brush that I started to use looked to be the same size as MJS but I could not control it properly. I moved to a much smaller one and was able to able to control it better.

2. A very light touch is required. The lighter the better.

3. Don't drink two cups of coffee before painting his style! I had the jitters painting those small leaves.

4. My background hill is still not blue enough. I am struggling with applying the correct colors. Not sure what to do about this other than practice makes perfect.

5. I did this in one 30 minute sitting. That is why some of the leafs of the trees are the same color. If I had marinated this painting I would have noticed the leaves were to0 similar in color.

6. Once I got the size of brush under control I was able to crank the leaves out quickly. The outcome is a little painterly which I kind of like!

7. Winsor & Newton Artisan Mixable Oil paints suck... Maybe the tubes I used were shot and dried out. I don't know, but the yellow was a clumpy mess and required way to much Liquin to break it up.

I am going to explore this some more this weekend. I wish there was some Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd paints available here in Reno but I can't seem to find any. I think if I was using those oil paints I would be able to control the paint better, like MJS does.

I enjoyed his technique and I may be on to something here!

Painting using MJS's style requires the easel to be set up like he has done. The easel is in his lap; paints and pallet to the right side, brush holder behind pallet, lights above the painting... I had a hell of a time seeing the panel with the two lights I was using to paint by (on the back-left).  In Virginia I am going to have to resolve lighting if I want to continue painting with oils. I think this is critical for my success.

I will have to have a minimum of two paint stations. One for studies and one for final paintings. Get in; practice, practice, practice; then paint a final. This way I can let my "finals" percolate and marinate, then I can come back to them to tweak them while moving on to the next painting in the study sessions. I think I will learn faster this way but will also get better finals because I walked away and came back with fresh eyes. At least that is the theory!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

How I saved $580.00...

I went to Dick Blick in search of a wall easel and decided it was way to expensive. So I created my own and spent about $100.00. Not bad! Now let's see if it holds up to this painter's abuse.

Make a comment on this blog if you want to see how I built it and what materials I used from Amazon and Home Depot. It's really quite simple! And, I don't think they look to bad either. It took me about 2 hours to make and mount both easels. They are rock solid to paint on!

Both units are 36" tall with 16" between the pair (house studs).
The bottom photo is sporting an 18 x 24 canvas panel. 
So, this setup supports fairly large canvases or panels.

Friday, October 6, 2017

YouTube Artists and Your Career as an Artist

I have been at this painting "thang" seriously now for about 2 years. And, after that period of time and study here are my thoughts that may help you get there faster than I did.

Using YouTube (YT) as your training tool:

  • Find an artist online that you really like their final paintings of. This is critical!
  • Only study the YT videos that you favorite artist paints and provides tutorials for.  No one else!
  • By only using one artist as your mentor you will stay focused with "one style" of painting. This is important as new artists doubt themselves and their abilities; and bop around. I did and wasted valuable time. 
  • Study your mentors painting strokes.
  • Notice how your mentor holds their brush.
  • Notice the angle of the brush as they paint a paint stroke.
  • Notice where the the handle of the brush is in relation to their hand.
  • Notice where the the paint is loaded on the bristles of the brush and what side or sides that the paint is loaded.
  • Do they spin the brush as they paint?
  • How do they mix the paints on the pallet? Pallet Knife? Brush?
  • Do they use a thinner or walnut oil to thin the paints?
  • What color is the pallet?
  • Follow the positions of paint on the pallet that your mentor uses. You may change this down the road but they are the professionals and you are the student. They had their reasons for that order.
  • Take one of the tutorials that you want to paint by and paint the same painting until you get results that you are proud of. It shouldn't happen the first five paintings. You are learning and Rome was not built in a day. Be very patient with yourself. Burn through some paint and canvases or panels. I have and I'm still not happy and ready to present my artwork to the public.
  • Painters paint and losers lose, so don't be a loser and quit; be a winner! Winners practice hour upon hour.

Currently, I am only studying the art work of Bill Inman. I love his painterly approach to landscape paintings. He is a very seasoned artist and is very helpful to his students. Someday I hope to paint as well as he does. I think Monet would have been impressed with his work.

I wish that Rob Adams made videos too. I like his final results.

Someday "you" may be the professional artist giving lessons and "we" will be learning from you... Stick with it and don't give up. Because; that would just be a waste of great talent to come!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Summer is coming to an end

I really do hate to see summer go. Spring and Summer can be such a nice time of year. I do enjoy the Fall and Winter but it seems that the fun times always happen in the warmer seasons.

This latest effort draws this years fun times to a close. The focal point on this painting is the purple and yellow flowers. I hope that you like it even though it is not using the rule of thirds.

Grass Land, ArtRage

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The joys of summer.

I am hoping you like this latest effort. It was a blast to paint and came together so easily. Yes, it is simple but that is what I like about it. A simple meandering hillside somewhere out in the country. I wish I had my bike so that I could see what is on the other side of the hills. There are some features about ArtRage that it make it such a pleasure to paint with. I'm hooked! I hope you like it.

ArtRage painting using a copyright free image as a reference.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

ArtRage is fun!

Someday I may be able to paint. I sure hope so. Until then I'm sorry but ArtRage just makes it fun again! I was able to paint this below in about three hours. It was easy to get the colors down that I wanted and the effect of using the custom brush Square Canvas 2 and Pastel chalk on top of that I think says it all. The Pastel Chalk on top gives those leaves a three dimensional look to them.


Let me know what you think! I like this one. Not my best effort but to me it is satisfying to look at.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Twenty-Five Minute Challenge

Once again...  Thanks Susan!

Susan posted a YouTube of herself painting a painting in 25 minutes:

And here is my painted version of the same image she used:
This one actually took me about 45 minutes. It is loosely painted compared to most of my paintings. I have her to Thank for this. I should be cranking out an image a day. Hence the name of this blog? Go figure!

The image is to dark. The finished result is still very immature, but its progress. I may turn off canvas settings when I paint pastel images in ArtRage. It seems to darken the image and there isn't much benefit of having the paper grain showing. The pastel just covers up the grain. Oil does not do this. Interesting.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Thanks to Susan!

It has been... 6 years? I think that is correct? Who cares!

Thanks to Monet Cafe with Susan Jenkins  and her wonderful paintings and abilities; to inspire me back into the fold, I have given pastels another try.  Here are the four stages I performed to get the painting some-what believable:

Stage 1, Block In
Stage 2, Alcohol applied
Stage 3, First pass
Tweaked 9x12 on UART 400 using Sennilier soft pastels

It's a start; I think? Do I have a chance to hop back in? Painter's paint and whiner's whine!

Friday, June 23, 2017

June 2017 Landscape Challenge

I created this image using a photo from the June WetCanvas.com Landscape challenge.  I enjoyed this painting! It's fun to review my work to others. Not to compare but to observe different styles and ideas related to the same images. Here is a link to the Wet Canvas pages: June 2017 Landscape Challenge

ArtRage 5.0.4

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Deltaville Virginia

A sleepy little town with a sleepy little dock in the sunset. I was at a friend's house last weekend before I flew back to Reno. This photo and painting are a snap shot of that evening. We had a wonderful evening. It was great seeing the waterway of the Rappahannock River mouth to the Atlantic Ocean. There weren't any clouds but this shot still came out okay I think.
Deltaville Virginia
ArtRage 5.0.4, Custom Brush

I hope you like it!