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 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!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Real Water Color

I gave the Peter Sheeler school of technology a try. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would give it a five. But what can I expect for a first try?  Wrong tools, wrong colors, and I just didn't care! Crank it out and see what happens. Nancy said "Maybe watercolors are your style of painting?" I'm not so sure but maybe it is? Time will tell.  Here you go:

Water Color Farm House
AquaFine paints (Brunt Sienna, Virdian, Ultra Marine, Crimeson Lake)
Canson Watercolor Paper, 5 x 7

Monday, May 22, 2017

Painterly with Realism...

The two techniques can live together. I painted this one from a copyright free image I found on Google. It spoke to me. The painting is very close to the photo but only painting can give you those painterly paint strokes. Here it is:

I did not do any post processing on the image since I don't have the time right now. I started it last night and finished it this afternoon.

I painted this entirely using the Custom Brush: Square Canvas #2 and an ink pen for the tree limbs in ArtRage 5. The Square Canvas #2 brush is really wonderful. It blends, has brush strokes, is great at all sizes and just works!

I hope you like this one since it was fun to paint. Thanks again Daniel!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Thank you Daniel!

Artwork mimicked from Daniel Ibanez's YouTube channel. Thank you Daniel! I know you are going to be posting a YouTube video on how to paint in a painterly fashion and I look forward to it. I re-watched every step of the video you posted and noted every brushes settings. The biggest thing I took from the video was that the brush size was very large. Much larger than I would normally do. Ever!

I did some reading over at WetCanvas and searched for "painterly" and one of the posters mentioned holding the brush at the end and to use a much larger brush than you normally would. This helps the painter paint with a gentle touch and in an abstract fashion.

Enough gibberish on my part. Here is my quick rendition of Daniels painting. All done in ArtRage, no Photoshop:

Thanks again Daniel! By the way, I own two Ibanez guitars! I have been playing Ibanez guitars since 1974.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Painting #30

I think I'm getting better?

Earlier this week I went through all of my photos looking for paintings I have painted. Twenty Nine? No way. And now this one. Number Thirty. Where is this leading me? My first painting was painted on January 4th, 2014. That is 1,224 days ago. So in 1,224 days I have painted thirty paintings. "Huh". That represents one painting every 41 days.

Should I paint more? Considering that, in that amount of time I have been actively painting for a total of thirty days. That's another "huh" moment.

I finished the latest painting, and I had such high hopes. Looking at it now after it has marinated a bit today it's just okay. I really hope I get to the point I am really as proud of my paintings as I want to be. But, yet, that time has not arrived for me.

I learned volumes with this painting and that is what every good artist must do. Learn for the future.

Blue Beach

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

It's coming along...

The result of working on the "cloud" I think has paid off! It is not 100% to my liking but it is time to move on. This painting is taking longer than I expected. And, it is becoming to realistic and not painterly enough.

While watching Daniels painting of his wife, at the end he cleans up the painting by making some larger strokes that are in a painterly fashion. This gives his final output the look of a real oil painting that I think works nicely. Now with this painting I think I am going to stumble. This image will not lend itself to being painterly due to its size and scope as an image. To much detail will be lost unless I paint the crap out of it at the end and add thousands of painterly/impressionistic strokes. I'm not sure where it is headed and I am backing off painting for the moment. I'm not feeling it. Here it is at the moment:

Not bad when I am looking at it this morning for the first time! Nothing jumps out at me that is wrong. I won't give up then!

Monday, May 8, 2017

How am I going to fix this one?

I started another beach painting and I have made a few mistakes. And, I think I know where I have gone wrong. I re-watched some of Daniel's videos and he is doing it correctly. He only uses one layer, he is keeping it painterly, and paints on top of his sketch.

With the image below I make some critical mistakes. The biggest being that I started using multiple layers. While in digital painting that seems like it works well for resolving mistakes, in real painting you can't very effectively blend the colors. Watch some of Daniels works. Either in PS or ArtRage for him; it's the same thing. One layer and the brushes/paint mix nicely. Two layers like I have done below and it doesn't work. I will remove the second "clouds" layer and paint directly on the sky layer that I had created. I think that will solve the issue. It's worth a shot. I do not like the direction the painting has gone. Maybe I will rename the "sky" layer to "painting" and learn my lesson from a pro? LOL!

I will use a pencil from now on for the sketching portion of the painting and will paint directly on the sketch afterwards. Keeping it painterly and undoing initial mistakes when I stray from the lines is what I should be doing.

I don't think my mistakes are my fault. Every painter paints differently and I am getting confused by the different techniques by other painters. I need to stick with Daniels technique for the time being. His look of paintings is what I am after. His and Rob's.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

I'm still here... Honest!

Okay, okay, I know. What kind of show am I running here? It's not you, it's me. I have been busy learning. I said this was going to be a journey didn't I?

Here is my latest painting. Not great but it will do for now. I made to many mistakes on this painting to justify cleaning it up. Lesson learned: always sketch your painting out first. If I had traced the reference picture this would have come out much better. My sketching skills are no where near my capabilities of painting with a brush. That's why this painting is off. But, the new brush I learned about from Daniel Ibanez on YT that is in ArtRage 5: Square Canvas 2 is the bomb. It has some flaws that need to be cleaned up in the end but it is so painterly for a digital brush.

Purple Beach
ArtRage 5.0.4, Square Canvas 2 brush

Aren't the colors just a WoW in this painting? I love purple; don't you? My perspectives are off and not very realistic but this brush and technique of painting is a blast to paint in. After I get a few more paintings under my belt I plan on maybe making a video on my process. It is about time to give back.

What do you think? Thanks for stopping by!!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I have not given up!

No way have I given up. I have been busy learning. Have you given up? I hope not! The last two months I have been very active at work. And, I have been actively painting too. I have started two digital paintings and then stopped mid-way through the process (maybe three paintings?). I have the feeling until I get my niche way of painting this is going to happen.

My latest Peter Sheeler painting that I painted I really like (see below). I have this painting on my desktop computers as the background and I don't get tired of looking at it. The painting went so easily for me too. I think I have to listen to that.

The last three attempts at paintings were all forms of Peter's watercolors. Two issues that popped up for me: I over detail the paintings and I end up using pastels and ruining them.

Drawing the pen portion of the paintings is very abstract. I have not learned yet how to draw in an abstract fashion. My mind wants to detail to death the image I am using as a reference. That is not what painting is supposed to be. Painting is supposed to be an abstraction of reality. If I wanted real I could take a picture and be done. Been there, liked it, but did not love it.

For some reason my upbringing is telling me that painting in watercolors is not really painting. Child finger painting? No pain, no gain? Just add water? Peter's method is too simple? His method is painting by numbers? If it is so bad then why does he sell his paintings regularly on EBay and he has 40,000 subscribers? His videos receive hundreds of likes. Watercolor? Really? Just add water? How can this be? But the more I look at my copy of the lighthouse I love it. It is detailed, abstract, colorful, vague, and has dimension. My best painting to date. I must listen to my feelings and trust them.

This last week I received from Amazon the same tools and paints that Peter is using and I am trying to get up enough nerve to start painting real paintings. I took a piece of 5 x 7 paper at work and quickly started the pen portion of the lighthouse and it worked. I was able to dry the lighthouse. I was amazed! My hands could actually draw the lighthouse! There is really something to the Peter Sheeler school of technology. Thank you Peter for opening up my eyes!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

First of many lighthouses

Another Peter Sheeler copy. From his latest posts:


I forgot to sign this one. Oops! Well, I don't deserve to sign it because it is a copy of an original excellent work of art.  Thanks Peter for being so gracious!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Watercolor and Landscapes

I haven't been taking a break, honest. My latest attempt below is from the great Peter Sheeler. I watched a video by him several months ago on how to paint tree branches and trunks. I stumbled across his videos again this week and oh my... I'm a subscriber now and convert. His Instagram, and Flickr images are outstanding!  Here is my version of his latest barn:

Peter Sheeler - ArtRage: 1766 x 1054

What's there now to like about this painting? It was his idea not mine. His is better but I'm learning and his painting style is very easy for me for some reason. 

More will follow in this style. Below is my second painting imitation. I don't care for the watercolor version that I did. I did it a second time in pastels and its better but not 100% to my liking:

Peter Sheeler - ArtRage: 2100 x 1500

I am enjoying this painting style. It comes out easy for me. I need easy right now. Work is kicking my rear-end and the painting must not distract me from my living. It's a place to go to that is safe and fun!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


My next attempt at art I am using procreate. The painting will be a copy from a painter that I really admired: Norma S Foresberg. A not really well none painter (Utah) but I liked her style. I did an internet search of her paintings and was only able to find one. What a shame:

I have two of her paintings that were posters put to canvas then had varnish applied to them to make them look like real oil paintings. They are both hanging in my office at work. I enjoy looking at them often, when work is getting me down.

My attempt at her painting has rich yellows and oranges from a fall time scene of grass, bushes, trees and a wandering path to a fence. I have noticed that the path has groves in it and they appear to be the groves of wagons instead of the groves of tires of vehicles. Did she intend to have wagon wheel groves? We will never know. She passed away in 2000. Her husband passed away in 2013.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

I have been gone

I was in Virginia for the last three weeks; busy with life and have done zero paintings. But, now I'm back! I will be very busy this week at work but I am hoping to start posting here again by the weekend.

ArtRage 5 is coming out soon and I am looking forward to getting that update. It looks really promising to fix the things that I disliked about the current version.

I am also thinking through my computer setup using my Wacom 27QHD monitor. I'm not 100% sure that I am going to stick with Apple. Lot's to think through there. Apple has some real pluses but also some weird behavior too. Time will tell. I want to really think this through since I will need a setup in Virginia too. I hate not painting when I am there.

That's it for today. It's good to be back!