Monthly Archives: October 2018

Fuzzy Farm — let’s try this again….

The Story Behind the Creation I grew up in rural Indiana, farms are part of the landscape. The Fuzzy Farm came from a set of thumbnail sketches I did a while back after trying to figure out how to show a barn and its silo in a unique way. (this accidentally published 10/22 and had […]

Read More...

Big tree little tree

This composition is questionable. I’ve not decided if it works. Because where I live, the open fields often have just a couple of interesting trees in them or in a strait line of a fence. These against a wooded area become interesting isolated objects, but often difficult to capture. There’s some rule breaking going on […]

Read More...

Large Group Mass or Silhouette Design?

This pastel was the result of four thumbnails. My first thumbnail notan was the actual composition from the photo– each notan after that was a variation. The variations came by moving elements around, making darker values here and there. The goal was to try and figure out how to make the bright light coming between […]

Read More...

High key: learning to use half the tonal range

The decision to make this a high-key image came after the design drawings. The three attempts at thumbnails were to work out the design. None of the thumbnail sketches were high-key but all used a full range of tones from dark to light. The thumbnail sketch went through several incarnations. Going through my collected color […]

Read More...

The Zone System of values for artist

I am the proud owner of a book signed by Ansel Adams “The Range of Light”. It was the first or one of the first books using laser and digital technology to print images of art photography. I also have books from photographers Wayne Bullock and Others. What all these photographers have in common is […]

Read More...

The cross composition design: a flexible concept for artworks

This likely will not be the end of this painting. I must let it sit or hang on the wall in my studio and let it ferment — but for now it is done or very close to done. I really am excited about where this is going….. it is not ordinary or what others […]

Read More...

Rule of Thirds: well, let’s call it the suggestion of thirds

The Rule of Thirds is not a rule at all– at least not for me. Anytime someone says there’s a rule or absolute — RUN like hell the other direction.  Rules are made to be broken — at least that’s what we all have learned by now. As I’ve  said in earlier blog posts, I […]

Read More...

Counter Balance Steelyard Design Worked Best

This pastel started with a  series of graphite thumbnails.  I  picked a prepared 5×7 paper mounted on foam board that had been textured with clear gesso. I find it has a nice tooth and the places where brush strokes go different directions, where they cross, it leaves nice ridges that I can use to create […]

Read More...

Great Reads For Artists

Austin Kleon has two great books that every artist working to build a career needs to read. The first is Steal Like and Artist. Kleon ‘busts’ any mythical idea artists might have, that what they do is really original. The premise is that as a society we learn by stealing from those that came before […]

Read More...

Pastel Choices, Which to Buy? Not an easy thing

Anyone deciding to try their hand at pastel faces the same issue I did less than two years ago. After a lifetime of doing almost exclusively oil paintings, other than a high school trial of various mediums, I wanted to try pastel. All I can do is share my insights while my trial period is […]

Read More...