Saturday, December 26, 2009


"RECYCLING" (9 x 12 oil on canvas) Reference Photo
This image is at the north end of 10, Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico City. I made a Graphite Sketch and submitted it to Bill Guffey's Virtual Paintout blog. Then after hours of wandering through the city and tagging several potential painting locations, I came back to this same image. There was quite a bit of clutter behind the horse and cart which was removed to improve the composition.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


NIPOMO BARN (5x7 oil on Masonite)
I have been a member of the Santa Maria Bonsai Club for years, and write our club's Blog. For our end of year party we have a Santa Maria style barbecue, a bonsai demonstration, and gift exchange. For the last several years I have created a small oil painting as my gift. I like to include an interesting tree in the composition. I found this great tree framing an old barn just south of Nipomo Ca.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Peggy's Cove (11 x 14 Oil on canvas panel)
This is my Nova Scotia painting for Bill Guffey's Virtual Painout Blog. Peggy's Cove is a terrific painting location with weather boat docks, storage sheds, crab traps, and net floats. There is a light house just up the road. My painting location was 130 Peggys Point Rd, Halifax (sorry I can't load the hyperlink, for some reason when i do it takes you to "'Peggy Texas").
I am not quite finished with this one, the foreground needs some work. The dark water area looks more like mud at the moment. It needs some submerged rocks to give it depth. Also I am not happy with the big shed it doesn't look much like wood shingles, But I am not sure how to make it look right. Any suggestions?

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Farm Road (11 x 14 Oil on canvas panel)
This is my Belfast paintng for Bill Guffey's Virtual Paintout site.
I enjoyed hiking around Larne, Northern Ireland. Everything is so lush and green. I almost missed this image at 109 Deerpark Rd. It must have been late in the day because the image was very dark [Ref: Photo]. After bringing up the brightness on the monitor I discovered a potential plein air painting site, There is good composition with a nice light/Dark pattern. The old farm machinery in the foreground adds interest .

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Lisbon Laundry (9 x 12 Oil on canvas panel)
This is my Lisbon painting for Bill Guffey's Virtual Paintout site. This alley can be found by going to [69 Campo de Santa Clara, Lisbon] on the Google Map, or just CLICK HERE. This is an interesting find. I was looking at sites around "Panteao Nacional", and set the yellow guy down at 63 Campo de Santa Clara. I moved two clicks toward the Panteao and suddenly was transported into this alley just east of Campo although the map shows me to still be on Campo.

I loved the multiple colors of the wall, and the tall double doors. The hanging laundry brings in some additional color to the painting. The perspective was changed so that you are looking more toward the wall as opposed to looking down the alley. Can you find a person in this painting? It's like the picture from our childhood, where you had to find the hidden objects.

Their are two sketches form this Virtual Paintout on my Sketch Blog PHIL'S SKETCHES.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


My client Tracee accepting her new painting.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I just completed this commissioned painting. As usual I start with a red under painting, and then sketch in details as needed. In this case the mountains and canoe were sketched in to ensure they are correctly drawn.

These two objects are now painted in.

Now the sky and water have been painted in. The general shape of the clouds with the lightest lights have been defined. The general color tones for the water have been laid in.

Bora Bora (24 x 36 Oil on stretched canvas)
This is the finished painting. It is the largest painting I have ever done and the task was somewhat intimidating. I am pleased with the results and will now feel more confident with larger paintings.


Back to School (12 x 9 oil on canvas panel)

This is my London painting for Bill Guffey's Virtual Paintout site. This is the York Bridge in Regent's Park, Paddington, England. CLICK HERE to see the Google Map reference photo. I painted most of this one loosely as though it was a plein air painting. I did however photo the image so I could draw some grid lines to aid in getting an accurate drawing of the boy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


DENIM (12 x 9 Oil on canvas panel)
This is my latest attempt at Karin's DSFDF project. The reference photo was terrific, and the thing that caught my eye was the jeans. I love to paint the light as it catches the folds in fabric. I made the door a burnt red orange to help bring out the denim. The block wall has been simplified a bit to emphasize the blues. The canvas was toned with a deep dark red and and grid lines were used to help me transfer the image to the canvas.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


DUOMO of FLORENCE (12 x 9 Oil on canvas board)

The Dome of Florence is the most recognized structure in Florence. This is the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore which was built between 1296 and 1436. It is hard to think of this structure being completed 56 years before Columbus discovered the Americas.

You can view my reference photo by "CLICKING HERE" which takes you to 16 Via dei Servi on the Google Map System. Then click on the fourth user photo.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Corn, Tomatoes, & Onions

Garden Fresh (8 x 10 Oil on canvas panel)
This is my latest entry to Karin's DSFDF blog. Thank you Karin for the terrific reference photo. I did not have to do any preliminary sketching for this one. I cropped and resized the photo on my monitor to the size of my canvas. Then started with the three tomatoes making sure they were placed correctly on the canvas. Then worked left to right on the painting always comparing size and position of each element.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Eglise Saint-Louis (10 x 8 Oil on canvas panel)

This is my May entry to Bill Guffy's VIRTUAL PAINTOUT blog site. Strolling down rue Saint-Louis en I'lle I was taken by these beautiful carved doors with cherubs overhead. The patina on the weathered old stone walls with varied warm and cool grays is fantastic. I love painting details and knew I had to try making a painting of this site.

To see my source photo use the Google map system and enter "30 rue Saint-Louis en I'lle, Paris, France". Then pan to the doors , and click the "Full screen" button.

Eglise Saint-Louis Organ

Eglise Saint-Louis Cupola

These two photos show the beauty of the Church interior. This baroque style Church was built between 1664 and 1675.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


This is my version of KARIN JURICK'S DSFDF challenge. Karin talked about how this project may be outside of some participants "comfort zone". Personally I like to paint most subjects that have interesting shape, colors, or light/dark patterns. However some subjects such as the wig shop just don't motivated me. Karin thank you for the terrific reference photo.

Karin has talked about painting on a black ground. I used a Sharpie pen to darken the background for my Diana painting, and liked this process. You have to paint light areas with fat paint or use two coats. For this project I used a deep red background, and sketched with a Sharpie and white pencil.

MADISON AVENUE (6x11 Oil on Masonite)
One of the problems with painting from photos is the camera records the dark areas as black. However when you are outside and look at dark areas you see various colors. I like to paint from reference digital photos displayed on the computer. I use the monitor brightness control to see allow seeing into the darks. Using this technique allowed me to see the flag on the right.
The traffic lights in the photo all appeard as yellow. However, we know the top light is always red. This is an other problem with photos. The camera will often record bright lights as yellow.

Monday, April 27, 2009


729 Keizergracht (9x12 Oil on canvas panel)
This is my first entry to The Virtual Paintout blog site, created by Bill Guffy. Bill creates wonderful lose plein air paintings. I hope he keeps this blog site going, and think it will grow in popularity.
I spent the first three weeks in a virtual walk though the streets of Amsterdam, and getting familiar with the google map system. The most valuable information on the use of this system was Bills suggestion to Email locations you like to yourself. I zoomed in one click for my selected site, and famed my image noting how the reflection of the grey building fit in the bottom left of the image. I thought I would need this to information to come back to the same view. However, using the email link it brought up the image exactly as I had zoomed and framed it. Another feature I learned after about a week of playing with this map system is you can make the full screen image by clicking the little box in the upper right hand corner.
To see my reference photo click go to the Google Maps and place the following into the find box (729 Keizersgracht, Amsterdam, North Netherlands) and click the Search Maps button. You will see I repaired and relocated the street lamp and removed the sail boat and a white tarp to improve the composition.

Friday, April 17, 2009


The latest challenge for Karin's DSFDF is a statue of Diana (Goddess of the Hunt, Roman Mythology). Karin wanted her army of Painters to treat this challenge as an exercise in drawing. I love to sketch people so was excited to get started.

This is my sketch on an old painting, which I sanded down to remove most of the brush marks. For accuracy I drew 1 inch grid lines over the photo and my canvas. I used a sharpie pen for the sketch because pencil would not show up on the old painting.

This is a rough draft use to develop the general shapes and colors. Notice the Sharpie lines show through the first coat of paint. To speed up the drying time I place the painting under a heat vent at night and in the full sun during the day.

DIANA (9x12 oil on canvas panel)
This is the finished painting. It was a lot of fun to paint. With a limited pallet I could concentrate on values and not think much about color. My pallet was: Flake White, Ivory Black, Ultramarine Blue, Raw Umber, and Burnt Sienna. I did try to replicate the cool and warm grays. I think a little more blue should have been used in the cool grays.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Boogie Boarding (5x7 oil on wood panel)
This is another Karin Jurik DSFDF bi-weakly challenge. I liked the reflections on the water in the reference photo. I changed the girl so she is looking to the left, and relocated her to form a group of three.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


SUSHI (5x7 oil on wood panel)
This was an exercise from Karin Jurick's Different Strokes from Different Folks web site. Thank you Karin for the great reference photo. It had wonderful color and contrast, and was a joy to paint.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


BIG RED (oil on canvas board 12x16)
The first five paintings were exhibited at Just Looking Gallery in San Luis Obispo, Ca. The show featured Urban Landscapes by William Wray. Wray is a highly regarded Urban Impressionist. The gallery had invited a few of the local artists to take part in the show.
I was in Santa Maria one day and was lucky to find the old engine barn opened and was able to take some photos These first two paintings were done from those photos. I liked the way the light from the windows reflected off the hood of the faded old truck.

PORTABLE GENERATOR (oil on canvas panel 12x16)
Well I think it is a generator. The gray tube on top is an exhaust with muffler, and the square on the back is a radiator. The trailer is attached to the back of Big Red. I liked the composition with the little yellow trailer against the dark interior of the engine barn.

TANDEM ENGINES (oil on canvas panel 11x14)
These engines and flat cars were in front of the San Luis Obipo railroad station. Nothing like a punch of yellow to attract the eye. I was painting this en plein air and a man came by and asked if I was going to get the water tank in the painting. It's just above the engine and I was told it is an octagon tank and a rare relic. I had to work on the two palm trees to get them to appear separated from the background trees.

GRAFFITIED TANKER (oil on canvas panel 12x16)
This tanker was in Santa Maria Ca. I thought the painting was OK and I was happy with it. It was hanging in my garage gallery, for a while and has made it in to my office. However there is a glaring error in the painting, can you detect it? It is interesting how we painters don't see obvious errors in their work, but others will see it right away. I think this is because of the time invested and we have grown to accept the errors. Setting a painting aside for a few days or looking at it in a mirror will help you see your own errors.
I will tell you the error at the end of this post.

CEMENT PLANT (oil on canvas panel)
This cement plant is in San Luis Obispo Ca. The light and shadow patterns on the tower are interesting. You can find cement plants in almost any town and they can be good subjects for paintings.

BOBS' TOYS (12x16)
I was with the plein air painters at one of our members homes, and her son opened his barn and pulled out a couple of his restored old cars for potential subject matter. I looked past those shinny beauties and painted the old Ford. I really enjoyed painting all the stuff in the barn. He and a bunch of old model air planes, and lots of tools. This painting required quit a bit of studio work to finish after the plein air sketch.

Did you see the perspective error in the Graffitied Tanker?
Notice the angle of the railroad ties for the track on the far left, they are all going off to a vanishing point to the distant right. The ties for the track the tanker is on should be at the same angle.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


GENERAL (oil on panel 12 x 16)
This Painting was done in an Eric Petersen work shop in Morro Bay Ca. Eric brought in black and white photos and some of his works done form these photos. One of his pieces was done with the light areas in greens and the darks in brown tones. This is a fun way to work and relieves you from the concerns of getting the color correct. I like the light violet grays in the General's hair, and the greens on his cheek. I had to do some research to see if his jacket should be gray on blue. The collar emblem indicated he was a Confederate General.

PRIDE (oil on panel 12 x 16)
Another Peterson work shop painting. The center of interest of most Portraits seems to be the eyes. That may have more to do with human interaction than contrast or color intensity. In this painting the light on the upper eyelid and bridge of the nose against the dark of the eye socket draws you to the eye. I left some of the alizarin background as shadow on the cheek and like the way that worked out. Working from these photos has the added advantage of forcing you to focus on the values. I believe value is the most important component in all art.

FRANK (oil on panel 18 x 29)
This is an earlier painting from a live model at Allen Hancock College. For me painting portraits from life is the most challenging form of art. I liked the lighting on the nose and the mustache.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Oil on canvas panel (6x8)
We recently went to Mississippi to visit family and ran into this lovable creature. He was particularly fond of my wife, who kept feeding him pears from the yard.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


SOUTH RIM, Oil on canvas board (5x7)
This was a gift for my Bonsai Club. I aways feature a tree in some way, and like to exaggerate the interesting characteristics of the tree. I noticed some of the shadows are a little dark on either side of the light stack of rocks in the foreground. It is interesting how we can continue to see little thing that need tweaking. Who was the famous artist who would make corrections on his painting when he would visit his clients?

CHRISTMAS CARD 2008, Oil on canvas board (6x9)
Glare on your painting can sometimes make it difficult to photograph. This painting was for our Christmas Cards this year, and shows my very professional photo set up. The fence is on the south side of our house, and I get good bounced light from the light neutral gray walls. The top fence rail is a convenient height.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Oil On Panel (4x6)
This DSFDF is my first night scene painting. Karin had warned us about the glare you get when photographing dark paintings. I was able to get a decent photo without glare. However after I submitted my photo I noticed the color was off a bit. A photo editor was used to get a better color match to the painting in this photo.


Oil On Panel (6x8)
This was my second project with the DSFDF group. For this project Karin paired up artists I Painted Christine and she painted me. I find portrait to be the most demanding art. If you get a branch on a tree to big no one would notice, but if you get one eye to big every one will see the error. I enjoyed doing the portrait, Christine was a fine model.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Oil on panel (6x8)
This is my first painting for Karin Jurick's newest blog Different Strokes From Different Folks . Karin's A Painting Today has been at the top of my favorite blog sites for some time. I love her bold brush strokes, wonderful light/dark patterns, and mastery of color. I will be posting more of my work on a regular schedule.