Words & Blues

Keith Richards portrait, with markers

Posted by in Words

Not just any markers, mind you. Copic Sketch markers, which are specially designed for use by artists. They have two ends (a broad tip and a fine tip), and are refillable. They come in a huge variety of colors. This started as a pencil sketch, then waterproof ink to establish the main lines, and finally markers for color and shade.

#30-B: Casual Evil – 30 paintings in 30 days

Posted by in Artwork, Sketch a day

The last one! It’s been quite an adventure. As I posted earlier today in the Facebook group that stated this odyssey of a painting a day: “The month went by in waves. Some days I struggled, some days I did interesting things, but a few times during the month things really came together and I painted something that I really loved.  It was the act of painting nearly every day (and doubling up at times to keep up) that was what meant the most. I saw painting in ways that I…read more

#30-A: Edith – 30 paintings in 30 days

Posted by in Artwork, Sketch a day

A portrait of a woman silenced by circumstances beyond her control. “Edith” refers to the target of Archie Bunker’s phrase: “Stifle yourself,” as if it were a woman’s job to abuse herself. I’ve learned over the last few years what women have to deal with on a daily basis. In my imagination, this represents the awful past: a woman with great heart who has wound up with a cruel husband, trapped on a land claim way out west. It just breaks my heart to think of her, because surely there…read more

#29: Island Dream

Posted by in Artwork, Sketch a day

Here is the finished painting from #28: Island Dream.

#28: Half of a Dream

Posted by in Artwork, Sketch a day

This is my first out-and-out cheat on the “painting a day” requirement. This is the first half of a painting. There are two ameliorating factors. One, this was really all I could do, in terms of applying paint to paper. I did do a good deal of preparatory work – establishing color choices, working out mixes, figuring out how to achieve some of the technical effects I was after. Two, I finished the painting the next day, and I did two paintings on the 30th. So: the first half of…read more

#27: Worst Painting Day So Far – 30 paintings in 30 days

Posted by in Artwork, Sketch a day

This was a difficult day to paint – I was VERY tired, and I could not make the brush do what I wanted it to do. At one point, I was so mindless that I put my hand directly into the fresh wet paint!!! But I painted anyway, and this is the result. Pretty strange, even to me. It does seem to capture the sense of frustration and anger I felt trying to paint in that mental and emotional condition.

#26: Testing frisket (masking fluid) extender – 30 paintings in 30 days

Posted by in Artwork, Sketch a day

OK, this is clearly the most lame of the 30 paintings. I just wanted to test the frisket extender! The problem with frisket is that it dries quickly, and can just destroy a brush in a hurry. I have learned to use cheap, stiff brushes for masking portions of my paintings, but even then, as the frisket dries on the brush, it makes the brush harder and harder to use effectively. I ran across Sue’s Solution on Amazon (and that’s the only place you can buy it). I decided to…read more


#25: Vellum as a drawing surface – 30 paintings in 30 days

Posted by in Artwork, Sketch a day

If you hadn’t already caught on, a painting doesn’t have to be too fancy to quality for 30 in 30. These are tests of vellum in a little 3″ x 4″ book that I picked up at Daniel Smith in Bellevue. I really like this surface, but especially for pencil (just utterly fantastic) and pen (as satisfying as sweet potatoes in maple syrup). I recommend a very fine point for pen work; the vellum tends to soak up a bit of the ink and widen the line. Witness the pen…read more

#24: Funky Chicken – 30 paintings in 30 days

Posted by in Artwork, Sketch a day

This was just for fun today. A crazy chicken to try out some brush strokes with the #11 Da Vinci sable. It even sort of resembles a chicken.

#23: Accidental Portrait of Alfred – 30 paintings in 30 days

Posted by in Artwork, Sketch a day

I was sketching out a face, and apparently my subconscious mind turned it into a portrait of someone I know. I didn’t even realize it until my wife Donna pointed it out. This is a hybrid effort – I drew the face loosely with pen and ink. It was water soluble ink, which I then blended with a brush.I then painted in background and hair.It definitely creates a different look to mix ink and watercolor in this way. And the hair was a great discovery; I was wondering how I…read more