Monday, March 23, 2015

Progress of an oil painting in 3 steps

I thought I might post the steps to arrive at a finished oil painting for those of you who may be interested.

#1. The underpainting is usually done in acrylic and is basically just a map to show where the darks and lights will go. This could change as the painting progresses.
#2. The first layer of oil paint. This layers brings in the color palette that will be used. The paint is very thin at this point, mostly with paint thinner and a bit of liquin. This will help the painting dry quickly so that I can continue on the next day usually.
#3. The finished painting. I usually let it sit for a few days to dry and then will go back in and do a few details and some touch-ups. I really have to be careful not to overwork the painting (really easy to do) or it will loose the freshness that I am going for.

So that's it in a nutshell! This painting is 24 x 30 inches and is painted mainly from my imagination and some photo of marshes and estuaries.

Friday, February 27, 2015

24 x 30 inch oil The Estuary

This painting is based loosely on some photos of the Cowichan Estuary that I have plus a bit of imagination and the color study that I did previously.  I really like the warm colors and wanted to do a large painting using reds and oranges.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Color Study 8 x 10 inch oil

This is a color study in preparation for a larger painting I plan on doing soon.  It is always good to work out the colors and composition before committing the time and effort into a larger piece.  The only thing I may change is this painting is the two trees.  I am not sure they are really working.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

"A Bird in the Hand" mixed media 24 x 30 inches

This painting is a continuation of my exploration with mixed media.  There is no end to how creative you can be with this medium.  The results are always a surprise!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mixed Media Fun with acrylic

These two paintings are the result of some more fun with mixed media and abstraction.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

New Abstract Work 24 x 36 inches in acrylic - Discovery

I have been playing with my acrylic paints and doing a bit of experimentation with intuitive abstract painting.  Although it was a a lot of fun to do it was harder than I thought it was going to be.  I have always been very tight in my renderings of a still life and even a landscape, so actually painting without a plan or knowing where it was going was an eye opener for me.  It is very hard to let go of all the habits  (good and bad) that I have gathered during the years I have been painting so this little exercise was a good start in my loosening up and just enjoying the process of putting paint on canvas.  Also working large is always very liberating!  You will be seeing a lot more of these types of abstracts from me in the future for sure

Friday, November 21, 2014

Color Studies 8 x 10 inch oil

These two paintings are the result of my experimentation with color.  I tend to stick with the "real" local color in most of my paintings but I thought I would just use colors that I love and the combinations kinda worked!  These two were from some photos I had taken while kayaking this summer and although the area was very beautiful all I saw in the photos was green. I took a chance and made these two a fall landscape and I am pleased with the results.  These are for sale for $100 each on

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Abstracted River 8 x 10 inch oil

I really like the color combination in this one and have plans to do a larger studio piece in the future.  I love using these 8 x 10 inch panels for studies because they are a manageable size for finishing in one sitting yet they can also stand alone as a piece of art in a nice frame or part of a grouping of similar sizes.

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Mud Flats

16 x 20 inch oil The Mud Flats
$540 Available on

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Day 2 work in progress

I worked on these two paintings today with the first color layer.  At this point the paint is being thinned with liquin and paint thinner and should be fairly dry tomorrow so that I can go back in with another layer of color.  I am trying to keep my brush strokes loose and painterly which is quite a struggle for me as I really want to go in with details already (this is a throwback to when I painted still life realistically).  I think if I keep it loose it will make for a more interesting painting.  Here's hoping!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New work in oil

I started these two paintings today with a thin wash of burnt umber.  I basically just painted the paint onto the canvas and then wiped off where I wanted my lights to go.  It is a very simple way to start laying in your values and should make the painting progress easier as I get into the color layers.  These two are a continuation of the series of paintings that I am doing on the Cowichan River Estuary.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Evening Glow over Cowichan Estuary 16 x 20 inch oil

I just finished up this painting which is another in my Cowichan Estuary Series.  Even though the reference was taken during the day, I thought i would change it up a bit and make it an evening scene.  I enjoyed using the different greens, blues and oranges in this piece.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Day 4 - Completed painting 24 x 36 inch oil Birches in Snow

I finished this painting today and I am happy with the results.  As I said in previous posts I love this color mixture and i think keeping the color palette simple resulted in a nice piece.  The size is a little larger than I have been doing lately, and I think I may go even larger in the near future.  It really makes a statement on the wall when the painting is large and colorful and also the texture can be seen more clearly.  This piece was done entirely with a selection of different size palette knives.  Nothing beats a palette knife for keeping the painting fresh and painterly.  It is very hard to get finicky details with a knife so it works well when you don't want too much realism in your work.
24 x 36 inch oil
Available on

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Day 3 Work in Progress 24 x 36 inch oil

I am making a little more progress on this today.  I color blocked in the shadows on the snow and the snow itself.  I also added a bit more modelling on the birches trying to give a bit more texture.  I love the color palette for this one.  I made the soft mauve color by mixing part white, burnt sienna and dioxapine purple.  The color is more on the warm side due to the burnt sienna and i am liking it a lot.  I think I will let this dry a bit before working some more on the snow and shadows.  I also painted the sides of the canvas with the left-over paint mixture I had on my palette.  This is a good way to use up the paint if you like to clean your palette after every session.  I always start with a clean palette but I do have a plastic tupperware container with dividers in it that i keep my colors laid out in.  I put this into a small fridge I keep in my studio so that the paint stays fairly fresh until the next time I use it.