Friday, May 30, 2008

Oregon Coast Sunset

This is another small, 5x7, wax painting done from a small oil painting of the Oregon coast sunset. Still learning the limits of where I can take the wax paintings. Here I had a 6x8 canvas board and taped it off to 5x7 because those frames and mats are more standard size and easier to find. I also blocked in another Arizona landscape in oils and will work on that this week and post it in a few days.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Seattle Skyline

This is a 4 x 10 inch wax painting of the Seattle skyline from Gasworks Park. I found a beautiful silver frame at a thrift store so wanted to do a painting to fit and the skyline was the best image for its long narrow shape. I used a photo I took for a reference and have done several paintings from this photo as it is just a great image.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wax Portrait

This is a small, 6 x 8, portrait done with the encaustic wax medium. The texture and finish is attractive but it looks like I'll need to do these larger to control the figure details. Will try some 8 x 10's or and see if these work better.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

New Wax Landscape

This is a 6x9 landscape of my favorite place, Seattle's Green Lake. I realized a problem with the wax based painting is that there are only a limited number of color cubes I have to work with so I need to blend on the work itself. With paint I can just mix the color I want but the wax doesn't lend itself to mixing as I don't have many colors nor do I want to get involved in melting the colors together other on the actual painting surface. The plus side is that I tend to work brighter and more impressionist style with small bits of color, like Monet or Seurat. I will be trying some figure paintings to make use of my drawing sessions with the wax technique. Also reworking a large Green Lake landscape with my thick palette knife style but not at a point where want to show it yet. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More wax work

This is another small, 5 x 7, landscape done in the encaustic wax technique. It was an image I was having trouble with in oils but here I feel I nailed it. I realized most of my wax cubes are fairly dark colors so will need to buy more light colors to work in this impressionistic vein. Now, can I apply what I learned to a larger work in oils of this same image? Will try that soon. It's great to try other mediums and themes and bring the knowledge gained back and forth between them.

You can see some of the nice texture the wax gives, even in this small image.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wax painting

I have been working with the new medium, encaustic or wax. I use a small stylus that melts the wax as I dip it into the various colors. One issue is that it is difficult to keep the small cubes of wax clean when working with them so impurities develop. Will have to find a solution. Another problem is in going over a darker color with a lighter one, the darker one underneath melts at times and the light is not as pure either. Overall though, I find the technique relaxing and not tedious and I'm happy with the results. Have done two small landscapes and a face from my life drawing sessions. Am satisfied with the landscapes and here is one of them, a Grand Canyon scene.
A final step is a light buffing with a soft cloth although here too, buffing too firmly results in colors mixing too much. The textures produced are superb and the buffing gives a luminous glow, like varnishing an oil painting. A final drawback is that I have to work small as larger works would take too much wax to apply with a stylus. You can melt wax in pots and apply it with brushes but this requires a well ventilated studio which I don't have at this point. This work is 5 x 7 inches.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New Still Life

Have continued my eclectic jaunts. Finished another grid painting and still life so posting the latter. Also creating some impressionist style work with the wax medium. I found that working small provides the depth and variety I like. Will post these new works soon.

The flower still life is from a bouquet I had at home. I took several photos to use after the flowers wilt. The still lifes give me the chance to really emphasize the paint and texture. This is one of the thickest paintings I have ever done. It's 8 x 10.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Local Seattle Scenes

Finally, a hot weekend. Was 80 yesterday and will hit that again today. Here is a painting that is a view from Golden Gardens beach, on the west side of Seattle, on Puget Sound. Water is a little too cold to swim there but sunbathing on a nice day is popular. It's an 9 x 12 inch oil.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Green Lake Path

This is another small, 9x12, painting I refreshed by going over it with the palette knife. The image was satisfactory but needed more texture. I have quite a volume of Seattle's Green Lake work and will have to set up a separate area on my Website for all these. Still have a large project in mind once the weather improves and can go out on the lake for new photos.

Monday, May 12, 2008

New Arizona work

I've competed several new paintings from my recent Arizona trip. I've kept more of the colorful red rock theme here. Hope you like them.

These are both 12 x 24.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Here are some new drawings from my life sessions. Model was tall and slim.

Also have been working on some Southwest landscapes but taking a while so no finished results to post. Some works take longer in the oven to bake...

Also took a class on encaustic or hot wax painting. I'm looking for depth and translucent surfaces however in this class we melted the wax with a small iron and with soldering type irons so while the effects were interesting, it wasn't quite what I was looking for. Did create a couple of nice swirls style works postcard size but I was able to do these with markers before. Only advantage with the wax is the immediate drying and the depth of the wax so automatic texture is added. Also, the metallics were nice and give a jewelry like look. Will see if I do more of this but always good to learn a new technique for future reference.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

California sunset

This is a small 8x10 oil painting of a truck stop during a trip to California. It's one of my favorite urban scenes.

Have started a series of new Southwest landscape paintings and will post the results soon. Still deciding on the style, that is, how far from realistic can I get and still get the scene right? There is a range of photo-realistic to realistic, to impressionist, to very stylized or almost abstract. Each landscape has its best place in that range and the challenge is ending up with the best for the particular scene. It's what makes painting fun but also frustrating at times.

Friday, May 2, 2008

New Grids

Here is a grid painting I have been working on for a while and I am getting to the finishing touches. It reminds me of reflections in skyscraper windows, hence the title. I have several more works, including a series of red, yellow, and blue grids that are also almost finished. Will see if I do any more as am getting back to landscapes for a while.