Thursday, December 31, 2015

Michigan Barn with Herefords

This is a barn in Lenawee County, Michigan, that I photographed the last time we painted in the area. Michigan is full of old picturesque and unique buildings and barns, many of them constructed of stone. This barn seems to have been abandoned and the Herefords weren't actually there. I added them because I like to see a little bit of life in paintings and I think animals add interest. I'll often throw in a cat or someone walking their dog if the picture is too static.

9" x 12" Michigan Barn

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Colors

I packed up the Christmas tree Friday and created a small painting of some ornaments before wrapping up the last of the decorations. I didn't put much thought into the composition; I only wanted to paint something that wasn't commissioned after so many weeks of painting pieces for other people.

This board had an olive green underpainting, which is showing through in a few places. I thought it would make the red pop. A little painting like this takes about an hour and is fun to do, plus it's spontaneous and loose, just the way I love to paint.

5" x 7" oil on gessoed hardboard

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Portrait of a Seven Year Old

I forget the name of this child. He is a friend's grandson and she asked me to do the painting for Christmas so she could give it to her husband. He has an adorable dimple in his chin and the pose is unusual.The reference photo was a poor quality cell phone picture but somehow I managed to make it work. I used an image editor to increase the contrast so I could see the form better. She told me what she liked about the photo was the ratty cowboy hat and the fact that he was sitting still--unusual for this child according to her.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

My sweet rescue dog-- proving once and for all that love conquers all, and there are no bad dogs, only bad dog owners.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Philadelphia Brownstone Commission

11x14 oil on canvas

One more Christmas house painting: a Philadelphia brownstone with the owner's Vespa parked in front. I think the scooter adds charm to this painting. It's the first scooter I've ever painted, although I have painted a couple motorcycles. This is another piece where I changed the seasons because the original photo showed some dying flowers and I spruced up the flower boxes and planters a bit.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Remodeled Farmhouse in New York

18 x 24 Oil on Canvas

This was another Christmas commission and the client specifically asked for the chicken coop to remain in the front. Maybe there's some sentimental attachment to it. I also changed the season on this piece. The leaves were already gone and they were doing some construction on the house so I added fall color and imaginary landscaping.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Special Request

11x14 oil on canvas
House Painting

The photos I received showed the house in the summer but this client wondered if I could paint their home in a winter setting. With paint anything is possible!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Fall Painting from Photos

18 x 24 oil on canvas

This is the Schrade homestead in New York. They like their chicken coop and the pictures they gave me showed bare trees. I was asked to paint the scene as if it were fall and to add some shrubs because the home was under construction when they took their pictures.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Better Photos Equal Better Results

I'm pleased with this painting. The quality of the photos has a direct bearing on how a painting turns out, so when I receive excellent reference photos it's easier to create a beautiful piece. This house had a wonderful color scheme and some really nice landscaping. The owner also waited for a sunny day and took his photos when the light was at a good angle. A little planning goes a long way@

11" x 14" oil on canvas

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Another Holly Jolly House Painting

This is a traditional brick style ranch home that looks like it might have been built in the late seventies or early eighties. Nothing special about it, although it is beautiful. The photo I was given lacked contrast and the plants were fading. The leaves had lost their leaves. I magically returned the leaves to the trees and brightened up the shrubs and grass, giving the painting a late summer appearance.

After I showed her the proof she mentioned that she might not want that little pine tree in front of the house, so I'll probably be doing an edit.

11" x 14" oil on canvas


Removed the tree. It took about three minutes. 

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Tis the Season to Paint Houses

People love their pets. And I get that. Because I love mine too. This client wanted three of their dogs positioned near the home. Two fluffy ones on a bench on the porch and a beagle in the yard. I got the impression these dogs were owned sometime in the past and were being included as accessories, but beloved ones. Why did I think that? The quality of the photos of the pets was the main reason. They looked like old faded photographs from an album. Almost like a cell phone picture of a picture. You get the picture--not the best of quality. When I agree to include pets in house paintings I remind the client that I am only able to 'suggest' the animal due to size limitations. I think I'm spending too much time defending the two blobs of fluff I included in this painting. :)

11" x 14" oil on canvas

Friday, December 04, 2015

ARMORY SHOW - December 2015

The Opening Reception is Sunday Dec. 6, 2015 at The Armory, 127 E. Clinton St., Napoleon, Ohio. The show will run through January 3, 2016. This show is sponsored by the Henry County Arts Council. Please stop in and take a look if you're in the area. Hours are 10 AM-5 PM Monday through Friday.