Snowman or Snow Figure


Another Northeastern coming our way

My  snowman/snow figure I created in the last northeastern

I am tired of shoveling

So can this be the last northeastern with no accumulation?





Orange Watercolor Study on Stonehendge Paper


Watercolor study where I use transparent washes and glazes to form oranges. With a mixture of alizarin crimson and cadmium yellow. I block in the overall shapes of the oranges on damp paper. I allow this to dry before moving to the next stage.

The next stage, I work wet-on-wet adding cadmium yellow. I build form and color, leaving small areas of the pale underwash and the white of the paper to create highlights.

I strengthened the form of the oranges with layers of transparent washes.

Finally, the cast shadow of the oranges is painted with washes and glazes of paynes gray and yellow ochre. A clean damp brush is used to soften the shadows. This also gives an impression that the oranges are sitting on a dish.

I also painted a thin glaze using cadmium orange over the entire piece.


Winslow Homer - Waiting for Dad


Winslow Homer is a painter of the 19th century.
Who was largely self-taught.
Homer started his career as an illustrator. He subsequently took up oil painting.
He worked extensively in watercolor creating plein air paintings.


Winslow Homer - The Gulf Stream

John Singer Sargent

Spanish Dancer (woman) c 1879-82, private collection, oil, 87.7 x 59.5 in

Sargent did a number of quick studies. His use of line rather than form created sketches with dashes, swirls, and squiggles.
He was a master at massing light and dark values.

John Singer Sargeant : Sketch of a Spanish Dancer : 1879    Pencil on Paper : Gardner Museum,  Boston                                                                      Spanish Dancer

Winter Landscape Painting


Landscape paintings of winter is not only white. Just like the darks in a painting, the lights or whites must be created through dynamic color mixing to grab a viewer’s attention.

Take every opportunity to mix colors and emphasize them. That’s especially true in a winter landscape. You see incredible color usage in winter. Shadows on snow are richly colored in blue and gray-violet, and the winter skies that can often seem one-dimensional are subtly prismatic. Pinks and greens and yellows are undertones you can see describing glowing sunrise or muted sunset .


Figure Drawing


Rodin drawing rendered at the Met.


Life drawing, the representation of the human figure, requires both technique and an understanding of human anatomy.

  1. apply expressive drawing techniques in capturing the human figure
  2.  draw the characteristic shapes and proportions of the human skeleton
  3. capture the basics of posture and motion through gesture drawing
  4. capture shapes and proportions of human anatomy and muscle mass
  5.  use contour and blind contour drawing to capture the shape of human subjects
  6. draw the proportions of the human face in frontal, profile, and three-quarter views
  7.   apply the concepts of volume, perspective, and shading
  8. apply tips for composition, including texture, balance, rhythm, variety, unity, and emphasis
  9. apply expressive drawing techniques in capturing the human figure 



Working Edges


Diffused Edges
The contour of forms can become completely lost, leaving little or no definition. Use diffused edges for the following to:
• Indicate foliage in the last plane in your background
• Create ethereal cumulous clouds
• Create realistic waterfalls that appear to be moving
• Indicate crashing waves in seascapes

Soft Edges
The edge is recognizable, but blurry.
• Distant trees and evergreens in backgrounds
• Distant hills
• Things in the peripheral areas of a painting
• Water reflections

Hard Edges
Clearly defined with no sense of being out of focus.
• Rocks
• Buildings
• Rocky mountains

Principles in the light group

cast shadow

Color is brighter in the light. The shadow color should not compete.

More detail and texture is in the light source.

Light can any color. If a little of the light color is in all the painting your colors will harmonize. I usually glaze a light color over the whole surface to hold every thing together.

All forms within your picture should appear to be lighted by the same source and be lighted consistently with one another. Shoot your own reference that has clear light and shadow. You can multiple light sources make one primary and or make one warm and on cool to compliment  each other.

Brighter light, the spotlight. tends to make drama  a softer light. This light tends to be more dreamy and spiritual.



Highlights tell all. They tell you what kind of surface and texture the object has. The more reflective a surface is the sharper the highlight.  Highlights are shapes. They should decrease in value as they move away from the light source. They also should never be brighter then the light source. The color of the light should be in the highlight. When there is warm light , they will have cool shadows.  When there is cool light, they will warm shadows.

Color is duller than light group.  It will show less detail and texture.  You might let shadow be almost flat to simplify the design and put emphasis on the light group.

Reflected light belongs to the shadow group. They should not be lighter or brighter than the light group or they will flatten your form.  Also reflected light can be a shadow that changes values with out competing  with the light group. It usually looks like fog or mist and creates atomsphere.

Shadows are shapes. Good value patterns make good design. Good design mades good impact to the eye. By running shadows together by connecting them, will simplify your design. This will help your eye move through the composition.

The quicker a plane changes direction the crisper the shadow. The slower the plane changes direction the softer the shadow.

Three types of value compositions that have strong impact.

  1. light object on dark background
  2. dark object on light background
  3. dark or light objects on grey background


Feeling the Emotions in Your Paintings


Creating incredibly powerful paintings capture the memory of the scene, mood, and feeling need the following components:

  1. Choice of scene
  2. Gathering visual information
  3. Editing the information
  4. Composing the painting
  5. Creating an underpainting to establish the value structure
  6. Applying color
  7. Manipulating edges, creating details, and finishing


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