Old Snowy Tree

Snowy Snag
Watercolor on paper, 4.75″ x 6.25″

The palette for this painting is the same as for the last sunrise painting, with all of the same colors being used. There wasn’t a black or grey on the palette, so I made a black by mixing the Prussian blue with the sicklerite (brown) and a more opaque grey using cerulean with sicklerite. For the browns of the tree I mixed quinacridone red, new gamboge (yellow), and more sicklerite. The base coat for the tree was painted using that warm orangish brown mix, and then on top of that some of the black mix was painted in various amounts for the shadows and details.

Blue Evening Forest

Year's End
Watercolor on sketch paper, 8.5″ x 5.25″

Here’s the last post for the year. It’s from a combination of a few photos I took of these trees.

So looking back on this past year’s posts it looks like I’ve been more productive and I hope to keep the pace up in 2017. I wanted to thank all of you guys for your encouragement. Some of you have been following my posts for years now, which I think is amazing, and although I’m not very good at responding I do notice.

Next year less than two days away now. Some of you might be thinking about a New Year’s Resolution. A few might even keep theirs. Positive change really is possible though. You probably can’t tell from looking at my art now, but many years ago before I became a Christian the things I drew were much different and had a lot of blood and gore. God can help make lasting changes in people.

Mule Deer in Snow

Winter Mule Deer
Watercolor on Yupo (synthetic paper), 7″ x 5″

It’s a new week, the very last week of 2016, and yesterday on Instagram I posted the palette theme for the week. All of the blueish black is sodalite. The brown of the deer is a mix of everything on the palette except green, which didn’t get used in this painting.

The paper is called Yupo, a polypropylene sheet that’s very smooth. Watercolor works completely different on it. It’s easy to completely wipe it clean. Actually, it’s so easy that it can be a little challenging when you’re accidentally removing paint. Working on this is almost like digital art in a way, because you can edit and undo each brushstroke to a degree that normal paper never can. That was very important for this scene, as I kept modifying various elements while working. While I’ll need some more practice to do finished paintings on this well, it seems like it’ll work great for compositional planing, since it can be changed so easily.

Mountain Town Study

Colorado Mountain Town Study
Oil on gessoed bristol board, 5″ x 3.5″

Just a quick study painting of a small town in the mountains of Colorado. I’m not sure which one this is, but it’s definitely somewhere between Granby and Winter Park, which are near each other.

This started as a gouache painting on top of regular gesso, but after painting the sky I really wanted to do something in oil paint again. I covered it first with a layer of acrylic slow-dry medium by mistake, and after it eventually dried with the clear gesso that I meant to use. I needed it to dry fast, so for paints I chose Prussian blue, charcoal black (Rublev’s version dries fast), natural burnt sienna, and cobalt yellow, all of which dry fast. The titanium white also used doesn’t, but being mixed with the rest helped it. The entire gouache underpainting was covered with oil paint.

Mountain Town 1 ref

The reference photo was from last winter, but I photographed this painting using a very old lens I got at my neighbor’s garage sale a couple of days ago and had never heard of before. It’s a Steinheil München 100mm f3.5, meant for Argus C44 cameras that I “adapted” onto my digital camera by means of just gently shoving it into a Minolta MD adapter and wedging it in there. I think it’s sitting too close to the sensor to not go past infinity focusing and isn’t very secure, but for taking photos of things closer it’s actually pretty sharp. Apparently no one makes adapters for C44 lenses though, so I’m trying to figure out a better solution.


Colorado High Country

Setting Winter Sun
Oil on linen, 5″ x 7″

A winter scene from the high country of Colorado. The photo reference for this was another one I took last February looking out the train window. At the bottom of the scene where the ground looks flat is the Colorado river, hidden under ice and snow. It supplies water to much of the south western United States, but up here in the mountainous high country of central Colorado it’s much smaller than it’ll be farther along its path.

I was going to make a bird drawing today, but this painting took much longer than expected and I don’t think there’ll be enough time before Sabbath starts to get one finished. The idea I have for it will have to wait until another time then.

Colorado High Country ref

Cows in a Snowy Field

Winter Plains with Cows
Watercolor and gouache on paper, 6″ x 8.25″

Here’s another painting of one of my old photos, taken out a train window in the high country of Colorado during winter.

I’ve added a gallery section to the right that displays on each page and shows some of my past artworks in random order. Does it look good and work well? Is there anything in it that isn’t good enough and just clutters it?

I tried putting all of the finished waterfall book pages in that section and I liked it but I was actually planning on making that its own page and gallery once it’s finished. Another idea was to sometimes upload new sketches there that shouldn’t have a post just to themselves but can still be shown as part of a gallery. I’ll try out a few things, but if you guys have any feedback on it that might help.

Snowy Valley

Middle Park Colorado
Watercolor on paper, 5.75″ x 8.75″

I looked back at some old train trip photos that I took just over three years ago and painted one of them. This was painted only with the same two watercolors from the last post– an old tube of genuine manganese blue from Holbein and a tube of natural red Sartorius earth from Rublev.

This is the Colorado river in the Rocky Mountains. A couple of weeks ago I passed through here again, with much more snow than in this photo, and besides many dozens of deer and elk I briefly saw a mountain lion right in the middle of the frozen river a very short distance from this same scene. Too bad I didn’t have a camera that time. That was the first time I had ever seen a live one in person and I really didn’t expect it so it was very surprising.

Immediately after the initial surprise I remembered a thought I had a long time ago that there’s so many amazing things that happen everywhere in the world all the time without anyone ever seeing them. We can have faith that they’re there because we believe the testimony of other people about these far away places or elusive animals, even if we haven’t seen those things personally. It’s in a similar way that we believe the written record about God. When Jesus was speaking with Thomas, who had refused to believe that Jesus was alive again until he saw proof, Jesus said “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29, NIV) I felt like my faith was strengthened as I thought about that while accepting that there’s still far more amazing things I haven’t seen but yet are there.

Forest Sketch 4

Forest Sketch 4

Pencil: Palomino Blackwing
Paper: Canson sketch universal, 5.5″ x 8.5″ 65lb

This pencil has an interesting history. The version I have is just the Blackwing, not the 602 which I’ve read has a little firmer lead. This one is dark and feels smooth.

Also, I updated my previous post on verdigris with some new photos. I may try to do some more with it in the future, mainly to try making a purer verdigris pigment as I’m sure that what I made has impurities.

Arctic Fox on Rocks

Arctic Fox on Rocks

Here’s another iPad drawing. For both this and the last drawing I posted I used Tayasui Sketches, plus a little contrast adjustment after transferring it to my laptop. I’m still very busy, but I’ve managed to get this and a few drawings done that I’ll scan later.

Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountains 1

Here’s a drawing I made on an old iPad mini that I was recently given and a stylus pen I mail ordered. It’s how I remember a scene that I saw on a train ride through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado earlier this week.

The last several weeks have been very busy, etc, and although I have made some art it hasn’t been anything finished enough to post.