Friday, December 9, 2011

Cape May Lighthouse at Dusk

Cape May is a well-known town at the southern end of New Jersey, and while growing up, my family and I would often visit its sunny beaches during the summer. The Cape May lighthouse is a regional landmark and presents a beautiful sight at sunrise and sunset. Here, we see it from afar as dusk settles across a calm ocean.

Acrylic painting: 14" x 17"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Autumn Road with Oaks

Fall is in its full glory here in central Maryland, and it is a nice time of year to go for a hike through the woods or for a drive down a country road lined with colorful trees. Roads can be a tricky subject to paint, but I think this one turned out well, with a mix of shadows and sunlight falling across it.

Acrylic painting: 14" x 17"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sunset on Mountain Lake

This painting was a rather bold one, at least for somebody who doesn't live anywhere near the mountains and thus has to paint them from photos. Here, we see the sun set past a lake in the mountains as the last rays of light turn the tips of the pine trees a golden copper hue.

Lessons from this painting: Renown artist Larry Seiler is currently teaching an online class on WetCanvas regarding composition. He commented on a previous painting of mine that I should work to achieve more dynamic and assymetrical compositions. So, I decided to give that a whirl in this painting. Another note: The water color is a mix of Cerulean Blue with a bit of Titanium White and Ultramarine. The result is more accurate than just Cerulean Blue. After applying the brighter water color, I went back and added some pure Cerulean Blue to tint the area a bit more.

Acrylic painting: 14" x 17"

Friday, September 23, 2011

Late Summer at the Patapsco River

Fall is in the air after a scorching summer. Beneath the sycamores, leaves lie scattered amid the dried grass, and once spring greens are now dried yellow or bronze. The days are shorter and soon the trees will be robed in full autumn glory.

Acrylic painting: 14" x 17"

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sierra Nevadas in Spring

Sometimes I will go back and improve an older painting that is almost, but not quite, where I want it. This painting (inspired by one of Bierstadt's works) is an example. Originally, the trees were darker and had almost no yellow or brown in the leaves - the grass was the same, and this resulted in a lack of color harmony. The water was painted before I knew how to add underwater rocks, and it needed more Cerulean Blue to reflect the sky. Finally, the clouds needed some improved contrast - I also added more wispy clouds to push back the distant cliffs and hills. The end result is an improved painting - thankfully, acrylic paintings are easy to rework!

Acrylic painting: 14" x 17"

The OLD version of the painting is shown below so that one can see the improvements - the original photo was also rather dark.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Redwoods by the River

Redwood trees fascinate me. Both redwoods and giant sequoias (which are closely related) dwarf any other lifeform on the planet, and both species can live to incredible ages. It is not uncommon to find redwoods or sequoias that are over 1,000 years old. Unfortunately, for all of their incredible size and longevity, they are both somewhat picky in where they can grow, hence we won't be seeing ancient redwood forests here in Maryland any time soon.

Acrylic painting: 14" x 17"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Night Sky Outside of Town

This is the first real nocturne painting I've ever created, aside from a few experiments many years ago. I think it turned out well, though it is very difficult ot get accurate photos of nocturnes - I either end up with ambient light reflecting off the paint, a shadow cast from myself on the painting, or there's not enough light and the photo becomes blurry.

The sky color was a real challenge here: I settled upon a mix primarily of Cerulean Blue and Raw Umber, and then a small amount of Titanium White was added (for opacity) with a tinge of Ultramarine Blue (to shift the color back towards blue since Cerulean Blue has very low tinting strength.) Note that no black was used in the sky since it muddied up the colors.

Acrylic Painting: 14" x 17"

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Logan Utah in Summer


My sister recently visited Logan, Utah and she sent me some photos of the scenary, which provided inspiration for this painting. The cabin was added to the scene - such old cabins are probably common out there in the West.

Acrylic painting 14" x 17"

Monday, June 6, 2011

Virginia Tech Storm Clouds

Back in May of this year, my sister graduated from Virginia Tech, a university located in a beautiful part of the country in the mountains of Virginia. Scenes like this one were common as storm clouds rolled over the hills and mountains and sunlight peaked out upon the tree-filled plains.

Acrylic painting: 14" x 17"

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kinder Farms flowering trees

The last of the flowering trees finished their spring display within the past few weeks; this painting captures that finale at Kinder Farms, a local park devoted to the history of farming in the area.

Acrylic painting: 14" x 17"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hilltop shelter in Spring

I probably took on more than I should have in this one: dense forest scene, a man-made structure, and it's all set in spring, so the greens are tricky to get right. That being said, I think it turned out reasonably well given the challenges.

Sadly, the little hilltop shelter in question was crushed flat by one of the trees on the left that snapped off in 2010 - it's a shame, since the view was nice from up there.

Acrylic painting: 14" x 17"

Monday, February 28, 2011

Patapsco River: Hint of Spring

Well, I'm getting ahead of myself here - it's still February, and spring is many weeks away, but by April the trees in Patapsco State Park will have a hint of green amid the brown and grey winter branches, and then spring will almost be here.

Acrylic painting: 14" x 17"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Patapsco sycamores by the river

Patapsco State Park is full of old sycamore trees, many of which grow down near the river bank. Here, we stand in a rocky part of the river, watching the water roll by as the sunlight filters through the rich greens of the sycamore tree leaves.

Acrylic painting: 14" x 17"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Towering Mountain Majesty

This is my first painting of a mountain-focused landscape after being fortunate enough to participate in several weeks of online, interactive seminars taught live by well-known landscape artist Johannes Vloothuis. He taught about 100 students a night for several hours each night throughout December 2010, and each session was incredibly informative.

The focus upon proper composition through use of well-defined value planes, each designed in a pleasing abstract shape, was eye-opening, as were the little technical details, such as the proper way to paint underwater rocks, as shown in this painting.

Acrylic Painting: 14" x 17"