Ocean Moon

Countless words have been written by mankind about that mysterious and romantic satellite that lights our night world. Some of it’s mysteries were unlocked 50 years ago today, when mankind took a giant leap on its surface. Still it shows up like a wise old friend, faithfully beautifying our night world, and giving us a chance to briefly pause our hectic lives and relax under its comforting glow. I painted this after a midnight visit to the beach.

Honoring the Lost

Among the many roles of the rugged PBY Catalina during the second world war was search and rescue operations for pilots and sailors who went missing after missions. If you were one such unfortunate, and saw this not very handsome aircraft descending through the mist it meant safety and home. The PBY was a true angel from heaven and many a serviceman got a second lease on life because of its ability to land and take off on the ocean. Even so, many of these planes left on missions and never returned. Notwithstanding warfare, the vast expanses of ocean are unforgiving, and the rescuers themselves faced the same hazards. This Memorial Day, here is my tribute to those we lost.

Spring Blooms

This is another exercise in visualizing only what’s important and discarding the rest. I learned this technique from Nathan Fowkes, a concept and animation artist whose blog is listed on this page. This is a great way to get a feel for a subject before settling down and getting into details. I used one brush and painted quickly, blending some colors and then letting them dry before adding the background.

Sketch and Final

This is from a portrait workshop that I used to attend. It’s easier for me to create a more finished looking piece if I can manage to get enough information when sketching a subject. This is an example of my method. In my studio, I transferred the sketch at left to a piece of Arches watercolor paper and then painted it.

Bully!*

Theodore Roosevelt overcame a frail childhood to become a boxer, war hero, conservationist, author, cowboy, governor, Nobel prize winner, muckraker, trust buster, vice-president, and finally, immortalized on Mt. Rushmore as the 26th President of the United States. His macho persona, I think, is best described by a speaker at Roosevelt’s own funeral, who declared “Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight.”

*In Teddy’s day, the word bully meant something great, or, as we would say today, awesome.

Figure Friday

This is the same model that appears in my December 28th post. Besides her professionalism, we could always count on her hair being a different color. I chose to highlight that by keeping the rest of this ten minute sketch in monochrome.

Digital Enhancement

These colorful creatures can be seen flitting along the edges of the Wyomissing trail. They are noticeable especially against a snowy background. How do they stay warm all winter?

This is a watercolor on rough paper, but it looked too static when finished, so I scanned it and added some digital snow using Photoshop.