Two Apples

Apples are a classic still life subject. And being in Washington state, why not paint them! I'm pretty happy with these apples, I feel like I've improved in how I paint them.

two apples

I've been thinking a lot about practice, and getting better at painting. I am working on my "brush miles" more, and I can see that I'm getting better. But it is still all too easy to be discouraged after making a bad painting. Or feel like you're not improving, or maybe feeling like you're not improving fast enough.
These days, I also think about whether I'm improving fast enough that some day I'll be good enough. Will I one day be able to paint the kinds of paintings that I want to paint? Maybe not, but does it really matter all that much? I paint because I like painting. It's one of the most enjoyable activities in my life. Of course I also want to get better. But for now, I paint because it's fun. And, that, I think, is good enough.

Enjoying the sunshine

I've been riding my bicycle a lot, lately. On this particular ride, I stopped to take a break at Log Boom Park in Seattle. There's a lovely little boardwalk/pier there. And it being a sunny day in February, there were a plenty of couples sitting in the sun. I took a quick snapshot of these guys and painted from the photo in the evening.

by the water


I'm taking a portrait drawing class in Bellevue college; and I've really been in the mood to do portraits lately. I've been offering to do portraits of my friends, with the condition that: a.) I will take their picture, b.) I'll post online whatever I painted, good or bad. In exchange, I will give them the portrait. Surprisingly few people took me up on the offer! Danko, my colleague, was brave enough to give it a go though:


As was my college buddy Glenn:
I did this of my sister Marion without asking for permission. I figure maybe my sister will be more forgiving if it came out too awful.
Each painting has some technical flaws, but I feel I've gotten better at them.

Edit: Oh, and finally a self portrait, I am never hesitant to give myself permission to paint myself!

self portrait

Bright Apple

Continuing on my experiments with brighter color schemes. I feel like I keep adding more white, but it ends up not being enough!

bright apple

High Key Pear

This is sort of an experiment in painting high key with little value- and even color-contrast. I often read on other artists pages that you shouldn't use too much white. I used a *lot* of white here!

High Key Pear


I've been reading Carol Marine's daily painting book, and am feeling inspired to paint more frequently. I feel like I've been doing pretty good at doing a bunch of work; last year I posted 38 paintings on my daily paintworks page, and a total of 55 paintings since I started posting there. According to the book, though, you need 500 hundred paintings to be any good at it. So I better hustle some more.

First and Union

I painted this from the Gritty City Challege picture that Robin Weiss put up on Daily Paintworks. When I saw the reference picture, I immediately recognized that it was the intersection of First and Union in Seattle, it is where the Seattle Art Museum is located. I've been on this very corner many times, and it's not really that gritty at all!

First and Union

I love cityscapes, but I have not always been successful painting them. While the challenge was to paint the scene as loosely as possible, I actually spent quite a while trying to get the angles sorted out. Not to get a perfect rendering of everything, but hopefully accurate enough to be believable.