Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Plein air on the Susquehanna River

"Rockville Brigde on the Susquehanna"
12" x 16" Watercolor on Arches CP.
 A storm was coming in last Saturday and I only had about a two hour window to paint.  I was drawn to the view of the Rockville Bridge and the amazing clouds.  I’m slowly finding my favorite spots and I’m looking forward to the variation the seasons will bring.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Garvine Mill

Sunday, I had the perfect opportunity to visit another amazing mill in Fall Grove Pa.  Garvine Mill initially caught my attention online and I’m very happy I took the hour and a half drive to get there.  Unfortunately it was an overcast day, and at least 30 minutes was used photographing the area and mill.  I will definitely be making at least a sketch or a painting in the fall or winter.

"Garvine Mill"
12" x 16" Watercolor on Arches CP.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Laughlin Mill sketch

This sketch was done as a value study of flowing water and overall value range.  When I painted the Laughlin Mill a few weeks ago, I had a vague idea of how to approach painting flowing water however I am happy with the results of the watercolor painting.  I had to do an interpretation in pencil for more of a comparison.

The more I worked on the sketch the more I fell in love with it.   It is far from perfect but for five hours of work I am very happy.  When I do attempt a final landscape piece in graphite it will take me at least 40-50 hours.   It will be a daunting task but will be quite enjoyable.

'Laughlin Mill sketch'
8.5" x 11" Graphite on paper

Reference photo


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Plein Air

I have painted Italian Lake a few times over the years and can’t seem to get enough.  It is so beautiful that I wouldn’t mind living across the street and fortunately there are a few houses right along Italian lake.  I could only imagine waking up to that view every day…wow.  This painting is a little bit smaller than usual 7x11 but it was a little bit easier to manage and that was the goal on this one.

'Italian Lake'

7" x 11". Watercolor on Arches CP.

This was the second painting last weekend.  I think I spent more time looking for yellow breeches creek and walking around taking pictures than actually painting the mill.  This is the second time I have been to this location but I was trying to find a specific bridge on yellow breeches creek.  I never did find a great view of the bridge but I had a great view right in front of me. 

'Boiling Springs Mill'

7" x 11" Watercolor on Arches CP

Monday, August 6, 2012

Laughlin Mill

I was going to paint this location last Friday but the weather didn’t allow too much painting.  Yesterday wasn’t much better, overcast and cloudy with storms coming around noon, but I figured I had nothing to lose.

Laughlin Mill is a historic mill located in Newville Pa, right outside of Carlisle.  I initially found this gem online on www.ohiobarns.com  while looking for local water mills and I’ll probably go back to this site for years to come just to see what amazing locations there are left to explore.  

I am always drawn to water and, although I don’t fully understand why, it seems to have a very relaxing and familiar quality to me.  There are a few more mills and a lot of reference photos to draw and paint. 


Watercolor on Arches cold press 12" x 16"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wetcanvas Portrait Challenge

Sorry, I haven’t posted in a long time.  I don’t know whether it is the summer, my belief a week-long vacation was enough time off, or possibly just laziness.  The summer is normally a little slower for me, filled with distractions but I need to get out of this rut and get back to business.

I don’t remember the last time I tried a master copy, but Wetcanvas June portrait challenge was a perfect opportunity to get back on track while taking on a fairly difficult task.  John Singer Sargent’s work is amazing although I’m not too familiar with a lot of his work.  The quality and emotion in his drawings and paintings are amazing. 

Emily Sargent is John Singer Sargent daughter and such a beautiful lady which led to an amazing painting.  I know there was no way I could do any justice trying to paint this in watercolor or oil so colored pencil and graphite was the best approach for me, using a simple two color interpretation.  I forgot how hard it was to copy a master until I started.  Outside of the painting looking amazing from so many levels, I am happy with the results as a sketch.  I know it would take me well over 100 hours to do any justice to this masterpiece. 

Emily Sargent

Crescenzo Fusciardi drawing was very tricky and complex.  The lines and transparent quality of charcoal was what drew me in.  For a line drawing there is so much subtle information.   At the very end of the sketch I was happy until I looked at my drawing beside the original.  There was no comparison to the original by a long shot.  I believe the collar bone and shoulder are fairly close to the original and that is itJ


Head of a Capri girl was the most frustrating drawing out of the three.  I like a good challenge but this was rather tedious because there are so many subtle changes.  I quickly took the drawing for granted and assumed I was going in the right direction and before I knew it was time to yell, scream and start over. 
Whenever I have a very difficult time with proportions I have a tendency to sketch muscular features, tones and contours that are easily visible to work through.  I like the line drawing the most but lost so much when I started adding tone and value.  I am very happy I took the time to sketch these master drawings and learned so much.  The most valuable lesson learned was being humbled and having a greater appreciation of the Masters of the past.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Daily Painters of Pennsylvania Challenge

First I would like to thank DPP artists and especially Mary Beth Brath for allowing me to participate in March DPP challenge. 

I was initially drawn to DPP challenge because of the light and my assumption of wow this would be fun to draw, little did I know my interpretation of a bird’s nest was going to be a painful one which involved some research, patience and a technique I might have used once or twice in the past.  The light hit the eggs just right, not to dark and not to light with a little bit of reflected light and shadow.   Things got a little problematic or stressful when it was time to address the nest ( I should of did a close up).  I figured a negative drawing of the nest was the best approach, although it was rather difficult to see a pattern to the nest other than overlapping sticks and twigs.  Twenty plus hours later, I’m fairly happy with result although it’s not complete, close up looks so good right now J.  Hopefully I will have time to go back and complete the drawing and post the entire nest as opposed to the close up.

Bird’s nest 5" x 7"
Colored pencil, white chalk & graphite on toned paper

Bird’s nest WIP

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

King Street Church Beauty in Diversity Art exhibit

I currently have ‘Ronald’ and ‘Rose’ in the Beauty in Diversity show from March 10th to March 25th. 

The theme for Beauty in Diversity is the interpretation of Genesis 1:3-5. Diversity and contrast was the central theme whether it is taken literally or an interpretation of light and dark, space and mass, or male and female.  It is a pleasure and quite amazing to see the amount of artists that are a part of the exhibit.  There are over 50 local artists in six different categories from Arts & Crafts, Young Artists, Sculptures, Paintings, Drawings and Photography.

Ronald received a certificate of recognition in the drawing category.  If you are in the Chambersburg, Pa area, stop by and enjoy the exhibit until March 25th.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Clio, the Muse of History WIP

I’m moving in a new direction with this drawing, and not focus so much detail or the photo-realistic approach used for Ronald.  I’m not giving up on my detailed approach but trying to see what else can be accomplished by focusing on form and composition.  I hope this drawing is successful in conveying more emotion or interest.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Clio, the Muse of History WIP

I took this photo in Gettysburg last month for the upcoming Gettysburg Festival plein air event.  There are a few areas I normally go to in Gettysburg to draw and paint but I have a tendency to always stay close to my comfort zone or the familiar places.  This particular morning I came out with the intentions of taking photos, no sketch pad, no paint, just my camera on a beautiful day. 

Initially some of my photographs were okay but I wasn’t getting the perfect picture or the “that’s it moment” until the end of the morning. 

I thought I should take a few photos of the monuments that mean so much to us.  I am glad I took the time to really get out of my normal mind set and enjoy the landscape.  Clio sits fairly high on Slocum Ave in Gettysburg.  A frontal picture wasn’t too appealing since it didn’t show exactly what she was doing, but from her right side were very interesting angles.  It was amazing especially not knowing at the time the angles were going to work so well together. 

Below is a link to the monument.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Rookie painter

Here is my contribution for Rookie Painter challenge 34.

I had a lot of fun with this one, my sketch seemed to come together easier than the final piece. I have a few value changes left but for now it's complete.

‘Kettle and Apple’

12”x 16”. Graphite on Bristol board.

8.5” x 11” Graphite sketch

Monday, February 13, 2012

Paint and Draw Together

 5”x 8”. Watercolor on Arches CP.

The watercolor and graphite sketch are from “Paint and Draw Together”, an online challenge for artist of any level to participate in.         
I am about halfway done with the final painting, and was originally planning on having it completed today.  But since “Paint and Draw Together” challenge 26 is over at the end of day,  I had to post something or it didn’t feel right to complete the painting at all.  I’ll finish the final painting soon and post.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


 9”x 12”. Graphite on Frabriano CP.

Ronald was completed last fall for the Harrisburg Art Association’s annual student show and won first place in graphite.
This drawing for me was a realization that with hard work and dedication come results and accomplishments.

Photo reference Wetcanvas photo library.

Ronald is currently on display at Lancaster County Art Association winter membership show and has also received an honorable mention.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Final

I wish I had the opportunity to find out more about this man but unfortunately, I don’t even know his name.  He has such a compelling face, a story to tell and I wonder what he was thinking when his picture was taken.  I hope I have done a good job capturing him emotion and portraying his humanity.
I added more value in his face and coat before using workable fixative. Graphite dust was used on the background to create more depth.  At some point I might go back to this drawing to add more detail.
Photo reference: Robert Dziewulski

Saturday, January 21, 2012

WIP Update

I’m sorry, I should have posted an update earlier in the week, but I have been a little busy this week and although I have completed this drawing I’ll still show my progress and hopefully a final post tomorrow.
At this stage his shirt and all of the elements of the drawing are completed.  The biggest problem I had with his shirt and coat was trying to get an overall shape (value & form) and a transition from his shirt into his coat.  The texture in his coat was extremely inviting but I opted to skimp and use general texture.  I know I will look at this and regret taking a short cut and should have put in the time to do a better job.
Up to this point, I’ve never used an HB pencil in my drawings and have only used 2H & 2B pencils thinking I could get as good of a value range without it.  I guess hind sight is 20/20.  I’m growing as an artist and coming to accept I should use more tools and techniques.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rookie Painter

8”x 11”. Watercolor on Arches CP.

I’m glad I took a little break from drawing and painted "Rookie Painter" December challenge.   Rookie Painter is an online art challenge for all to participate and take whatever interpretation of the photo challenge. 
It’s been about three months since I’ve worked with watercolor and although that isn’t really a long time, I do feel a little rusty.   I still had fun and am fairly happy with the result.  My only struggle was with the color mixing but I guess it’s not that bad for not working in watercolor since last fall. 
Now it’s time for black & white again!  Just kidding, I’m not done with color but I still have to learn the basics so I’ll dabble a little.  I do have some deadlines coming up so I might have to make a b-line back into color and put drawing on the back burner at least for the summer.   Umm summer, so much color, warmth and the great outdoors!

Monday, January 9, 2012


I initially thought his face would have been slightly easier to capture but there is a slight angle in his face.  I hope I captured his emotions in this phase.  Now it’s time to move into his shoulders.  Can I say he’s done at this stage (no neck and shoulders, just a head)?  Just kidding onward I go.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


I’m so happy I was commissioned to capture a new stage of life for this family.  Her grandfather wanted to capture his daughter and son-in-law as a couple getting ready to enter their new stage in life.

‘New stage of life’
 18”x 24”. Graphite on Arches CP.
These portraits are meant to be a set.  The photos were taken of the mother and daughter when they were around the same age.  

‘Mother’ and ‘daughter’
9.5”x12” Graphite on Arches CP.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I’m finally at a point in my work I can take a break and get back to a few pieces I have been waiting to start.  The reference photo is very detailed and has a lot of textures. 
I was initially drawn to the photo for the opportunity to capture a good likeness of this man, but it was his face and emotions that really tells a story.  If I can capture his likeness and emotions then it was well worth it.

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