Waterside Still life...

Waterside Still Life 48x36sm


I can’t seem to stop painting fishy still lifes. This one was especially fun to put together, the fish spilling out across a nautical tablecloth. The fish sometimes look like they’re swimming through the scene. The other fabric in this painting has some orange coi in the pattern, repeating the fish idea, but in a flatter, more simple representation.

Parked for the night...

New Harbor Fisherman 12x16sm


New Harbor, ME is a beautiful little working harbor near Pemaquid Lighthouse. As lovely as it is, it can be hard to find a place to paint, where I’m not in someone’s way as they haul lobsters and bait around. I like to stop by late in the day, when things are quiet, which also means I’m there as the wind dies and the sun gets low in the sky.

I tend to like painting backlit scenes like this, because they have so much contrast and drama, but part of the trick to scenes like this is trying to keep the values from getting too dark. I need to have some dark passages, but I want to leave room for the darks to have some rich color. Even though passages like the pilings might be close to black, I want to see if those blacks lean warm or cool, and take advantage of those shifts to help give the painting a glow. Pushing those color temperature differences is what gives paintings a better pop of light.

This painting is 12×16″ oil on canvas.


Pescatero 12x16sm


Since warm weather is just around the corner, I though I should bring a little sunshine to the blog today. This lobster boat was sitting high and dry at low tide in Friendship Harbor.I’m always a sucker for reflected color in shadows, and this boat had a nice warmth bouncing into the shadow of its hull. One of the tricks to painting is figuring out the ways a scene can be simplified. Even though there isn’t a ton of detail in this image, there is a lot of color information I try to include. Taking advantage of warm and cool differences is how I try to capture the light in a scene.

This painting is 12×16″ oil on canvas.

Pretty in Pink...

Plentiful Pink 36x36sm


This tablecloth was a gift, intended for a possible still life painting. It’s actually not even a tablecloth, but a wide scarf. It’s not the type of pattern I usually look for, but I really like the intensity of the pink. The more I looked at it, the more I was drawn to the pattern. It started reminding me of aboriginal paintings I’ve seen. The dotted lines become little trails the viewer can follow throughout the scene.

Because the color was so vibrant, I was careful to keep an eye on my values. I wanted to keep the value range tight through most of the painting, allowing only a few pops of light, like the plate on the bottom edge. You can see a black and white version of the painting below, to see what I mean.

Plentiful Pink 36x36smbw

Primarily Blue...

Blue Reflections 36x36sm


I wanted to get more reflective color and light in this scene, so I tried something new. On top of the tablecloth is a piece of clear plexiglass. I like the reflections that show up, but I may exaggerate it a bit more the next time I try this. Using the plexi over a more patterned cloth could also create some fun variations. It could be a fun element in these table top paintings.

The bright colors from placing colorful fruit into metal dishes, was another way to play with reflections. Even though the scene is mostly blue, The warmer colors of yellow and orange  direct the viewer through the painting.

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