Painting Challenge: Train

"Train Crossing" 
11" x 14"

This painting was done for an online painting challenge from my good buddy Lee Brown over at
A Day Not Wasted. Lee has a great site that features his beautiful photography from his world travels.
I dare you to visit and not get inspired.

This train passes close too Lee's home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Follow the link to see the challenge photo, the other artist interpretations and to possibly join in the painting challenge fun. Thanks Lee!

This is my second challenge I participated in. Here is my first one.

When I saw the photo I knew it would be a challenge. All the detail caught my eye first, but what I really wanted to paint was the light on the left side and the depth of the distant background. I tried laying down a monochromatic underpainting, but this time I didn't wait for it to dry before applying the color. At first it caused me some grief because the color kept picking up the grey beneath, but in the end all it took was a second round of good clean saturated highlights to not have it too washed out.

How does it look?


Mountain Studio Painting

"Purple Mountains Majesty"
10" x 20"

This was painted from a photo I took in Colorado somewhere between Rico and Delores. If anyone recognizes this location by name, please let me know. It was an unbelievably gorgeous spot.

This was my first attempt using a monochromatic block-in. I let it dry for three days before adding color. I really dropped the ball by not taking progress photos, but I was totally absorbed and fascinated by the technique. I have seen other painter use this method, but to tell the truth it sounded kinda tedious to me. Why paint everything, just to repaint it again with more color? Now I understand and have become very intrigued to try it again. It was much easier establishing my values by using only a dark and middle tone and letting the board show though for my lightest light, than using all the colors on my palette, especially on a much larger than my normal size painting. After I had my values clearly established it was so easy to put on the color. I was able to add color very quickly and it came to life before my eyes. The speed of the coloring process made this studio painting feel closer to my plein air work.

Painting is so fascinating to me. There are so many different methods to apply paint to canvas.


Colorado Red Mountains

"Colorado Red Mountains"   
10 x 10

This was my first plein air painting from my recent trip to Colorado. I packed the basics only and encountered problems when the Titanium White I brought was extremely gummy. I had never used this tube and it acted like it was 100 years old. I'm not sure where I bought this paint, but it's the first time I have ever had this problem. I lucked out and found a new tube in Ouray.

With that said I'm happy with the final product.


Plein Air Artist video

I was one of the chosen artist to be featured in this video promoting Plein Air Artists.ning.com. Considering they have 1,900 members around the world, I'm proud to be showcased. ( I appear at 5:17 ) Video produced by Don Maier.

If you haven't visited this site, please do. I am proud to be included with so many great artist from around the world.


Downtown Ouray Colorado

"Mount Abrams from Downtown Ouray"   
6" x 12" 

I just got back from spending a week in Colorado with my family. Colorado is beautiful and we saw countless waterfalls and mountain peaks. I didn't want to shortchange my family, so I woke up extra early each day to get in some painting time and let them take their time getting up. You don't have to go far to find a great view, so I just set up my easel downtown and had 360 degrees of paintable mountains. Texas is not known for giant mountains, so I was jumping at a chance to paint some. Even a quick rain shower didn't ruin the moment. One thing I learned was the light changes and shadows come and go quickly this high up.



Nash Farm Barn

"Nash Farm Barn"      9 x 12

Sometimes I go out and I don't know what I want to paint and this was one of those days. After moving my easel around two or three times, I settled on this scene. It felt good getting outside because my brush was a little rusty.

I have been on vacation in Colorado for the past week and have several new paintings that I will post this week. The Colorado scenery was breathtaking and very inspiring.