Category Archives: Video

Mark Kerckhoff Workshop, Day 3

While the high winds continued today in the desert, the class went on and Mark continued to help us focus on his tonal method. He starts by blocking in a single, middle value for each plane in the landscape (sky, ground, slanted, upright). Here’s a quick video that shows two of my studies today in the drawing stage to the completed study.

I painted as many small studies as possible today, to get feedback from Mark on following his technique. Here’s the first, a study done while hunkering down under the hatchback of my car (damn winds!)

Through the Trees, Oil on Linen, 12×9

I stayed hunkered in the shelter of the windbreak formed by my car for this next study, cliffs in shadow. I tried to keep in simple, again focusing on separation of planes of light.

Desert Cliffs, Oil on Canvas

The winds grew too strong by the afternoon, so we moved to the shelter of a nearby grove of palms. Did two studies here, both from a nice sheltered spot. I’m happy with the brush strokes and overall composition.

Through Palms, Oil on Linen

My spot in the palm grove was relatively sheltered, so I turned right and painted another scene through the palms, this time focusing on the distant hills, which were beautifully lit.

Through Palms #2, Oil on Linen

After completing back-to-back workshops, one with a colorist, the other a tonalist, I have some thoughts on the difference between two. Whereas a colorist (at least as practiced by Camille Przewodek) will start with very high-key, intense underpaintings and then tone it down with local color to finish; tonalists focus on values, often starting with neutral underpaintings, and then gradually brining up the color to finish.
Each technique has it’s uses. My thought right now is the tonalist approach is best for paintings that are more quiet, calm lighting, etc, whereas colorist approaches might be best for full-sun, colorful subjects. This is probably over-simplifying, but I’m going with this theory for now.

What do you think?

Mark Kerckhoff Workshop, Day 1

Mark Kerckhoff choose a great location for today’s first day of class, Indian Canyons. These studies were done in Palm Canyon, at the bottom of the hill from the Trading Post.

Mark’s technique is interesting–very different from Camille Przewodek’s. He first draws with Indian Ink and water. You’d think such a drawing would be erased by the first layer of transparent paint, but no! It stays there. I guess this is a good or bad thing, depending on your approach. It may be distracting to have those marks there, but hey, paint’s thicker and more opaque, so it’s easy to cover if you need to.

He then washes in his first transparent paint layer based on the landscape planes described by John F. Carlson (from lightest to darkest): Sky, Flat Plane (eg, ground), Slanted Plane (eg, hillside), and Upright Plane (eg, tree). He selects a mid-tone gray wash in the middle of the darkest dark and lightest light FOR THAT PLANE. He then brings up the local color for each object.

Is a picture worth a thousand words? You bet, that’s why I took today’s demo pictures and made a little video on YouTube. Click to go to YouTube and watch:

Click to Watch

Here are my two studies for the day. Enjoy! BTW, either is far sale for $100 each–my workshop study sale! Shipping included!

Indian Canyons 1 – Oil on Linen – 12×9

Indian Canyons #2 – Oil on Linen – 12×8

Telluride Plein Air, Closing

It’s been a long 8 days, exhausting. I’m happy with the quality of my work this week, not estatic about sales (sold 4), but that is pretty much out of my control. I think the paintings I’m bringing back are great quality and will eventually sell. If you’re interested in these, make me an offer, framed or unframed (see the table below).The reception last night at the Sheridan Opera House was well done. My good friend (the nemisis thing was a joke, obviously) Scott Lloyd Anderson took First Place. He did a great painting of some Tibetan Prayer Flags flying from a nearby building, as did Randall Sexton, who took Third Place. It was interesting to see two of the winners painting the same, relatively obscure thing. Second Place was won by Terry Masters, who did a “masterful” job of painting the view of the iconic falls from the Telluride Valley floor.One painting per artist was available for sale via a silent auction. Luckily, I had a nice bidding war going for my painting, “Alta Lakes #2“–which, if you’re falling this blog, a majority of my readers voted as #1. Good call, everybody! A wonderful Texan named Jeff told me, “My wife wants that painting, so watch out, she’s get’n it!” He was determined. I’m glad they won the bid, as they are a very nice couple.The general public sale yesterday was REALLY slow. Many artists (including me) didn’t sell a thing. It was a weekday, we have to remember, so while there were some tourists out, not many regular locals or second home owners. They did come out today, so sales picked up quite a bit. I sold both “Telluride Red Rocks” and “Telluride Gondola“, which is great because they’re both local scenes that would be difficult to sell elsewhere.I now have one week off (so to speak, I’ll be whipping things into shape at Wells Fargo), then I start ANOTHER week-long paint-out, “Jewel By The Bay” in Alameda. Luckily, it’s just across the bay so no hotels and I won’t have to see the Denver airport again–which I’ve been through SIX times the past two months). Randy Sexton was good enought to give me some tips on where to paint…who knew Alameda had beaches? Then the next plein air event is San Luis Obispo Plein Air, October 1-7th.

PS. Click the fireworks image to the left to see a video.


I’ve listed in the table below the remaining Telluride paintings available. I did give “Fir Street, Telluride” to the Opera House on consignment as they do continue to sell paintings throughout the year. If you’re interested in any of the remaining works below, make me an offer (will sell framed or unframed). Click to enlarge. CHEERS!

Available Telluride Plein Air Paintings


Trout Lake

Oil on Linen – 12×16″

Bridge, Telluride
Oil on Linen – 12×16

Fourth of July in Telluride
Oil on Linen – 10×8″

Alta Lake #1
Oil on Linen – 8×10

Raymar Art Competition Finalist!

Great news today! I found out (thanks to painting buddy Walter Porter) that my painting “Secluded Cove” has been selected by Don Demers as a Finalist in the Raymar Art Competition! You may recall that I painted it for my solo show last month in Pacific Grove, and even have a home-made video of the process. It was also featured in the local paper.  Here’s what the judge wrote:

“This painting works because of its vibrant color use and it’s calligraphy. i.e. the type of marks the artist has used in their technique. The feeling of the location was expressed through strong color and the subject was translated strongly by the artist through the use of the artist’s technique. These strong elements of color and technique made a familiar subject the artist’s own subject which transforms it into something new and more exciting.” – Don Demers

Here’s the painting. Wish me luck!

Secluded Cove

Secluded Cove – Oil on (RayMar!) Linen – 16×20″

Autumn in Blackwood Canyon

I love painting in Blackwood Canyon, just outside of Tahoe City. Andy Skaff and I paint there together when I visit. I completed this work for my solo show (opening April 13 in Pacific Grove). I took photos at interim stages, so hope to make it into a video as I did the “Secluded Cove” painting. I’m thinking of having both videos run on a loop at the show as I think collectors would be interested in seeing paintings develop. Then again, they’ll get to see them in the “ugly stages”!

Autumn in Blackwood Canyon – Oil on Linen – 16×20

Studio Painting Demo

As I wrote yesterday, I have a solo show coming up at Robert Lewis Gallery, so I’m painting like a mad-man to get ready, less than 4 weeks until the opening! Click here to view paintings in the show.
I painted this studio work, “Secluded Cove“. I’m not happy with the quality of the photo, but it gives you an idea. I am really happy with the painting, but have to figure out how to get decent photos of my larger works. If you have tips, let me know. I use a digital camera for larger works and a flatbed scanner for smaller works.

Click the image below and you’ll get to a page that will show you a QuickTime demo of the painting in progress.  This is also available on YouTube.

Secluded-Cove-SCREENSHOT.jpg

Click to visit a page with the demo video