Skip to content

Gouache Studies

September 12, 2017

grazing goats at900

While I’ve been working mostly with acrylics, I’ve found a way to keep my hand in with gouache. As my focus continues to shift toward southwest and Texas landscapes, I’ve decided to slow down a bit and spend more time in preparation. So as I do sketches of such things as cows, horses, and goats, I’ve started doing preliminary studies in gouache. These are 8×10, with the intent to develop some 16×20 acrylic paintings. By working in acrylics,  don’t have to worry about varnishing, and buyers don’t have to worry about mats and glass unless they just want a larger piece of art on their wall.

These studies are done in a 9×12 sketchbook of Canson Mixed Media paper. By doing them in the spiral bound sketchbook, I’m working much faster and looser, without thought of a “finished” painting.

study at creek at 900

0910171305 at 900

Above is a 4×6 “thumbnail” done after one of the gouache studies (not shown here). After looking at the study, I realized I had the horizon line much to high, so I did this little sketch to imagine the change. This makes the rough color study more valuable to me as a working tool.


New Gallery

September 12, 2017

I’m delighted to announce that I now have gallery representation with The Mason Gallery in Mason, Texas. Owner Bob Terrell selected five paintings, three gouache and two acrylic.


“Back Gate to God’s Country”, an 11×14 gouache painting is one of the paintings now at The Mason Gallery.


Old Wood and Weeds

August 12, 2017

Here is the finished painting…

wagon 1 final

Old Wood and Weeds, 11×14, acrylic

As always, there are tweaks that could (and might) be made, but the work is done. I feel especially good about this one since it’s the first since the surgery. Before sketching this one out, I had not felt particularly motivated to sit and draw and paint for any length of time, which was strange because, aside from Nell, this is my life. It’s what I do.

This scene is actually a composite built from two reference photos. The setting is just down the road from where we live. The wagon has been in my files for years. In fact, it has been the subject of a couple of previous paintings. I think the combination came together well to create a scene one could stumble across while hiking.

It felt good to see this one come together.

And I’m Back

August 8, 2017


wagon1.3 detail

Detail from a work in progress. 11×14, acrylics

First, let me apologize for staying away so long. This surgery seemed to take more out of me than I expected.  However…. the surgery went exactly as it was supposed to. As my personal physician says, with three bypasses, a repaired mitral valve and a maze procedure to eliminate atrial fibrillation, I now have basically a new heart. Recovery is going well and I am making excellent progress in my physical rehabilitation. Aside from my efforts at the rehab center, I am walking daily at home. This morning, I walked 3/4 of a mile.

Interestingly, for several weeks after the surgery, I wasn’t interest in doing much. Aside from physical therapy, which started the day after I was moved out of ICU, I read,  watched a little TV and napped. I had sketching materials, but only got them out once. I found that my energy level was so low that my sketch was pitiful.

A few days ago, I finally got out the acrylics and started a new painting. It’s still in progress, and what you see above is a detail from that painting.

Since I prepared materials beforehand, I’m ready to work. There is still pain from the surgery, which calls for frequent breaks, but it feels good to have a brush in my hand again.

It’s good to be back.

Surgery rescheduled

June 10, 2017

My surgery has been rescheduled for Monday, June 19th. Thanks so much for all the well-wishes.

Down Time

June 4, 2017

As if this blog isn’t already a bit hit and miss, I think we’re looking at a bit more down time. I’ve got some medical appointments over the next few days, and then on Friday (June 9) I will have open heart surgery to repair a faulty mitral valve. I’ve cut boards and set up paint so I’ll be ready to get back to it, but I have no idea what kind of down time to really expect. At the moment, I have a desire to do some serious landscape painting, primarily in acrylics, but I foresee some studies in gouache as well.  I expect I’ll work up some sketches and studies for potential paintings.  I’ll be anxious to get started again when the time comes. Meanwhile, here’s something new.


The Storehouse, 11×14, Acrylic

Blues Rock, a gouache painting

April 25, 2017
rocks on hwy 29 900

Blues Rock, 8×10, Gouache

Like a lot of artists, when I don’t paint for a while, I get a bit rusty. I’ve focused on drawing and sketching a lot lately, and was beginning to feel out of touch with the paint and brushes. This is the second painting I’ve done in the past few days (the first one wasn’t bad, but we’ll call it a warmup).

studio april 2017 900

I took my time with this one. As most of you know by now, my “studio” space is tiny. My easel stays broken down and tucked away when I’m not painting. I decided to leave it stored and paint the way I did in the very beginning, with the board lying almost flat on my workspace table top. It was actually kind of a relaxed way of working. The palette for this painting included Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue, Red, Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Medium, Hansa Yellow Light, Burnt Umber and Burnt Sienna. As always, the greens were a challenge.

For more about how I paint and what I’ve learned while working with gouache, you might be interested in my book Painting The Wold My Way ~ The Gouache Book. You can see a preview and order the book at: