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The Gouache Book

December 1, 2016


I promise, there really is a gouache book in the works. At this time, it is 49 pages, with well over 70 images, mostly paintings and “demos”. It will be a 6″x 9″ softcover booklet, easy to pack and a convenient size for work table, coffee table or shelf. Now that The Barn Project is back to the publisher for a final test copy, I’m focusing on the gouache book. The text is pulled from the blog, and I’m doing a lot of editing as well as adding more information and personal thoughts on the subject.

The Barn Project – Update

November 28, 2016


I’ve just ordered what I hope is the final test copy. It should arrive in about two weeks, and if everything looks good, I’ll post order information. This little soft back offering is 6″x 9″, 40 pages, and contains over 50 images of barn paintings, drawings and sketches with captions showing general location of the barns as well as text sharing little tidbits of information about many of them. Pricing is still under consideration, but I’m trying to keep it very budget-friendly.

Barn Yard

November 27, 2016


I love these big Ohio barns. Working in this manner with ink and watercolor gives me a chance to do a rural form of urban sketching. I really love working this way. This  drawing isn’t quite completed. I still need to finish the details in the Ohio centennial emblem on the end of the barn. This was done with Micron pens, Sharpies and transparent watercolor.


Mount Vernon Barn

November 20, 2016

Mount Vernon Barn, 6 1/2 x 8 1/2, ink & watercolor

Here’s another one for the Barn project. This place sits beside Ohio Highway 36 between Mount Liberty and Mount Vernon. The condition of the barn is a little more rough than the way I’ve shown it, but I didn’t want to labor over it too much. Like many of these places, it’s interesting visually because of a variety of large farm implements and other objects scattered around. I’m finding that complicated subjects like the old tractor aren’t nearly as difficult to draw if I don’t agonize over it and just put the marks down without worrying about details. As far as the landscape is concerned, I’ve learned that I can suggest a wide range of things with the combination of pen marks and watercolor, and sometimes less truly is more. And yes, the barn is leaning. The whimsical nature of this kind of drawing makes little quirks like that all the more fun.

Moving Forward

November 13, 2016

The election in the United States is over and it’s time to refocus. Nell and I are presently in Ohio visiting family. I did pack my sketching and painting gear, and have already gotten some nice reference photos while we were driving up here.


I have a small booklet in the works that I’ve titled The Barn Project, and hope to add a few new drawings (and maybe a painting or two) of some additional barns while I’m editing the text.

In addition, I’m revising the long-promised book on gouache. I had to change the printing method in order to keep the book well within a reasonable price range.  I continue to look for new ideas and develop new drawings for the saga of Sherwin the Snail. And, of course, there are drawings and paintings of a variety of subjects that call out to be done.  Here are some gouache paintings done recently.


Watering Hole, Gouache, 8×10

We recently spent a week in Port Aransas, Texas, and while there we took a day trip to the famed King Ranch. While on the four hour wildlife tour, we saw deer, javelina, a wolf, a variety of birds, turkeys and even an alligator. Naturally, there were cattle as well. The painting above portrays one of the many watering holes scattered throughout the ranch.



Untitled, Gouache, 8×10

One of the beauties of a social media site like Facebook is the opportunity to develop relationships with people in other parts of the world.  A Facebook Friend who lives in the UK posted photos for me of interesting subjects like the boat above, moored in Suffolk.



Shrimper, Gouache, 8×10


The painting above is still in progress. It’s one of the many shrimp boats moored at the harbor in Rockport-Fulton, Texas. I love visiting the marinas on the Gulf Coast and shooting images of these boats. Every one of them is a little different.

And we’ll finish this post off with some plein air pieces. I’m still just a “dabbler” when it comes to plein air, but here are some recent attempts:


Back Yard Trees, Gouache, 5×7



Tree Limb, Gouache, 5×7


River Bed, Gouache, 5×7

Sherwin Illustrations

October 7, 2016

Much of the work in the past month has been focused on Sherwin the Snail. I’m truly enjoying creating these illustrations. They come straight from my imagination directly to the paper, doing preliminary drawings in pencil, then proceeding to ink and finished with watercolor.


I’m having a lot of fun with these. Rather than a continuous story, I’m approaching them as stand alone images with captions. I’m finding it’s a lot harder to do the written parts than the illustrations.


Some will be elaborate drawings in full color.


Others will be spot illustrations, some with color and some in black and white. I’m currently participating in Inktober, a world-wide challenge to produce one ink drawing each day for the 30 days of October. I’m using it as an impetus to produce ideas for the Sherwin project.

The full size illustrations are in the 10″ x 12″ range. I’m finding I prefer doing the ink  and watercolor work on Strathmore Watercolor paper, 140 lb, cold press. I’m working directly in the 11×15 spiral pad.

The smaller illustrations and sketches are done in my favorite sketchbook: Canson’s “Mix Media” spiral bound 5.5 x 8.5 pad with 98 lb paper.

The ink work is a combination of Sharpies and Micron pens.


Spring House

September 5, 2016
spring house at900

Spring House, 8×10, Gouache

I don’t know if this is really a spring house or not, but it makes me think of one. There’s a large white barn not far from our son’s home outside of Columbus, Ohio. I suspect that it was originally part of a dairy farm, but now there is a big daylily farm behind the barn. Every time we passed this place, my eye was drawn to this little attachment at the front. It always calls to mind N.C. Wyeth’s painting “The Spring House”. I’ve recently done a couple of gouache pieces to keep from getting too rusty, and this was one of them. I didn’t spend nearly as much time on my little painting as Wyeth spent on his, but I thought I’d share this one anyway.