Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Surf Theater

The Surf Theater gained fame in the 1960s for screening movies such as “The Endless Summer” and “Five Summer Stories”. The theater was located just one block north of the pier on 5th St in “Surf City” Huntington Beach, and was demolished in 1989. I have rendered the image in a sepia toned watercolor to preserve the memory.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Crab Cooker

I am primarily a studio watercolorist. To begin my process, I spend a lot of time with a camera to capture images to work from. Sometimes a photo I have taken stimulates me, or I have a concept and search for the subject matter.

I begin composing the actual piece with a series of quick sketches to work out the elements and composition. Later, I create a more finished final sketch, and I begin thinking about colors and contrast of light and dark. Once I am happy with the final sketch, I execute a final pencil drawing the actual size of the finished painting.

I then transfer the final drawing to watercolor paper. Because I work in transparent watercolor, I must first save any areas that will remain white. I also mask some areas of the painting to be able to work quickly using a wet-on-wet technique. Next I begin painting the details of the piece, working from light to dark. In the final stages, I punch up some of the colors and darken other areas to add contrast and life to the piece.

While in our 20s, my wife Donna and I lived within walking distance of the Crab Cooker in Newport Beach, and someone actually stole this blue Volkswagen while she was at the beach.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Flying "A"

While growing up Upland, California, my dad owned a Flying “A” gas station. It was great to have a job waiting for me and my brothers as soon as we could reach a windshield. Remember the days when you pulled into a gas station, purchased a few dollars of Ethyl or Regular, had your windshield washed, the air in your tires checked and the fluid checked under your hood? I have turned back the clock a bit with the truck, and the pumps, and I have included my childhood dog ,Sarge, who loved to greet the customers.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Here's Lookin at You"

I have just completed a small series of gangster inspired paintings, and I am really enjoying working in acrylics again.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cool '55

A lot of artists are intimidated by watercolor, and claim it is a very difficult medium. One reason for this is the quick drying time, and the other reason is that you must preserve the paper for you whites. The artist must work quickly and cover large areas while still saving the white areas. Unlike oils, you cannot blend your colors slowly or pull out a tube of white paint. Watercolorists work from light to dark, and once the white areas are gone there is no coming back. To preserve your whites apply art masking fluid or apply drafting tape and cut out your shapes with an x-acto knife. In this image, all of the whites of the chrome are simply the paper showing through.