Sunday, November 30, 2008

Digital Watercolor Painting

This is one of my holiday cards based on dogs that I've met at the dog park when I've been there with my dogs. It's called "Running through the Snow."

I paint digitally only when I'm looking for the immediacy of having the image in the computer to use for printing (such as a greeting card). The application, Painter, has a robust toolset that enables artists to "paint" in a variety of virtual "mediums." Painter simulates media from watercolor, oil, pastel painting to charcoal, ink and pencil drawings. The user can layer color as in real-life painting and can set the background texture to be as smooth as paper or as rough as canvas. The effects obviously do not replace the real thing in terms of tactile depth and texture (and to some extent, color), but one can create some interesting and compelling works using this program along with a graphics tablet.

My digital watercolors are mostly of dogs (and a few cats) that I use for greeting card designs. If you're interested in seeing more cards and perhaps purchasing some, please visit

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A note about sketching

Sketching is one of my favorite activities though I don't do it as often as I'd like (or should). There is something exciting about the spontaneity of the drawing regardless of whether a close likeness is achieved. In fact, the freshness and lack of meticulousness of the drawing can exude a magical quality that sometimes is missing in more labored and refined works.

I love to see other people's sketchbooks almost as much as (and sometimes more than) seeing their finished pieces. It is revealing and very personal to see how someone draws in "real time" on-site while the event or situation is happening. I find it infinitely more interesting when museum and gallery shows include drawings and sketches of the artists that are featured as well as their finished works.

There is a book that has come out that I am really looking forward to seeing. It's called, An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration From The Private Sketchbooks Of Artists, Illustrators And Designers by Danny Gregory. Danny Gregory has written several books mostly dealing with the art of sketching and I am an avid reader and fan of his blog and several of his books. You can see his blog at

Sunday, November 16, 2008


This etching, titled "Begonia," was created using several techniques including aquatint. However the soft, muted branches in the background were done with the spitbite technique of painting with the acid directly on the plate with a brush. It's a nice way to get muted tones and/or subjects into your composition.