Friday, December 23, 2011

Bottle with Apples

10"x8" acrylic on masonite

This painting was a joy to paint. It was fun focusing on the variety of shadows and tones in this piece. I found each apple to be so unique. Each had its own shape, color and details. Really looking forward to painting another one like this. I decided to add a few photos to demonstrate the steps of my painting.

I made this box out of foam core to block outside light.
By doing this I can easily control the light source on my subject.


Roughed in some darker colors to build lighter colors on

Added shadows and mid tones

I finished the painting with the lightest colors, details and highlights.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011


10"x8" acrylic on Masonite

This is a commissioned painting of Oskar. I really enjoyed myself with this one. The dogs owner says this pose shows Oskar's personality. He doesn't like taking photos. When Oskar gets upset he gives this look and his nose starts to run, kind of like he is saying "don't mess with me man".

It felt good painting in acrylic again. Kind of like I was away from home and now I have returned. It was fun trying the oils again but honestly, I find the acrylics to be more fun and fitting for my style of painting. I am sure I will try the oils again in the future but for now I am happy with my acrylics.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Painted glass ornaments

I have had many commissions for these painted glass ornaments. I have a couple more to do before
Christmas. They are fun, but very tedious. Painting on a glass sphere has its share of challenges. I will be happy when they are all done.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Apple 3

6"x6" oil on masonite

Kind of missing my acrylics. They just may be the best medium for me? I think I may go back to them. Lately I have been very busy working on Christmas commissions. I will post some soon.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Apple 2

6"x6" oil on masonite

Saturday, December 10, 2011


6"x6" oil on masonite

Its been over 12 years since I have painted in oils. When I started painting again, about 2 years ago. I decided it would be best to paint with acrylic. My reasoning for using acrylic paint was because my studio was located directly next to the furnace. For that reason, I didn't want to be working with the fumes of oil.

Since then I have discovered these water soluble oils. They don't need the flammable solvents like turpentine that traditional oils do. They thin with water, and a special linseed oil. I decided to pick some up this week and give them a try.

I am not sure if I like them or not yet? I do like the fact that unlike acrylics, I can blend the colors. I also like that my pallet does not dry out. The colors also go on and dry the way I want them too. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but I learned a lot today. I am looking forward to my next painting in oils.

If anybody has used these paints or is currently using them, I would love to hear your thoughts...

Friday, December 9, 2011


8"x10" acrylic on masonite

Another commission finished. Now I just need to frame it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Self Portrait

5"x7" acrylic on masonite

Today my boss had me do some portraits at work for an upcoming event. I really enjoyed getting away from the computer and picking up a pencil again. This inspired me to go home and do a self portrait. Thanks Joe!

I began roughing in a likeness with raw umber. As I got further along with my painting I thought to myself "this could be a cool facebook profile pic". So I did a bit of refining and some shading and here it is. I may add color to this one in the future but for now like it just the way it is. I think its kind of cool.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cuddling Pears

6"x6" acrylic on masonite

I have been spending more time than usual on these little paintings, but I don't feel that I am wasting my time. What I have been concentrating on doing is observing the color more closely and thinking about the placement and value of my brushstrokes. My goal isn't to paint a pretty picture, its to learn from the exercise and developing my skills as a painter.

One thing I learned from this painting is that its ok to leave out some of the details. I found myself painting in every subtle highlight and dimple of the red pear. The more detail I put in, the more I hated it. So, I decided to paint over the red pear and approach it a bit simpler. I squinted at the pear to simplify it and break it down into blocks of color. It didn't take much to get it to look right. Just concentrated on where I put the color. This time I limited the details and only added the highlights that stood out the most.

In the end I am happy with the results.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Copper pot

7"x5" acrylic on masonite

Boy. I didn't think this would be as challenging as it was. I spent more time than I would have liked on this one, but I enjoyed myself. I found this copper pot at a garage sale this spring and I have been wanting to paint it ever since. I didn't really know what to compose it with so I just grabbed whatever I could find, and got right to it.

I was a bit concerned that the placement of the egg was too close to the center. I decided to forget about it and keep painting. After putting in the colors, it didn't bother me as much. What do you think?

Overall, I am very happy with this one.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Apple or Pumpkin?

6"x6" acrylic on masonite

One of the toughest questions of the season... Would you like apple pie or pumpkin pie? It's always so hard to choose. I usually end up having both!

I learned a lot from this painting. The colors I used where the 3 primaries... Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson and Yellow Ochre. I also used Raw Umber, Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cerulean Blue and Titanium White. What I did my best to do was not paint with any white until the very last touches. I achieved this by not using white with any of my colors in this painting except for a little bit added to the stem of the pumpkin, and of course the highlights.

I learned a lot about color from a fellow acrylic painter of whom I have a lot of respect for, Roger Bansemer. Here are some links to youtube video's by Roger that explain concepts on color.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Cabin

36"x24" acrylic on canvas

This was another fun landscape to paint. Especially with the Christmas music playing in the background! It was fun playing around with the elements and modifying them a bit to make a better composition. I went back and forth on what to do with the foreground. I felt it needed to be softened with a shadow to add visual interest and also to include a path of light leading back up to the focal point (the cabin). In my opinion it worked and I am very happy with the results.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Glass Ornament

A coworker of mine asked me to do a painting of her dog on a glass ornament. It was a challenge to get the acrylic paint to stick. I found it was best to paint without water or very little of it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Salt Creek

24"x18" acrylic on canvas

About a month ago in early October. My family and I went canoeing on the Salt Creek in Fullersburg woods. The leaves on the trees were starting to change and the breeze flowing through our hair was crisp and clean. Fall was in the air. As I sat in the back of the canoe paddling and steering, I couldnt help but look at my family and feel so proud and thankful. I thought to myself "it doesn't  get any better than this".

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chicago water taxi

Here is the painting I am currently working on. It is a view of the water taxi on the Chicago River coming out from under the Lake Street Bridge. This is a view I see everyday on my way home from work. I was inspired to paint this because I love the bright yellow and how it casts a reflection into the water. I also love the way the water splashes up as the boat moves and glistens in the sunlight. Chicago bridges and the old towers are so interesting to me, so I wanted to include that in the painting as well.

The colors are blocked in and I am starting to put in more details. I have been struggling a bit on what to do with the background. Not sure if I want to keep it simple or get more detailed? I am leaning more toward simple shapes because I dont want it to detract from the boat which is my center of interest. Thru trial and error this painting is beginning to take form. Hopefully it will turn out well. If it doesn't, I learned something from it.

I refined the boat and added waves around it to make it look like it was moving. I felt that the vertical lines on the building were taking my eye off the canvas. My solution was to break them up a bit as if there were patches of sunlight hitting the building.

I will probably add a few more touches to the boat but for the most part I am happy with it.

Today I worked on the concrete lamp post to the left of the painting. I want the viewers eye to focus on the boat which is the center of interest. Therefore, I darkened the lamp post as it was to light.

18"x24" acrylic on gallery canvas

I think I am going to call this one done. I added more details into the bridge and tower. The building was looking a bit to abstract for my liking, so I decided to suggest a few windows. A tree was added to the right, to soften the CTA portion of the bridge.

As I was walking past the tower this week I noticed a historical marker with the engraved date 1916. The Lake St. Bridge is one of two movable bridges in Chicago that carry both a CTA train above and 4 lanes of Car traffic below. I find these structures very interesting and I look forward to painting another in the future.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So Inspired!

Since I started my blog several months ago I have been so inspired by the many artists and friends I have met. I feel that I have grown so much as an artist with every post. Every time I paint I learn something, but I am also learning from each and every one of the artists that I follow. You are all an inspiration to me and I really appreciate your comments and for your interest in my work.

Because of my busy work schedule I have decided the painting a day thing is a bit to much for me as many times I get home very late. However, I still have such a strong urge to paint and I really want to keep it up. What I have been trying to do is paint everyday, but for a shorter amount of time. Even if its only for a half hour or an hour I am still making progress and continuing to learn.

I have had time to think while on the train commuting to and from work and also have been trying to carry a camera for reference photos more often. So my painting references and ideas have been building up. Many of my paintings are already planned and vary in subject to keep it more interesting.

After finishing the portrait last week I decided I would like to paint something a bit different. The painting will be of a scene of the city of Chicago. One that I see every day as I walk to the train. I hope to be finished in a week or two so stay tuned. I hope to post something soon.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Justin and Melissa

16"x20" acrylic on gallery canvas

Here is the finished painting. I was unsure how I wanted to treat the background. I decided to have fun with the brush strokes and created a sense of nature behind them with the green and brown tones. Overall I am very happy with the finished piece. Now I am looking forward to giving it to the happy couple. I hope they are happy with it.
I made some progress this weekend and worked on Justin's face and also started with the hands. All in all I think its coming along nicely. Working in a fast paced promotional/advertising environment every day, I am used to working quickly to meet deadlines. I am making a conscious effort to slow down and not rush with my painting, take breaks and come back fresh.
I have been very busy these last few weeks so I have had to put the painting on hold. I did however  have time this weekend and I really enjoyed myself. I worked on Melissa's face and managed to get a good likeness of her. Portraits can be challenging in acrylic but I enjoy the medium and I am happy with the progress. Next I will move onto Justin's face and try to get a likeness of him.

Its been a while since I did a portrait painting but I enjoy doing them. Above is the painting I am currently working on. I have blocked in some values of color. Now lets see if I can capture a good likeness moving forward.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Evolving Meadow

10"x20" Acrylic on Canvas

This is a painting of Blackwell Forest Preserve in Illinois. A place my family and I enjoy visiting. I love the natural beauty of this area. It makes me feel like I am far from home and I can slow down a bit and enjoy the creation thats all around me.

I think I am going to enter this one into the Danada Nature Art Show.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Warren Dunes State Park

8"x10" acrylic on Canvas Board

Had a great time camping at Warren Dunes for a few days this week. I did this plein air painting on the beach. I thought it turned out well. There were a ton of people coming and going but I decided to leave them out of this one. Seagulls were flying around and they happened to land on the driftwood log in front of me. I tried to capture this in the painting. I loved the way the trees faded to a faint blue and blended into the water in the background. The trees and greenery had so much texture and variety of shape. I had fun painting this and I have really enjoyed  painting on site. It is very challenging but also very rewarding.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Silver Lake

8"x10" acrylic on Canvas Board

I did this plein air painting on Vacation this weekend at a cottage in Michigan. It was so much fun and relaxing. It has been a while since I have done a painting and posted to my blog. So I am exited to finally post something again. I am pleased with the way this one turned out.

Vacation was a blast and much needed. We camped for 2 nights and stayed with my Mother-in-law and my Uncle at the cottage for 2 nights. I really enjoyed spending time with family and seeing my kids so happy and having such a good time. I am truly blessed.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

3 Pears

6"x6" acrylic on masonite

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I spotted these pears at the fruit market and thought they were so beautiful. What caught my eye was not only the unique shapes but the varied color of each one. I love how the reds blend into the greens. I was surprised to find that one had a leaf still attached. I could not decide which one I wanted to paint so I painted 3.

Friday, May 20, 2011


6"x6" acrylic on Canvas Board

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I did this painting for "The Whole Cat and Kaboodle Challenge" at

Friday, May 13, 2011


Finally found some time to do a painting. I managed to paint this one in less than an hour. I am not enjoying these late nights at work. Really missing my painting time. Hopefully by the end of the month I will be back to it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I have been extremely busy at work and have been working very late hours. I am sorry to say that my painting a day has been put on hold or at least slowed down quite a bit. It's going to be like this for at least a month or so. Hopefully I can squeeze a few in these next few weeks?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pair of Pears 2

6"x6" acrylic on masonite

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Strawberry Plate

 I am usually not one to go back into a daily painting but I couldn't help myself. It took on a different look when I looked at it with my eyes open this morning. I really felt the painting needed some depth. Below is what I saw but above makes the painting more dynamic. I am happy with the change.

6"x6" acrylic on masonite

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Coke Bottle

5"x7" acrylic on Masonite

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Another bottle from a garage sale. This bottle is from the 1960's. One side says Coke with the letters spaced out and the other side says Coca-Cola.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Old Wine Bottle

5"x7" acrylic on Masonite

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I went to a garage sale over the weekend and found this old bottle along with many others. There is no lettering on the bottle except the crest that is molded on the front. I can also see that the bottle is hand made because it is not perfect in shape. There are also many bubbles and defects within the glass itself which tells me it was hand blown. I am not sure when or for whom this was made but I have a feeling it may be worth something?

I was so excited to paint this bottle and I think it turned out fairly well. I am looking forward to painting the next one!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Horse Barn

8"x10" acrylic on canvas board

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Today I visited the Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton Illinois with my wife and kids. We had a great time. I was looking forward to my first plein air landscape painting. I spent about an hour on it. I had a tough time with it as it was cold and very windy. My paints were just not working very well for me. They were drying before they were put on the canvas. Overall I had a fun time though. I enjoyed being in the outdoors and hearing the horses and the birds in the background. It was very relaxing. I will definitely be painting plein air again this summer.

Friday, April 29, 2011


6"x6" acrylic on masonite

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Thursday, April 28, 2011


5"x7" acrylic on Masonite

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Green Glow

5"x7" acrylic on Masonite

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I couldn't find a subject to paint. All these elements were still on the table in front of me so I came up with this arrangement. I have been debating on softening the black corner on the top right. However, It would look good framed in black so the corner blends into the frame. Your thoughts would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Clementine Glass

5"x7" acrylic on Masonite

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Lemon halves

5"x7" acrylic on Masonite

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Thursday, April 21, 2011


5"x7" acrylic on Masonite

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I saw this dark red cup and plate at a second hand shop about a month ago and had to buy it. I think it goes well with the grey cloth and white plate. I cant wait to start hitting the garage sales to look for painting subjects. So much fun!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bunny Mobile

5"x7" acrylic on Masonite

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Another nicknack from my Mom. I can't believe its almost Easter already! Spring is here!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bag of Oreo's

5"x7" acrylic on Masonite

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This was a fun exploration. Spent about an hour on this one. I started out with a lot more oreo's but they kept disappearing.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


9"x12" acrylic on canvas board

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wild Eye

6"x6" acrylic on masonite

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This is my submission to the daily paint works chicken challenge.