WEEKLY FEATURE (Work in Progress)

This is my weekly update and discussion regarding my works in progress (WIP). It also serves as an incentive for me to work daily on an unfinished backlog of paintings and plein air pieces I started at earlier dates.

I want to share my art and my methods with anyone who is interested and may benefit from my experiences. So here is my art and how I do it! In return, I wouldn’t mind hearing from you!

Each week, as I work on the featured painting, I will update images and add comments. As I finish each painting, I will begin a new painting (WIP), and the former work will be removed from this section. However, if you wish a digital copy sent to you of any previous Weekly Feature, use my contact page and I will email a copy to you. A log of past Weekly Features is shown below. Thanks for visiting! Peace!

Previous Weekly Features

  • Jun 30 - Jul 14 - “Marina at False Creek and Granville Bridge”, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

  • Jul 14 - Jul 28 - “Western Diamondback Rattlesnake”, Arizona, U.S.A

  • July 28 - Aug 4 - “The Stella d’Oro Daylily and the Summer Lilac”

  • Aug 4 - Aug 25 - “Gaughtry”, pet portrait



Project Title: Scott Fountain, 8”x 10” acrylic on canvas board

[Post: Sep 8, 2019]

Part of my passion for Michigan stems from growing up in Southwest Detroit, fishing in the Detroit River, and camping throughout the state. Belle Ilse holds many fond memories for me and provides not only inspiration for my art but also revives recollections of experiences that perhaps only a person that grew up visiting the island could understand. Here are the stages of this painting of the Scott Fountain on Belle Isle.


(1) Establishing a color ground


(2) Using a contrasting white pencil to sketch in the scene


(3) Introducing the lightest lights first, setting up the tonal map that will govern the range of lights to darks


(4) I began to separate the foreground and background by lightening the sky and darkening the grassy foreground.


(5) Enter the midtones in gray-blue within the structure of the fountain, falling water from the bowls of the fountain, and some of the greenery and additional foreground variations in the grass.


(6) Using a detail brush, I start to accentuate the recesses and scultptural aspects of the fountain. A ruler used as a guide helps to maintain some architectural accuracy.


(7) Many more darker tones and contrasting elements begin to suggest the stone-like statuesque nature of the Scott Fountain. More details in the foreground and the hint of the city-scape on the left has started to make this scene relevant to the locale.


(8) Oh, look! Chairs and benches and a lot more water squirting everywhere!

9 FINAL copy.jpg

(FINAL) So, in the end, I decided that adding a couple sitting in the chairs would add a sense of scale and also a social aspect implying the gathering space nature of this fountain.

Belle Isle MashUp.jpg

Views from the field: (top left) A glimpse inside Belle Isle’s Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory; (top right) View walking across the pond from the Scott Fountain; (bottom left) A typical freighter passage down the Detroit River; (bottom right) A day with the dogs, Maximus and Jackie O at the Scott Fountain.

Sharing some tips….

When dealing with nature in art, there is great beauty in the variety of colors and shapes. A good way to retain that beauty is to allow the randomness of water droplets, irregular grass growth, foliage, and coloration, and the tonal and color variations in the sky to be kept in an honest and proportional representation. Nature is not mechanical, it is full of unusual variations and color richness.