Category: Failed Paintings

  • Cows on Zuercher Rd: #4

    I painted this one ala prima (which means I didn’t sketch it, and I painted it in one sitting.) I did this because I felt my last attempts were constrained by the sketch, and disjointed by letting the layers sit too long before coming back to it. I think doing it this way opened me […]

  • Fly on the Moon: #1

    We had these moon flower plants in our yard when I was a kid, and I just simply loved them. When my mom and dad moved from our childhood home, I asked my mom to bring me some of the moonflower pods so I could grow them here. This morning, I decided to paint one, […]

  • NYC: #4

    I am really displeased with this one. I liked the drawing, but the whole thing just didn’t work. I got into painting bits and bobs too soon. I don’t want to do a full write up on this, because I’m not happy with it. I’m only posting this in hopes that one day, I’ll look […]

  • NYC: #1

    My friend Cris asked for a painting of New York City to put in her office. Her office is decorated in a largely black and white color scheme, so I tried to paint this in black and white. I decided to punch it up a bit with some yellow, as a tribute to the taxi’s […]

  • Gervasi Gazebo: #3

    I’ve been getting frustrated with a lack of progress again. And this time it’s because I can’t seem to get the effects I want. I’m trying to emulate other painters because I admire their work – and I never get the same kind of results. I know, I know – paint the way you feel […]

  • Dairy Farm: #1

    This is the first painting after a series of Plein Air and at-home studies of a dairy farm on Route 21 near New Philadelphia, Ohio. The first post is here. The second is here. Sketch I decided to try another sketch of the composition last night, in order to try to simplify the composition a […]

  • Stop Looking at Me SWAAAAN.

    Rachel and I went to Gervasi Still House for coffee today before work. I was pleasantly surprised. They had great coffee, with a free refill, and it wasn’t expensive. We might have to do that more often. After coffee, Rachel left for work, but I still had some time to kill, so I walked around […]

  • City Rach: #1

    So… on to the first attempt at a final draft. Here’s the recipe I had in my head at the beginning: Mask figure highlights Paint sky in a light, flat wash. Paint the window frame. Warm with a drop of cool in the upper left corners. Paint the wall cool up top, cool down the […]

  • Appalachian Sky: #2

    This is my second attempt at painting a view of the valley in the Appalachian mountains from our vacation in Elk Banner, South Carolina. In this version, I expanded the field of view considerably, and it no longer matches the field of view that I have in my mind. In my mind, looking at the […]

  • Cows on a Hill: #1

    I really liked the sky I painted last night, so today I wanted to paint something with a big wide open sky. I have also been enamored with Joseph Zbukvic’s cows, so I wanted to try that as well. To start, I used C4b to wet the paper. Then an F3w of UM Blue and […]

  • The Ravine: #7

    I’m trying again to capture the memory of visiting the Ravine as a kid. There is something playful here which feels right. And I like that the tree back there is a defined focal point. One of the things I have struggled with is defining a focal point. As far as composition goes, this is […]

  • Mites, mud, and a microscope.

    I spent a glorious day yesterday outside with my dog Lego. We fished in my inflatable boat. We walked through the woods. She sat while I painted a church. We drove for an hour and a half through Amish country to my favorite camping grounds. And, she lolloped through tall grass as we climbed a […]

  • Plateau and Failed Paintings

    Progress in anything I’m familiar with is marked by improvement curves and plateaus. I’m in a plateau right now with my watercolor. I wonder if it’s because I have been trying to learn by watching many different painters and trying to grab what lessons I can from them all. Maybe, learning this way is the […]

  • Prom Queen: #5

    A bit of History before I talk about this painting… In My Favorite Murder, Episode #162 (Prom Queen), Karen and Georgia jokingly told people to paint this picture McKenzie Brelyn posted on Instagram. I’ve been practicing watercolor for a while now, and Rachel and I will be seeing them live in Pittsburgh on Friday, so […]

  • Bonsai: #3

    This one turned out more of an illustration than a painting – maybe somewhere in between? I wanted to try the Bonsai painting in a landscape orientation, and I think it worked ok. I don’t like the trees in the midground, I wanted them to be more washed out than they are, but I ended […]

  • Kucko Bridge: #1

    Welp, here’s another one I really don’t want to show… but it’s part of the process. I saw this photo when Troy shared it a few days ago. I asked John Kucko if he wouldn’t mind me painting it, and he agreed to let me. (Thanks!) I certainly didn’t do his photo any justice, but I […]

  • Just Keep Swimming