Daily painting #23: unfinished cars

I wanted to practice painting cars today, so I parked myself at the local supermarket. I was counting on shoppers taking 45 minutes to get groceries. Instead, most cars stayed for 10 minutes, or so it seemed! The result is an unfinished painting, unfortunately. Plus I took a terrible photo!

Next time I’ll try sketching in the shape of the entire mass of cars, then moving to individual cars, rather than the other way around. I’m still not sure whether to work from back to front or vice-versa.

Geoff Watson, “Cars at the supermarket (unfinished),” May daily painting #23, study, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Cars at the supermarket (unfinished),” May daily painting #23, study, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Daily painting #22: Dad and daughter paint-out

My daughter is home from college, and she and I painted together today — a rare treat! It was a glorious 70-degree day, with bright sunshine and clear skies. I thought I’d share both our paintings. First, here’s mine:

Geoff Watson, “Front walkway,” May daily painting #22, oil on panel, 9” x 12,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Front walkway,” May daily painting #22, oil on panel, 9” x 12,” 2019.

And here’s my daughter’s impression, with a more zoomed-in point of view:

Maddie Watson, “The front door,” oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Maddie Watson, “The front door,” oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Daily painting #20: Skylight

I had intended a simple sketch of this interior, but a skylight cast a strangely-shaped light over the scene, and I couldn’t resist trying to depict it. I didn’t entirely succeed, but it’s an interesting effort.

Geoff Watson, “Skylight,” May daily painting #20, oil on panel, 6” x 6,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Skylight,” May daily painting #20, oil on panel, 6” x 6,” 2019.

Daily painting #18: Up the driveway

I did yet another scene from my neighborhood, as I’m limiting my driving as my back heals. (It felt a lot better today.) It was a gorgeous day, but I had trouble seeing my panel because I was standing in shade looking toward a very bright light source. Perhaps not coincidentally, the painting is less daring than my best pictures. I’ll have to think about better ways to keep light off my canvas.

Also, this is not a wonderful photo. In the actual painting, for example, the background is more green. I might re-photograph and re-post it later.

Geoff Watson, “Up the driveway (study),” May daily painting #18, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Up the driveway (study),” May daily painting #18, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Daily painting #17: The road ahead

My back has been too sore for me to drive safely, so I’ve been walking to nearby spots to paint. In this case, I was trying to highlight the bend in the road in the top-left, but I also wanted to include the car because it’s just plain fun to paint cars. The trouble with cars, though, is that they always drive away. True to form, this one poofed before I’d finished it. I did my best completing it from memory.

Geoff Watson, “The Road Ahead,” May daily painting #17, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “The Road Ahead,” May daily painting #17, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Daily painting #16: Welcome

For the second straight day, I felt an unusual compulsion to paint a doorway. And why not? There’s something mysterious about a closed door. But the flowers stole the show.

Geoff Watson, “Welcome,” May daily painting #16, oil on panel, 6” x 6,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Welcome,” May daily painting #16, oil on panel, 6” x 6,” 2019.

Daily painting #14: Waiting for repairs

I started this study in the early evening. My idea here was to focus attention on the cars, and I had some success depicting a couple of them. But they all were moved in the hour or so I was standing there, so I didn’t finish any of them. On top of that, I didn’t make clear that the building on the right is a repair shop, and the sun went down so fast that I didn’t have time to fix it. So the title of the painting is all too apt: it’s waiting for repairs!

Geoff Watson, “Waiting for repairs (in progress),” May daily painting #14, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Waiting for repairs (in progress),” May daily painting #14, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Daily painting #12: Laura

Laura is a new model at my life class, and today she sat for the second session of a two-session pose. I didn’t finish polishing and smoothing out the colors in her face, but I like a lot about it. The likeness is pretty good, and the picture has some character.

Geoff Watson, “Laura,” May daily painting #12, oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Laura,” May daily painting #12, oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Daily painting #9: Misty at the church

It was an overcast, blustery, almost misty sort of day. I found myself at Concord-St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Bethesda, Maryland, and I decided to paint a side area, which encloses a garden. I wanted to convey some of the gray, cool, raw, misty, slightly breezy weather I was feeling, especially as I didn’t dress warmly enough for it.

I also wanted to experiment with ways to paint less literally. I cut out trees and asphalt, and I deliberately de-constructed the roof and other edges, to convey a more painterly feel. I like how it turned out.

Geoff Watson, “Misty at the church,” May daily painting #9, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Misty at the church,” May daily painting #9, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Daily painting #8: Five Guys

I spent a balmy afternoon painting the outdoor seating area of a local Five Guys restaurant. I wiped it out twice, as I learned the hard way that people don’t stay at a Five Guys for very long! My models kept leaving. So the painting is just okay — sort of indecisive. Also, I now see that I should’ve moved (or removed) the tall straight tree on the left, as it confuses the well-drawn potted plant in front of it. . Oh well. I still learned from the painting, and it was fun.

Geoff Watson, “Five Guys (study),” May daily painting #8, oil on panel, 9” x 12,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Five Guys (study),” May daily painting #8, oil on panel, 9” x 12,” 2019.

Daily painting #6: Unfinished driveway

Not every “daily painting” is going to be a masterpiece, and today’s unfinished effort demonstrates that! I was planning to focus on rain falling in puddles behind the car, but I never got to the puddles, lol. My back started really hurting after about 45 minutes of painting the car, and I called it quits. Hey, at least the car was on the right track. (So to speak.)

Art marketers sometimes say one should never post failures on one’s website. “Only show your best work!,” they say. I think that’s good advice for an art show. But for my blog, I prefer to have an honest conversation with my readers, to talk about what happens when paintings fail, to keep a record of my progress, and to think about how to improve.

Geoff Watson, “Unfinished driveway” (unfinished), May daily painting #5, oil on panel, 8” x 8,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Unfinished driveway” (unfinished), May daily painting #5, oil on panel, 8” x 8,” 2019.

Daily painting #5: Laura

Today I painted a new model, Laura, in life class. This was the first of a two-week pose, but I think it’s off to a decent start. She holds her head nicely, and her features are strong, so she’s fun to paint. Next week I’ll refine her features, balance the lights and shadows better, model her head in a more 3D way, and work on her hair. All in two hours, natch!

Geoff Watson, “Laura (in progress),” May daily painting #5, oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Laura (in progress),” May daily painting #5, oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Daily painting #4: Darth Vader

May the 4th be with you! It’s Star Wars Day, so I pulled out my trusty bust of Darth Vader, put him on top of a garbage can in my driveway, and painted his portrait. He’s a pretty good model: he sits still and he doesn’t take breaks.

That said, I think the artist should err on the side of a flattering likeness. I hope Vader doesn’t notice that I sneaked in a little Rebel Alliance orange at the top of the picture, to contrast with all those cool, dark Imperial colors. Also, he seems to be staring at my signature. A bit worrisome. “Apology accepted, Mr. Watson.”

(Disclaimer: Star Wars and Darth Vader are the intellectual property of Disney, and I do not intend to sell this painting.)

Anyway, happy Star Wars Day!

Geoff Watson, “Darth Vader,” fan art, oil on panel, 8” x 8,” 2019. Disclaimer: Star Wars and Darth Vader are the intellectual property of Disney, and I do not intend to sell this painting.

Geoff Watson, “Darth Vader,” fan art, oil on panel, 8” x 8,” 2019. Disclaimer: Star Wars and Darth Vader are the intellectual property of Disney, and I do not intend to sell this painting.