Wayne

Wayne was a last-minute substitute model in today's life-painting session; the scheduled model failed to show. Wayne turned out to be great! He showed up with ropes and posed with them. We started with a couple 10-monute poses. Here's one.

Geoff Watson, "Hauling," carbon pencil on paper, 9" x 12," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Hauling," carbon pencil on paper, 9" x 12," 2017.

Then it was the main event -- a long pose of about 90 minutes. This is not a great photo, but it does show my main focus -- the intense light on Wayne's left shoulder. 

Geoff Watson, "Wayne," oil on panel, 11" x 14," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Wayne," oil on panel, 11" x 14," 2017.

Herring Point revisited

Over the summer I painted an 8" x 10" plein air study of Herring Point at Cape Henlopen Park in Delaware. This week I've been trying to develop that study into a larger studio work. I always find this translation process challenging: how does one preserve the charm of the study while incorporating enough new information to enlarge the work?

One approach is to supplement the study with photo references, but I often find it more helpful to work off the study and to fill in gaps with my memory. In this case, I remember thinking I didn't have enough time to record all the human activity on the beach. I've added more beachgoers in this version. 

Geoff Watson, "Herring Point," oil on canvas, work in progress, 16" x 20," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Herring Point," oil on canvas, work in progress, 16" x 20," 2017.

Deodorant

I've been messing around with deodorant. I'm not happy with any of the compositions I've come up with so far; they all kind of stink! But it's still fun to paint the strange shapes of various anti-perspirants. I haven't really been sweating the details.

Geoff Watson, "Deodorant Study 1," oil on canvas, 8" x 10," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Deodorant Study 1," oil on canvas, 8" x 10," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Deodorant Study 2," oil on panel, 6" x 6," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Deodorant Study 2," oil on panel, 6" x 6," 2017.

Self-portrait (in progress)

I've been working on this self-portrait for a few days, using a single mirror, so the image is reversed. One can cure this problem by using two mirrors, but it's very tricky to do this. Anyway, I'd like to add more color to my face, make me smile a tad more, refine the shirt and glasses, and fix other stuff.

Unfortunately, the likeness is pretty good! I should have stopped painting when I looked like Paul Newman. :-)

Geoff Watson, "Self-portrait," oil on canvas, work in progress, 14" x 18," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Self-portrait," oil on canvas, work in progress, 14" x 18," 2017.

Large projects

With the colder weather, I've beeen working on larger projects in the studio. One is a self-portrait, in oil, on canvas. Unfortunately, it looks like me! I'll post it soon.

Today I also started work on a 16" x 20" version of the study below, which I painted on location at Cape Henlopen this summer. I plan to add clouds to add interest to the sky, and I'll add detail to the people and umbrellas on the beach. It will be fun!

Geoff Watson, "Herring Point," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Herring Point," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Emily - week 1

I started this portrait last weekend, but I forgot to post it until now; it's been a busy week. The drawing is good as far as it goes, but I hope to develop it further in the remaining two sessions.

Geoff Watson, "Emily," work in progress, oil on panel, 11" x 14," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Emily," work in progress, oil on panel, 11" x 14," 2017.

Knife-painting at Great Falls

Who needs brushes? I did this painting entirely with a painting knife. It depicts the Virginia side of Great Falls National Park, on a balmy Halloween. In fact, painting with a knife reminds me of carving Jack-O-Lanterns: it's messy but fun, and you end up with something scary.

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Dog Park

I painted this picture last month, on a balmy fall afternoon in McLean Gardens in Washington. The painting depicts the Newark Street dog park. One of my relatives was instrumental in the planning of the park, and today I gave this painting to her as a surprise birthday gift.

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House and Pole - Day 3

I had only an hour or so to work on this today, but I made progress on the foreground greenery. I was trying to increase the amount of depth in the picture with overlapping bushes. I also was glad to add more objects with a light side and shadow side. Now I need to straighten the pole and start adding detail.

I may not get back to this for a couple days. I'll be painting a model tomorrow, and it's supposed to rain Sunday. Plus I have to attend our group show this weekend at the Yellow Barn Studio in Glen Echo Park!

Geoff Watson, "House and Pole," work in progress, oil on panel, 16" x 20," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "House and Pole," work in progress, oil on panel, 16" x 20," 2017.

House and pole - day 1

I'm inexplicably fascinated with the utility pole sketched here. I posted a watercolor study of it a few days ago. Now I'd like to incorporate it into a larger work. And I do mean larger: this one is 16" x 20," much bigger than normal for me. So it will take me several days.

Here's how it looks after a couple hours of work. I'm still working out the drawing and light-shadow pattern of the house, and I plan much more detail in the fall foliage. And yes, I want utility wires and such. Should be fun.

Geoff Watson, "House and Pole," work in progress, oil on panel, 16" x 20," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "House and Pole," work in progress, oil on panel, 16" x 20," 2017.

Popcorn gallery

I had only about an hour free to paint today, so I did a quick sketch of the sales booth outside the Popcorn gallery at Glen Echo park. I was interested in all the curves of the building and shadows. I dashed in the figure at the last minute, as I was rushing to finish, so it's a bit odd. Obviously the picture could use more work, but it's an interesting little study.

Geoff Watson, "Popcorn Gallery," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Popcorn Gallery," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Show this weekend

I'll be exhibiting two of my 8" x 10" paintings at a group show this weekend, at the Yellow Barn Studio in Glen Echo Park in Maryland. The address is 7200 MacArthur Boulevard, Glen Echo MD. I'm listing each painting for $275. The gallery will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 28 and Sunday Oct. 29. We'll be hosting a reception from 3-5 pm on Sunday. It should be fun!

Here are the two paintings I'll be showing.

Geoff Watson, "Newark Street," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Newark Street," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "House at Glen Echo," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "House at Glen Echo," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Harry

Harry maintained a very stern expression, which is pretty unusual for someone posing for a couple hours. I couldn't resist playing up the defiance in his face. The result is an angry man in a top hat! The sketch is rough, as time was short, but the likeness is reasonable. What a great pose!

Geoff Watson, "Sketch of Harry," oil on panel, 11" x 14," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Sketch of Harry," oil on panel, 11" x 14," 2017.

Down the Street

I was interested in the late-afternoon light at the end of this street. I wanted a feeling of a little light cutting into a lot of shadow. The time constraints forced me to sketch in the background quickly, with soft edges. It turned out kind of cool! 

Geoff Watson, "Down the Street," oil on panel, 9" x 12," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Down the Street," oil on panel, 9" x 12," 2017.

Utility pole

This utility pole stands guard near my house. I liked the afternoon sun on the "bark" of the pole. This is just a 10-minute sketch in watercolor. Eventually I'll do a more detailed painting of it, as a way of thanking it for its ongoing support!

Geoff Watson, "Utility pole," watercolor on paper, 4" x 6," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Utility pole," watercolor on paper, 4" x 6," 2017.

Sunset over The Irene

 This venerable apartment building in Chevy Chase is now called 4701 Willard, but many people still know it by its old name, The Irene. I was attracted to the golden light on the rooftop; it looked like an Italian village, sort of. Yes, the vertical shadow on the left is distracting; I was so eager to add darks that I overdid this one. I'll tone it down later.

As I painted I noticed figures on top of the roof, and a couple seemed to be sprinting! Passersby explained to me that there are tennis courts or swimming pools or something athletic up there. 

Geoff Watson, "Sunset over The Irene," oil on canvas panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Sunset over The Irene," oil on canvas panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Swains Lockhouse

During the 19th century, the Swains family ran Lock 21 of the C&O Canal from this house, in Potomac, Maryland. Now the house is being restored so that travelers can spend the night there, as they can at Pennyfield Lockhouse, the subject of one of my earlier blog posts.

I was interested in the morning light on the rightmost wall, so I rushed to "lock" it in (ha!) before the sun turned its focus on the other wall. As usual, I didn't have enough time to detail everything, but I hope I captured the essentials.

Geoff Watson, "Swains Lockhouse," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Swains Lockhouse," oil on panel, 8" x 10," 2017.

Hockey sketches

Do cold watercolors freeze? To test this important question, I brought my watercolors to the Rockville Ice Arena, where my daughter was playing hockey. I did a few sketches of the players, and my paints remained liquid. Plus my kid's team won. All in all, it was a successful outing! 

Geoff Watson, "Hockey sketches," watercolor on paper, 4" x 12," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Hockey sketches," watercolor on paper, 4" x 12," 2017.

Sheba (continued)

I arrived late at life class today, but I had a good excuse -- my daughter scored the winning goal in the homecoming field hockey game! I was worried I wouldn't get my "spot" in front of the model, but I managed to squeeze my way into more or less the right position. The lighting was different, especially on her hair, but I actually liked the new lighting scheme better.

I made some progress on the painting, but it's not really finished. The eyes and eyebrows need more work; I didn't finish glazing skin tones over her left cheek; I inadvertently created a bit of an outline near her chin; the ear is too big; and the drawing is better but still not a perfect likeness. Other than that, it's perfect! 

These issues are all fixable, and Sheba models for us regularly, so I'm hoping I'll get another chance to improve this one. But I signed it anyway, just in case. This portrait was really fun to paint! I'm eager to do more portraits in watercolor.

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