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 #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.

Daily painting #3: unfinished wall

This study had potential, but I didn’t finish: the sunshine turned into clouds, the clouds became scary thunder, and I had to rush indoors to avoid being drenched by heavy rain. I still got some ideas down, and it was nice to be outdoors. I stood for the entire 90 minutes I worked, and my back felt good!

With more rain in the forecast for tomorrow, our next daily painting may be a still life.

Geoff Watson, “Unfinished wall,” May daily painting #3, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Unfinished wall,” May daily painting #3, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Daily painting challenge!

This month I’ve challenged myself to do a small oil painting every day. If you follow the online art world, you may be familiar with the “daily painting” movement. The idea is to improve by doing a little every day, rather than trying to do a lot once a week. By painting small, you can get a study done in an hour or two. In truth, I already paint or draw every day anyway, but I often use pencil, pen or other media. This month it will be all oil paintings, all the time. If my sore back holds out, that is.

That said, I may not post every daily painting here! I don’t want to inundate my readers with daily blog posts. Also, let’s face it, not every “daily painting” is a masterpiece. Today’s may be a case in point. I didn’t start until 6 pm or so, and I rushed a bit, so things are a bit sloppy. Still fun, though.

Geoff Watson, “At the window” (May daily painting #1), oil on panel, 8” x 8,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “At the window” (May daily painting #1), oil on panel, 8” x 8,” 2019.

Portrait of Mallina

Mallina is one of my favorite models: she holds a pose perfectly! This portrait doesn’t do her justice, but I hope it captures some of her spirit.

Geoff Watson, “Portrait study of Mallina,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Portrait study of Mallina,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Christine Lashley

Christine Lashley is one of two or three artists I’ve studied with at the Yellow Barn Studio, and she’s now attracting national attention with her sparkling paintings and her thoughtful advice on how to paint. She is the featured guest on this week’s Plein Air Podcast, which I listen to every week. Christine is an easygoing conversationalist, with a knack for putting people at ease, and so this was one of the show’s better interviews. (She puts me at ease too: I find I make better paintings when I’m working with her.)

Here’s the link to the podcast: https://www.outdoorpainter.com/plein-air-podcast-christine-lashley/ Pro tip: skip the first 3 minutes of introduction/advertisement and jump right to the interview with Christine. And here’s a link to Christine’s website: https://christinelashley.com/

Christine Lashley, “City Rhythm,” oil on panel, 11” x 14".”

Christine Lashley, “City Rhythm,” oil on panel, 11” x 14".”