Archive for October, 2015


Testing Out a New Website Provider – Weebly

October 31, 2015

I’ve temporarily set aside the painting for a few days as I investigate switching my website,, to a new service provider. I wanted to improve the design of that site, and look for a provider that offered similar or better features for a better price. I think I may have found that with Weebly.


They offer a free website option with an interactive builder set of widgets. The layout and application of them is simple to manage. The features on the free version are very basic, but should offer all I need for the site. Other similar companies charge for many of those features. The paid membership at Weebly is @ $5 per month, which is about what my current provider charges me for fewer features, if I decide to upgrade to that.

One of the features Weebly offers is a blog page, which I thought I could use to archive the few demonstration pages I have on my Articles page of my website. The picture viewer is also nice. You can add a “store” page to sell through Paypal. The free version offers unlimited space, but restricts the file sizes to less than 10MB each. That would only be a problem for videos, but I could embed Youtube links for that.

I’ll continue testing it out, but keep my existing site active for awhile, and then decide if I want to transfer that over. Take a look at this site I’ve made, if you like, and leave me feedback.


Painting Update: Javier’s Accordion

October 26, 2015

I’ve spent some time playing around with the background colors until this morning when I picked up a Derwent Watercolor pencil, and finally started getting a texture that I liked. Sometimes you’ve got to try different things until you get some positive results. Who said it had to be easy?



New Painting Started: Javier’s Accordion

October 21, 2015

I’ve decided to attempt making a painting out of the drawing I posted a few days ago. It’s of my friend Javier playing his accordion.


I enlarged the drawing to a large sheet of newsprint, 18 x 24″, rubbed some charcoal on the back, and transferred that to a sheet of illustration board that I had coated with gesso.


Next, I drew over those charcoal lines with thinned black ink, and covered the surface with an ink wash to give me a neutral tone to start the painting on. I plan on painting over this with gouache.


Preview: Artarama Da Vinci Pro Panels

October 15, 2015


I swung by the local Jerry’s Artarama art store this afternoon to spend more than I should have on some goodies, and picked up a small artist panel to test out. It’s a “Da Vinci Pro Panel” that appears to be an exclusive brand to Jerry’s.


The support surface is a 1/8″ MDF (medium density fiberboard) panel braced on the back edges with a 3/4″ wood frame cradle made of New Zealand pine. The surface has been triple-coated with acrylic primer. They come in three texture types: “resist-grip,” medium, and ultra smooth. There’s also an non-coated birch panel option. The sizes are from 3 x 3″ up to 36 x 36″. They will accept any art medium that will work on acrylic primers.


The sample panel I bought was the “resist-grip.” It describes a rough textured surface. I was mostly interested in trying it for pastels. You can see from these charcoal marks what the texture looks like. The finished art could be mounted as is without being set in a frame, but for dry media art, such as pastel or charcoal, you would have to coat it heavily with fixative or varnish to keep it from dusting off; otherwise, they would have to go in a frame behind glass or clear acrylic glazing like any other drawing.


One thing to point out: when I removed the plastic wrap, I noticed it had a small chip scratched off one side edge. The coating is soft and can scratch rather easily. I’m sure Jerry’s would let me exchange it if I wanted to, but it’s not so bad that I can’t touch it up myself. If I decide to get another one I’ll be sure and inspect it first. I’ll post some art on this as soon as I get around to working on it.


Drawing Reworked: Portrait of Carol

October 12, 2015


I’ve gone back to an older drawing I had finished earlier this year. She had been tacked to the wall where I’d given her some study, and decided the colors were too neutral to satisfy me now, so I’ve gone back and added a little more “umph” to the hues with brighter colors and contrasting values. All of this comes from pastel pencils.


I think it’s an improvement, but I still have a little touching up to do. Something I’ve been giving thought to for awhile now is to try and bring the way I paint closer to the way I draw. I tend to approach them differently. Pastels and inks tend to force that relationship by their nature, at least in the way I chose to use them.


Appreciating the Art of Robert Maguire

October 6, 2015


I was showing a collection of paperback book cover scans to a friend recently that were made by the artist Robert Maguire. A couple of them were spotted as being misattributed to him; a common mistake with so many cover illustrations not signed or credited. This forced me to sort through my collection and become more familiar with his work.


He has quickly become my favorite cover artist. I think you can see why with these examples. This site has a good biography about him:



New Sketch: Javier Plays Amapola

October 4, 2015


These are a couple recent pencil sketches of a local musician friend of mine, Javier. He’s playing what he tells me is an old standard Latin tune, “Amapola,” on his accordion. It was lovely.