Monday, October 21, 2013

Series - Locomotive - CSX 966 Lightning

"CSX 966 Lightning"
oil on panel, 2013
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)

Here is number 7 of my new Locomotive Series.

Although this originally was a day shot there was something about this dark midnight blue locomotive and the lightning bolt under its number that screamed nocturne.
Because of that I had to add the lightning strike in the background, natures flash bulb. I mean c'mon it's a no-brainer!
The white highlights, very similar to rim lighting, and the lightning itself, electrify the darks of the night. Pun intended.

I added the stickly leafless vegetation overlapping the train to echo the lightning, help counteract the strong horizontal composition and move the eye down through the locomotive from back to front.

As I move through this series I am trying out variations from paint application to compositions, color palettes etc. Here I put a little bit more of a glow behind the cab which moves the focal point out near the left side, a rule you do not usually want to break. It worked out because there is enough interest elsewhere to offset that rule.251

Sunday, October 20, 2013


"Smilin' Jack"    SOLD
oil on panel, 2013
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)

I can't think of anything that says Halloween better than painted steel and asphalt, can you? ; )
At least in my version.
I could paint actual pumpkins but there are enough of those.

Every year the Phillips 66 refinery in Wilmington California paints one of their oil tanks, shaped like a pumpkin, for Halloween.
It takes more than 100 gallons of orange, white and black paint to cover the 3 million gallon tank, known as "Smilin' Jack". (update-correction : it is orange all year long and takes 100 gallons of white and black paint...)

In the spirit of Halloween I couldn't resist having some fun with it by churning up the sky and bringing the Jack-o-lantern to life rather than doing a more straight forward approach.
Even this view suggests he is rising from behind the asphalt berm.

"Smilin' Jack"

The seething cauldron begins its boil
Toward Halloween He starts his toil

His rise each season is his knack
For all who seek a holiday snack

What lies ahead is why He smiles
Ask those who have fallen for His wiles

His invite just might be a trap
If true, for you, will be your hap

-David J Teter-

Have fun sleeping tonight!250

*This is a horrible quality image!
More image quality upload problems with blogger.
It's random, some days it works, todays is dreadful. Very frustrating!
Please see DAILY PAINTWORKS for the better image.
I wish I knew what to do about it. If anyone out there has the answer please let me know.

**I have updated this post with a 'fixed' photo. This is how it should have looked in the first place.
See this post for an explanation.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Church in Rain

"10th Street Rain (Church)"
watercolor on paper, 2013
6" x 9" (15.24cm x 22.86cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE
Direct link to painting here

We had our first real rain of fall this week so I thought I would paint a rain scene.
Will this (churches) be a series? I don't know yet.

I have done plenty of rain paintings. Click the RAIN label to see more.

There are tons of paintings of churches in this world. If I can find something to say it might turn into a series. I'll have to give it some thought. For now I just liked the rain motif and the shadow crawling up the side of the church.

I painted this as a continuation of a looser or more painterly approach in watercolor. Not as much pre-drawing, instead finding the image in paint. I like working this way from time to time since it is freer and I learn different 'ways of the watercolor' and what you can do with it. Even when it looks like it's failing I find I can recover it much of the time.

Watercolor has a reputation for being so final and though that is true much of the time when I do reach a point of "oh damn, your'e headed for the shredder", as I did on this one, sometimes I will hang in there figuring if it's ruined anyway I can't make it any worse so throw down paint and see what happens. This is when I lose a little more of that inherent fear of watercolor, lay it down right or it's ruined.

I should say really working the watercolor this way means a high-density paint application and I like that too. It is not the vibrant thin washes typical of a lot of watercolors. Thats OK, sometimes a heavy-handed approach serves the subject better.
Hey, maybe that is my first thought for a church series?249

Others in this dense approach here, herehere(UP 8381) and here(San Pedro Plant).

This is another adjusted image due to the Blogger image upload problems I have been having sporadically lately. The better image is on DAILYPAINTWORKS.

**I have updated this post with a 'fixed' photo. This is how it should have looked in the first place.