Chicago Skyline: Step-by-step Creating a Painting “en Plein Air” (that means… “outside”)

The morning light would be fleeting so I took a bunch of photos to capture that instant. NOTE: that’s not “cheating”. You can take photos. Use all the technology you want. 🙂 

How to Paint a Dew Drop in Watercolor

Close-up of two dew drops on the leaves of pink zinnia blooms. The sky is a teal color. The sunlight sparkles through the water droplets.

So, when someone asks you, “Dew you know how to paint a dew drop?”  Now you can say, “yes”!

Fibonacci intersecting nature and art

For me, the archetypical example of the intersection of art and science (and math) is the sequence of numbers commonly called the “Fibonacci numbers.” By definition it is the sum of the previous two numbers in a series. So, it gets started with 0 and 1, and then picks up speed. Next is 1, then […]

5 Questions to Think Like a Photographer

What are you trying to communicate? Where should the viewer to focus? What makes the image pop?

Lyin’ photos & believing what you think you see.

We accept this in a photo because we are conditioned to understanding that photos present images that differ from how we see. If this were a painting, it would be confusing.

5 Ways Critical Observation Will Change Your Life

It was critical observation that allowed Sir Isaac Newton to define gravity after watching an apple fall to the earth from a tree.

Confucius says, “We insist on making it complicated”

The boardwalk is floating over a bog. So it is a marsh below and surrounding the walkway…but it would easily swallow any brush, bag, or cell phone that happened to slip toward the edge.

Essential Tips for Watercoloring Outside

American watercolorist, John Singer Sargent frequently painted en plein air from a gondola in the water rising and falling in the canals of Venice.

To paint a snowdrift, stand knee-deep in snow.

It you feel the ice cold snow in your boots, you know you are in the right place. This is the mindset of a “plein air” painter.