Monday, November 24, 2014

In the Backyard

6 x 6 inches (variable) - digital painting - Here is another digital painting using Krita. In this case I used a pastel brush throughout.

Here is a screenshot in case you are interested in what the process looks like.

The top right shows my reference photo that I took while travelling to Michigan. I started with a coloured canvas (dark ultramarine). I then sketched on a separate layer using a redish orange with a basic brush. After that the painting was completed entirely with a pastel brush, varying colour and size (deevad_3xr_mixing-pastel-textured). I tried real pastels a while ago and really enjoyed them but did not enjoy worrying about damaging them in storage or the expense of framing. This way, there is no mess, no expense and no fuss. It feels different but has a similar feel to the real thing.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Vase Pitcher and Cup

6 x 6 inches - digital painting. This is something different for me. I have been experimenting with digital painting for a little while.  I don't know whether this media is accepted by everyone but I am too old to care.  It feels as much like art, as painting in oils or watercolour. It has different characteristics and challenges but I think it has the potential for me to produce paintings that I can be proud of. Just like any other media, it takes practice.  Here is how I did this one.  Using a still life set-up in my studio and a photo I took of it, I sketched and painted using a program called Krita using a Wacom tablet and a basic computer. Even with the little I know of the program already, it is very sophisticated with capabilities rivalling Photoshop.  In many ways, it is better than Photoshop and it is free (open source) running on Linux, Apple and PC. I have improved my computer situation a great deal by dropping both Apple and the PC in favour of Linux Mint. It is very difficult to run Photoshop on Linux so Krita was an amazing discovery for me. My efforts are still primitive, but encouraging enough to continue.  The 6 x 6 size is arbitrary because the painting has no physical existence.  Most of the digital work, I see is either fantasy art or cartoons, but I hope you can see from this attempt that it is also capable of paintings like the ones I do in oils. I use mostly brushes that simulate those that I use with actual paint.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Below the Dam at Cordova Lake

8 x 10 inches - oil on gessoboard  This is the waterfall below the dam at Cordova Lake in Ontario. I am dedicating this painting to my granddaughter Michelle who took me to see this beautiful place.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Canal Bridge

6 x 8 inches - oil on canvasboard  - Here is another scene from the canals in Venice. I used a Google Earth image as my reference for this. You can actually use Streetview from the canals just like a city street.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Canal in Vanice

6 x 6 inches - oil on gessoboard. There are many wonderful things about Italy. The people are very friendly and relaxed, the food is great, the scenery is spectacular but one of the best things is Venice. The light there is like no other place I have seen and every thing travels by boat.  A few years ago we took my 89 year old mother to Venice. When we told her that we were taking a taxi back to the airport she said "You can't fool me - its a boat".

Friday, September 26, 2014

Old Spanish Town

6 x 6 inches - oil on gessoboard.  My reference for this came from Google streetview. I have never been to this place, an ancient town in Spain called Segovia, but it looks intriguing. Maybe some day. Until then surfing is a good way to find interesting places to paint.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

On The Rocks

8 x 10 inches - oil on gessoboard - When I lived in Nova Scotia, I remember repeat warnings to people visiting the edge of the sea not to get too close.  I do not know the statistics but I suspect a number of tourists have been swept away by a rogue wave while getting a better view of the ocean. I used a reference photo for this from Wetcanvas.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Cows On The Hill

6 x 8 inches - oil on canvas board - The cows do not notice the fog but seem to be interested in what is happening on the other side of the fence.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Abandoned House

6 x 6 inches - oil on gessoboard - I tried using a short-handled soft flat brush on this one. It helped me with control.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Getting Seed

6 x 6 inches - oil on gessoboard - Soon the snow will be here and our feeders are going to get busy again.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pineapple House at Night

8 x 8 inches - oil on cradled wood - This is a little shop on the corner in Saline Michigan in the early evening.

Monday, September 8, 2014


8 x 8 inches - oil on wood panel - There are few creatures cuter than a puppy. This is my first try using a cradled wood panel. I enjoyed the experience.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Up River

20 x 16 inches - oil on canvas - This is a view up the river from Peterborough.

Sunset on the Beach

6 x 6 inches - oil on gessoboard - I like the colours in the eastern sky at sunset especially over the water.

Courthouse in Stratford

6 x 6 inches - oil on gessoboard - This is is the courthouse in the centre of Stratford, the way you see it as you walk along the river.

Pine by the Lake

6 x 8 inches - oil on canvas board - This wind-swept scene with an isolated tree was interesting to paint.


6 x 8 inches - oil on hardboard - This is Hank, well loved by his family.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


20 x 16 inches, oil on canvas - I have not posted for the summer due to travel, gardening, and just general resting. I did not totally stop painting though because this would be hard to do, but I am back now. This is a commission that I did of a dog that is sadly gone now, and much missed by his owners.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Corn Field

6 x 6 inches, oil on gessoboard - I thought if I painted this scene it would feel like a summer afternoon.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

On a Walk In the Woods

5 x 7 inches, oil on gessoboard - I did this from a photo that I took on a very enjoyable walk through the woods with our family. Here is the reference photo.

...and here is my value sketch in case anyone is interested.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ladyslipper Orchid

8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas board - These orchids grow in our garden and flower briefly but when they do they put on quite a show.  The only problem is that the flowers like to face the sun and we planted them on the wrong side of the bed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


6 x 6 inches, oil on hardboard - A while ago we got an arrangement with hyacinth in it. If you are not fond of the smell of this flower, it is not a good thing to bring into the house so I cut the blooms off but before disposing of them, I painted them.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Yellow Tulips

6 x 8 inches, oil on hardboard - Tulips are nearly done in our garden now but there are still a few blooming.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Downtown Hanging Basket

8 x 6 inches, oil on hardboard - A few years ago, this is what the baskets looked like in downtown Peterborough. Some years they are better than others.  While it takes expense and effort to water, it looks much better than plastic flowers.

White Waterlily

6 x 6 inches, oil on hardboard - Our waterlily is just starting to grow leaves this year.  This is what it looked like last year when it bloomed. Its time to clean out the pond and sort things out.  I think I will wait until next week.

Two Blue Irises

7 x 5 inches, oil on gessoboard - It was interesting trying to decide what part of this painting to paint first. The white under the beard was painted on top of the colour.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Behind the Beaver Dam

6 x 6 inches, oil on hardboard - This part of the river is kept flooded by the beavers. It is a beautiful spot in the woods where you walk on an orange carpet of pine needles.

Are We Ready to Go Yet?

6 x 6 inches, oil on hardboard - Last year we visited a farm where they grow organically and use horses in their work. This one was all set to work for the day and I got his picture as a reference.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Kakabeka Falls

6 x 8 inches, oil on hardboard - Last summer while attending a convention in Thunderbay at the top of Lake Superior, we went to visit Kakabeka Falls.  Its a dramatic place with lots of water.

Old Spanish House

6 x 6 inches, oil on gessoboard - It is sometimes fun to troll the internet using Google Earth for images to paint. I found this building in a small place in Spain. I think it was called Segovia. I added the bike.

Mothers Day Flowers

6 x 8 inches, oil on hardboard - I took advantage of some flowers my wife got for Mothers Day and painted them.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


6 x 8 inches, oil on hardboard - This is Angus, a solid lad just out of kittendom. He likes to wrestle with his brother Adso and our Zipper when they have play dates together. I painted Adso a little while ago and did not want him to get jealous.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Yellow Daylilies

8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas board - Just about the easiest plant in the garden to look after are the daylilies, and I am particularly fond of yellow ones. We like to use them in a little bit of shade as well as in the sun. Although they do not flower as much, the foliage looks like grass and it is hard to find grasses that work well in the shade.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

There is Nobody Here but Us Chickens

6 x 6 inches, oil on hardboard - We visited a garden on a garden tour that contained chickens. They seemed curious about what the fuss was all about.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tower in the Shakespeare Garden

6 x 8 inches, oil on hardboard - Every year we spend a number of very enjoyable days in Stratford Ontario, pigging out on live theatre and at the wonderful restaurants in town.  The theatre there is so much better than it is in Toronto, we no longer bother with the big city. This is a scene from one of the interesting gardens in Stratford.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Peterborough Marina

6 x 6 inches, oil on gessoboard - The Trent Canal goes through the city of Peterborough where I live. This is the marina downtown, and is a busy place in the summer.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Two Geese by the Road

6 x 6 inches, oil on gessoboard - You walk on, I'll just rest here a while. Here's a fowl joke for you - Why did the duck cross the road - because he was tied to the chicken. I thought I just about had it all figured out but realized that I had just scratched the surface.  I guess it just goes to show that if you think you have arrived, then you have no where to go.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Daffodil in Green Vase

7 x 5 inches, oil on gessoboard - I did not want to let spring pass without painting a daffodil.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Loading the Freighter

6 x 6 inches, oil on hardboard - These monsters travel up and down the Great Lakes moving goods here and there. I like the almost abstract quality of the image.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blue Umbrella

6 x 6 inches, oil on gessoboard - This is a rainy day in downtown Toronto. Nice to visit but I do not miss it since we moved to a smaller city. We can get there in an hour and a half by train to go to a play or shop but it is a little too busy for me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


5 x 7 iinches, oil on gessoboard - This is Adso. He and his older brother occasionally come for a stayover with Zipper. A couple of days of wrestling and eating each other's food, followed by a couple of days of snoozing.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Bird Brains

12 x 12 inches, oil on stretched canvas - We see and hear many crows around us. One year a pair nested in a tree on our property and we named that part of the garden the "Crows Nest Path". I made up the setting and cobbled together a couple of crows from various photos.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Antique Deck Chairs

6 x 8 inches, oil on hardboard - We saw these old restored deck chairs in a garden centre we visited. I can just picture Victorian folks sipping high tea on the terrace.

Friday, April 25, 2014


7 x 5 inches, oil on gessoboard - Snowdrops are a sure sign that spring is just around the corner. We still have some small piles of snow stubbornly melting, but the garden is starting to pop out of the ground.  I picked these from our garden and painted them because they will not be around for long.

Thursday, April 24, 2014