Baseball diamond

During the week I don’t get much of a chance to paint outside because I arrive home too late in the day. But I do take the dog to the park for her daily run and this week, as I have mentioned in other posts, the light is spectacular, so I have been taking phone photos that are great reference material for watercolour experimentation.

A few years ago when I took a workshop with Tom Hoffmann on Lopez Island, he had us work out problematic areas in a painting by practicing small sections first. I think that’s a great strategy because if you’ve already worked out where you might run into a mess (and dealt with it in advance), then you have a much better chance of success when you finally get around to painting. With that in mind, I came home from the park and, using my reference image, made a small (and quite simplified) sketch of what I think might be difficult to tackle in a larger painting: the trees half in light and half in shadow. I think playing around with the colours and values of this will come in handy if ever I decide to take this to the next step by turning it into a larger watercolour.


11 Comments on “Baseball diamond”

  1. Benadette says:

    I wonder…how small is your practice painting…5×7 or larger? The sky and sunlight on the lawn are great! Good idea to make a small, quick study painting rather than let the opportunity pass you by. These Octobber days are too gorgeous not to take notice and record. Thanks for the suggestion and for your lovely work.


  2. Sadje says:

    Done a great job. The light on half of the trees and half of them in shade. Thanks for sharing


  3. Judy Sopher says:

    Doing a small painting is a help. I don’t always have the patience. We went to the Brandywine Museum a few weeks ago and they have a lot of Andrew Wyeth’s works. He did several very detailed and large preliminary “sketches” for a painting. By that time,I’d have lost interest. But that is me.

    And-this little painting is lovely.Really striking color.


  4. Elen says:

    Oh wow…!


  5. Alison says:

    What a great tip. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard you talk about that before. Makes so much sense. I love the abstract quality here. It perfectly captures the fleeting drama of the evening light.


  6. May I just say … you do such beautiful work.


  7. Benadette says:

    Thanks much for the mention of Tom Hoffman! I have spent hours on his blog today going through his posts from years back. I cut CP, 140lb into 5×7″ mini sheets and tried my hardest to simplify strokes in colors and values. Both you and he make it look so simple to achieve but it is anything but! It is great practice and I appreciate the lesson. Thank you!


  8. I also wanted to thank you for introducing us to Tom Hoffman. You had mentioned him before and I have been using the information on his blog for improving my tonal sketches. I agree with Benadette, looks simple but it isn’t. But like everything else I need to keep practicing. By the way, did you know that you are being featured as one of the artists on his blog? Last Friday’s post, under “Thinking a couple layers ahead”.


  9. enriqueix says:

    Your work is awesome; it’s simple great. I admire how you paint. Keep up the wonderful work!


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