Finally Done: Elora With Christmas Lights

I’m finally done with this new painting: Elora With Christmas Lights. This was a tricky one. I spent most of January and some of February getting it right. There are several different light sources of different colors, intensities, and angles. It was a minefield of optical tricks and illusions. There’s also little room for error … Read more

Nicolai Fechin’s Landscapes

Nicolai Fechin was primarily a portrait painter, but he also painted some stunning landscapes. I curated a gallery of them below for your inspiration. As you look through these paintings, notice the wide range of techniques—the thick, impasto strokes, the bursts of color, the texture, the intricate details, the broken and soft edges, the broken … Read more

Elena Salnikova’s Colorful Portraits

Today’s featured artist is Elena Salnikova. She paints stunning portraits in oil, usually with the subject outdoors amongst nature. Her still lifes are also impressive. You can see a few of my favorites below. They are colorful and playful, but not so much that they appear cartoonish and overly stylized. Her style also seems particularly suited … Read more

Dad’s Old Drawing

I was going through some of my childhood photos at my parents’ place and came across an old drawing in a wooden frame and a worn black-and-white photo in the top-left corner. Turns out it was done by my dad over 50 years ago. He was living with an artist friend who encouraged him to … Read more

Creating a Painting Is Only Part of the Story

A student emailed me earlier with a question about light and color. She had done some small flower paintings outside and they turned out well. But when she took the paintings inside and hung them up, she was shocked to see the colors looked completely off. What appeared as warm and luscious colors outside now … Read more

Learning Control and Restraint

In a recent email titled Revisiting a Familiar Subject, I shared two of my paintings featuring the jetty at Kingfisher Bay, Australia. One was done many years ago when I was a beginner, and one was done earlier this month. The biggest difference between the two paintings is in my handling of color. In my … Read more

Anna by Swedish Painter Bruno Liljefors

For your inspiration today: Anna by Swedish painter Bruno Liljefors. (Click here to download a high-resolution photo of the painting.) What I love most about this painting is the interesting mix of realism and loose, painterly brushwork. Liljefors painted the subject (Anna) with fine rendering and clarity whilst the rest of the painting is more … Read more

La Chula by María Sorolla

I came across this stunning painting the other day titled La Chula by María Sorolla: At first glance, I assumed it was by THE Sorolla. But turns out it was by one of his daughters, María. I went down a few rabbit holes regarding her life and work, but I’ll save that for another day. … Read more

Mediterranean Pergola With View of a Mountain Village by Konstantin Gorbatov

For your inspiration today is a painting by Russian Post-Impressionist Konstantin Gorbatov, Mediterranean Pergola With View of a Mountain Village.  What luscious colors! You can almost feel the sunlight and fresh air.  It’s a busy painting, with plants, flowers, vases, dappled light, the mountain in the distance, and the patterns created by the sky. There’s … Read more