This is a painting of Lisa Skelly, who owns Huse/Skelly Gallery on Balboa Island) in the garden of the Mission San Juan Capistrano.



Here is a demo I did from life in my studio under artificial lights. There is no color information in this photo reference as you can see. I have applied everything I have learned from painting on location over the last 35 years.

First of all, I have organized all my lights and darks. A white in shadow is darker than a black in sunlight. Once I put down my first color, all other colors are related to that first lay in. I am trying to paint the differences (hue, value and saturation) between each of the color notes. To paint the small dish, I have painted the inside darker and warmer and related it to the outside an lighter and cooler. In this way I can create volume. This only demonstrates how I would start this painting.

IMG_3175          IMG_3176



Here are four paintings that I painted in late afternoon light. As you can see the shadows are long and the color of the air is more orange.

"Meadow Shadows"  12" x 16"

“Meadow Shadows” 12″ x 16″

"Meadow Sunset"  22" x 28"

“Meadow Sunset” 22″ x 28″

"Late Afternoon Overpass"   8" x 10"

“Late Afternoon Overpass”
8″ x 10″

"Quarryhill - Late Afternoon    11" x 14"

“Quarryhill – Late Afternoon
11″ x 14″

the blue dress

“The Blue Dress” 11″ x 7.5″

the white dress

“The White Dress” 11″ x 7″

woman on a stool

“Woman On a Stool” 11″ x 7″

Here are three figure studies done outdoors. My goal was to organize the lights and darks and paint these figures in full sun. I exaggerated the warmth of the light planes and initially put a warm pink color to indicate the blue in sunlight and then modified it with a light blue the same value.

Here is a concept that I teach in my workshops: In full sunlight, I fill the canvas with flat areas of color, making sure to keep all the sunlit colors close together in value (light) and all the shadow colors together in value (dark). So, for example, a white in shadow would be darker in value than a black in sunlight.

“It is beautifully simple, painting — all we have to do is to get the color notes in their proper relation.”—Hawthorne on Painting

Mustard 12x16

Study “Mustard” 12″ x 16

Afternoon Mustard 24x36

“Afternoon Mustard” 24″ x 36″

Developing Larger Paintings

Even with a large painting, I set up on location because, from a colorist point of view, there’s no substitute for working from nature. The first 12″ x 16″ study for the larger painting, “Afternoon Mustard” 24″ x 36″ was done in about 2 hours, with my regular plein-air setup. Next, for the big canvas, I setup an easel that accommodates larger paintings and a larger mixing surface. This takes me about 30 minutes to set up on location, so I get there early. As with any painting, I start by putting the large color masses down on the canvas, occasionally referring to my original study. However, I don’t just copy the original painting but make appropriate changes for the larger format. When I bring the large painting into the studio, I can work out the composition and make any changes I feel appropriate. However, I will continue to take the big canvas out on location several more times, setting up at the same time and in the same light to refine the color. In Petaluma, CA, we have very consistent light so we will get a series of days where you can develop a larger painting. Any finishing touches are done on location, or in the studio from my color study and painting memory.


Parking Lot Splendor--9x12Actual ScenePkgLotSplen

Here is a step study of my painting, “Parking Lot Splendor.” The photo of the actual scene hints at how so much of the composition and color relationships I arrived at in the finished piece are due to its having been painted on location.

White Roses 14" x 11" oil on board

White Roses 14″ x 11″ oil on board

Here is a painting of a house in a charming neighborhood in Petaluma, CA, where I live. Shown below is a photo of the actual scene, along with a couple of steps leading up to the finished painting. As you can see, there is no significant color information in the photo. The colors I have chosen to capture the light effect are a result of  years of training and experience painting on location.

Actual scene

Actual scene

Step 1

Step 1

Step 2

Step 2

Here is a quick study (Twenty Minute Study) I did in the first few weeks of the January month-long Egeli workshop in Maryland. In the morning, we drew from the nude model and in the afternoon we painted the figure in north light. Here is a color sketch (Study of Trystan) and the finished painting (Painting of Trystan) that I did over a 10-day period in the afternoons. When I returned home, I did this 4-hour painting of Ana Maria under artificial light. At that point, I realized how much I had learned in this month-long workshop with the Egelis.  I have also included an outdoor study I did on Friday of one of my 5-day workshops. You can see how varied the light can be from inside under natural or artificial light to outdoor, sunny light. My next 5-day workshop will be held in Petaluma California May 7-11, 2012.

To all my art friends, students and collectors.
Going forward I will be posting my paintings and other news to my “Przewodek Fine Art” page. Please visit my new page and “Like” it so that you can follow along on my artistic journey. Here’s a like to it:

Twenty Minute Sketch



Study for Trystan

Painting of Trystan 24" x 30"

Ana Maria 16" x 20"

Morning Light 12" x 9"

Cedric and Joanette Egeli are the only instructors that are teaching the figure in space. This is what we are focusing on. He had us draw a table in space just to make sure that we were seeing objects in perspective. Here us a 15 minute post I did this morning.