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This is Dozer. My sister had flown from out of state and handed me this photo of my nephew’s new dog to paint.



Before I painted, I wrote about the photo of the dog, what I saw in the photo; what was appealing – the dog’s expression, his sad look, his expressive eyes, his huge head compared to his small body.

Then I painted. I was surprised how easy it came. I think I had captured him.

8 x 10 inches, oil

8 x 10 inches, oil

There was a Youtube interview by How to Sell Art Online that I watched which inspired me to write. The interview was with Lisa Call. She teaches art workshop where the participants are encouraged to write and write and write.

So I followed this lead. I don’t write usually but I found that writing does bring out thoughts and “concrete” them on paper. Though this is my first I planned to put writing a part of the process of painting.

More Nectarines Paintings and New Artist to Admired


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I enjoy painting nectarines. Their coloring is so similar to human skin so I see it as great practice for painting skins. Another goal I have is to challenge myself to paint the nectarines or fruits in general juicy as if the viewer is ready to pluck them off a tree.
071915ThreeNectarines5x7oil 071915Two Nectarines5x7oil

These paintings will be available for sale in my Etsy shop.

I’m a fan of Pinterest. There I find all sort of inspirations and new artists that I would not normally come across. Right now I’m painting a dog portrait of my nephew’s bull dog. Such a charmer though lacking in the beauty category. To be inspired I went into Pinterest and found this painting by Sandra Flood. I love her simple yet elegant composition. Many of her paintings are like that; not too much background. She’s basically a self-taught artist. Here’s her website to explore more of her works on her website

Next week I’ll post some progression paintings of my nephew’s bull dog. . .

Three Nectarines with a Matisse


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Second in my series of master artists’ paintings for the background. A Henri Matisse – “Dishes and Fruit“, dated 1901. Love the colors and the bold brushstrokes. I tried to integrate Matisse’s painting with my apricots – using the fruit (a green apple or pear?) painted more three dimensional. The items I tried not to develop too much. Maybe I should had glazed them over with a grayish colors.

I wondered if I should titled this just “The Three Apricots”? Or can I title my painting, “The Three Apricots with a Matisse”? Would that be a violation using Matisse’s name?

oil on canvas panel, 8 x 10 inches

oil on canvas panel, 8 x 10 inches

Available for purchase on my Etsy or DPW shops.

Oakdale Ranch


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This past Saturday was a ranch visit for the Yolo Arts & Ag Project. Heading down straight on Hwy 16 from Main Street in Woodland, I find myself heading to the small farm town, Esparto. I passed the migrant camp where my son had tutored farmhand children.

It’s a beautiful farm. Came first to a pond set up with an gazebo for entertainment. After checking in and scouting around for possible places to paint, I came upon open fields with the mountains as backdrops. No matter what farm or ranch I’m at, I always go to the mountains. And with a building.

This painting is my second attempt. It worked out so much better. The weather had started cool but got up to the high 90’s after a couple hours. Yet there appeared to be thunderclouds coming from over the mountains. The clouds were in a beautiful formation.

My goal with this painting was to create distance. I particularly paid attention to color – Darker and brighter colors in the mid and foregrounds. The mountains a more grayish blues with hints of yellowish brown to create distance. Another goal was to capture the intensity of the midday sun. The building worked out perfectly for that.

For the Yolo Art & Ag Project

Oakdale Ranch, 6 x 8 inches, oil on canvas panel



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Paintings based on quick sketches done during a life drawing session. The first with the model on her knees is a 5 minute sketch. The second is 10 minutes.

Great exercises to create volume with the Zorn palette. I’m thinking cylinder. Forming the cylinder with half-tones near the edges to lighter values. Again I established the light and shadow patterns in the painting. On my palette I create two piles for the light and shadow. The main color is the skin color of yellow ochre and cadmium red. White is added for light areas and black is added for shadows. If I wanted a more yellowish skin tone, I add more yellows; more reds around the cheeks, then a touch more red.

Ashley on Her Knees, June2015 oillinen 10x8

Ashley Kneeling June2015 oillinen 10x8

I don’t how long I will continue working with the Zorn palette. But it does help to work with a restricted palette.

Burnt Umber Underpainting for Color


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In WattsAtelierOnline, I’m now in a series of videos introducing four methods of painting the portrait in color. This is the first method – Burnt umber underpainting with color.

First, a detailed pencil drawing is done. It is sprayed with workable fixative so that the pencil won’t smear when oil is applied.
Burnt Umber Color drawing Marlene Lee

Then just using only burnt umber and Gamsol, I create a value study. I used various items to remove lighten the value – cotton swab, rags, fingers, kneaded eraser. This took about 4 hours to do.
Burnt Umber underpainting Marlene Lee

The burnt umber pick out becomes an underpainting for the color painting. I still use the Zorn palette of ivory black, titanium white, yellow ochre and cadmium red light. Another 3 to 4 hours were spend on the color painting.
Burnt Umber Underpainting with Color Marlene lee

This method is great for portrait commission.

Watts had set up his palette for the 9 values of each color – grey, yellow, red, green and purple. I had not been working with the 9 values setup but only three values for the light and two values for the shadow. To extend the life of his paints, he uses clove oil. I’ve been using walnut oil and seems to working for me…but one I’ll buy the clove oil.

Watts Atelier Online program: The Skull


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I started back up with the painting program at Watts Atelier Online. I just finished a series of assignments that involves painting the skull, Asaro head and a cast. Each were to be painted from a profile, three-quarter and straight view as well as painting with combination of monochromatic colors. This was the second time I have done these assignments but it had been a year ago. But to do them again was worth it all.

Here is a profile view using the burnt umber pick out method. Burnt umber is applied in mid value. Lighter values are then picked out with cotton swabs, towels, brush dipped in gamsol or even with my finger.

Skull Profile burnt umber 060115

This assignment was to use burnt umber with white. The beginning of blending colors together.
Skull 3:4 painting 2

The final assignment is adding ivory black to titanium white and phthalo blue. Thalo blue is a very strong color so black and white toned it down. Quite a interesting but ghostly effects.
Skull Front thalo blue w blk wht 060115

Reclining Nude


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This painting was based on a quick sketch done during a drop in session at the Pence. I used the Zorn palette of titanium white, ivory black, yellow ochre, and cadmium red. In fact most of my paintings of the figure or portrait has been with the Zorn palette. I’m not quite ready to go into more colors yet.

Up for sale.

Male Model at the Pence, oil, 6 x 8 inches

Male Model at the Pence, oil, 6 x 8 inches

Drop in at the Pence Gallery


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5 minute then 20 minutes and finally a longer pose for 60 minutes. Working with charcoal pencils (2B and 4B) on smooth newsprint.

I took up a challenge to myself to work on one pose for that 60 minutes. Striving for a more finish look – developing details. Before I never took advantage of the 60 minute pose…just quick 20 minutes at various angles. There’s no challenge to that because there’s no time to develop. I definitely will now work on longer poses.

My next challenge is to work on toned paper with white charcoal.

5 minutes…5 minute poses

20 minutes…
20 minutes pose

60 minutes…
60 minute pose


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