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Believe in Flying Sea Turtles January 05, 2017 16:02 3 Comments

I had always known I was able to draw, and it was something I did every day of my childhood. On the first day of seventh-grade art class, I met my art teacher Mr. B. His first assignment was to draw the cover for our portfolios. It could be anything we wanted. I drew some cartoon characters that I had been working on that summer, and Mr. B displayed my work for the entire class to see as the level of art they would all want to achieve. After a few weeks, I established myself as a serious seventh-grade artist in the school. A student asked Mr. B if he thought I might become an art teacher. “Oh no,” Mr. B. declared, “He will go much further than that.”  That day I set my mind on becoming an artist and never forgot Mr. B’s words. On that day I believed in Mr. B’s words, and that belief has been with me ever since. Of course, the other side of the coin was shown to me shortly afterward when I was told you can’t make a living as an artist by my social studies teacher. I elected to believe in Mr. B’s words rather than my social studies teacher’s theory about making a living. If I believed in something, I decided I could make it my reality when I was twelve years old.

On the way home from school that day, I passed Badilla Hill which was famous for being the steepest hill in the entire town. Only the bravest or fanatical kid would ever go down it on a bike without using the breaks, let alone on a skateboard. You could go so fast down this hill that your bike would wobble underneath you, and it was said that if a cop saw you riding your bike like this you would get a speeding ticket because you could actually exceed the speed limit. That is what was said anyway, and I believed it. There was talk of a kid who had been killed going down Badilla Hill on his skateboard. He crashed and tumbled so much he tore the flesh from his bones. If you knew where to look you could still see the blood stain smeared across the blacktop.  I didn’t know where to look, but I knew it had to be true because my best friend Art Telecha told me this. Art told me a lot of things like that, and I was gullible enough to believe in everything he said. Of course gullible wasn’t a word in the dictionary back then, but a person would have to look it up to be sure. On this day, however, as I was standing there skateboard in hand looking at Badilla Hill, I wanted to challenge what people said could and could not be done. At the tender age of twelve, I couldn’t have known that belief was everything. It wasn’t only that the daredevil Evel Knievel could fly over a hundred cars on his motorcycle, but perhaps everyone was just as courageous and had the same powers of belief deep within themselves.

Just because a person believes in something doesn’t make it true, however, and I learned this the hard way when I was six years old. I dreamed for weeks every night that I could fly. One day I decided to stop dreaming and actually fly because surely that is what my dreams were telling me to do. I reasoned with the conviction of a six-year-old. All people that I saw on the television had a cape if they could fly, so I acquired a cape for my first flying experience. It did not matter that it was a bath towel embroidered with sea turtles; it was only going to be used as a stabilizer similar to the way a kite would have a tail made of rags knotted together, and attached to the bottom of it. “Sea Turtle Boy” was not the title of a super hero I would have chosen anyway. For my virgin flight, I climb on top of a brick wall that was next to the driveway that in my six-year-old mind must have been ten feet tall. I debated about jumping feet first just in case I didn’t possess the powers of flight, but that would show a lack of faith, I reasoned, and it would be the primary rationale this flight could fail. Head first would be the only appropriate posture for the implementation of my powers. I knew exactly what was going to happen anyway. I was going to drop a few inches before gravity had no effect on my body and then slowly rise above the telephone poles. I knew this slow and steady method was correct because if I flew fast at first I might become tangled in the wires of the telephone poles and I would surely get in trouble from my dad for being entwined in the wires. Besides, I was told by my big brother that if a squirrel were to touch two of the wires at the same time electricity would fry the squirrel and I didn’t want to perish on my primary flight. After clearing the wires, I expected to soar over to the school yard at a respectable speed. You see it was all premeditated, so when I dove off that brick wall cranium first and found my nose hemorrhaging profusely, the belief that I could fly quickly vanished. Some things were not possible, I realized while leaning my head back, holding my sea turtle embroidered bath towel on my nose to halt the bleeding. Still, I thought, perhaps I just didn’t have the right frame of mind that day and would attempt flight again at a later date, when the swelling had gone down.

Standing at Badilla Hill as a seventh grader now, with my skateboard in hand wanting to challenge the belief that it couldn’t be done, a person would think I would have remembered that virgin flight a half dozen years earlier. I am not sure if that experience even came to mind, as speed began to pick up under my feet and I was sailing down the great hill. I simply did it and believed I could. I knew I was going to be successful, and as the skateboard began to wobble I hoped the metal wheels didn’t catch a pebble. It wasn’t the fame and glory of being one of the few kids to conquer the hill that was in my mind, but if I could do this what else could be accomplished. This was not defying gravity like flying, but this was relying on several years of childhood skateboarding experience. I reached the bottom of the hill and began the climb upwards as the skateboard slowed to a reasonable speed. I recognized that Art Telecha was wrong, and my assessment of Badilla Hill had changed in an instant. I also understood that becoming an artist wasn’t the impossibility that my social studies teacher said but more belief in my abilities as Mr. B had pointed out in me. Making a living as an artist isn’t defying the odds of gravity as flying was but simply a belief in oneself and doing what was necessary to accomplish the goal.

I think everyone should have a few words from a teacher that helps them soar throughout their life. Those simple words from Mr. B have been foundational to the experiences and life journey of this artist. I suppose the social studies teacher was right as well when she said you can’t make a living as an artist. The truth is that people do not make a living from art. There is not a division of art and life, and this manner of life generates finances to make a living. If a person wanted to make a living from a 9-5 job he should become a plumber. An artist, however, must see things in their mind and believe they can become a reality without leaving the world of reality.  Perhaps there is a painting of a flying sea turtle riding a skateboard that needs to materialize from my easel in the future.

Southern Poems January 02, 2017 11:32

Last summer, during one of those cloudy days when the sunlight forces rays of warmth around the edges of the clouds shortly after the rain, I stopped to take in the beauty of all that was around me. That's really what "Southern Poems" is all about. Taking the time to notice the beautiful seconds in our life. It is now winter as I write this. The sunflowers have long since faded and a new year is upon us, but the sun-kissed glow of summer is captured in this oil painting.

How to Photograph your Dog December 22, 2016 12:34 1 Comment

I accept many commissions a year. Sadly I have to not accept an equal number of commissions a year as well because the photography isn’t what I need to make a portrait. If I can get the photos I need to make a great painting then you will get an amazing work of art that I am sure you will love throughout the years. So today I want to share with you how to photograph your dog for a portrait.

It should take about five minutes to actually photograph your dog in most cases. Here are twelve easy to follow steps.

  1. Get a camera, turn off the flash, and set the size of the pictures to the largest pixels it will allow.
  2. Your dog should be relaxed right now. They should be sleeping on their bed, hanging out in your house, and nothing should be going on. This is to say, you haven’t just run your dogs in the woods for the last three hours.
  3. Find a friend. It could be someone who lives in your house with you or any other human that can stand still and not talk.
  4. Put a treat or a toy that your dog loves inside your friends pocket. Don’t let your dog see this treat or toy, however, it will be used for later.
  5. In a shady part of your yard, most likely the north side of your home you will photograph your dog. You will be in the shade and your dog will be in the shade, take your friend and your dog to this spot.
  6. Have your dog sit and stay. Perhaps your dog doesn’t understand these commands, in this case, use a leash and have an additional person hold the leash. Now you need three friends. This friend shouldn’t talk either.
  7. Walk five feet away from your dogs and kneel down so your dog's face is even with the camera.
  8. Your friend with the treat or toy in their pocket should stand directly behind you, like an umpire and a catcher in a baseball game.
  9. You should focus the camera on your dog eyes.
  10. At the same time, your friend will now hold the treat or toy directly over your head. If it is a toy at this time they will squeak the toy once. You will see your dog's attention go to the toy.
  11. Your friend will move the item from side to side. Your dogs will follow and their head will move as well. You will be snapping pictures this whole time.
  12. You should have dozens of great pictures to choose from. Send me the best five pictures and your job is done.

The background, in this case, the siding of your house,  doesn’t matter. Just the dog is all I need. You could have your friends leg in the picture, a leash, or anything else for that matter in the background. We just need the dog.

So now I am going to show you Good pictures and Bad pictures and explain the difference.


The one on the left is perfect for me to paint from. You’ll notice that it isn’t professional quality and has a car in the background as well as a leash and etc.  See below and you’ll see the final painting and why it didn’t matter. However, the one on the right is bad. It is wonderful to remember your dog running on the river bank, but I do not see his other eye, we are looking down upon him, and all the information I need to paint a good portrait would have to be made up in my mind. It would be similar if you showed me the side of your face only and asked me to paint a portrait of you head on. I could not do it.

The results of a good photo to a great painting.

Here is another example of a good and bad photo.


The one on the left again is wonderful showing exactly what I need to paint from. The one on the right is bad. It shows the character or personality of this dog, but unless you want the tennis ball and no detail at all in the painting it doesn’t do the job for us.

The results of a good photo to a great painting.


Sending small files are always bad. Email the largest file your camera has. This is normally about 300 dpi. The 72 dpi pictures loose all the detail when I blow them up. This is two different images, one good and one bad.

 As you can see, when I get a 300 dpi picture I can blow up the image to see the fine details of the eye. In the bad one, when I blow it up I get an abstract work of art, which believe it or not, there is an eye in there somewhere.

Hopefully, this all makes sense. If it doesn’t give me a call and I will walk you through it. Thanks for taking the time to read this handy little guide.

Spring Ball December 10, 2016 17:15

This is the first in my window series of paintings. It is a special work for me personally because of the location, the MSSU Biology Pond. While I was in college I spent many days there plein air painting. I always thought it would be nice to have a little cabin on the pond. This is my idea of what it would look like if I could live next to the pond. Often times while I painted, the geese would come in, perhaps out of curiosity. The results were they earned their place in the painting just under the bridge swimming and dancing.  

Blue December 08, 2016 07:58

Everything in this creation affects whatever it contacts for good or bad. This painting of glass jars, for example, there are three blue vessels in the back and six clear ones in front. The color blue influences how we see this art as a grouping of blue glass. I do consider my influence on those directly around me each day and strive to ensure that it is a positive stimulus rather than a negative encounter.  Personally, I am of the opinion that the direction of our day in large part, is guided by those we have around us and how we interpret situations. I was told as a young man that there is little difference between people, but that little difference makes a big difference. Attitude is the difference.

Ameri-cans December 07, 2016 13:12

Old coffee cans and worn woodgrain shelves harmonize seamlessly. There undoubtedly isn’t a one car garage from the 1950’s that doesn’t have the two items present. There may be flour sack tailored curtains depending if grandma had a say, but this isn’t standard issue like exposed wood and coffee cans. The coffee cans are experiencing their second life as a holder of odds and ends.  The leftovers after a project find their final resting place here, contents of open urns with the hope of being applicable to a future project. Time has a way of aging the container and wood grain making them more beautiful with each passing year. Strangely, there is a quality and attractiveness that wasn’t present when first enlisted for duty decades ago.

Farmhouse Art December 03, 2016 14:45

For the last several years I have been painting so many other things than just dogs. Of course, I love our four legged family members and plan to paint them into the future, but I do want to expand my territory from my current backyard. With this in mind, I would like to introduce to you my new line of artwork which I have entitled “Farmhouse Art.” Please click on the links in the main title bar and explore these new offerings.

How to paint a Chesapeake Bay Retriever in 10 easy steps. August 03, 2016 08:12

I thought I would share a progression photo of one of my favorite paintings I did last year.

How to draw an English Setter Cartoon February 01, 2016 12:57

"Last Point of the Day" from Start to Finish. November 17, 2015 10:56

Yesterday I finished up  something I have been working on. I love pointing dog pictures with a bird or two in them. This painting represents that exact moment when the rooster flushes, your heart is in your throat and the dog is hoping you don't miss again. Everything after this moment is just gravy as far as I am concerned.

Jake November 05, 2015 12:58

I wanted to share the current process of painting Jake in pictures with you. This is an oil painting which is 9" x 12" and isn't done yet. As the painting progresses I will keep adding pictures and the final image will be posted. I hope you enjoy the process.

Finished. :)

Stages of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever August 31, 2014 09:36

This painting is not finished but with each layer it continues to come to life. I wanted to share it and some thoughts about the work with you.

This Chesapeake has been a joy to paint from start to finish.  He has that feeling of movement in his body and intensity in his eyes. It’s funny that whenever I am in a duck blind, a good dog seems to know which direction the birds are coming in from. Perhaps they can hear the wing beats before me, but it is that moment I like to see in their eyes and capture in my paintings.


When this painting is finished it will be offered as a limited edition print. If you would like to know when it will be released, please use the “Contact Us” button or sign up form at the bottom of the page.


Every time I do a painting I have thoughts running as rampant in my head as a retriever chasing birds in the field. Bring all those thoughts into a narrow focus is one of the biggest challenges for me as I paint. I have to tune out everything and just focus on the value, shape and hue of a small part of the painting. Once I get to this place, then it is what I call the sweet spot. I believe it is what every artist loves to feel. Hours just seems to fly by and there is this feeling that all is right with the world at this moment. Some canvases I feel this way throughout the work and this is one of those paintings. I note that amateurs will wait for this feeling to wash over them before they start a painting and professionals view this feeling as a bonus to the work day. Of course, those who wait for this feeling will produce very few canvases in their lifetime. Perhaps it is this way with any endeavor that is worth the effort? Yoda was a wise little creature when he said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

A New Schnauzer Portrait August 06, 2014 08:32

Here is a progression of a beautiful Schnauzer I am working on.

The eyes are lighter right now than they are in real life. This is because I will glaze the colors in, slowly darkening them so they will have that life like look to them.

Vizsla Colors June 06, 2014 09:40 2 Comments

This little girl is starting to take shape. It's an exciting time in the painting.


The first layers of glaze on the Vizsla June 02, 2014 20:24

I am just starting to lay in the colors here. Of course, the colors you are seeing are just base colors that will be built up over several days. I look forward to working on this painting more tomorrow.

Start of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Painting May 31, 2014 09:36

Last night I started this Chesapeake Bay Retriever painting. The dog is absolutely gorgeous and I find him irresistible to paint. He just has the look of a Chessie that says, intelligence, loyalty, and a touch of mischievous in his eyes. This being just the grisaille, it perhaps is hard to see but with the additional glazes of color it will become apparent to the viewer.

I am taking a break from the Setter’s in the Sporting Dog Series and skipping around to some other breeds that I enjoy painting. 

Follow along with a Vizsla painting. May 30, 2014 14:29 2 Comments

Here is the start of a recent Vizsla commission. This is just the first layer known as a grisaille, a painting technique by which an image is executed entirely in shades of gray. I will set this aside for a couple of days in order for the first layer to dry and then begin to lay in all those juicy colors. I will post the progress of this painting a couple of times a week if you would like to follow along. 

Blaze of Glory. Start to Finish May 19, 2014 20:56

I wanted to share my entire process for the recent Gordon Setter painting. The painting is basically finished with just a few minor things that I will do to it. The photos are all taken with an iPhone so please excuse the quality.

Prints should be released sometime next week. Sign up below to be notified when they come out.

 Prints should be released sometime next week. Sign up below to be notified when they come out.

Thoughts about a Black Dog and Mature Artist May 18, 2014 07:55

This is a current progress picture of my latest Gordon Setter painting. Today I will start to develop the background. With each layer of glaze, this Gordon Setter Head Study becomes a little more true to life. This painting has two things that I like, black fur and the complimentary colors of orange and blue. I find black fur to be one of the most challenging things to paint. Black is an absorption color, meaning everything around the color black is actually a mixture of the colors surrounding the dog. The shadows and half-tones reflect the ambient color of the environment in a Gordon Setter painting. They become areas of passive reflecting pools for color.  This color becomes emotion and is the reason in my opinion; a good Setter portrait will have a life completely separate from the artist. An artist by the name of Bryan Moon taught me that back in 1989 when he was critiquing some work I did. I was always appreciative of the older artist teaching me as a young kid back then. It appeared to me that the older artist knew everything about what I wanted to accomplish and it was effortless for them. I now know they had a few million miles of travel time on their paint brushes. Painting a portrait of excellence requires my paint brush to travel over this one canvas numerous hours. 

Which Way from Here May 07, 2014 06:43

I thought I would share some progression photos and some thoughts about this current work in progress.

I recall when hand held GPS devices first came out on the market in 1994, and how I needed to acquire one of these miraculous gadgets. A person could go out into the middle of the woods anywhere and navigate back to their car after several hours of not knowing where they were. That was the idea anyway, so it was surprising to find out after getting one of these phenomenal inventions that they were more trouble than they were worth. My friend Bob and I went to Canada to chase grouse with our setters. We each pulled out a GPS unit and begin to read the instructions on how to use them. After a few minutes I laughed and said, “All they will find are the bones of two idiots holding brand new GPS’s along with the instructions.” We tossed the devices back into the truck and went with a more proven technology for not getting lost, a compass and our dogs. Dogs seem to always know where they are, as if they have a built in GPS.

This current painting I am working on reminds of that trip and how all the best bird hunting was on the edges of the woods, next to the grassy meadows. I love how grass turns orange in the autumn and look forward to putting in all those details. A Gordon Setter blends so well into the colors of the woods up North. It is something I want to amplify in this portrait and think Blaze of Glory might be a good name for this oil painting. There is still perhaps another 100 hours that need to go into this work and it is nice to remember past dogs, good friends, and time spent together in the woods.


Dogs on the Furniture April 24, 2014 06:54

There are many reasons why people do not let their dogs on the furniture but I must say I find it adorable to see. I believe that is why I have portrayed so many like this. I appreciate a dog resting on a five thousand dollar leather chair, especially if it’s my dog and my chair. The Gordon Setter in this group was my Sam, but we didn’t have a chair like that in the studio. It was much more modest. The English and Irish Setter however, did get to sit in the leather chairs and the moment I saw them I wanted to paint them just the way they were. 

When I was a kid my grandparents had plastic over all the furniture. Apparently, this would provide protection so it would never get dirty and last a lifetime. They would take the plastic off for special company like the President of the United States or Queen of England, but those people never seemed to visit my grandparent’s home. I never found out what the actual color or the furniture was. They would put beach towels across the furniture because the dogs didn’t like the feel of the plastic covering.  I am not sure if Better Homes and Garden would have approved but these are some of my earliest memories combining dogs and furniture. In my paintings, the dog is the president and there isn’t any plastic on the furniture.


A New Gordon Setter. Work in Progress. April 23, 2014 08:07

Of course, there are several more layers to go but I thought I would share where the painting is right now. 

Irish Setter Progress Report March 27, 2014 04:56

The first seven images are taken with my iPhone in the studio. The last image is taken with different camera and lighting. The painting still isn't done but it is starting to come to life.

If you would like to know when this painting  and the prints will be available, please click,"Sign Up For News of Your Breed & Other Art"  or in the lower right side of this web page.

Subtle Changes February 22, 2014 09:26


Here are a few photographs of the progress of my Gordon Setter painting. Painting is similar to life, because we all have goals that we are moving towards. During the activity, there are conundrums that creep up that we didn’t count on. In the middle of the process, we may notice the negative conditions happening more than the positive advances. We attend to the troubled areas and spend our time reacting to them. We might even think all is lost and question the point of our original goal.

Painting is this way for me. In the beginning, I am very excited to start the work and have visions of it being the best work I have ever done. Throughout the process, I start to detect issues that I didn’t conceive of. I react to these unexpected developments by making corrections to fifty percent towards what I want it to look like. To get it perfect in one painting session may not be realistic. If tomorrow I take it to an additional fifty percent towards the goal and repeat the process day after day, each period I can see the improvements. These subtle changes are what make the journey exciting. The complications exist to magnify the headway that continually takes place. Perhaps it is a glass half full attitude, but without this mindset I might become an abstract expressionist. "Not that there's anything wrong with that" as Jerry Sienfeld said.

If you would like to know when this painting will be available, please,"Sign Up For News of Your Breed & Other Art"  or in the lower right side of this web page.

I would love to hear your thoughts or comments.

Gordon Setter Values February 18, 2014 17:38

Here is the current Gordon Setter Head Study photographed in black and white to analyze values. This trick enables me judge the values without the colors influencing my critique of the work in progress. This process brought back memories of my first Gordon Setter, Sam.  When Sam first came to live with me in the spring of 1994, I didn’t know how much he would take over my life and my heart. I got him as a puppy at forty nine days old just as the author Walters, who wrote the book Gun Dog suggested. Sam went everywhere with me. I had an old shooting vest and I carried him in the game bag for the first month. If I went into the store, he came along with me and captured the hearts of everyone who saw him. His training started on day one. He was on birds by late August and in the field hunting grouse by September. Our first hunt was in Northern Minnesota where I am certain God lives. Sam, of course, ran far ahead and would report back about all the birds I should have seen. He was my first gun dog, so I think I had more learning to do than him. Eventually however, he learned in spite of me to hold a good point. We spent every day possible in the field chasing pheasants, woodcock, and grouse in the northern states.

Sam was comical in everything he did, at least in my eyes. He would sit in my studio chair if I got up. Perhaps he did this to keep it warm, I never knew, but it was a habit of his that I found endearing. One day, I ran into town and left him home alone. When I returned, every bit of flooring and furniture was covered in multi-colored foot prints and brush strokes. Sam had gone into the studio and chewed on about $100 worth of acrylic paint. He was a mess with paint all over him. It wasn’t toxic however, and for a few days we had multi-colored piles of rainbows in the backyard as if a Play-Doh fun factory was set loose.

When Sam turned three years old, a friend wanted to take me fly fishing in Rochester, Minnesota. It was only about two hours from where I lived, so I said I would go but had to come home before seven to let Sam out. He thought we could camp there for the night and leave Sam to be looked after by his wife. I had never been away from Sam before but thought nothing would go wrong. We went fishing and got into some pretty good hatches that day. The next evening we returned during a thunderstorm. My friend’s garage door was open and his wife was standing there crying. He got of the car to find out what the problem was, and that is when I learned that Sam was lost. I don’t really remember how it happened, but she had lost Sam. I never saw Sam again. Of course, flyers went up, doors were knocked on and people kept an eye out but I wasn’t one of the lucky ones in this story.

I wanted to write a story about my first Gordon Setter, and at this point I really don’t know what else to say. Sam was lost, and the story never had a proper conclusion. It just kind of hangs there like a missing arm in the sleeve of a civil war veteran. It was sudden and unexpected.

Today, when I see a Gordon Setter, I always think of Sam. He was able to know my thoughts without me saying anything. When we were in the field, he somehow knew to look back at me and wait for the hand signals to know which direction I wanted him to go. He was always ready to ride shotgun in my pickup truck and loved everybody that came across our path. This painting I am currently working on goes out to Sam. It will be the best I am able to give to a painting, and I hope when it is finished you will see a deep devotion and affection emanating from the dog in this painting.

If you would like to know when this painting will be available, please,"Sign Up For News of Your Breed & Other Art"  or in the lower right side of this web page.

I would love to hear your thoughts or comments.

Irish Setter is getting it's glaze on. February 17, 2014 06:30


While I wait for the glazes to dry on the Gordon Setter, I get to start glazing the Irish Setter. Here are a few progression shots. Once I get about four hours into a painting, the excitement that I feel for the work begins to turn to frustration as problems appear. I know from experience that this is a natural process and if I just stay with it, work through the difficulties, then I will have a painting that hits the mark I was aiming for.

There is a look in a dog that expresses love and devotion. I can't express how I get that look but I know it when I see it. At that point, the painting is finished. We are a long ways from that happening here but after twenty seven years of painting, I know the way to get there.

If you would like to know when this painting will be available, please,"Sign Up For News of Your Breed & Other Art"  or in the lower right side of this web page.

I would love to hear your thoughts or comments.


The First Layers of the Gordon Setter February 15, 2014 13:41

Today I woke excited as can be to begin the first layers of color on the Gordon Setter. You see I have been making color charts for a few years now. I just finished a batch that is all transparent colors. It took me about sixty hours to complete but the effort will pay off over a lifetime of painting.

There are fourteen color charts in the box.

The colors are glazed over the grisaille much like stain glass is placed over a window. The light travels through the transparent paint and the painting has a life like quality that is hard to beat.


Of course these are Iphone photos of the progress but when the detail starts to be put in I will use a better camera.

Follow Along, The Sporting Dog Series. February 13, 2014 08:32

I have decided to document this recent sporting dog head study series that I have started. There will be four groups of sporting dogs included. The setters, pointers, retrievers and spaniels, I want to paint every breed/coloration within the group over the next year. Here are the first two in the setter series done in the grisaille method.


A grisaille method is done by first painting the picture in a monochromatic underpainting as you see here. It almost looks like a black and white photograph. It is a method that dates back to the Flemish painters of the Renaissance. After the first layer is dry, I will begin to build up the colors of the painting, creating a highly detailed and resolved image on the canvas.

As the painting progresses I will be posting the progress here on my blog.