• Tag Archives sunset
  • Did You Miss Me? Golden Gate Bridge Painting Update

    Over Valentines weekend I was pretty busy, and I never got to my Saturday six-minute sketch, or my Sunday Skies, then on Monday I was spending time with my wonderful little granddaughter, so I didn’t do my Monday Muse.

    Hopefully, you all had your own busy weekend and didn’t miss me… or hopefully you did miss me?  I don’t know which of those two things I should hope for!

    Well, I figured I would update my readers on the progress of my Golden Gate Bridge painting.  I worked on it today, adjusting the colors and tones on the Golden Gate Bridge itself, adding some reflections in the San Francisco Bay, and some street lights.  The painting is almost done at this point.  I need to add in a little more greenery on the closest side of the bay, and then I have to decide whether or not to add in the Science Fiction element I hinted about earlier.  I can’t quite make up my mind.  I think it makes a nice landscape painting as it is now, but I wonder if adding a little pop culture element to it might improve it a little.

    Okay, as it stands now, it is a “serious” painting.  A nice San Francisco Bay painting.  With the sun setting out at sea, and the Golden Gate bridge standing tall against a dramatic sky.  Here it is:

    Painting of San Francisco Bay
    Golden Gate Bridge painting by V.J. Maheu,

    If I add in a little touch of science fiction pop culture, it won’t be viewed as “serious” art anymore, but I like the show I’d be alluding to a lot, and the painting just might sell better with that little bit of “fun” added.

    So, what do you think? Should I add a blue police box floating in the sky or not? Warning, your answer may identify you as a fellow Whovian.

    Should I add a blue police box floating in the sky or not? Warning, your answer may identify you as a fellow Whovian. Click To Tweet
  • Still Working at It

    Well, many of my readers will remember one particular painting that I was struggling with.  The part I was struggling with most was the sky.

    I started it like this:

    Brought it to this point:



    Wasn’t really happy with it and in frustration did this:

    Kept working at it and ended up with this:

    Thought that if I changed just a couple of things it would look better, and ended up with this:

    Once again decided to paint over almost the entire sky and try again:
    sunset again blah


    Finally ended up with something, that while it wasn’t exactly what I’d planned on, I decided was acceptable.




    After this I painted in an outline of land, but I didn’t photograph that, so I can’t post it.

    I still wasn’t sure if I liked where the painting was going, so I sat it aside for a few days, I did some practice skies, played around with my paints, looked at photos of skies, and looked at other artists paintings, made unrelated sketches, but didn’t touch this canvas for a few days.

    Until last night I decided to do a little work on it again, and this is how it is looking now:

    I think I am becoming a little happier with this pieces as it progresses.  I will say that I took this photo with my phone, and the colors aren’t quite true. There is a considerable amount of purple in the sky on the real painting.

    So where is this piece going next?  Well, I am going to make the water reflect the colors of the sky a little more, and then I’ll be painting in a bridge that, if I do it right, pretty much everyone will recognize.

    At that point, I will either be leaving it as a landscape, or inserting a little piece of science fiction pop culture.  I haven’t really decided for sure.  Also, there will probably be a boat or two in the water.

  • Teaching a SLOW Student!

    Have you ever tried to teach anyone something?  It can be difficult!  Its even more difficult if the student you are teaching is just NOT getting it, now imagine you are doing all that, WHILE you are trying to teach something you don’t know!

    That is the struggle of the self taught artist, trial, and error, and more error.

    Lots of error.  I am trying to get the sky in a painting just right, that is how I am seeing it in my mind, it is taking a lot of error.

    Here are some of my practice sheets where I practiced different techniques to try to get the results I wanted:

    Real quality art there, right?

    But its all part of learning without a teacher.

    Eventually I moved back onto my canvas, and its not perfect yet, but I feel like I know what needs happen now, its just that the paint I already put down needs to dry before I can do more, otherwise my colors will mix and I will end up with a green sky.  I also keep reminding myself that it won’t just be a sky, there will be land and a bridge, and water, the sky will end up being only a backdrop for everything else.  I keep telling myself that, but I want to get the sky perfect anyway. It is getting close to what I see in my head, and I think I’ll be able to bring it around to that point in t the next painting session.

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