Adam Houston

American Impressionist Oil Painter

The Slice

Here’s number 30 – two days late but it took a little more love to get it finished. As I mentioned in the last post we are going to stay with apples for a month and this is the second of that group.

This one started as a single apple but it felt too bare and so I added in the background one and the slice. I was very, very nervous painting that slice over my apple but made a decision, knew what I wanted to do and then I hit it.

The other positive thing about this guy is that I did most of it in one sitting. 90% of the main apple was done in about 45 minutes. I sat down, put on the new Matthew Ryan record and knocked it out. It still took a couple days of noodling to get it right but typically the first pass is a disaster.

I’m shooting for Thursday but don’t hold your breath. We’ll see what happens.

Three Apples

Here’s No. 29 and we are back to fruit. I had a lot of discussions about where to go and what caused the painters-block (is that a term?) I had a couple of weeks ago. Rank diagnosed it as being caused by me jumping around too much. His idea was to buckle down on a single subject for a while, really learn how to paint that and then move on. So, that is what we are going to try for a while. I plan on staying with apples for the next four weeks and pushing them as far as I can.

This specific painting is a relatively simple composition but it has a nice vibe to it. The apple on the right took a lot of love to make sure he looked like he as sitting on the side. The whole thing required a light touch to keep it from looking overworked even though it took some effort to get it finished.

African Dugouts

One of my clients, Dr. Ben Burton from The New Jersey Center of Physical Therapy, recently took a trip to Africa. When he returned he posted a number of photographs from the trip and was kind enough to let me use them as potential subjects for the project. One of the shots that immediately caught my attention was of a group of fishermen on these boats. They were almost total silhouettes against a bright sunset (or sunrise I guess) and I thought it would make a nice painting.

On the technical side, this was pretty tricky. The composition and color balance on this was pretty straight forward so I had to make the water really talk. I glazed on three or four layers of semi-transparent oranges, reds and even light blues on the base. I did a wash over the whole canvas to get a level of depth over the whole canvas. Then I painted the men on top of that and added in the texture of the water.

So there you go, No. 28 is in the books. Special thanks to Ben for the inspiration and if you are ever in New Jersey and need any type of physical therapy make sure you call them. They are as nice as they are talented and will take good care of you.