Hail, Hail, The Horns Are Here!

Here, I’ve begun to paint in the horns, the drums and bass, though I’m not sure that the bass color here is the final color of choice. Stay tuned on that one.

I’ve also done a bit more tweaking on the windows though they are being experimented on as well. More to do, but we’re getting there.


Here’s a look at where things stand with “The Building Stage” as of  1/16/16. Players are being filled in and it’s starting to take shape. The building windows have been filled in, though there is more to do there. Once instruments are added, things will really take off. Back soon!

Update on Detroit work

I’m well overdue on this update for the Detroit piece.  I was called away on another important art project for the better part of a month and a half. I’m now back at work on this piece and plan to have it completed very soon.

At this point, I am adding filling in windows  for the buildings. One Detroit Center (also known as Comerica Tower) on the left has incredible number of windows to complete, but it will be worth the effort in the effort. There’s a drummer off the left there as well and the piece will also include a pianist and bassist on the right side of the painting in front of the Dime Building (or the Chrysler House building, as it’s currently known). Creating a piece featuring the wonderful architecture of Detroit has been a project I’ve long wanted to produce and it’s getting closer to being a finished reality. More updates coming soon–I promise.

The Building Stage

This is the underwire sketch for one the most detailed and researched pieces I think I’ve ever done. “The Building Stage” is inspired by the great architecture of downtown Detroit. Looking forward to getting the paint mixed. More soon.

Update on Detroit

So I last wrote about the Detroit project in March of this year. This piece will be a work featuring the jazzmen on a rooftop playing against the Motor City’s storied skyline.

The reason for the delayed update is that I had to put the project aside because I wasn’t fully happy with any of the concepts I had for the musicians layout. A few months ago, I thought I was close. I was leaning towards a configuration that had the pianist as the central player and the rest of the band scaled back, but as I started sketching it out at full size (for a 48 x 24 inch canvas) something wasn’t quite right. So with other matters to tend to as well, I had to put it aside. However, the project is something I that’s been on my mind for some time.

One morning recently, I was looking through some old sketches (for no particular reason), when I stumbled upon a sketch I did in 2012. It showed the musicians with no background, but angle of the main player was perfect for the building background and I clearly thought so at the time because I scribbled a possible title next to it, which read “Building Stage”. So here were the pieces of a painting sitting a book of sketches I did 3 years ago.

I’ll start work on the highly detailed building backgrounds in a day or two and then the musician additions thereafter. I’ve been looking forward to getting this piece done for a long time. The experience of getting to this point proves the importance of trusting your instincts and the value of looking back.

Stepping way ahead


I forgot to get a shot of adding the alternating blue layer to the canvas, besides, it was a tedious and not very exciting process. There’s a lot of “tightening up” of things that goes on in the end that really becomes the bulk of the work as things move towards the finish. So here we have the finish, with me add my signature to the painting. Tomorrow, I’ll reveal the finished product.

Separating the blues


Adding the lines that will delineate the two shades of blue that will comprise the background. The darker tone will alternate with the brighter blue base seen in the earlier image.

Beginning to fill in the background color


At this point, I’ve filled most of the background with the base color for the canvas.  It’s very rough at this point, but I wanted to get a feel for the contrast . I’ll go back and tighten it up a bit before it’s over.  There’s a second tone of blue to be added, but this is the lighter of the two shades.