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Festival of Arts Opening Night

Opening Night at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts

The opening night of the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts surpassed all my expectations. It was an amazing experience with music, fun, food and 4,000 art loving people eager to meet the artists and, even better, buy their art.

I said goodbye to three of my paintings: "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow", "Social Network" and "River Pebbles, No. 6". I have to admit that I felt a tinge of sadness seeing my art go so soon, especially my latest and largest piece, but at the same time I was thrilled that my babies found a good home. On the other hand my collector does not need "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" until the end of summer when he will bring it to his desert home. So I'll be able to keep it in my exhibit as a showpiece for as long as I need to.

The festival will go on a full time schedule on July 5th when it will be open daily from 10:00 am until 11:30 pm. I'm really looking forward to a great summer!

Happy 4th of July!


Ready, Set, Go!

My exhibit space at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts

Today is the opening party for the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts and my exhibit space is ready to go. Four thousand people will be attending this evening event, a preview of the artists juried into the 2012 festival, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary. As you can see from the sign, my art has been categorized under "painting - icarus". I'm very honored that my technique has been recognized and I'm looking forward to explain the process to the visitors who will be intrigued by it.

Preparing for this festival has required all my time and energy. I will take a two month hiatus from demos, step-by-steps and videos but I will resume in earnest in September. I appreciate your patience and understating.

In July and August my posts will focus on the festival experience. I hope you will continue to read and comment as I really value your feedback. If you are in Southern California this summer, please stop by. Better yet, call me ahead at 949-683-6615 to make sure I'm there and I will get you inside for free.


“River Pebbles, No. 10”

River Pebbles, No. 10


Title: River Pebbles, No. 10

For techniques used in this artwork, please see blog post River Pebbles, No.3 - Melting Artist Crayons


“River Pebbles, No. 9” - Where’s Waldo?

Original Photo Reference

When I look at a reference photo like the one above, the question I always ask myself is: where's Waldo?

Waldo, for an artist like me, is a good composition hidden in the randomness of nature. Even when I'm the one setting up the still life, I try not to interfere in the way pebbles fall into place. I just take many pictures while anticipating the game I will play later on my computer.

Waldo can be elusive at times. I have images taken years ago that never produced a single Waldo. But my ability to "see" is constantly evolving; I know there's a Waldo waiting to be found even in the most hopeless image.


Meet Waldo! I found him in the center of the image. Now that I have him, I want to show him off but, as you can see, he looks a little drab. Light and color will do magic.


Here's what he looks like in black and white.

Values Adjusted

Much better - Waldo is coming to life. I just lightened the top left quadrant and pushed the overall value contrast.

Colors Adjusted

Now we're talking!

River Pebbles, No. 9

And here is my finished piece - in honor of Waldo of course!

Title: River Pebbles, No. 9

For techniques used in this artwork, please see blog post River Pebbles, No.3 - Melting Artist Crayons


“Poppy, No. 4”

Poppy, No. 4

Title: Poppy, No. 4


“River Pebbles, No. 8”

River Pebbles, No 8


Title: River Pebbles, No. 8

For techniques used in this artwork, please see blog post River Pebbles, No.3 - Melting Artist Crayons


“River Pebbles, No. 7”

River Pebbles, No. 7

Title: River Pebbles, No. 7

Outline - Cool Zone

The outline was accomplished with Prismacolor Verithin on the cool zone of the Icarus board.

Color Mapping - Warm Zone - Low Temperature

In this step I blocked-in the main colors on the warm zone with very low heat, just enough to soften the waxy pigments without melting them or blending them.

Burnishing & Blending - Warm Zone - Medium Temperature

After setting the temperature control at medium, I added additional color until there was enough pigment to obliterate the paper. Then I began blending using the point of a tortillon or the side of a paper stump with a very light touch.

Colorless blenders were used to soften edges and details.


“River Pebbles, No. 6”

River Pebbles, No. 6

Title: River Pebbles, No. 6

In preparation for the upcoming Laguna Beach Festival of Arts I've been working on small and large pieces concurrently and I haven't had the time to scan and put together the step-by-steps and videos. However I've been jotting down all the interesting technical aspects that I encountered so that I won't forget to share them with you when time permits.

In this particular piece I struggled a bit with the surface. Colourfix Supertooth is very rough and, although it's well suited for rocks and pebbles, it might be an overkill. The bigger issue with Colourfix paper is that the texture is inconsistent, sometimes it's toothier than others and I don't like surprises.

Priming my own paper gives me much more control over the final results. It's very easy to do it and also less expensive than buying already-made Colourfix paper.