walk in the park 9″ x 12″

walk in the parkYesterday’s painting with photo used, my set up in the studio, and stages of the painting.

Palette: the usual (cad. yel. lt., cad. red verm., quin. mag., ultra blue, sevres blue, burnt umber, tit. zn. white)

Total time: about 1 1/4 hr.










walk in the park

prairie and tree at dusk 6″ x 6″

old oak

Based on a photo of a single tree (not sure what kind) in the middle of the prairie (see photo below).  The sky is from my imagination.    The same palette as yesterday was used.  We had a glorious afternoon hiking in this preserve last weekend : )


by the huge oaks 6″ x 6″

big oaks

palette: cadmium yellow light, quinacridone magenta, cadmium red vermillion, ultramarine blue,  sevres blue and white.  Initial warm tone of vermillion plus some sevres blue (applied as a wash).  This one was not quick like yesterday’s.  I had to scrape a lot off at one point because I was painting too many details.

red Hobie cat 6″ x 6″

red Hobie cat

oil on archival panel

© Anita C. Miller 2013

After spending an hour on this, the painting was accurate, but lacked movement.   So, I started taking “swipes” at it pretty much out of desperation to make something happen.  I think it has some energy to it now, so I’m happy.

red sails

afternoon sail 6″ x 6″

afternoon sailoil on archival panel

© Anita C. Miller 2013

I’m continuing to experiment with color (a different palette) and brushes.  Palette used: cadmium yellow light, cadmium red vermillion, quinacridone magenta, ultramarine blue, sevres blue and zinc titanium white.  Painted alla prima in about 45 minutes.   The brushes used are my new Silver Bristlon (brights) which I am loving.

Also, before starting the painting, I brushed a thin warm color over the entire panel, then wiped most of it off.  This toned the surface so that I wasn’t painting on white.  I left some of this color show through on the sails and the right side of the hull.

sailing in the shadows 6″ x 6″


oil on archival panel

© Anita C. Miller 2013


Yesterday’s photo of Trump Tower reflecting the afternoon sun inspired this little painting.  I painted only a very small part of the photo and took  some liberties — which is pretty much always the case : )

Palette used:  titanium zinc white, cadmium yellow light, cadmium red vermillion, quinacridone magenta, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue and graphite grey mixed with some white to make a light cool grey.

red spinnaker 6″ x 6″

red spinnaker

oil on archival panel

© Anita C. Miller 2013


All of a sudden I’m painting with lots more color and using thicker paint.  I can’t really explain why except it truly feels like summer and things should be more colorful.  I’m also using some new synthetic bristle brushes which I like a lot.  They’re Silver Bristlon (brights) in various sizes and I got them online from Dick Blick.  

yellow boat – late afternoon light 9″ x 12″

yellow boat

oil on archival panel

© Anita C. Miller 2013


Happy 4th everyone!

Later, when it gets dark, we’ll go to the lakefront

and watch the fireworks which are shot from a barge.


I loved using several blues here.

Colors used:  all the Portland greys, graphite grey, sevres blue, ultramarine blue,

cadmium yellow deep, rose dore, and zinc titanium white.

I started by brushing a light glaze of Portland grey light over the

entire panel, then painted into the glaze with the other colors

alla prima and finished in under an hour.

I tried to not blend the brushwork too much in order

to keep it fresh and moving.

bright red x 2

red sailboarder

“Red Sailboard”, oil on archival panel, 5″ x 5″


red buoy

“The Red Buoy”, oil on archival panel, 6″ x 6″


The three sailboats were practicing turns around a buoy off of

Northwestern University (where there is a sailing club).

I had fun putting touches of very bright red into these monochromes.

Green Sea Turtle ~ 6″ x 6″

green sea turtle

oil on archival panel

© Anita C. Miller 2013


When my husband and I visited Oahu recently, this gorgeous Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle came up on the beach.  We were about the first people to see him and I got a few photos before the naturalist roped off the area.  It was interesting to learn that this particular turtle often comes ashore to rest on this beach.  Such a special moment to see this creature in the wild!

prairie ~ 5″ x 5″


oil on archival panel (Gessobord)  5″ x 5″ x 1/8″, unframed

© Anita C. Miller


I liked putting in the texture for the grasses and scraped through the paint (sgraffito) for added texture.  The sky, on the other hand, is quite smooth.

lake 12 ~ 8″ x 10″

lake 13

oil on archival panel

© Anita C. Miller 2013


I used Williamsburg Graphite Grey and a bit of Portland Grey light by Gamblin.  The Graphite grey is a cooler grey than the other.  The light areas aren’t white paint but actually the gesso layer exposed.


morning beach 8″ x 8″

morning beach study

oil on archival panel

© Anita C. Miller 2013


This painting had a lot of details and I didn’t think it was working… so I brushed over it with a large brush, and voila… details gone and I’m much happier.  This painting inspired the larger painting of the same title.


breakers 5″ x 5″ [sold]


oil on archival panel (Gessobord)  5″ x 5″ x 1/8″, unframed

© Anita C. Miller


This painting was inspired by the beautiful waters of Lake Michigan which is about a mile from where I live.  It could be any large body of water, really….  I loved the challenge of painting the waves and giving movement to them.  I am happy with the outcome and I can feel the fresh air when I look at this.

I used just Chromatic black (Gamblin) plus white this time to make 4 shades of this blue-green-grey color.  This was painted over a Portland grey (Gamblin) underpainting so some of that warm grey color is showing through especially in the lower left corner.