Schooner: Painting an Old Drawing

Sometimes you get part way into a project and decide to finish it later. Then, you find yourself clearing out space a few years down the road and wondering if there is someone to whom you can gift a half finished painting, or if you’d better just drop it off at the thrift store. Luckily, today’s is not such a story. I finally got around to painting the schooner that I drew several months ago.

Oil painting of classic sailing schooner by Jameson Gardner 2014


I started the drawing while working on my dimensional illustration project Five Months On the Ice as a way to satisfy my urge to draw something a little bigger after painting a pretty small ship for the backdrop of one of my images. I used some of the same reference I had collected for that backdrop and synthesized it into a new angle and composition.


schooner Drawing Progress


After the charcoal sketch was complete, I sealed it with matte medium and toned it a little in oil with burnt sienna and ultramarine. That is how it stayed for nine or ten months.

Sketch of schooner on masonite, toned with oil color.

Finally, I decided it might be fun to paint it, so with some of the same old reference, I got to work.

Schooner Ocean and Sky Painted


When I am painting over a drawing, I tend to compartmentalize things rather than working everything up together, as I would when painting from life.

Work in progress on schooner painting by Jameson Gardner, 2014


Once finished, I went ahead and framed it in this pretty mahogany.

Oil painting of classic sailing schooner in mahogony frame by Jameson Gardner 2014

Hidden Face

Oil on panel, woman in veiled headdress from fantasy culture.

This is a painting I did fairly recently. It is Oil on panel.  It isn’t supposed to reflect any real-world culture or religion. Once again, I’ve painted something that is actually directed at the fantasy crowd. I started with a sketch, transferred that to toned paper and worked in some highlights. I scanned the toned version and printed it and then mounted the print on my panel using acrylic matte medium. I painted in three stages.

Stage 1 involved painting until I was really tired of painting on it.

Stage 2 was taking a break and not working on it.

Stage 3 was looking at some of the artists I admire and thinking about how i could improve what I had done based on what I learned from them.

Stage 4 was doing the things I learned in Stage 3.

Yep, I told you there were three stages, but it was really four.

Sketch for painting oil portrait on panel

Toned drawing for oil portrait on panel