For the latest Virtual Paintout.  Took some artistic license, created a hint of a small path to bring the viewer into the painting.

9″ x 12″

Oil on canvas board.

Original Street View.

Switched to pastels for the June 2013 Virtual Paintout.  This is on the southeast end of the larger island (São Miguel), on a road in the plateau between Fagundas and Faial da Terra .  Just in case you decide to vacation there…  Google Maps location.


Mountain Road, Azores

Mountain Road, Azores

Pastel on Canson paper

8 1/2 x 11



Entry for the Virtual Paintout for May, 2013.  Although the Paintout area was rather small, finding an appropriate shot was time consuming.


Boat House, Via Pordelio, Veneto, Italy

Boat House, Via Pordelio, Veneto, Italy

“Chena Hot Springs Road” 12″ x 9″ Acrylic. Part of the Virtual Paintout series. This month, we traveled to Fairbanks, Alaska. What you are seeing here is the Chena River, which is a 100-mile-long (160 km) river in the Interior region of Alaska. Chena Hot Springs Road crosses and recrosses this meandering river at least a dozen times. It flows generally west from the White Mountains to the Tanana River near the city of Fairbanks, which is built on both sides of the river.
"Chena Hot Springs Road" 12" x 9" Acrylic

"Chena Hot Springs Road"

Link to the original Google Street View.

From a long-exposure photo I took in July, 2007.

Cunninham Falls, Maryland

Cunningham Falls, Maryland by Eric Belk

I used a long exposure to make the water appear wispier, and while it makes for a good photo, painting “wispy” isn’t in my toolbox yet.  That said, I think the resulting painting is largely successful.

Painting started and completed last night, from a photo I took of a small fishing skiff (probably used as a crabbing boat, actually) tied up to a dock near the Baltimore Museum of Industry in South Baltimore.

Fishing Skiff, Baltimore, by Eric Belk

Fishing Skiff, Baltimore

I tried to apply the Lois Griffel method of layering colors.  Since this was a bright, sunny day, I blocked in the main areas with warm colors (the warmest pure colors I had on my palette).  The sunlit areas of the boat were blocked in cadmium yellow light, the shadowed areas in cadmium red.  The dock was lemon yellow since it appeared slightly cooler to me.  The shadow of the dock was dioxazine purple. The shadow of the boat was alizirin crimson.  The deck was blended between cad red and yellow light.  The reflected sky, believe it or not, was painted with a mixture of gesso and permanent rose.

I played with the shadow and reflection under the boat quite a bit, scumbling in dioxazine purple, hooker’s green, different blues.  I dry brushed cobalt blue into the shadowed area of the deck, and added some cad orange and browns (mixed from various combinations of cad orange, cad red, hooker’s green, cobalt and ultramarine blues, and d-purple) into the boat to add rust and stains.  I dry brushed yellow ochre onto the dock, added some permanent rose, then hooker’s green and d-purple into the shadow of the second level of the dock.

Overall, I think the painting works well.  I’m beginning to understand Lois’ system, and maybe I’ll understand it a lot better after my 100th painting…


This painting is from a photo I took last year along the northern coast of California, south of San Francisco, perhaps near the Monterey Peninsula.  It was a wonderfully sunny afternoon in early March, not good for shadows and depth, but great for shiny whitecaps.

California Coast, Monterey

My second acrylic, just submitted to Virtual Paintout.  This is another Google Streetview painting (you can find the original here), taken from a little town in the northeast part of the island of Jersey, off the coast of France. Although the island is part of the U.K., all the city and street names reflect the island’s French pedigree. As a descendent of both French and English, I can relate, so to speak.

"La Rue de la Ville Bree, Saint Martin, United Kingdom"

"La Rue de la Ville Bree, Saint Martin, United Kingdom"

This seemed to be a particularly tough Paintout. The streets are so narrow that many of the more attractive scenes are blownout on the bottom half, rendering them useless for painting (unless that’s the look you’re going for).

I can see that my work is improving, but I have a long way to go.

My first artwork with any paints, actually.  Before this I’ve only used colored pencils and chalk pastels.

I also used an old mat board for the painting.  It has a lot of tooth, and not broken up well.  It made it difficult to scrub in since only the tooth picked up the paint from a dry brush.  Still, I learned a lot.

The inspiration for this is  The idea is to find a site on Google Street View and turn it into art via one of the traditional methods (not computer generated).  The site has a different theme every month.  This month’s theme is New Zealand.  So I “drove” around NZ for a few minutes and came across this scene on Queen Charlotte Drive, Momorangi Bay, New Zealand.

Queen Charlotte Drive, Momorangi Bay, New Zealand

Queen Charlotte Drive, Momorangi Bay, New Zealand - 5.5 x 7.5, acrylic on mat board


I think I did okay on the boats, but I redid the sky and the bay at least a dozen times, and the paint was starting to get a bit sticky.   I’ll pick something simpler next time and work my way up as I learn.