Painting The North Shore of Grand Haven

Here is a commission painting for a cottage owner on The North Shore looking south to the Grand Haven Pier. 
    It was a dismil day,  but the surf was up.  I knew it would be a lot of fun painting the action in these waves.   The sky was painted with cobalt blue towards the top blending into cerelean blue towards t he horizon.  The shadows on the clouds were a mixture of burnt sienna and cobalt blue.  The sand was raw sienna with raw umber and cobalt blue added.  
      I know…..what about the water.  The water had several glazes of viridian green and cobalt blue.  Closer to the shore some raw sienna was added here and there.  I also place a light mixture of cerrelean blue in the troughs of the waves.   For the crashing surf,  I use titanium white with a little cobalt blue on the shadow side.  I add a little cadmium yellow to the white of the waves or a little cadmium orange.   The ripples in the waves are a mixture of cobalt blue, burnt sienna, and viridian.   Sometimes I like to introduce a light mauve or purple into the shallows in the water.       Hope this blog has helped you.  I plan on writing blogs  to teach along with the videos that take so much longer to create.   The next video will be on painting a cloudy day.      

Pleasant Painting,  

Gary W. Odmark

Bringing an Old Photo to Life

Found myself a fun project.  I was fortunate to have a super Grandfather.  I found a photograph of him in black and white and decided to venture out and change it into a full color oil portrait.     What great memories were running through my mind.  
     I first sketched the portrait out on canvas with burnt sienna and then proceeded to block in the shadow areas.  In painting a portrait it is very important to get your measurements right.  Once I felt that everything seemed to look right I went ahead and placed a medium skin tone throughout the face and neck.     The forehead is usually a lighter tone and the nose , ears, and mouth area are nearly always painted with more red.   This is because the skin is thinner and therefore the blood is closer to the surface of the skin. I use green the complimentry of red to tone down my shadows. 
     It is quite interesting to see the change that appears when you change over a black and white photo into a full color oil portrait.  The person seems to come alive.  In painting this portrait I found simularities in myself and two brothers.  Each of us have carried on some of my grandfathers features..     I will be posting some more instruction videos soon and I also plan to include in my blogs paintings that have just been completed with some valuable tips for  artists and art admirers.      I hope you enjoy these.      Gary W. Odmark

landscape oil painting of an old barn

             Cheers,   My first free video is complete.   I do have another that is available to buy.  I am in the process of developing several free teaching videos.   This first video touches on perspective and a few tips on painting this old barn.  If you are interested in receiving these videos as they become available send me your e-mail requesting to be on my list of people interested in art.   My e-mail is    I hope you enjoy these new learning experiences.  Gary    Click landscape oil painting of an old barn to see the first free video.

landscape oil painting of an old barn

Old Barn near Cadillac, MI

    While driving the motorhome, I happened to look back to see a great looking barn on the othe side of the highway after leaving the Cadillac art show.   Did a quick sketch and took a photo for reference.    I decided to paint the barn and surroundings in oil for the beautiful colors that were there.   Here is the finished painting.   It took about 6 to 8 hours to paint. 

Old Barn near Cadillac, Mi

        I will be taping a free description video soon about this finished painting.
If you are interested in viewing the video go to my website and fill in your name and e-mail addresson the guest page.   I will be releasing more free videos soon.   Hope you enjoy them.   
                                                                        Gary W. Odmark

Marine art: Painting a Sunset on Location

Want to have some fun painting?   Find a good spot to paint your sunset.   Get there about a half hour ahead of time.    Bring a   16×20 canvas or smaller.   Then load your palette with colors you would use in a sunset.  I usually use Cobalt Blue, Cereleun Blue, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Yellow, and Titanium White.  

When the sunset starts to develop,  mix a few of these colors as close as you can for what you see.   I use a larger filbert brush for the darker blues and then a medium for most of the other colors.  Try to keep your mixtures clean and smooth and paint quite fast,  paying close attention to detail.  

Also,  it works nice to leave the lighter cloud areas white and then paint them in after the stronger colors of the sunset.    If you want to get really creative,  paint the scene with a palette knife.  I have a few examples of sunsets on my website:  

If you are happy with your painting,  go back to the studio and paint a larger version right away.   By doing this, the sunset image should still be etched in your memory.

My Palette of colors from Odmark


It is very important to develop the right palette. These colors will mix together nicely and help in creating the color you want. For the blues I use ultramarine, cobalt and cerulean. Greens: I use viridian Yellows:yellow ochre, Lemon Yellow, Hansa Yellow. reds alizarin crimson, Windsor red. Browns: iron red oxide, Burnt sienna, raw sienna. I also like cadmium orange to warm things up. also like to use Titanium White for it is the strongest white.

       In Painting sky, use cerulean blue at the horizon and blend this up into Cobalt Blue for the upper sky.  In painting waves use a mixture of Cobalt Blue with Viridian.  To see some samples of sky and water visit my website at    Please fill out the guest book if you are interested in the new training dvd’s coming soon.   I will inform you as soon as they are available.

Marine Art: Tall Ship Art

Cutter Eagle

Cutter Eagle

When painting a tall ship it is important to make sure the ship is down into the water.   Quite often Artists have a tendancy to place the ship on top of the water.   It is also very important to have the rigging (lines to the Sails etc.) postioned right.   You must also have the feeling that the sails are full of wind.   This is accomplished by making sure the sails are full and the right shape.    Be sure to make the wave direction right and also the wind direction.    What a joy to see a tall ship painted with the wind screaming and the waves crashing.   I have an some examples of tall ship paintings on my website  Pleasant painting.     I will be posting tips on painting water and Sky soon.        G.W. Odmark