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These are early February branch flowers. They are the first to bloom in Madrid after our cold winter. Shortly after painting this small painting, we were all confined to our homes during the entire spring.

This is a small oil painting of blue bottles with a red bottle and spring flowers.
Blue Bottles with a Red Bottle 2020 Resin-Oil on Canvas

Thank you for reading my little story.

Spring Blossom Explosion Painting 2021

The Flowers in this painting are almond tree blossoms, Japanese scarlet quince and yellow broom retama in a pickle jar.

Oil Painting of Spring Blossoms in Pickle Jar

Every spring, I go out and get a few of these flowers to paint them in glass jars.

I really like the light refraction of the stems in the water.

This detail is the pickle jar reflected in the mirror with the beveled mirror edge with a few almond blossoms in the foreground.

I have blue curtains that I got in the Rastro. I like it that they show up in the mirror and complement the Japanese scarlet quince in the foreground.

Each little petal that fell off of the almond branch had a little reflection on the table.

The white almond blossom floating on the waterline in the pickle jar was my favorite detail in the still life.

Thank you for taking the time,


Figure Painting

Dante’s Inferno Canto IV in process – Mixed Technique: Tempera Underpainting and Resin-Oil Finish.

Illustration in Process of Canto IV Limbo.

Canto IV Limbo

Canto IV Limbo Last Session

Canto IV Session 8a

Canto IV Session 12

Canto IV Session 8b

Canto IV Session 11

Canto IV Session 8c

Canto IV Session 10

Canto IV 8d

Canto IV Session 9


Canto IV Session 8


Canto IV Session 7


Canto IV Session 6


Canto IV Session 5


Canto IV Session 4


Canto IV Session 3


Canto IV Session 2


Canto IV Session 1




Dante’s Inferno Canto II Modern Language Version. Written by Jim Belton and Illustrated by Victoria Olson.

Beatriz Summons Virgil

Dante’s Inferno Canto II (55) Beatriz Summons Virgil in Limbo 2012

“I was among those who are suspended in Limbo, when a Lady called me. She was so blessed and beautiful that I asked her to command me. Her eyes were more luminous than the stars, and she began to speak to me sweetly and quietly, with an angelic voice, in her own tongue.”

Jim Belton’s modern language version of Canto II by Dante Alighieri. Click here to read Canto II.


Figurative Mixed Media Painting Process of Canto IV, an Illustration of Limbo inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy

I start with stretcher bars.


73 cm x 100 cm or 28.74 in x 39.37 in

I’m using duck cloth. It’s heavy, plain woven cotton fabric.


duck cloth

I mounted the material on the stretcher bars, gave it a thin coat of rabbit skin glue (let it dry) and then I primed it.  Primer:  Mix equal amounts of zinc oxide, calcium sulfate and rabbit skin glue.  Pour the rabbit skin glue into the zinc oxide and calcium sulfate little by little mixing with a brush.



Here is the primed canvas on the easel.


Primed Canvas

Egg tempera emulsion is made by mixing an egg, oil, varnish and water together in a tall flask of equal proportions, shaking after each ingredient in that respective order.


Mixing the Emulsion

I started off using these earth colors: blanco de España, zinc oxide, verde Veronese, transparent gold ocher and vine black.


Dry Pigment with Emulsion and Spatula for mixing

This is what the pigments look like when mixed with the emulsion.  This is a water based medium.


Pigment mixed with emulsion and water container

Egg tempera can be watered down as thinly as you like, but not always as thick as you like.


Session 1 egg tempera under painting in process

I start adding color and still painting thinly.


Session 2 egg tempera under painting

This is the under painting.


Session 3 egg tempera under painting

Canto IV describes a castle emanating a fire-like-light in limbo within a dark forest void of light.


Session 4 egg tempera under painting

I used gold leaf to represent the light.


Gold leaf

I paint the area where I want to put the gold leaf on because the canvas has to be sealed or the gold leaf won’t stick.


Session 5 gold leaf

Here, I’ve just started to use oil color.  I mixed dry pigment with poppy seed oil.  When mixed, the paint should stand up like butter.


Session 6 oil painting

Resin oil is a mixture of stand oil, thickened linseed oil and venetian turpentine.


Session 7 resin oil

With wet resin oil, you can paint hair-line brush strokes into it with egg tempera and switch back and forth with tempera and oil.  This is a mixed media.  You must always follow the rule of fat over lean.


Canto IV, Limbo Session 8

 I’m waiting for this painting to dry completely so I can decide whether I want to stop or continue.

Dante’s Inferno Canto 2 (55-63)

Beatriz Summons Virgil

Dante’s Inferno Canto 2 (55) Beatriz Summons Virgil in Limbo 2012

Beatriz decends from a place that she longs to return to visit Virgil whose soul is suspended in Limbo.   She asks Virgil to guide her friend Dante out of the dark forest where he is trapped by three beasts.  Virgil describes Beatriz as having eyes that surpassed the spledor of the star’s.




Rough Draft Watercolor, Tempera & Resin-Oil (Mixed Media)

Starting with a rough draft in watercolor from a thought is  the way I sometimes begin a painting; continuing  with tempera and finishing with Resin-oil is how I might finish a painting.


draft 1

draft 1

I usually do some small rough drafts  before starting a painting.  These first five drafts are watercolors.

Draft 2

Draft 2

So anyway,  this is just what I did.  I started with five or six small rough drafts in watercolor.  I picked one and started a  80 cm x 100 cm canvas painting of the watercolor in egg tempera technique.  After copying the watercolor as best I could, I continued building up the idea and the paint.  I finished with resin-oil which gives the finish a candied look.

I like big formats, so I try to have a clear idea. I like large but not too large sizes like  80 cm x 100 cm and 150 cm x 100 cm.

draft 3

draft 3

Tempera is great for under-painting or you can leave it as is – unvarnished.   It’s so quick and changeable and accepts oil over-painting perfectly well as a finished painting.

draft 4

draft 4

The thought is that I’m interested in robotics in the sense of West World and Artificial Intelligence; two emotionally impacting movies I saw that surprised me.

draft 5

draft 5

I’ve been looking at some of the latest robots in you tube as well as other things and fiction is becoming reality as usual.

Draft 1

Draft 1

My painting is about how fiction and reality are closely knit.

There is something about robots; I’m sure you’ve noticed too.




Tempera underpainting



Unrequited_desire  80cm x 100 cm

Resin Oil on Canvas – In Process




The Art Making Process of Resin-Oil Painting

The Art Making Process of a Resin-oil Painting; a Spin-off from a Watercolor.

Most painters work in more than one medium because variety offers many possibilities of expression.  I made a spin-off of the watercolor ‘Glass Bottles on top of Antique Closet’ in resin-oil.  Resin-oil is a medium in which you mix oil with with thickened linseed oil and Venetian turpentine.  This medium gives a candied effect with vivid colors.  I use resin-oil in a more expressionistic manner than my watercolor and tempera paintings.  I like the  happy accidents and drips that show up on the canvas.  There is one drawback regarding resin-oil;  the room where you paint needs to have plenty of ventilation because the vapors are very strong.

Glass Bottles on top of Antique Closet 2015 Watercolor on Arches 640 GSM - 15 in x 22 in - 38 cm x 56 cm - unframed - $200.00 USD -  Contact:

This is the watercolor ‘Glass Bottles on top of Antique Closet’.  I chose this to make the resin-oil. 


I use linseed oil, thickened linseed oil, Venetian turpentine, dry pigments and odorless petroleum spirits as part of my equipment.

I use dry pigment and mix it with linseed oil.

I mix dry pigment with linseed oil.

When you mix the dry pigment with linseed oil with a spatula, the paint has to stand up like butter, not run down to meet the surface of the mixing pallet.

When you mix the dry pigment with linseed oil with a spatula, the paint has to stand up like butter, not run down to meet the surface.

I use different kinds of paint brushes.  It depends on what I need.  The most important thing is to clean them with petroleum spirits  and wash them carefully with warm water and soap.  I like dish washing soap.  Then hang them upside down to dry.

When you finish your painting session, clean your brushes with petroleum spirit, wash them carefully with warm water and soap and hang them upside down to dry.

I don't always begin with a drawing, but since I'm making a copy of my watercolor in a different meduim, I want to control the out come.

I don’t always begin with a drawing, but since I’m making a copy of my watercolor in a different meduim, I want to control the out come.

I always try to work all around the picture plane, developing everything at the same time in order to find harmony.

I always try to work all around the picture plane, developing everything at the same time in order to find harmony.

I'm still working all around the picture plane, trying to put down the exact color I see in an area and leave it there.  The dry pigments are on the easel in little plastic containers.

I’m still working all around the picture plane, putting down the exact color I see in an area and leaving it there without smudging it around the canvas.  The dry pigments are on the easel in little plastic containers.


My Favorite Bottles 2015
This is the final result of the resin-oil on canvas.