Leslie Saeta’s 30 in 30 – The Collage


Well here we are at the end of February’s 30 in 30.   I didn’t manage 30 but boy it seems a long time ago I started with irises.    Ended on a high point with the dolphins and I think they all look mighty fine in the collage.

My studio floor however is not looking so good.


I don’t usually leave things hanging around on the floor to this extent but it’s nice to see things build over the month.   Time for a tidy up tomorrow.

Dolphins – Day 30 of 30 in 30


A commission came in a couple of weeks ago for a painting of dolphins.   Now I haven’t painted dolphins before and I knew as soon as heard the request that I wanted to have them jumping and lots of water splashing around.   My next thought was – yeah and splashing water is really hard.

But I was excited to try this and spent a fair while looking at pictures of dolphins and water and made some sketches of how to group them


I knew as soon as I’d done the sketch that capturing the dolphin character wasn’t going to cause too much trouble.  They’re such lovely shapes and are a pleasure to draw.   The water however….

But in the end the water came out well.   I wanted to contrast the loose splashiness of the sea with the smooth lines of the dolphins and I think that comes across well in the finished painting.

Very happy with this.   


Unitarian Church Arlington – Day 26 of 30 in 30

Unitarian Church, Arlington, MA

Yesterday was a bit of a warm up for today.   At the center of Arlington is the Unitarian Church.   A few years ago we were driving through as the trees were changing color and I captured a couple of shots of this magnificent, blazing orange tree next to the bright white of the church tower.   I had a disastrous go at painting this a couple of years ago but have always planned to try and do the scene justice at some point.   This is getting there but I think will probably need another go at some point before I’m completely happy.

A few midpoint shots.  I’m getting better at thumbnails before I start and it’s paying off.   


14″x11″/20″x16″ matted

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Digital Doodlings – Day 23 of 30 in 30

Adobe Sketch,  Procreate, and Artrage tests

I’ve had good intentions to do more digital drawing for a few years now.   Every now and then I open up the (many) ipad drawing apps I have and take them for a spin.   Up to now I’ve been pretty underwhelmed.   The response and the feel of stylus on screen just isn’t the same as pencil or brush on paper.  Brush ‘painting’ especially is frustrating.  There isn’t a way to replicate the fine point of a sable brush and the marks all end up splodgy.

Now I know that many people do fantastic work using similar setups.  I frankly haven’t persevered enough to get over the learning curve of interface quirks and adapt to the will of the technology.   So I was quite surprised this time round that I wasn’t as frustrated as I have been before.   Whether this is due to app improvements or the fact that I’ve been drawing and painting much more regularly than before I don’t know. 

 I definitely noticed with all three apps that the pressure sensitivity was much much better than I remember.   With Artrage in particular I could lightly sketch with the Apple pencil and really get something that felt like drawing with pastel or charcoal.    

Brush painting was better but, as a watercolor painter who likes to use the full range of a sable brush,  I couldn’t come close to using the same technique.  But for drawing I was encouraged enough to put the pencil on charge for another go.