Japanese toys from the 1950's always catch my eye.  This fire engine is no exception.  Three tin lithoed firemen are at the ready, speeding to whatever challenge is ahead of them.  This being a ladder truck made my day.

This vintage hot sauce label came from a 6 ounce bottle, but I'm going to redesign it to go on a large can.

I also purchased this Couch fire alarm box to help tell my story in this painting. This is the type of unit that I would see most often at school.

Here is the sketch for "Canned Heat." After climbing the ladder to the top of this can of hot sauce, this fireman wields his axe to the 'roof' of the can, letting the heat and smoke escape.

My long time good friend, John, agreed to pose for this painting. John's not only a friend and great golfer, he's an engineer with the Orange County Fire Authority.  He suited up in the station parking lot in between calls and we got a great pose for the top of the can. Thanks Johnny!

I am starting this painting on the background. Here I've painted in the fire alarm. The high lighting provides this object with some interesting shadows.

With a mixture of thalo green, burnt sienna and cadmium yellow, I applied a thin wash (mixed with turpentine) into the cast shadow on the wall.

Next, I scrubbed in the wall color.

I've applied the first layer of pigment onto John, detailing his uniform from top to bottom.

In this photo, you can see that I've modeled the smoke and detailed the metal top of the can.

Now, I'm working on the hot sauce can label. At this point, I've blocked in all the colors except the black.  Notice that I've altered each color from dark (left side) to light (right side).

The black areas make all the other colors pop. It creates the contrast in the label design that the artist intended to help catch the eye of grocery shoppers long ago.

Here is the can completed with its first passage of thinned down oil paint. It's hard to see the difference in light and dark within the black areas, so the lighter colors define this on their own.

Here's a look at the entire canvas to this point.

I've rendered the toy fire truck. It's a little rough, but I'll tighten it up with the final layer of paint.

Here's a closer look at the fire truck. Notice that I changed the number on the truck to reflect the fire station that John has on his helmet.

I mixed burnt sienna, yellow and a little ultramarine blue to get the hue for the ground.

You can see the entire canvas so far. Just the peppers need to painted before applying the final coat of paint.

Here's the yellow pepper. It's nice to have something organic in an image and the peppers provide that.

One more pepper done.

This closeup shows the peppers with the thin layer of oil pigment.

I'm halfway through the painting. All areas of the canvas have one layer of paint. Some areas are a little rough, but will tighten up with the final layer of paint.