Bill Mitchell Lighthouse Art

Bill Mitchell Lighthouse Art Story|Bill Mitchell Lighthouse Art Pencil Sketches|Bill Mitchell Lighthouse Art Products|Bill Mitchell Lighthouse Art Links|Contact Bill Mitchell Lighthouse Art

Bill Mitchell Lighthouse Art is a family run, small business that sells copies of BillMitchell art.  Bill's favorite art medium is black and white pencil sketches, and he specializes in lighthouse pictures.  While Bill has sketched some East Coast lighthouses, he has sketched many Great Lakes lighthouses with Michigan lighthouses being his favorite.  Bill packages his pencil sketches in lighthouse note cards and lighthouse matted prints.  Please click the tab Bill Mitchell Lighthouse Art Products for more information.

Great Lakes Map
East Coast Map
Gulf Coast Map
Asylum Point 1
Badger 1
Big Sable 2
Big Sable 3
Big Sable 4
Big Sable 5
Big Sable 6
Bodie Island 1
Buckstaff 1
Cape Elizabeth 1
Cape Elizabeth 2
Cape Hatteras 1
Copper Harbor 1
Crisp Point 2
Currituck 1
Drum Point 1
Evanston 1
Fayerweather Island 1
Five Mile Point 1
Grand Haven 2
Grand Haven 3
Grand Island 1
Grays Reef 1
Hamlin Lake 1
Holland 2
Jacobsville 1
Lakeside 1
Little Sable 2
Ludington N Pier 2
Mackinac City 2
Mackinac Island West bluff 2
Manistee 2
Marblehead 2
Muskegon 2
Mystic 1
New Presque Isle 2
North Manitou 1
North Point 1
Oak Island 1
Okracoke 1
Old False Duck 1
Old Presque Isle 2
Old Sodus 1
Pilot Knob 1
Point Betsie 2
Point Iroquois 1
Point Judith 1
Portsmouth Harbor 1
Presquisle 1
Prince Edward Point 1
Queens Wharf 1
Roanoke Marshes 1
Sand Hills 2
Sapelo Island 1
South Haven 1
Split Rock 1
St Helena 1
St Joseph 1
Stoney Point 1
St Simons Island 1
Stratford 1
Sturgeon Point 2
Tibbets Point 1
Two Harbors 1
Tybee Island 1
UMC and Courthouse 1
Waugoshance 1
White River 2
White Shoal 1
Windmill Point 1
Wright Memorial 1
Whitefish Point 3

I picked up a large dose  of sketching ability from my dad Tom Mitchell, a very talented regional artist in the Mason City, Iowa, area from the '50s into the '90s.   He dabbled in lots of art forms, but I always thought he was at his peak when he sketched either with pen or pencil.  His signature scene was Pilot Knob, near Forest City, Iowa, which he must have sketched or painted a couple dozen times.  Although Pilot Knob, strictly speaking, is not a lighthouse, standing on a hill with its cylindrical stone wall it has  the look of a lighthouse.  When you climb to the top, you have a wonderful, ten mile view of rolling Iowa farmland.  Just for fun, and to honor Dad's memory, I also have sketched Pilot Knob.  One of Dad's many versions is on the left below; mine is on the right. 

Pilot Knob 2 TFM
Pilot Knob 1 TWM

After graduating from Iowa State University with an electrical engineering degree, I went to work for an electric utility company in Toledo,  Ohio.  I used to hand sketch my preliminary engineering, which I then gave to a draftsman to draw a detailed design package.   Over a thirty plus year span, I got pretty good at drawing  straight lines and circles, which are huge parts of my sketching technique today.

In 1999 I took a camping trip to Michigan's UP to do some canoeing and lighthouse sketching.  I did more of the latter than the former, and had a ball overall.  I made a 2000 lighthouse calendar featuring the sketches from this first trip.  For several years now my annual summer trip has resulted in a lighthouse calendar that I have given to close friends and relatives at Christmas.

In 2002 my wife and I semi-retired and we relocated to a home in the woods near Ludington, Michigan.  I started Bill Mitchell Lighthouse Art, a  cottage business, and now I spend a lot of my time with lighthouses and sketching.   Big Sable 2, shown on the right below, is probably my favorite lighthouse sketch to date.  My wife and I also volunteer at Big Sable, and the lighthouse is very close to being on the same line of latitude as is our house.  About the time I did the Big Sable 2 sketch, I changed my sketch style from a two hour effort, real time at the sketch location, to an eight hour effort, after-the-fact in front of a photographic print.  I usually sketch on 9x12 paper which I grid into 108, 1x1  smaller sketches.  Of course, with this style I obtain much more detail than I did previously.  The gridding provides excellent overall proportion of the scene, and from a distance the sketch almost looks like a photograph.  I especially like the ability to capture shadows at a particular instance in time. In the pictures below old style is left and new style is right.               

Big Sable 2 TWM
Big Sable 1 TWM

Thank you for staying with me this far, for now you know something of what I do these days.  I hope  you enjoy the lighthouse pencil sketches I have selected for inclusion in this web site, as much as I enjoyed making them!      Bill Mitchell

© 2006 BMLA, 5505 N Raccoon Trail, Ludington, Michigan, 49431, bmlhart@frontier.com