Jump Shot Basketball Art Painting artist John Robertson

Jump Shot NBA Golden State Warriors

Now, that is certainly not the problem I ever had when I played in pickup games at the gym.  I was not like one of those players on the Warriors that could meet the challenge at either end of the court.  I couldn’t even meet them half way.

The Basketball Jump Shot

ake for example my jump shot. As you can see from my sports art this player has a nice jump shot with a nice hand and arm extension above his head. It is suppose to be an easy shot to make from a distance but I could not do it very well from any distance. Frogs have a better jump shot. A Kangaroo Rat could jump higher than I could.

And, even if I could get off the ground I was easy to block – being short. And being short the only thing I can dunk is cookies into milk - and the only good move I had after that was dribbling – dribbling the milk out of my mouth.

This basketball art  painting of the jump shot made me think of the

Golden State Warriors

in the NBA Western Conference finals and there struggle a couple of times over the season and in the playoffs.  Even though a player might feel great and “in the groove” it can be very frustrating when your shots are not sinking through the net – or you become the bull’s eye for every other player on the other team because you are a great player like Curry. 

So, what are the Golden State Warriors suppose to do?

Back to basics to find a way to get him back in a groove - into different shifts and rotations and working them flawlessly and forgetting the physical discomfort.

Now, how is that for a bunch of platitudes with no real constructive thoughts?

I listen to the sports commentators and that is about all the obvious comments I ever hear.

"The Jump Shot" basketball sports art painting by artist John Robertson is 48" x 60" acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Most of the paintings shown on the blog have been sold. (But there are a few available. What I suggest is that you click on the

Sports ArtFor Sale

or the

Sports Prints For Sale

to see if there is something you like.  If not, please feel free to contact me for your specific need and I can easily paint something for you. Just click on the contact page for information.

Basketball Magic Johnson Point Guard Why We Play Sports

WHY PLAY SPORTS

Magic Johnson Point Guard

Magic Johnson was the  “quarterback” on the Lakers basketball court -  the point guard - and the most important player on the team - and what most consider the best point guard ever,Some people have referred to Magic Johnson as the indisputable "Point God."   He was an absolutely great, all around player who probably sacrificed individual statistics for the greater good of the team - and in doing so, brought other teammates up to play at a higher level.  And, of course, won more games.  He is the one who led the team by trying to make the good decisions for the plays.  He generally handled the ball more than any other player on the court and passed the ball off to other players to lead them towards a goal. To have a great team is to have a leader who will work to have all contribute to it's success.  And without that great leadership in the "point guard" position few teams have had a high level of successful seasons.

Why Play Sports

 All of this leads me to the good reason of why it is important for people to play sports.  I did as a child and as an adult participated in sports into my sixties and still exercise regularly.  One of the things sports taught me was developing teamwork.  This is a way to learn how to help others, and thereby themselves, to work together towards a specific goal, (winning).  We see this problem of teamwork all the time in the major professional sports.  I think the best example of that is in the NBA where there are "star" players and "winning" teams.  I won’t point out the great players who played on losing teams but one of the downfalls of those teams was the fact that it really wasn’t a “team” but a bunch of individual players just “doing their thing.”   Most sports are a team effort.  And the same goes for life.  We are all in it together and participating in life as a joint venture with others makes for a more successful and fulfilling life.

Magic Johnson Highlights

Magic Johnson played in 12 All-Star games, won five NBA rings, three years the MVP awards and won most valuable player in three Finals.  His career Stats 19.5 points per game, 11.2 assists per game, 5.5 re-bounds per game and 1.9 steels per game.  Those 11.2 assists per game shows how much Magic was a team player.  At 6 feet 9 inches he dominated the point guard position.John Robertson Sports Artist image of a “Point Guard”  is 24” x 36” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NBA and point guards.  Newsprint attached to ¾” stretched canvas.  To view sports paintings for sale please visit: John Robertson sports Paintings for sale and the sports prints available

Venice Beach, CA Street Basketball Players

Thoughts on a College Basketball Sports Painting

What kind of interests me, as an artist is what happens to all the college basketball players after their final seasons.   I thought of this as I finished watching the Michigan and Villanova win in their NCAA “final-four” games and their move on to the Championship game.  This is when these two teams are at their peak -  Why? - Because Michigan was the team with hot games at the end of the season and Villanova being the best team at the end of the season.  What happens to the all the players who did not achieve the ultimate college basketball goal?

Venice Beach Basketball Players 

This black and white sports art painting of a couple of Venice Beach, Ca. players ended up in the Amway Sports Arena in Orlando Florida where the NBA Orlando Magic play their home games.  The painting is 5 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on canvas.
These years spent playing will probably be the highlight of their lives – they certainly have achieved more in a shorter time then I will ever have over my entire lifetime.  But where do all those players go?   The reason I say this is that that the basketball painting you see here on this page is of basketball players that play on the Venice Beach, Ca. street basketball courts.  Most of the players on the main court are ex, really good high school and college players.  Occasionally some ex-pros show up on the courts for a pick up a game.  These are the courts where the movie “White Men Can’t Jump” was filmed.   Think of all those great college players that did not go on to play in the pros.  Where are they and what do they do?  What do they think about the past – and the future. 

Why Paint Sports Art Figures

 Me,  I don’t have much of a past and I certainly don’t have much of a future.  I don’t have “ past glory’s – just a mundane life – or as the joke goes, “living a life of quiet desperation.”   So, all in all, that is probably why I have ended up painting sports figures as I can live vicariously through the paintings, like a rabid sports fan that roots for his favorite player or team.  It’s an enjoyable pastime of beauty and inspiration. 


This black and white sports art painting of a couple of Venice Beach, Ca. players ended up in the Amway Sports Arena in Orlando Florida where the NBA Orlando Magic play their home games.  The painting is 5 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on canvas.



NCAA March Madness final four Basketball painting


March Madness

So we are down to the final four in this year’s March Madness - and I am rooting for is the improbable No. 11 Loyola Chicago who dominated Kansas State in an upset win over March Sadness Kansas.  Loyala played a great game by overshadowing Kansas in Saturday’s Elite Eight matchup   Totally unexpected for them to lead from the 16:31 point of the first half.

Is the final four, Loyola Ramblers the NCAA team is going to be the fairy tale story in this March Madness? Is Loyola going down the crazy rabbit hole with the March Hare, runs with the mad hatter and comes out winning in wonderland.  The March Madness tournament is always like entering “ Through the Looking Glass”  because you never know what you are going to see.  Are the players going to play as if they trained with a skillful coach or are they going to act as if trained by a Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar.  That is what makes watching a college basketball tournament so exciting. They beat the pros for enthusiasm every time. 

This first week a sixteen seeded team jumps ahead, a highly ranked team pulls a “humpty-dumpty” and gets knocked off.  With every turn on the scoreboard the college basketball world gets stunned when a favorite loses and we watch the merriment of the underdog.  There is nothing more exciting that a true buzzer-beater.  That’s what great about watching the NCAA March Madness tournament – anything can happen ant this year is no different than any other in that respect.

The March Madness basketball painting by sports artist John Robertson is 60" x 72" acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Basketball lay-up player shooting

Basketball Lay-up Painting


I photographed this basketball lay-up move being done by a Venice beach, California player.  My wife used to have her art studio close to the Venicebeach basketball courts.  You may remember seeing these basketball courts in the movie, “White Men Can’t

Jump”.   As you can see the basketball lay-up is just what it sounds like: a shot where a player lays the ball up on the backboard or over the rim and into the basket. It can be done forwards, backwards, or sideways. It is a lay-up just the same.  And I can’t do any of the moves except for the one facing the basketball hoop – no twists or turns for me.




Amway Center


The basketball art was originally created for a commission for the Amway Center sports and entertainment venue in Orlando, Florida.  This is the home sports arena for the NBA Orlando Magic basketball team.  I was commissioned to create five pieces for the Amway arena a few years back, when it first opened.  I have never been to the arena or have photographs of the paintings hung on display – so if you are in that area and go to the stadium I would love to have someone take photos with their phone and send them to me.  I could probably send you a nice print of one of my sports paintings as a thank you for your efforts.

About the Lay-up Painting


Sports Painting by artist John Robertson
60" x 40" (5 feet by 3 ½ feet)
acrylic on unstretched canvas

Abstract Basketball Painting with Hoop and Basketball

Basketball Painting In Abstract Style


A few years ago I was approached by a sports art agent to do some paintings for the (at the time) a new Amway sports arena in Orlando, Florida - where the NBA Orlando Magic plays basketball. The paintings were to be used on the walls and in spaces for the arena.  I don't recall how many paintings
I did for them but I do remember a couple of them were basketball related and this contemporary basketball hoop painting was among the different paintings.

This abstract painting of the basketball hoop is good size: sixty inches by seventy-two inches  (five feet by six feet) acrylic on unstretched canvas.  What I was asked to paint was something bright and colorful and represented basketball in an abstract way.  A couple of the other paintings I did for them were basketball paintings of Venice Beach street players I had photograph at Venice, Ca.  This is where the great basketball  movie "White Men Can't Jump" was filmed and in our neighborhood.  (These paintings are posted somewhere on this blog)


Basketball Idea from Alley


At the time I had not done many non-figurative paintings so it was a bit of a challenge for me.  I wasn't really sure where to start.  But one evening my wife and I were walking the alleys of Venice.  We always liked seeing the backs of the rundown properties and the deterioration of the neighborhood.  There is something very human seeing old garages and backs of old cottages.  My wife actually owned a small cottage that was held up by the wings of termites.   As we walked in the alleys I kept seeing old, rusted and unused basketball hoops attached to dilapidated garages.  And growing over some of the garages were vines and flowers.  One in particular captured my imagination - a garage with Nasturtiums (yellow orange flowers on long green vines) draped through the hoop and over the garage doors.  Perfect.

I took a bunch of photographs from a variety of angles for reference material.  Back in my studio I painted the scene in a realistic manner, recreating the alley and garages and trash cans and the hoop and the flowers.  And then I took a big brush and slashed paint all over the canvas.  And what you see is the result of my effort - a contemporary, modern sort of basketball hoop abstract painting.

Basketball Painting Layup Art Becoming a Sports Artist

How I became a Sports Artist by Painting a Basketball Layup Painting


I have been asked a number of times how I became a sports artist - which started with basketball layup paintings.  Most people assume that I was an avid sports fan and painted what was of most interest to me.  Actually, it was strictly by accident I became a sports artist.A painting of a left hand holding a basketball layup getting ready to dunk the ball through a hoop

A number of years ago I was painting large-scale portraits of the musicians in a night club in Santa Monica, Ca. named The Temple Bar.  The completed portrait paintings hung in the windows that faced Wilshire Blvd, a well traveled street.  I frequented the club, one or two nights a week for about five years.

Fox Sports Calls


One afternoon I got a call in my studio from a person claiming to be a director for Fox Sports Net and he had seen my paintings in the window of the Temple Bar.  He said they had been looking for an artist for a NBA basketball commercial and wondered if I was capable of doing some large-scale West Los Angeles.
sports paintings.  It seemed like a foolish question as he had already seen my work in the windows - and I thought it was just a friend messing around with me.  Yeah.  Right.  Fox Sports is calling me to paint some paintings for a NBA commercial.  He convinced me he was for real and invited me down to their studios in

Painting the Basketball Layup


Once there (he was serious) we discussed a few concepts he had.  I told him I could do any of them he wanted.  The one that was selected was of five feet by seven feet basketball layup paintings of a hand in different stages of doing  the layup and dunk into a basketball hoop.Photograph of my
paintings on the set for shooting a basketball layup commercial for Fox Sports showing hands in different position dunking a basketball

As you can see by the photograph the paintings were put in a circle and the camera spun around to animate the look of the basketball layup being made.   They also showed an artist painting the basketball paintings in a very expressive, impressionistic way.  I was not in the commercial as they hired a young kid to play my roll as the artist.  The director said, as an older person, I was not the demographic they wanted as the artist.


The commercial ran nationally in spot markets for the season and the basketball layup paintings were used as the front and back bumpers for the commercial and the middle part announcing what game was to be televised. Photograph of set of Fox Sports Commercial for the NBA basketball season showing the back side of my basketball layup paintings

Fox Sports then hired me to paint portraits of Willie Mays for an MLB All-Star game in which  Ken
Griffey Jr. and Derek Jeter interviewed Willie for 4 1/2 minutes. Again, my sports paintings were featured in the interview.

I was now identified as a sports artist.  An artist sports agent contacted me and started representing me for big commercial jobs - stadiums and arenas, restaurants, corporate offices, etc.  And I have been doing that ever since.  The bottom line of it all is that I was very lucky to have been "discovered" by someone at Fox Sports and then by the agent who promoted me.

Basketball Painting LA Lakers Dribbling Basketball

Basketball Painting LA Lakers Dribbling Basketball
John Robertson Sports Art Basketball Painting LA Lakers
 Dribbling Basketball  is 10 inches by 10 inches ink and acrylic on old
 news clippings of LA Lakers.
I am one of those typical Los Angeles fans who like the Lakers when they are winning and do not pay much attention top them when they are losing.  I try and only root for teams that are winning.  I'm a fair weather friend.  You're not feeling well?  Sorry to hear that.  Please pass the salt. 

As far as the Lakers are concerned, at least they have somewhere to go and that is up.  Maybe.  Here is the "no brainer" comment.  "They have to re-build."  What does that mean?  I don't know what that means.  I don't know much about basketball.  I can't even build my own life properly much less tell someone how to rebuild their lousy basketball team.  But I know there are plenty of people out there quite willing to tell anyone how to do anything.

I know. How about picking in the draft or getting a couple top-level free agents to "elevate" the team.  I think they know that too.  All I know is how to "elevate" on the escalator to the third floor level of the Century Mall to find Fatburgers  for a Kobe Bryant XXL Cheeseburger with fries. I find I need to put on more weight with the remote possibility that I can float better in the "Y" pool.


But what I do know is this:  Please, Lakers, no more wins this season.  Don't do anything that may jeopardize your critical draft position.  We want to win - so you need to lose.

Basketball art painting boy doing a lay-up


A friend of mine, Jo, took a photo of a boy playing basketball.  I thought the boy doing a layup was a great shot and got her permission to do a painting of the boy.  The basketball painting is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.
I like this quote about basketball by James Naismith. 'The invention of basketball was not an accident. It was developed to meet a need. Those boys simply would not play "Drop the Handkerchief."

Basketball Art, Painting of Dunk Shot

Sports Art Painting of basketball player dunking a basketball shot. I used a photo of Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers dunking a basketball as reference material for the painting.  I did change it from the original by changing to position of the arms and also the coloring.   The basketball player painting art is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Good quote from Kobe Bryant: “I can't relate to lazy people. We don't speak the same language. I don't understand you. I don't want to understand you.”  Why I like the quote is because I paint five days a week and there are a lot of artists that do not understand that it is important to show up into their studio regularly to produce work.  It is not about inspiration but about hard work.  I work on the theory that if you paint a lot of paintings some are bound to be good.  As they say about baseball, if you can hit three for ten you are a great player.   I probably paint one good painting out of ten painted.  But if I don’t paint the ten paintings I am not going to get the good one.

Basketball Painting Dunk Shot Image

I have painted this image of a basketball dunk shot a number of times for a variety of clients.  This is a new one painted last week. The clients are all aware that I am duplicating the painting for them.  I am in the photo so you can get a sense of the size of the painting.  The original paintings were done for an NBA Basketball commercial for Fox Sports Net   They own the originals and the art was painted in a different color scheme.  The painting is approximately 48” x 60” acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Basketball painting on unstretched canvas. I am in the photo so you can get a sense of size of this sports art painting.  I was watching the playoffs and thought it would be interesting to paint a sports art piece refglecting a basketball player from the Los Angeles Clippers driving against a Memphis Grizzlies defender.The painting is 5 feet by 6 feet ink and acrylic

Basketball Art Image Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers


Basketball Painting of Kobe Bryant
Image of Kobe Bryant dribbling against a defensive player. I just heard the other day that Kobe has been playing for the Lakers here in Los Angeles for around 14 years. And the one fact I keep forgetting is that he came out of high school to play. The painting is 11"x x 14" ink, watercolor and acrylic on drafting film


Basketball art "The Dunk"

dunk shot, basketball art, sports image,

The dunk shot art basketball by John Robertson
48" x 60" acrylic on unstretched canvas

A few years ago I  had painted a series of basketball paintings for Fox Sports Net who then used the sports art for a commercial promoting the upcoming NBA basketball games.  Since then I get requests from clients to paint one for them on commission.  So this is one of the basketball images I painted from the series of paintings I did for Fox Sports Net.

Basketball art sport image artist John Robertson

basketball art, basketball image, sport art, venice beach basketball
Dunk Shot Basketball art - sports artist John Robertson
48 x 84" acrylic on unstretched canvas

This basketball image of a dunk shot is one of a number of basketball images I painted for the new Amway Sports stadium in Orlando (opened the first part of Oct 2010) developed an art collection of sports images. This is where the NBA Orlando Magic plays. This basketball art of a dunk shot is part of the collection. If there is anyone that happens to be in the arena and sees some of my paintings please take a photograph of the paintings and send it to me. The painting is also up somewhere else on this blog as they bought it from existing paintings.