Monday, September 28, 2009

More Cactus

I decided that the cactus leaves were too intense, and too viridian, so I repainted them. Enough of the viridian shows through to give them the look that's closer to the actual color and temperature. I had some extra leaves around so I put them in the cup because I knew it needed something, I wasn't sure what. But when I dropped those leaves in there, I thought "oh, yeah, that does the trick!". I will probably oil it out and tweak it one more time. Then I'm thinking about starting a self portrait. We'll see.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Upcoming Demo

This is the open grisaille or wipeout underpainting for the painting demo that I will be giving on Oct.5 at the Floral Park Art League. It's a small 8"x10" canvas because I'll have just a little over an hour to complete it. In order to control the lighting I have it setup in a cardboard "shadow box" with a spotlight focused on it. I'll have all my colors mixed up about an hour before I get there, so after I talk for a bit I'll be blasting it in. I'll basically be using the same process that I used last time which was to block in the entire painting alla prima and then quickly stitch it all together. Afterwards, I'll pop it into a frame and the winner gets to take it home.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More Cactus

I got the first pass in on the cactus. It's got this otherwordly neon greenish color that's different from the warm clorophyl green found in regular plants. I'll probably have to deepen the darks and warm up some of the lights when I go back into it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


This is another small 8"x10" stretched linen canvas. I've been doing a lot of these smaller paintings lately. They're a good way to get ideas out quickly and the gallery that shows my work has been selling them pretty well so I guess this is my version of economic downsizing. But I really do enjoy the challenge of trying to make a "big" image out of a small space. I know this doesn't look like a cactus but trust me, it is. It's not even planted in dirt, it's filled up with sand. I asked my wife how often I should water it and she said twice a year! I guess it's kind of like me, it doesn't mind hanging out in a dark studio without any sunlight.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Painting Demo

This was the result of a painting demo that I did at the National Art League Friday night. It's basically a painting club with a long history and a nice facility for members and non members to use. I don't think they get too many painting demos because you really only have about an hour and a half or less to do the demo. I thought it would be a fun challenge so I had a friend reccomend me and I got the job. What I did to save some time was to set up the arrangement at home about a week before and do a drawing and wipeout(underpainting). Then on the day of the demo I mixed up all the colors and value strings that I would need, on a large palette, at home. Before I started I briefly explained my Classical Realist training and how I was told to do a lot of these small 8"x10" one shot paintings to develop my eye and hand and to really get a feeling for dealing with the whole space of a painting, all at once. Anyway, when I was done, I was thinking "is this any good?", but they loved it and the woman who won the painting in the raffle was very happy. I used a nice but relatively
inexpensive frame, because I'd hate to see even one of my demos in a cheesy strip frame. As a teacher for twenty five years I'm used to public speaking, my real worry was whether or not I'd be able to pull it off in the allotted time, since this was my first demo. I have another one coming up next month so hopefully that one will go as well.

Friday, September 4, 2009

More Jug and Rope

I'm staying pretty close to the value and color scheme that I established in the poster study, except that I decided to up the intensity of the reddish jug color. I've been putting the bread in the fridge after each session and that seems to be working. I have an idea for a larger painting built around this one and it would be great if the bread could last for a few weeks.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Covered Jug and Bread

Canvas is an 8"x10" and the poster is on a 5"x7" board. I've always been drawn to the covered jars and jugs in the work of eighteenth century painters. Not really sure what the covering was for. Can't imagine it doing much besides keeping out bugs. It couldn't really have worked as a preservative. The hardest part was tying the little string around the mouth of the jug in a bow knot. I had to use a rubber band to hold it in place. It always amazes me how little info is needed in the poster study to give it a sense of reality. That coherence has to carry over to the finished piece or all the detail in the world won't save it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Limone" Redux

After looking at the painting for a while I decided that the mannequins weren't really working. They were too antropomorphic for my taste and the whole thing was just a little to cutesy for my taste so inspired by my reading about Luis Melendez and how fearless he was about reworking his paintings I decided to rework it. It's going to need some knitting together when I oil it out, but I'm glad that I did it. I want to push myself not too settle and to be able to paint things in and out without worrying about creating a "masterpiece"; a little more artisan and a little less "artiste".

Jug and Rope Complete

I wasn't sure if the flower was going to make sense in the end, but looking at it completed it I'm glad I left it in.