Friday, February 26, 2010

Self Portrait Final

That's a wrap on this one. I took advantage of the snow day (Yeah!!) to finish up. I worked mainly along the terminator to try and get the roll up to the light to be a little less hard. I worked on the background a bit as well. I don't know if I'm fully satisfied (when am I ever?), but I'm ready to move on. This portrait has been taking over my studio for a few weeks as I was reluctant to move the easel or the mirror (set up on another easel) for fear of losing the light pattern. I've got a couple of still life paintings in mind based on the five senses and I'm anxious to get cracking.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More Self Portrait

Cast is in. Kept the value range kind of narrow and laid the tones one next to the other without too much overpainting. I'll try and complete the rest of my body tomorrow and then the next thing is to pull it all together as a unified statement.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More Portrait

Most of the face is painted in. I'll have to go back and tweak a few things when I oil out. I'll probably finish the hat next and then I'll work on the cast. My plan is to paint the cast broadly and also to keep the value range compressed. That way I'll be setting up a contrast between the detailed portrait and the generalized cast.The hardest thing is to get the forms coming forward and pushing back. The cheek in the light is turning away from me but the other cheek although coming forward has less light. It's a tricky business.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Portrait Progress

I'm off and running on my self portrait. I left the right cheek laid in to demonstrate how I work on each section. After this short break I'll go back in the studio and stitch it all together with more paint between the tiles. I'm using the colors that I tubed last summer to do a figure painting. Ivory black, yellow ochre, cadmium red light and flake white. Besides those I have my full palette laid out which I dip into here and there as I go.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I finally finished this cast painting that I've been working on one day a week, for three hours, since september at the Grand Central Academy of Art. My instructor and I decided it would be interesting to throw in a little color since I've already completed several grisaille paintings. I worked from the top down, deciding to go right for the hardest area first. I had in mind a friend of mine once telling me when we were kayaking down the Delaware that I should go for the fastest part of the rapid as a surefire way to get through. Of course I ended up sinking my boat. I think I had a little more luck with the cast though. I've got to get a digital SLR one of these days, the old point and click just isn't up to snuff.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rub In

I finished the underpainting. It's on a 16"x20" stretched linen canvas. I transferred my drawing using tracing paper and charcoal. Then I inked it in and did a wipe out using thinned down raw umber and paper towels . The next day I started a frottis, which is an underpainting where you drybrush the paint on without thinning it down or using any medium. The idea is to roughly approximate the values and general color scheme. I wanted to try it because I thought that I might like a better roadmap when I begin to windowshade (finish as I go) and I like the look of it in the works of other painters; Degas, Travis Schlaht. It's harder to control than I thought and due to my usual impatience I didn't wait long enough for the wipeout to dry. Still I'm happy with it so far and I can't wait to start digging in. As an aside I read about using the perspective skew in Photoshop on Rational Painting and I though that I would give it a try because I shot this at an angle. It works really well and it's a pretty cool little trick to try on a crooked shot.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Portrait Drawing Final

Well, I guess I could take this drawing a little further but I'm anxious to start the painting. I've got it transferred to a canvas and soon as I get off of here I'm going to do a simple wipeout. Then my plan is to do a large form frottis (rub in) in color and then paint it window shade style from top to bottom. I plan to keep the cast in the background very subdued, there but not there. My mug can't really compete with the famous "Dying Gaul". Geez!