Sunday, November 27, 2011

Julia and Grapes

"Julia" 16"x20" oil on linen on board, "Grapes and Yellow Vase" 11"x14" oil on linen on board.

I worked on getting Julia's portrait in. My goal was to start broadly and then work my way to the smaller forms. I also wanted to pretty much complete the face all of a piece in a single session. I started by painting a velatura over my underpainting, Basically thinned down middle tone flesh color so the shadows would partly show through and give me a map to paint over. I think I'll finish the rest of the figure before I go back to the face. I can see why Sargent wiped out his portraits so often. It's difficult to make it look broadly painted yet specific to the light and the model. Anyways I'll keep playing around with this until I kill it or something clicks.


"Strawberries" 8"x10" oil on linen on panel. I decided to make this a one shot, alla prima painting, so I was determined to complete it in a single session, and I just made it as the light was starting to fade as I put on the finishing touches. The tricky thing about painting in daylight is that it's a little bit harder to see, so I always leave time at the end of the session to look at the painting under the lamps and see if theres anything that needs fixing. I have a show coming up and I wanted to show my students an example of bravura painting.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Joe and Clawfeet

Both paintings are on 8"x10" panels. Joe was a three hour sketch done with my Tuesday night figure group. I've been trying to keep my procedure as simple as possible to get as much of a portrait as I can in a three hour time span. I guess the models must think I'm crazy because there they are posing nude and I'm painting their portrait. I've always felt the portrait was my achilles heel in my figure paintings so I've decided to really push myself harder in that direction.

The still life was something that I observed just hanging out underneath another setup and I decided to go for it. I'm trying to be more open and less programmatic about my process. I don't want to mix up my inspiration in a lab vile and hope to have the right formula. My focus is on the things that I love about painting and to make that the subject of the paintings, with that in mind, it really doesn't matter what I paint.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Faces

"Victoria" oil on linen on board, 8" x 10", "Julia" oil on linen on board, 16" x 20", Victoria was done in three hours with my saturday portrait group. I feel like I nailed it on this one, and now I've got to decide whether or not to work more on it at the next session or start a new one. The biggest concern is that my buddy Carlos isn't sure whether we have one more session with this model or three more. Aargh! Julia is a portrait that I've just started at my home studio. I have her posing facing a north window directly across from my easel. Like I tell my students. right now this painting is in it's ugly phase. Most paintings go through that. If you stick with it eventually it'll come around. I spent about two and a half hours on the block-in and then I started rushing a little at the end in panic mode, never a good idea. But I'm really enjoying the whole daylight painting thing. In fact, I'm going to make it the focus of my still lifes as well. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Cup with Pomegranates"

"Cup with Pomegranates" oil on linen, 11"x14". I drew directly on the canvas with thinned paint and just went for it. It's set up in my studio under modified natural ligh tflorescent bulbs. The modification is that I've noticed even the most daylight rated bulbs leave out some of the warmth of the reds and oranges so I aded a small incandescent spot to the mic and I seem to be getting a fuller spectrum now. I'm painting a bit more spontaneously now, I've got a new bumper sticker "WWSD?" What Would Sargent Do?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Portrait Studies

These are a couple of small (8"x10") portraits done in a single session, on a white, untoned, canvas board. My procedure is to draw directly on the canvas using raw umber thinned with oms. I'm drawing with a small synthetic bright made by Robert Simmons for acrylic paint. It makes very gestural, softish marks where I can do a light block-in. Once that's resolved I take a small synthetic round and re-draw my lines and terminator lines. I try to keep detail to a minimum at this point and concentrate on getting accurate shadow shapes. Than I wash in the shadow shapes with umber, add some secondary tones, and background. My next step is to identify the overall local flesh color of the model and thinly brush in the shadow tone and middle tone. Once I'm happy with that I begin to refine the larger planes working my way towards smaller forms without losing the big masses. I've been doing a lot of quick painting lately, demos and such, and it's really impacting my approach to painting.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Orange Crate

Wow! A lot of glare on this one! Anyways, this is a small 9"x12" still life that I have set up next to a window in my studio. My easel is arranged to be in the same light which makes it kind of nice when I'm trying to match the values and colors. I drew on the canvas directly with a brush dipped in oms and raw umber over a white canvas and then quickly washed in a full color thinned down underpainting. I'm using bristle flats on this one and trying to be a bit more spontaneous and less uptight about the details. My plan is to go for the big look first and then add details where I want them.