Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Models Away

While the models away the artist will play! My models not coming back for two weeks so I threw her necklace and shirt onto a mannequin and went to work. Then I was thinking about starting in on the background cloth and I happened to be looking out of the window and I thought "hmm, why not?" I've been looking at a book on Ingres lately and those early portraits with the Roman backgrounds are just smokin'. Unfortunately I don't live in Rome so my measley backyard will have to do for now. I decided to block it in on an overcast day because I want to keep it somewhat muted and in the background with little contrast. I had to put a mannequin by the window with a skull balanced on it to get the proportions right, I hope none of my nosy neighbors were looking in.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Slow Crawlings

I'm taking it reallll slow. My models not coming back for a few weeks but I got her to leave her shirt and necklace so I can keep busy. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Adult Students

These are two examples of paintings from the adult painting class I'm teaching at the National Art League, by Karen and Rhoda. There's a third one by my daughter Krista, which isn't completed yet. It's so nice to teach a class with a block of time longer than 40 minutes, and it's also great to be finally teaching adults. I love teenagers but they are soooo high maintenance!. Most of the classes at the N.A.L. work from photos so setting up a life painting class was quite a challenge. I had to bring my own spotlight, attach it to the ceiling, turn off all of the room lights and clip a small individual lamp with 15 watt bulbs to each easel. It took them a little getting used to working in relative darkness but it was the best way to keep the still life simply lit with a single light source. Both are on 11"x14" canvases. I had them draw directly with charcoal, do a wipe-out, make a small color study, mix up color strings, and then paint each form directly, tiling across the forms, wet-in-wet. For the next one I'm having them draw on paper first, and then transfer, so we can work on some basic block-in skills as well as painting issues.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wipeouts, Block-Ins, and Studies

"Julia Back From Moscow" 11"x14" oil on linen, "Julia Study" oil on canvas board, 5"x7", "Jug, Pan, and Vase" oil on linen, 9"x12", study 5"x7". As you can see it's been a busy weekend. I tweaked Julia's portrait until I finally got a likeness and I was happy with the block-in. The wipeout always loses a little something and then you have to find your way back again. The study went pretty well considering it's taking me a little getting used to painting a portrait in daylight. Next session I'm going to just go for it and start windowshading my way across.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


"Julia" 11"x14", "Jug, Pan, and Vase" 9"x12". Okay so after my little diversions I decided to get back to basics. Julia was blocked in in about 2 and a half hours. I was hoping to have it transfer ready but I'm going to seek further refinement in another drawing session. It already looks quite a bit like her but as Sargent used to say " a portrait is a painting where there's a little something wrong with the mouth". The still life and portrait are both being done under natural light, which lately seems to be my favorite. I realize now that I can have my faster sketchier work and my slower work, but to combine them is to take the middle road which can never be good. It's best to just let the two modes compliment each other.