Sunday, October 26, 2014

"Maraschino" (in progress)

"Maraschino" oil on panel, 12"x16". The top half of the painting is mostly done, except for some touch-ups. Because I'm painting in natural light I've only been able to work on this one sporadically. I'm excited about my progress so far. My paintings don't always match the idea that I have in my head, but this one comes pretty close. I used a fishbowl to float the cherries and weighted down the boat with pennies. Then I placed it on a glass filled with pennies also, so the boat wouldn't spin. I'm really inspired by the amazing lengths the artist Teresa N Fischer goes to set up her still lifes, which she chronicles on her blog. Check it out if you haven't already. I'm going to start on the green cloth today, which I can se is going to have to be tempered down a bit. I'll push the colors more towards blue and away from the yellow spectrum. If I could, I would probably only paint in daylight at this point. Daylight bulbs are okay but nothing beats the real thing! Sometimes one medium can lead to changes in your primary medium. I've mysteriously enough, been asked to do a lot of colored pencil demos lately and working on the white ground has influenced me to skip my usual raw umber wash in and begin the underpainting directly with color. I've got two paintings going along those lines. I have this idea that the color will be better, we'll see.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Finishing A Portrait

This shows all of the progress shots of "Phoebe" 9"x12", oil on panel, including the finished painting. It's always hard to know exactly when a portrait is finished. In the way that I work, wet in wet, re-touching areas becomes a very tricky business. The idea is to proceed slowly and carefully enough that very little touching up is necessary. What happens very often when you re-touch is that the new brushwork doesn't quite mate with the old, even if you oil out. I did do a little retouching on the face. I wasn't quite happy with the highlights around the cheek and the lower lip was too prominent. So in spite of my apprehension I went ahead and re-worked those areas. What usually happens when you add paint over an alla prima style painting is that you have to pretty much repaint all of the adjacent areas until the new areas seem to harmonize with the old. There's no way of telling how far that will take you, sometimes it can mean repainting the entire picture. Anyways, I'm very happy (for now) with this portrait done entirely from life. Phoebe and I got to talking about what a portrait might communicate about the model and she asked what did I see when I looked at the portrait? I said that overall the impression I get is of a young woman who is very earnest, serious about what's to come in life, but still very much a young woman caught up in the things that young woman are caught up in. Hopefully that comes across to others as well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Some New Things and Progress Shots

I've got a few things going simultaneously, always a lot easier when I'm of from my day job. I'm still working on a portrait once a week and I'm continuing to work in daylight on some of my still lifes.
"Strawberries, Canoe, and Oranges" oil on panel, 16" x 20". The fruit is completed. Not my usual method but when painting fruit, you can't wait around for the rest of the painting to catch up. You only have a few days before you lose that initial "bloom" that captured your eye in the first place. I've been looking a lot at Chardin (yet again), and I've decided that I kind of like the idea that my paintings clearly spring from that tradition but have a little bit of "magic realism " in them. I always think of that great Chardin painting that's in the met with the cat and the huge orange balanced precariously on top of a silver urn.
"Reveille" oil on panel. 16"x12". I set this one up thinking how great it would be to paint all of these metallic textures, Then a theme suggested itself, that of a wandering soldier ( I have to stop reading "Game of Thrones") Anyway this shows an umber wash in with the beginning of a color pass.
A little more progress on "Phoebe" oil on panel, 9"x12". I hope I'm coming close to capturing the beautiful copper toned quality of her skin. I have to watch that I don't let the paint film get too thin. I have a tendency when I'm really trying hard to capture a subtle turn of not using enough paint so I may have to repaint parts of the cheek and forehead. If this painting goes well I have it in mind to expand the original drawing into a larger painting that incorporates more background. I hope Phoebe is up for it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More "Phoebe"

I'm making good progress on the finishing pass for "Phoebe" oil on linen panel, 9"x12". I'm finding a lot more color in her skin tones now, so I'm breaking out the cad orange, and alizarin crimson. She's on vacation in Jamaica so hopefully she won't come back with too dark of a tan or I'll have to go by what's already painted.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My First Commission

A friend of mine recently asked me to do a painting for his wife on the theme of movies and plays. She had seen a painting of mine from a while back that featured two black masks and she wanted something along those lines. Even though most of the painting fits the wifes interests I did manage to sneak in my friends love of home improvement projects by using a piece of plywood as a base and sheetrock in the background. The pic below shows the underpainting stage in development. "Attributes of Drama" oil on panel, 12"x16"

Saturday, July 12, 2014

More "Phoebe", and progress on a new still life

"Phoebe" oil on panel, 9"x12", in progress, "Cherry Tomatoes, and Books" oil on panel, 9"x12". I'm making good progress on the portrait. I started off with a raw umber underpainting over which I painted a color wash underpainting. Today I spent about three hours putting a finishing pass on the eyes. The still life is a new small painting, 9"x12", which I'm painting using daylight. It's taking a little getting used to but I'm enjoying the process.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

More "Phoebe" (color wash underpainting)

I've just finished another 3 hour session with Phoebe. This is still the underpainting stage, so I'm not going to hit the mark exactly where I want, but I'm trying to get as close as I can with thinned down paint. I'm using Liquin on oil primed linen glued to a Masonite panel. Even though it might appear as though I'm going really slow, I actually feel like I'm going too fast and I keep admonishing myself to SLOW DOWN!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

New Portrait

This is the study and beginning color wash underpainting for "Phoebe" oil on panel, 9"x12". I usually make my studies a bit more poster like ala Tony Ryder, but I decided to do a bit more modeling. It gives me a chance to dress rehearse the large form modeling on a small scale. In the larger version I'm slowly crawling over the forms using paint thinned with Liquin. Once this is complete I'll begin my finishing pass. I'm really enjoying painting Phoebe she reminds me of one of Sargents models!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I'm Back!

I finally got a new computer that allows me back onto BlogSpot.(although I keep getting these weird messages, I might have to download google chrome) I've missed posting here so once I get my photos up and running I'll start posting process shots, etc: