Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Portrait, Oil on Board

"Thoughts of Spring"

Every artist has a favorite model and Amber is without a doubt, mine. She has beautiful bone structure and at the same time a certain softness about her that makes her a pleasure to draw and paint. I did this portrait from a photo that was taken some time back when Amber was pregnant with her son Joshua. It was a rainy, cold day and Amber was standing at the window on a short break. It was the perfect shot so I asked her to hold still while I adjusted the camera. I took hundreds of photos that day but this one was the best. I prefer to work from life, but often my budget or time do not make that possible. Photos can sometimes lead to a stiff or an unnatural looking portrait. This is because when you work from life, the model moves. So the work tends to be a composite of many poses which come together to lend the portrait a certain sense of life. Photos, on the other hand, don't move and this can cause the eye to focus on each portion of the photo separately making for a hard lined and fragmented painting.  I think, however, that I managed to retain Amber's special qualities as well as her quiet moment of hopefulness in this portrait.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Portrait, Oil on Linen

Portrait of Jenna

This small portrait was originally meant to be a two or three day study. The model was sitting for a three or four week pose and my intentions were to do a couple of different studies from different positions. For this reason, the lay in was done in paint rather than taking the time for a careful drawing. However the block in came out so well that my teacher suggested I follow through with it and make it a three week full portrait. I can see changes I'd like to make on it now, but over all it came out pretty well. I love working from life but the reality is that it's hard to do unless you have several people willing to help pay for the pose. Three to four weeks is a long time. I suppose as I improve, it will take less time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nude Figure Painting, Oil on Linen

"Morning Thoughts"

This piece was one of the last ones done at school before the summer break. A limited palette of only a few colors was used here. I was quite happy with this piece although I think I still have a long way to go.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Male Nude

This piece was done during the school year and was one of my first limited palette paintings. The model is "Hoagie", a gentleman who poses for most of the schools and ateliers in the Seattle area. While I still have a ways to go here, I felt that I was beginning to turn the corner with this piece.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Venus de Milo

One of the projects we had to do at school before starting on Limited Palette, was a cast study of warm and cool light. At first glance, this appears to be a black and white painting, but if you look closer, you will see warm orangy tones in it. Done with an extremely limited palette of burnt sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Naples Yellow and flake white (no black), my job was to paint as accurately as I could, the values and the relative temperature changes I saw in the cast. The project took about a month or two and marked the end of my mostly monochromatic months at the atelier.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Still Life Study of Chinese Tea Pot and Rose Hips, 12" x 11"

It's been a very busy and hectic year. While I've been a full time artist for years, sometimes working 60 hour weeks, I never dreamed that the top item on my bucket list could be more stressful than that. Attending an atelier is both an exhillerating and exhausting journey. I attend four days a week (day five I have to teach at my own studio so I have enough money to attend school the other four). Because I live so far from Seattle where Georgetown Atelier is located, I have to spend those three nights with a friend and a relative. Then I drive the three hours home late on Thursday after class.

I'm on a brief vacation now and I have quite a few pieces I'll be posting over the coming weeks to show off a bit. This small piece which is only about 11" x 12" is a small color study for a larger still life I'm still working on at school. We generally do these as they help to iron out problems which occur during the painting process before we actually get to them. Some areas didn't come out well in the photo. Another student took them at the atelier during the past two weeks and forwarded this to me so I can't account for the the faded area in the lower right hand corner. But otherwise, it's a good representation. The edges need a bit of work and you can tell it's not a finished painting in and of itself, but over all, I'm pretty happy with it. The large piece is proving to be quite a challenge. I'll post it when it's done and perhaps share some of it's development along the way.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Reclining Nude, Oil on Linen

"Imaginings" Although I've been turning out a lot of studies and small pieces for school, I haven't produced anything I deemed worthy of posting. I liked this piece though. It's the last monochromatic piece I produced before heading into a limited palette and warm/cool temperature studies. It was four weeks in the making and I hope you like it. I'll be making some changes later based on suggestions by my instructor and I'll post them once I do. I have 12 weeks left until the sumnmer break and I'm feeling a lot like a horse headed home to the stable. I'll be glad when the summer comes.