Thursday, January 17, 2019

Figure Drawing Practice

Playing with some new materials - powdered charcoal, charcoal pencil. It didn't go well -- a struggle until I figure out how to use them.

I intended to create a dark background, and pull out the lights. Abandoned that idea halfway, and tried to salvage another drawing I did in  a sepia colored pencil.

Will try again!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

'Urban Landscape III': New York Public Library (20" x 20" Oil)

If you are from New York City, you will recognize this landmark.

Two lion statues -- 'Patience,' and 'Fortitude' -- grace the Fifth Avenue entrance of the New York Public Library. This one is Fortitude (I think)!

Monday, January 07, 2019

'Urban Landscape II': (20" x 20" Oil)

A recent Chinese fortune said, "Persistence and determination will be rewarded". I'll keep that one taped to my easel!

With that advice in mind, here's a crit of my 2nd urban landscape:
  • The good: I'm finally working in a series. (It only took me 18 years!) And, I tried to be looser.
  • The bad:  I really don't know how to harmonize colors! 
I'm really looking forward to an online class on color with Patti Mollica, which should help.

'Urban Landscape I': (20"x 20" Oil )

Here's my first painting of the New Year, for an urban landscape series I'm starting. My crit:
  • Keep things looser. Too tight.
  • Plan the composition -- a single focal point would make it much stronger. The images below show how that improves things.

This demonstrates the value of doing a thumbnail, trying out different compositions, before you begin.  Lesson learned!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

"Playing the Ukelele": (10" x 10" Oil Painting)

Here's my friend Ted, playing his ukelele. It's a pretty good likeness, but painting from a photo has it's limitations!

This series of images shows the progress over 3 painting sessions. Hope he likes it!

Study: Girl with Blue hair (Oil Painting, 16" x 20")

I wasn't going to post this, except that it's an interesting composition experiment. I turned my canvas sideways, instead of a typical portrait format. That's about all I can say!

Friday, December 07, 2018

Ink Drawing, with a Tree Branch

Here's a fun way to loosen up: grab a branch off a tree, a bottle of ink, and some paper, and draw with it!  That's was one exercise in David Fox's drawing workshop. He put a bunch of tree branches on the floor, gave us some ink, and away we went.

Standing 3 feet away, and having very little control over your line, shows you that being in control isn't as important as you think it is!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Study: Girl With Green Hat (16" x 20" Oil)

A few weeks back, I followed my painting teacher's advice: spend more time painting, less time on the initial drawing. Tried it again today.

In all honesty, I prefer to begin with a more solid drawing ... that's just my comfort zone. But in Ismael's class, I'll follow his advice, to see where it leads.

"Harlan": Horse Portrait (16" x 20" Pastel)

A commissioned portrait of a very handsome (and well-loved) horse named Harlan. My process:
  • Take and edit photos 
  • Do pen and ink sketches, to work out pose and colors (see below). I liked some of the sketches, so I also turned them into notecards. 
  • Decide on a favorite (the owner chose the tan background).
This was done as a Christmas present. On Christmas morning, here's the feedback I received:

"Your painting is a HUGE hit!!!!! Nicole loves it, and also loves the cards!"

That was the goal:) Merry Christmas, Nicole!

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Study: Young Girl (18" x 24" Oil Portrait)

"Paint looser! Less detail! You're making a painting, not an architectural drawing ..."

Ismael Checo says this to me every week. So today, I tried to be more spontaneous ... something completely different for me.

A good exercise -- less accurate, more painterly? And ... completely out of my comfort zone.