Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Portrait sketch of Jessica

oil on board

     This is a portrait sketch I did of Jessica. Jessica sat for me for about 5 hours in my small natural light studio in Philadelphia. Of course I then had to sit for her the next day, only fair right?! I was able to photograph the painting at our breaks throughout the day which is below. The tone I painted on was an old painting I had wiped out and ended up making a neat background. I feel really good about this one and she made such a great model and was so patient and diligent. Thanks Jess!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

'Particle Accelerator' a still life painting

 Nest on wood
oil on birch panel 
(courtesy of American Easel)

1st day - blocking in overall composition and developing concept.
The nest was found by my housemate a while back. I borrowed it from her studio since she was away on vacation. Thanks Jafung!

2nd day - reblocking nest as focal point and begin finishing pass.

End of 2nd day - nest completed.

This painting took three days total to complete. 
The area surrounding the nest was painted on the third day. It was sitting on my model stand, which is dark stained wood with paint and tape randomly stuck to it.
Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

2 Small rose paintings alla prima


   Both of these two little paintings were done in one day. About 6 hours each. I have discovered that bringing them indoors makes rendering the roses convincingly much easier. Because I have north light coming in from one direction I can discern how the light is falling across the form of the petals. It was much more difficult painting them outside on overcast days where the light was coming from all over the place. However, in the future I plan to tackle roses in outside in overcast lighting again, now that I have built more confidence in my abilities to paint roses, even though indoors...

Stages of a rose painting

photo of the set up

8x10 cotton canvas panel, toned neutral grey with acrylic paint

Began to scrub an oil tone over the painting...

    Oil tone or 'imprematura'. The main reason I chose to do this for this painting is that it creates a wet bed of paint to work into, very nice for the 'wet on wet' method. I discovered (as I have seen in the works of others) that this color also will be seen in the final painting, either seen as an undercolor through the final layer or small spots of color in unfinished areas. This can be very pleasing, especially if it compliments the overall dominant color of the subject.

Begin blocking in larger shapes of color, trying to feel out a good composition.

Color block in -  At this point my design is set. Now I can begin working smaller areas as they relate back to the whole.

The painting is 90% complete here. The flower is my focal point so I painted it first and have tried to keep everything else subordinate. I have to admit something, I had to leave to go to a meeting at this point and could not finish it in one day. The main pink rose and two leaves in the foreground I had to come back the next day to paint, so I rubbed them out so I could repaint them the next day....

finished painting

Below is a close up view of the rose's stages of development.

Thanks for checking in....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

    5 1/2 hour alla prima of roses cut from my tiny inner city backyard garden. Alla prima is still one of the most fun ways to paint. Didn't photo earlier stages of the painting because my camera battery was dead. Bummer.... but I feel I am starting to get the hang of how to paint roses which has been a bit of a beast thus far, I have had a few disasters which I did not post. Below is a close-up of the flowers in this painting. What I am learning and what I have observed from others who paint roses well, is that the rose is suggested. More of an impression, of course you still have to take into account how light hits the forms of the petals and also how the petals are somewhat translucent so light is also passing through the petals, but you have to work fast because the flowers will move as you paint them and there are so many petals that to render each one would be laborious and time consuming, a luxury one does not have if working from live flowers.
   Painting flowers can easily become cheesy, but it does not have to be. Flowers can also be an exploration of nature which has both it's lighter and darker viewpoints. I hope to have both in my work.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Portrait of S. Smith

Portrait of S. Smith

My friend Steve Smith was kind enough to sit for this portrait last year. This painting was done entirely from life. On the first day, Steve sat and we chatted and I began roughing in the composition, deciding where to place the head and hands, making sure to get his gesture and began blocking-in the color shapes. This gave me the beginning of the underpainting and I could sense how it was all going to work. The second session I continued the block in of color shapes and began some development in the face and hands. This now was a solid underpainting that I could refer to as I worked on smaller areas. The next three sessions I worked on developing and finishing the face. I usually break it up into sections, such as the eyes and brow one day and the nose and beard the next, and work each section wet into wet. After the head was done from life I began working on the hands. Each hand took me the better part of a day, or about 6 hours each. Once the head and hands were done Steve's job was pretty much done also. I borrowed his clothes and put them on a dummy to work on while he was not there. Of course the dummy did not have the same gesture as Steve, so it was important that I tried to stay true to the gesture of the under painting while working from the dummy. Painting the clothing is much like painting a still life and having the clothing available to paint from life was much more preferable to working from photos as you can see the color, etc. a lot better.
This is my first large commissioned portrait. I hope to do more.....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Portrait sketches

3 hour portrait demonstration
Tampa Museum of Art
Portrait Society of America
Jan. 28 2012

3 hr two-tone portrait demonstration
Studio Incamminati
Nov. 2011