Working with a different model

While Catherine is basking in the sun down in Florida we a painting away up here in the Upper Delaware Valley. Shoveling snow and sharpening Yak Tracks. But we have a fantastic new model . I’m starting with bigger canvases. This is 20 x 30 oil on canvas. It’s not quite finshed. The textural details are all that’s left

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The piece bellow is a 30 x 40 piece. The biggest figure piece I’ve ever done. The figure is pretty much painted the ‘background’ need a lot of work. A great pose.

Working big like this is challenging for me. Managing the amount of paint on the palette is a real challenge. My structured palette helps but I really need to use a bigger palette

Untitled 30 x 40 oil on canvas WIP

Untitled 30 x 40 oil on canvas WIP

This months life drawing session

Some short poses from Tuesday nights session. 15, 10 and 5 minutes.

The element of time comes into play when drawing short poses. What do you do. How do you approach the paper. Try and express whole figure or just the essence. The sensitive placement of the hand. The elegant point of the toe or the rhythmic twist of the torso? Mostly there is little tome to choose. You make some quick measures and attack. First with the charcoal then with the chalks. No time to recheck proportions. Just trying to get the feelings.

It’s not hard when the model is a dancer, an artist.

Charcoal and chalks on Strathmore Toned Grey Paper

Charcoal and chalks on Strathmore Toned Grey Paper

Charcoal and chalks on Strathmore Toned Grey Paper

Charcoal and chalks on Strathmore Toned Grey Paper

Charcoal and chalks on Strathmore Toned Grey Paper

Charcoal and chalks on Strathmore Toned Grey Paper

A portrait swap!

This is a painting of Josh Bills. Part of a portrait swap we are doing on my artist forum. OpenStudio. Learning to Paint Realism with Oils

Josh Bill oil on linen panel 18 x 12 2018

Josh Bill oil on linen panel 18 x 12 2018

There are 4 pairs of painters. Each painting the other from photographs provided. There are to objectives in this challenge. First assuring that a good photograph is provided and understood. Second objective is managing value and color focusing on spectral color.

I added to my personal challenge by selecting Geneva Paint as my palette. Geneva is a more liquid self leveling paint with a slow drying formula, I started by mixing my 12 color pallet from Ultramarine Blue, Cad Yellow and Pyrrole Rubine. Then mixing set of tertiary semi-neutrals.

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The painting got it’s start as a half size touch painting on paper. I worked out rough color, value and likeness. I tried to get a handle on the Geneva and groused a lot. The color is good but it hard to handle the paint with an expressive brush.

sketch 9 x 6 on Strathmore oil paper

sketch 9 x 6 on Strathmore oil paper


I made a outline “master” from the painted sketch. I projected to sketch to the final canvas. A panel I had made with Raphael linen on wood panel. I had to make a lot of corrections to the features. The Painting took over a week because off the slow dry characteristic of the Geneva paint. It would have been 3 or 4 days using Lukas paints.

It is still not finished. Some spots are still wet. Very wet. Need to do a little glazing. All in all I happy with the painting and the experience.

Palette at the end showing tertiary neutrals and mixes

Palette at the end showing tertiary neutrals and mixes

Waxing nostalgic

Cleaning out some draws to make room for stuff that I’ll clean out in a few years for more stuff. I found these. From my days on Beacon Hill at Kennedy Studios. Primo’s was around the corner. I did these and a lot more in trade for food. Yummy. I had a lot of fun those days. Too much fun if that’s possible. I was a cartoonists working in the alternative newspaper scene. Mostly for the Real Paper. Sometimes for the Boston Phoenix, the dark side.

Here is a Phoenix piece.



We just returned from vacation

The show was a success. Our vacation was good though we both suffered from bronchitis requiring a visit to urgent care . We did get out to Monhegan Island. A very serine place. Not being up to a hike we shopped around a bit had a magical scone then lunch at the big hotel. Very nice. When we started lunch it was hot and humid. We walked out into what can only be called a sea change. Much cooler and drier.

Sea change...  iPhoneX

This was the first thing I saw when I walked out. I dropped my bags and grabbed my iPhone and shot this. The always unique Monhegan light combined with a shining sea reflecting the incoming cold front. This simple image captures. the stark beauty of Monhegan Island. And may I add the exceptional camera in the iPhoneX.

Of course I packed my painting gear as always and didn't paint a thing. This year I had an excuse.

A bigger take on Kitchen Art

My paintings of food have been mostly little. 9 x 12, 6 x 8 or 6 x 6. Fun little expressions. Excuses to fool around with paint. While looking at  a 30 x 40 canvas I had hanging around I got the idea to painting a big piece of fruit on this canvas. I've painted pairs of pears many time over the years so I went back to that comfortable story.

Pairs  oil on canvas 30 x 40 2018

Pairs  oil on canvas 30 x 40 2018