January 25, 2014


Another Friday portrait at Bay Arts. This gentleman walked in and I thought "wow," what a face.
He had such an interesting look, I could easily see him dressed as a Russian cossack or a Canadian fur trapper. Anyway, he was really fun to paint. I hope I did him justice.

Update: After I originally posted this entry I started looking at the painting at home and some things started bothering me about it. The eyes were looking a little small, a tendency I'm noticing more and more, and I felt like I should be pushing the color more as it looked a little monochromatic to me.

Anyway, here now are the before and after versions of Rudy. In the after I widened the eyes some and I tried to push the intensity of color around the eyes and other places as well.



11 x 14 - Oil on Canvas paper

January 18, 2014


Another attempt at a still life. 

I set up this little still life just for some practice. Because I like trying new things I purchased some Maroger medium. I know it's the kind David Leffel and his group like to use so I thought I'd give it a try. Honestly I see why they like it. It produces such a beautiful consistency and richness to the paint. Especially in backgrounds. It really helps create a viscosity that allows the paint to flow off of your brush without losing its intensity. It's hard to explain but it just feels great. The big drawback? It's kind of pricey. I don't see myself using it for every painting just because I don't think it's always the effect I'm after, but I'm not sure, I'll have to play with it some more.

This is probably a no-no, but I used the medium just in the background after completing a couple of passes with a medium that I mix up. I only did this because the Maroger had come in the mail well after I'd started the painting. If it's not the most archival or orthodox way of doing things who cares. I did this painting to learn and I feel that I have.

Anyway, here it is in 2 stages.

11 x 14 - Oil on linen

January 15, 2014


I did this painting around July of last year. Unfortunately I failed to make a good copy of it for myself, but my co-worker, the person I did the painting for took a snapshot of it in her home so I could at least have something for my records. I know better now.

Well, this was another painting I gave away as a gift (why do I keep doing that?). I noticed the photo she had hanging up and discovered it was her granddaughter. I'd asked her if I could paint it, just because I thought she was a beautiful little girl and she was happy to say "yes." With her permission I included it in our company gallery show. 

I guess if you see something brings real joy to someone it's okay to give it away once in a while.

Anyway, it's not the best picture, but you get the idea.

11 x 14 - Oil on Canvas

January 11, 2014


From this past Friday's figure painting session at Bay Arts. I might work on this one a bit more. Not sure.

11 x 14 - Oil on Canvas Paper

1st Stage

I notice that a lot of artists like to show the various stages that their paintings take as it progresses.

I don't know that I'm accomplished or advanced enough that anyone would get anything out of seeing how i progress through a painting, but for what it's worth (and my own edification) I'm including this painting to show how I'll be approaching this one in particular. 

First off, to let you know this painting is from a photograph that I took of a gentleman at the Malvern Great Trails Festival this past year. It was a quick snapshot with my phone and the color and clarity were not great, but I think I can still work with it. So I thought the best thing to do was to try a preliminary color study to work out some issues. This image is my color rough/study. You'll notice that there are some little gaps in paint coverage, but I think through this I will be able to tell where this paining could use either some strengthening of color or some increased contrast, as the photograph itself kind of flattened much of the value variation.

It's interesting. I did this rough in around 2 hrs., but even though it's not the finished product there actually are some things I like about it. For one thing, not having the (self-imposed) pressure of knowing that it's going to be a finished piece really frees you up. Consequently you paint a little more boldly. It's important, I think, to remember not only the lessons of "how to" paint, but also how to feel when you paint. Relax! Have fun! 

After all it's not brain surgery.

Stay tuned for the finish to come.

Old Gent
 Color Study on Canvas Board - 8" x 10"

January 03, 2014

Elvis With Pattern

I have a neighbor who is super into Elvis. She and her husband have always been good neighbors so I thought I'd do this little painting as a gift, as a kind of way to say "thanks for being such good people."

It's the first time I've tried painting on board. It has some advantages so I can see why some people like it, but for now I think I'll be sticking with either canvas or linen. It doesn't have to be stretched, but I think I like the "pull" of canvas and linen. I don't know, I guess it's just a "feel" thing. I also think I prefer working a little larger than this. I like the freedom to move my arm a little more. This painting is also much tighter than I prefer. The pattern I put in the background was one I designed. I kept it a little looser than the portrait part, but overall the whole piece is not really the way I want to paint going forward.

I don't intend to do a lot of paintings like this, but who knows. All in all it was still a fun painting to do.

8 x 8 - Oil on Wood