February 24, 2014


What did I learn in this particular painting?

I think I learned it's possible to simplify something as intricate as cornrowed hair. FYI, the models cornrows were actually a mix of white and some gray and light brown strands (I'm pretty sure they were extensions), hence why the braids look so light.

Anyway, I also think I need to learn to avoid my aversion to blending, especially when it comes to faces. The models face looks a little blotchy or uneven in this jpeg. It certainly wasn't in real life. So the question becomes, is it possible to make skin look smooth while laying down tiles of color? Or would it be better to blend those tiles together? Should I do it throughout the face, or just here and there strategically? That's a line I'm still trying to figure out.

One other thing I learned was that you can get an awful lot of color out of mixing just four colors together. For the heck of it I limited my palette to just Yellow Ochre, Cad Red Light, Ivory Black, and White. This is what's known as the Zorn palette, after Anders Zorn, the Swedish painter  whose work is amazing. I just ordered a book of his work and it's one amazing piece after another, especially his watercolors. It should be illegal to have that much talent. But I digress.

Practice, practice, practice.

11 x 14 - Oil on Canvas Paper

February 12, 2014

Old Gentleman

So here's the finish of the color study that I had posted earlier. The color study definitely helped. Even though it was done from a photograph that I'd taken I do try hard to approach it as though it were from life as much as possible.
The thing I'm struggling with at the moment is level of finish. It's a hard target to hit for me at this stage of my development. I don't want to noodle my paintings so that they stay fresh, but I'm often not sure if I've taken it far enough. I plan on taking a workshop in a couple of months and I'm hoping the instructor can help me evaluate this issue and maybe some others.

Old Gentleman
11 x 14 - Oil on Linen

February 06, 2014

Gerbera Daisy

Recently finished, may do a little touching up. Once again some things I like, some I don't.

I wonder, will I ever be totally happy with a painting. I think I'm still trying to find myself as a painter. Or maybe I'm just too hard on myself. 

Ok Chris, snap out of it. Too much self-indulgent introspection. Get back to work.

Gerbera Daisy
8 x 10 - Oil on Canvas

February 03, 2014

Male Head Study

Pretty unimaginative title. But once again I neglected to get the models name.

This 2-1/2 hour long pose was about 99% done at the sitting. I did 2 very minor touch-ups where canvas was left showing and that was it. Also, you might notice a few things in the proportions are a bit off, and (not making excuses) it's mainly because the model was shifting around quite a bit. I could have corrected the painting but I thought, what the heck, and just decided to leave it alone.

Head Study
11 x 14 - Oil on Canvas Paper