August 26, 2014

Playing With Softening

I tried to keep some of the features softer in this portrait. Just an experiment towards better things. Even though most of the features are softer I tried to keep a certain amount of focus on the eyes. 

I think I need to get myself involved in a critique group if I can find one. I get a little unsure whether or not things are actually working.


Oil on Canvas Paper - 11 x 14

Male Model with Dark Shadows

Hmmm. Too dark? Perhaps. 

I do like paintings that are rather dark sometimes, for their moodiness and drama. But somehow in my studio the shadow side didn't seem quite so dark. I know when you look at dark areas for a long time the iris of your eye will open wider, letting more light in. This will allow you to see things better even when it's dark. I think that may have been what was happening here. In an effort to create a strong shadow I think my peepers were fooling me. That's why the shadow side looks a bit extreme to me now and he kind of looks like he has a black eye. 

Anyway, another lesson learned. There are still things I like here. The handling of the mouth, and a couple of other things, so not a total failure.



Oil on Canvas Panel - 12 x 16


Also, I think if I were going to do this painting over I would probably do a horizontal crop, something like this.


I think this works better. Hey, photoshop does a lot, but it can't cut my panel down so it fits in a frame. ;-)


August 18, 2014

Ed's Granddaughter Redux

My simple aim in this blog is that of a way to catalogue my progress as a painter. So to that end I will post not just what I consider my best work, but also some stinkers as they transpire. I think that an honest representation looking back will give me the best chance of gauging how far I might come.

I wasn't especially happy with the first version of Ed's Granddaughter two posts back (haven't learned how to link yet) so I thought I'd try it again with a different approach. I usually like to paint as directly as I can, while the painting is still wet. But this time I thought I'd paint from a photograph I took at the model session and paint in glazes, allowing the painting to dry between sessions.

Obviously I still have a lot to learn when it comes to glazing, but it was a good experience. One I think I might try again in the future when the mood strikes or when it seems appropriate. Anyway, here's the latest version.


Oil on canvas panel - 12 x 16

August 15, 2014

Replacement Model

Our Friday model didn't show up, and so what do you do? You corral the nearest teen and tell him he can get paid for just siting there. A teenage dream job. This young fellow probably never made such easy money, but it was well earned as he did a great job.

The shadows in this portrait were the hardest. I think some people might balk at the color, but I think I like it. Shadow colors can be very hard to get just right. I'm not sure I've learned the secret, but I think if at least my values are close I can at least feel somewhat satisfied. As they say: Value does all the work, color gets all the credit.

Even though you might have thought it was a painting of a girl, in fact it was a young guy with rather fine features, and I think I actually caught a decent likeness.


Oil on Canvas - 12 x 16








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