Original Artwork   Fine Art   Commissions   Exhibits   Teaching   Contact   Demos   Tutorials   Facebook

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Drawing From Life Workshop - Jan 14 - Mar 11, 2013

This January I will be offering a drawing class at Leigh Square focusing on drawing from life.  The class will be held from 10-1pm on Mondays from January 14 until March 11.

This workshop will provide you with the skills needed for creating realistic three dimensional drawings from life using graphite pencil.  We will use several methods to progress from drawing a 2 dimensional image accurately and then progress to drawing a three dimensional object from life using casts and still life objects. 

More information on registration can be found on my website at Workshops & Lessons

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Graphite and Charcoal Portrait Commission - Joanne

Graphite & Charcoal Portrait Commission
Joanne - 11x14" on Arches

This is a portrait commission I have been working on this week.  I think her face and hair are completed other than minor changes I come back tomorrow with fresh eyes and say "what was I thinking".  The shirt needs to be a touch darker but will finish tomorrow as it will give me time to ponder her face while I darken the stripes on her sailor shirt.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Graphite & Charcoal Dog Portrait Commission - Smokey Portrait

Smokey - Graphite and Charcoal Portrait
Well I think Smokey's portrait is completed but I will give my eyes a rest and have another peek in the morning. I keep seeming to get lost in his fur, which I am sure made him so much fun to hug so I want to get it right ;)

Monday, December 03, 2012

Graphite & Charcoal Dog Portrait Commission - Smokey Update #3

Many more layers have been added and removed to build up the fur but still more work to be done.  Online the past update does not look that much different but in real life the transitions to dark and light values are much softer and the depth in the fur is much better.  I refined his markings a bit more as well as his eye and mouth but a bit more work needs to be done to really help them to settle in more convincingly.

I see fur when I close my eyes...awk, time for a break :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Winter Artisan's Fair - December 1 & 2, 2012

Acrylic Matted & Framed

Wew, I am finally all packed up for tomorrows Artisan Fair at Leigh Square in Port Coquitlam.

The fair runs from 11-6pm on Saturday Dec 1 and Sunday Dec 2 from 12-4pm.   The square will also be hosting Christmas celebrations such as photos taken with Santa, holiday carols, and the Lighting of the Tree.  There will be hot coco & craft activities and of course, some great pieces of art and crafts.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The More I Learn.....

Block In - Life Drawing
.... the more I realize how much I have to learn! Today was the first day of a 5-day workshop with Gregory Mortenson, so exciting :) I spent the afternoon working on the above block-in, which after stepping away from the easel, actually looks not too shabby, in my humble opinion.  Of course most of the nice bits are areas that Gregory fixed after I kept reverting back to my evil old ways of drawing in specific, rounded features rather than focusing on the large shapes using straight lines.

The rest of the students had attended the first week which was spent drawing the model which I so wish I could have attended as I have already learned (if not yet absorbed and applied) so much about drawing and I am really excited to practice more.  So you can look forward to (or dread) many cast drawings in the near future.  I did manage a few shapes on the right side of her face that I am quite proud of and I am so looking forward to tomorrow. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Graphite & Charcoal Dog Portrait Commission - Smokey Update #2

Wow, it is a good think I love drawing fur! Many layers have been added to build up the fluffiness of Smokey's fur and now I can start working on the details such as his markings and facial features.

Areas of his fur also need to be worked in so that the transitions are more subtle but I had to stop as I was starting to lose sight of the dog through the fur!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Graphite & Charcoal Dog Portrait Commission - Smokey

Graphite & Charcoal Dog Portrait Commission - Smokey
This is a dog portrait I am currently working on of a beautiful dog, Smokey, who passed away recently.    It is at a bit of a funny stage right now (I think I always say that...but it is true which makes it hard to post  ;)) but artwork can look pretty funny until the layers are built up more.

I have built up most of the darker values and then will continue to model his fur until it looks soft and fluffy.  I have laid his eyes, nose and mouth as well but they are quite loose right now but once the fur has been built up I will refine them more.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Positively Petite Opening Reception - Thursday November 15, 2012 from 7-9pm

Converging - Acrylic on Canvas
Well tonight is the Opening Reception for the Positively Petite show at Place des Arts where I have 3 miniature oil paintings and 5 miniature acrylics on display.

This month has been super busy so I am really looking forward to a glass of wine and browsing all the artwork at the miniature show and crafts at the Christmas Boutique.

If you are in the area, please stop by for a visit!

Place des Arts
1120 Brunette Ave
Coquitlam, BC
Opening Reception: Nov 15th, 7pm to 9pm
Show: Nov 15 - Dec 21
 m a p

Sunday, November 04, 2012

5th Annual Winter Artisan's Fair - December 1 & 2, 2012

Enter from the East
Oil on Panel
5x7" Framed
16x20" Framed
Acrylic on Wrapped Canvas

Switching gears and starting to get ready for the Winter Artisan's Fair in Port Coquitlam.  I really enjoy this fair as it feels like a kick off to the Christmas season and has become a tradition for me to attend.  I guess you are never too old to start new traditions :)

I will be bringing various pieces from miniatures to mid sized pieces in acrylic, watercolor and oil. While I have been spending a fair bit of my time drawing from life lately, I have managed to squeeze in some playtime with acrylics for a change of pace and will be bringing several cool little acrylic abstracts I have been working on.

If you are in Port Coquitlam (1100-2253 Leigh Square - Behind City Hall) over the weekend, please stop by and say hello :)  The fair runs from 11am until 6pm on Saturday December 1st and from 12 until 4pm on Sunday.  There will be door prizes as well so get your butts on over and fill out a ballot...hmm, now what should I donate for a door prize....hmmm....

Friday, November 02, 2012

Positively Petite Show - Place des Arts
November 15 - December 21

A Quiet Spot - Oil on Panel
Several of my miniatures in acrylic and oil will be on display this year at the Positively Petite exhibit at Place des Arts. There will be many artists 2D and 3D artwork on display both for the Petite show as well as for the Christmas Boutique.
The exhibit runs from November 15 to December 21. The Opening Reception is Thursday, November 15 from 7:00 to 9:00pm, in conjunction with the official opening of Place des Arts' Christmas Boutique. Wine and cheese will be served and many of the artists and friends will be there to chat. Check out Place des Arts website for hours and address.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cast Study in Graphite Pencil - Front View

Cast Study - Graphite on Paper
Another angle on my cast studies.  I actually really enjoyed drawing her this time maybe the angle or maybe the practicing is helping but it did not seem as much of a struggle.

I am using a much different process than the grid method which I usually use for drawing.  The drawing starts with only four measurements, the top, bottom, middle and side.  An envelope is then created using straight lines and angles and then you progressively moving inwards from the general to specific. 

My problem in the past as I am sure many people have is that I get caught up in the details.  By  focusing on shapes and angles I am hoping to obtain a more naturalistic drawings.  Oh yes, and lots and lots of practice!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Acrylic Workshop - November 17 & 18, 2012

There are still a few spots left for my upcoming workshop Adventures in Acrylics. I just finalized my lesson plan, it is so hard to limit the number of projects to fit into two days!  I am really excited to be able to play with acrylics again as I have been focusing so much on drawing and oil painting that I did not realize how much I missed acrylics.  If only there were 10 of me!

I have several cool projects designed as well as some practical color theory exercises to help build confidence when working with colors without getting too technical. 

This course is suitable for beginner and intermediate artist.  Notes for the course and templates will be provided

The workshop will be held at the Gathering Place in Port Coquitlam (Leigh Square)

November 17 & 18, 2012
Saturday & Sunday from 11am-5pm

If you are interested in this workshop, you can register directly online by phone at 604-927-8400 or contact me at info@stateofartportraits.com for more information.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cast Study in Graphite Pencil

Graphite Pencil Cast Study #2
Today I did a quick graphite study of a cast I purchased last year while out Christmas shopping.  I always seem to find stuff for myself when shopping for Christmas gifts...hmmm.

I could go on for hours on this but I forced myself to stop again as my main purpose with these daily sketches it to work on my proportions from life and the quality of my line work.

Unfortunately, I hate measuring and  I love form modeling so I keep getting side tracked and am spending too much time on form but I guess that is my reward for putting in the time each day to practice.

I did a study of this cast yesterday which turned out very badly but I though I would post it anyway.  Notice how I spent more time on the background and shading to avoid the issue of a really poor drawing? Awk ;)  I think I will continue to work on this cast until I am happy with the final sketch and then start shifting it around for practice on different angles.  

Graphite Pencil Cast Study #1

Set up of cast and my next victim

I thought I would post a sketch of my set up as well as I love seeing other artist's set ups.  I am just using natural light from the window on the left and while my easel is at the same level in the photo it is not while I draw as the table the cast is on is too low.  I want to get a bookcase which I can adjust the shelves at eye level depending on whether I am standing or sitting to I can look directly across at my subject as, obviously as you can see in the photo, the errors become glaringly obvious when they are side by side.

The ugly guy above the cast on the table I got a few months back and am looking forward to drawing as well.  He is actually made from plaster and weighs a ton!  The cast on the table is some sort of resin which was a icky brown textured color..so I quickly painted it white, so much better!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Graphite Portrait Sketch

Graphite Portrait Sketch - 8x10"
Well I was short on studio time today and even shorter on energy so rather than work from the mirror I grabbed a reference photo I had on hand to draw from.

I plan on doing a painting from this photo after the workshop in November so I though it would also serve as a good study.  I took a couple of measurements and dived in.  Of course now I look at it and realize I should have measured more carefully after doing the initial block in as the face seems a touch too long. 

So I am leaving this sketch as ... I could work on this for several hours just on the hair alone...so I had to pry myself away from the easel. 

I probably won't get a chance to draw in the studio tomorrow but I am hoping the turkey effect takes over and I can catch someone sleeping on the couch to draw :)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Life Drawing Practice - Sketch #1

Portrait Graphite Sketch
Self Portrait Sketch
Well nothing like an upcoming portrait workshop from life to get me moving! Actually I had planned on dedicating a big chunk of time this year to focusing on life drawing but knowing I have to draw and then paint a portrait from life in less than 5 days is HUGE incentive to put in the practice hours.

This is my effort for today and while there are so many areas that I am not happy with, it is what it is and I think overall it is a good start. I find drawing from a mirror tricky and it seems to take me quite a while to get my bearings but then things get better and more natural feeling.

My goal is to do a sketch a day (at least weekdays) either in the mirror, from a cast I bought last year or from a family member if I can pin them down long enough.  I am hoping if I put the hours in before the workshop in November I can focus more of my efforts on form modeling, color mixing and paint handling and that the drawing stages will come easily....plus it is just a whole lot of fun!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Amazing Workshop Opportunity
with Gregory Mortenson

I just signed up to take a 5 day workshop with Gregory Mortenson in Vancouver, BC (well, Richmond actually but close enough).

So excited to be taking such an amazing workshop and not have to travel to the states to do so! If you are interested sign up fast as there are only 10 spots and I am sure they will fill up quickly!  You can register using the link above.

I wish I could take the drawing portion as well but I used up ALL of my brownie points to take the 5 day painting portion.  So I have my work cut out for me until the workshop to sharpen up my drawing skills!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Registration is Now Open for Upcoming Workshops

Acrylic on Cradled Panel - SOLD
Watercolor on Arches
$460.00 Matted & Framed
I will be offering two workshops this fall,  both at Leigh Square Artist's Village.

Realistic Watercolors
Adventures in Acrylics 

Registration is now open and can be accessed at http://register.asapconnected.com/StaffDetails.aspx?pk=24306 .

These workshops will focus on several different techniques including: layering, pouring, glazing, creating texture, when to use opaque vs transparent colors, color mixing, dry brush techniques, wet on wet texture tips and much more!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Adventures in Acrylic - November 17 & 18, 2012

What Lies Beneath - Acrylic on Panel
Closer to the Flame - Acrylic on Paper

This workshop will provide you with the skills needed for creating, vibrant acrylic paintings with confidence and purpose.

We will focus on several different techniques including: layering, pouring, glazing, creating texture, when to use opaque vs transparent colors, color mixing, dry brush techniques, wet on wet texture tips and much more!

Each different technique will be covered in a demo followed by studio time to practice the techniques with one on one instruction.

Notes for the course and templates will be provided - no drawing skills required. This course is suitable for beginner and intermediate artist.

The workshop will be held at the Outlet in Port Coquitlam (Leigh Square)

November 17 & 18, 2012
Saturday & Sunday from 11am-5pm

Prerequisites: None

If you are interested in this workshop, you can register directly online by phone at 604-927-8400 or contact me at info@stateofartportraits.com for more information.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Realistic Watercolors Workshop - October 21 & 22, 2012

Peeling Paint - Watercolor on Paper
16x20" - $460.00 Matted & Framed
This workshop will provide you with the skills needed for creating realistic, vibrant watercolor paintings full of detail and form, not mud.

We will focus on several different techniques including: layering transparent glazes, when to use opaque vs transparent colors, color mixing to create rich colors, not mud, dry brush techniques, wet on wet texture tips and much more!

Each different technique will be covered in a demo followed by studio time to practice the techniques with one on one instruction.

Notes for the course and templates will be provided - no drawing skills required. This course is suitable for beginner and intermediate artist.

Prerequisites: None

If you are interested in this workshop, you can register directly online or contact me at info@stateofartportraits.com for more information.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Around the Inlet Show at Place des Arts
Opening Reception Thursday July 12

No Longer Adrift
Watercolor on Paper
$460 Matted and Framed
I hope you can join me for the opening reception of the group show by Suite E Life Drawing group from 6-8pm on Thursday July 12 at Place des Arts.

I will be displaying both watercolor and some new oil paintings.  there will be artwork of all sizes and mediums by our members all of various images of things enjoyed around the inlet.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Build A Blog In A Day: Online Artist Portfolio
July 8, 2012 - 10-2pm

Build A Blog In A Day: Online Artist Portfolio

Have you ever wanted to promote your artwork or other products online but are not sure how and do not want to invest in a website and monthly fees?

In one day you can have your own free online portfolio up and running. Blogs are a great way to share your products with prospective collectors, galleries and friends.
Learn how to:
  • create your own Google account
  • create your own free blog and have it up and running in class
  • learn how to navigate the Blogger interface to manage your blog on your own
  • add your own bio and profile image
  • customize your blog and much more.
Please bring a laptop with several images of your artwork or products in a folder and please download http://picasa.google.com/ to your desktop prior to class.

Please contact me at info@stateofartportraits.com for more information or to register.

July 8, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Life Drawing Workshop - July 21, 2012

As a member of Suite E Life drawing group I have been talking about hosting an extended workshops for artists to work on more fully completed paintings or drawing from a live model.

Our first extending session has been confirmed for July 21 2012 at the Poirier Community Center.  The workshop will be held in the Howe Room from 10am - 5pm.  Easels and drawing boards will be available for artists use or you can bring your own.  The fee per artist will be $45 which will include the model fee.

All mediums are welcome, however if using oils, please only bring a small container of Odorless Mineral Spirts to be used for painting or other non-toxic medium. 

If you are interested in attending, please contact me as soon as possible to confirm your spot as spaces are limited.

Poirier Community Center - Howe Room
640 Poirier St, Coquitlam

July 21, 2012
10am - 5pm

Friday, June 01, 2012

Around the Inlet Show - July 12 - August 4, 2012

I hope you can join me for the opening reception of the group show by Suite E Life Drawing group from 6-8pm on Thursday July 12 at Place des Arts.

I will be displaying both watercolor and some new oil paintings.  there will be artwork of all sizes and mediums by our members all of various images of things enjoyed around the inlet.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Graphite Portrait Commission of Father - James Completed

Well the sun finally came out for a few minutes so I quickly ran to my studio to get a decent (well better) photo of the finished portrait.  I did a few finishing touches on his features to hopefully achieve an accurate likeness of his character.

The text at the bottom has been added in with photoshop but will be added into the portrait once I hear back from my customer on placement. 

The transitions look much softer in real live and the details crisper so overall I am quite happy with this portrait :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Graphite Portrait Commission of Father - Jame's Jacket, Tie and Corsage

 I don't think I have don't much work on Jame's face since the last post as I have been focusing on his clothing and flower corsage to get all the dark values in.  I probably need one or two more layers of graphite on the jacket and then I will be able to go back to his face and hair.

This will be the fun part as things will start to click into shape as I go through each feature more carefully to ensure a likeness.  I will also do a final pass on his skin tones to even out the blotches and build up more form. 

Finally I will add in more texture to his skin, sounds better than wrinkles and more layers to his hair. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Graphite Portrait Commission of Father - James Developing The Features

The skin tones have been built up to around 90% completion so now I have started to lay in the layers of graphite for the jacket.  This takes a fair bit of time as if the graphite is added too heavily it can get a shiny appearance that is just not good, so slow & steady it goes :)

I could use charcoal or carbon pencil to get the darkest values but I really like the look of the graphite when it is done so I think it is worth the effort.  Several areas of the face look a little blotchy as I have just added another layer for areas that did not appear dark enough and will blend them in during the next session.

I have started to refine his features slightly, his right eye is getting pretty close to how I want it proportion wise so now I can focus on the form and making it look more three dimensional.  His right eye, nose and mouth still need to be adjusted proportionally but they are not too far off I think.  It is so much nicer working earlier in the date before the heat sets in!  Looking forward to the next update as it will really start to look like him, I did not realize how much I have missed drawing!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Graphite Portrait Commission of Father - James Building Up the Skin Tones

Building Up The Values
Things looks soft and fuzzy right now which is the look I am going for as I build up the layers of graphite to reach a full tonal range of values.  The jacket will be the darkest layer which I will want to get in soon so that I can make sure the other values are dark enough as one the darkest values are laid in it is surprising how everything else seems to fade away.

Once I get a bit more of the depth built up I will start to make sure the features are correct to capture his likeness as right now everything is close, but definitely not there yet :)  Hopefully tomorrow will be cooler in the studio as it has gone from rainy and cold to summer overnight....not complaining that's for sure, I was starting to think summer would never come!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Oil Portrait Study - Under Painting

Oil Portrait - Under Painting 8x10"
This is a study I am working on using a limited palette for the under painting.  I am trying to keep it low chroma but not totally washed out as I often end up doing and I think I did a pretty decent job this time.  The model has very light skin so I think that I have not gone too light at this point but will see when I do the more chromatic color layers in the next stage.

Her mouth and nose really need to be adjusted but I will wait until this layer dries as after two attempts to fix them, they ended up getting muddied.  Sadly the mouth was actually really nice and fresh before I tried to adjust it the first time. 

I am surprised at how much I am really enjoying these little studies.  I am learning so much about how to handle the paint, mix skin tones and turn form without the stress of actually having to have anything decent in the end :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Graphite Portrait Commission of Father - James

Graphite Portrait - 18x24"

The first few layers of graphite have been added throughout the entire face, which kind of looks funny at this point, but it helps me as the portrait progresses.

 I used to draw each area more to completion but I find now I prefer to have a nice layer of graphite throughout to work into.  The ear on the right has just had a few more layers of graphite added but will likely get darker once the other values are brought up. 

This is such a nice size for a portrait as even though the photo is not the greatest quality, I can really get into each feature to add the amount of detail that I like.... plus it just looks really great from across the studio at this size :)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Graphite Portrait Commission of Father

Rough Graphite Pencil Sketch - 18x24"
This is a rough sketch of a commission portrait I am working on in graphite pencil.  I have adjusted the image in photoshop so that the lines are visible as in real life the graphite pencil lines are very light and are barely visible on camera.  I like to keep the lines light enough so that they can be adjusted and refined as the portrait progresses and dark enough so I can just barely see them :) 

The paper looks warbley due to photoshop, the next update will look more natural as there will be more graphite on the paper so that I, ahem the camera, will have an easier time focusing :)

Monday, May 07, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Yes I know it is next weekend but it came early for me....I took matters into my own hands.  I often end up with flowers, dinner and such but seriously...what is the best way to my heart? New art supplies of course :) 

I only meant to get a new drawing pad for my life drawing class but of course there were sales on.  So..... I got new brushes.  I really did need them as I did not have any smaller bristle brushes and I love them!  I was wrecking my synthetic brushes trying to push the paint around for my underpaintings and studies. The syntheic are better suited for detail and finishing work so now I have both which makes my life so much easier.  They came with this nifty little brush case for travelling and did I meantion, they were on for 50% off!!! I think I showed tremndous restraint.

I also picked up a larger Masterson palette for storing my paint.  I had put this off as I already have 2 boxes but of course they were not the right size for my glass palette so was making due.  I also picked up a round hand held palette which fits perfectly into the Masterson box so I can just pop it into the box at the end of a session and put in the freezer until the next day, priceless :)

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Graphite Study of Nose

Graphite Pencil Nose Sketch
You may not know it from my lack of blog posts but I have actually been pretty busy in the studio as of late.  I am working on studies as I am really focusing on the old masters method of working in oil, so not much post worthy artwork to say the least.  Learning new techniques is very humbling ;)

This is a little study I did this morning of a nose which I plan to use as a reference for my grisaille oil painting tomorrow.  I am breaking things down into baby steps so I spend more time happy and less time lost, that is the idea anyway!

So I re-learned an old lesson I thought I had learned years ago, don't use waxy transfer paper, argh.  I have been cleaning out my studio and just grabbed a piece of transfer paper rather than using my home made transfer paper, this is just a study after.  Well that was my thinking, of course I spent more time trying to blend the transfer lines into the finished study than I did drawing ;)   Several of the lines still show, hopefully I have learned this lesson for the last time...yes the transfer paper is now in the garbage :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mouth of David Cast Study - Oil Grisaille

Oil Grisaille on Canvas - 6x6"
This is a little study I did of the a Mouth of David cast, well actual a photo I found online of the cast as I do not have the actual cast. I was planning on buying the set of casts but of course they have to be shipped so keep putting it off and luckily in the meantime  found a really nice bust locally to work from for a fraction of the price. So expect to see many more cast studies from me in the near future :)
Raw Umber, Ivory Black and Titanium White

After transferring the outline sketch to my canvas I mixed a string of gray scale values using Raw Umber, Ivory Black and varying amounts of Titanium white to get a range of 7 values.  My value 1 is straight titanium white and my value 7 is a 2:1 mix of Ivory Black and Raw Umber.  I really enjoyed this exercise and using a simple subject really allowed me to focus on modelling the form without getting caught up in the details. 

The photo of the finished study looks much whiter than in real life.  I will have to wait for a sunny day and re take a bunch of my photos outside as I just can't seem to get decent shots inside.  Oh well, no sun means I don't have to think about yard work and can keep painting, bring on the rain :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Eggs Still Life - Wipe Out

Raw Umber Wipe Out
I had so much fun working on this little wipe out that I probably added much more detail than I needed too... but it was so much fun, I am such a geek.

I have tried this process before a couple of times and found it super frustrating as the paint kept either sticking & lifting off or sliding off the canvas.  I was using different ratios of mineral spirits (OMS) and oil in the past and was probably too much as well compared to the ratio of paint.  I tried a 60:40 ratio of oil and odorless mineral spirits as suggested by a amazing artist and teacher Terry Strickland. Viola, what a difference, plus I "probably" learned something during my past failed attempts.

I set up a couple of brown eggs in a black box I bought from IKEA ages ago.  I built a still life box awhile back but it took up too much space in my already cluttered studio.  I place a black table cloth inside and a piece of foam core on top to block the light.  I then placed the eggs inside and adjusted my table lamp so that the light hit the eggs nicely from the side.

The box is sitting on top of my sub woofer, total necessity in the studio :)  I then mixed up a bit of raw umber paint with the oil and OMS.  You could use linseed oil as well but I had walnut oil on hand.

I then brushed the paint over the entire canvas working the paint into the weave of the canvas so there were no wipe speck of canvas to deal with later.  I then took a cloth and wiped out the basic shapes of the eggs and cloth.  I then added and removed paint using both my cloth and brushes to get the tonal ranges and shapes that I could see.  Dipping a brush in the oil/OMS mixture when needed to lift out the lightest values.

It is still very rough and there are some areas where the edges of the shapes look a little to hard (now that I look at the photo online) but hopefully they can be softened more subsequent next layers.  I am definitely going to play with this technique more in the near future.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Graphite and Charcoal Study of Eye

Graphite & Charcoal Eye Study - 6x6"
This is another little study I did today using graphite and charcoal on canvas.  I wanted to fully draw out the details of the eye before moving onto the over painting on my oil portrait of the same subject. I miss drawing even more than I realized!

I went to my life drawing class last night and really enjoyed the session even though I was dog tired before I got there.  So this morning I was quite eager to start this sketch.  There are just not enough hours in the day!

I will refine  this drawing a touch more so that I can use it as a reference when I am working on the oil painting as the more familiar I am with the shapes the easier it will be when I dive in with color, well, that is the hope anyway ;)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Little Oil Study...Big Ear

Oil Study of Ear - 6x6" on Canvas
This is a little oil study of an ear I finished today.  I wanted to take some time to really focus on learning proper techniques for creating shape and form while maintining proper chroma and hues of my skin tones. 

Wow if you think that is a mouthful, try painting it ;) There is so much to focus on when learning a new medium, not to mention working in color rather than monochromatic as I often do. So I bought some cheap little canvases for creating studies. This way I can focus on areas I need to work on without the stress of working on a real painting. 

I plan on doing many of these in the weeks to come.   Once I get more comfortable, I think I will use better quality canvases or prepare some small panels so that the paint flows more easily.  All in all though these are fun to do as they do no take as long as a full painting and, I hope, will be good references when working on real paintings.  I am not sure if it is just my laptop settings as on my monitor in my studio the skin tones are much closer to the original study.  Here they seem quite washed out, whereas on the study there are really pretty orangish and reddish hues peaking through in areas...hmmm  

So in real life, I am quite happy with the skin tones, not so much in the photo.  Areas I am not happy with are my dealing with edges and some of the transitional areas which are too harsh for my liking.  So I think I will move onto the next study and focus more on these areas going forward, so excited to start the next one!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Portrait of Boy - Color Under Painting

Color Under Painting - 16x16" Gallery Wrapped Canvas
Well I got more carried away with the details than I had planned.... as I often do - but I still managed to keep some areas loose....hard to break old habits. 

Now I need to leave the under painting to dry the next step is to build up the skin layers as accurately as possible. His lash line ended up much to harsh but will be softened and much of the darkest areas of the lashes will be cut into with the skin tones so they will not look so harsh, that is my plan anyway ;)

I really tried to keep things less chromatic at this stage so that the next layer can be more chromatic yet show the shadows underneath.  I really enjoyed this phase ...now to find the time to mix up all the skin values and paint!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Rough Sketch for Oil Painting Portrait of Boy

Rough Sketch - 16x16" Gallery Wrapped Canvas
Wow, has it really been that long since I posted to my blog!??!? Lots of other things to focus on this year and my poor blog has fallen by the wayside, but i have still been painting and drawing every chance I get.

I have several little projects going on in my studio, have been teaching a few workshops and have even signed up for a workshop in the near future, so excited :)

Much of my time has also been spent learning more traditional methods of drawing and painting and am quite enjoying the process.

This is the rough sketch of a portrait I am starting which has been transferred onto a toned canvas.  I have tried to indicate all of the areas of the light transitioning across the form, will see if this helps me during the painting phase :)

I actually was surprised by how much I like the drawing at this stage...and now there is a very loud voice in my head screaming "don't mess this up"...this is why I play very loud music while I paint :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why Build A Blog?

Well let me tell ya ;) I have a website and a blog as they serve a very different purpose.

A website is a place to display your portfolio, where you send your prospective clients and collectors.

A blog is a more current posting of your work and life as an artist.  Your blog is where people can get to know more about you and about your artwork, processes, exhibits etc.   The content updating is so much easier that it makes adding updates less daunting so I tend to update more frequently.  The search engines loves updates so they visit my blog more often.

Because of this, my blog and website have a higher visibility for people searching all over the world, not just people I send my website link to. To make my life easier and more automated, I have also linked up my website and other networking portals which again increases visibility and ranking with the search engines making it easier to find.

Another great thing about blogs is that there are no monthly fees and they are becoming more and more customizable. I started a blog so that I could share updates of my clients portraits as they progress as I do a lot of custom portraits.  My clients love it as there is no shock at the end and makes the whole process more fun both for me and for them as we get to converse back and forth along the way.  Also, as I have a pretty short memory, I have really come to like how my blog is basically a catalogue of my work, exhibits and workshops.  I can easily search through to find a specific painting I did, an exhibit date etc.

If you are interested in creating a blog, please check out my upcoming workshop, Build a Blog in a Day at my past blog post  The workshop will be held on March 10, 2012, hope to see you there!