Thursday, June 23, 2016

Her Thoughts Elsewhere

 "Her Thoughts Elsewhere"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

I've been painting this model, Miranda, for many years now. In fact, she was the first model I ever painted in Eugene - my first nude model since the MICA years. I never posted that painting online. When I made it, I wasn't even sure that figure painting was going to be a real part of my "work." 
Well, it was.

And in the name of see-how-far-I've-come, I'm finally going to post it:

"Seated Nude, Red"
16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas
January, 2011

Funnily, these are the only two unsold paintings of Miranda that I have: the first one and the most recent. 

 Here's a work-in-progress on the new one:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Limited Palette Portrait Painting

9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

 This is my two-hour demo from Limited Palette Portrait, which I taught right here in Eugene over the weekend. Below is the progression - I tried to snap a picture at each model break, so every 30 minutes. It went through an ugly stage just before the end, eh? 

The limited palette we use in this class is also called the Zorn palette - cadmium red, yellow ocher, and ivory black - plus white. We started the weekend with a simple color chart. 

As one of my students recently described it - the difference between just mixing up the colors on your palette, and actually painting them on the chart is like the difference between driving through a neighborhood and walking through it. I love that analogy! 

If you'd like to try walking through this neighborhood yourself, you can find my color chart template here.
Two intense days of painting for my students! I saw a ton of progress in a short time - their work speaks for itself!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Color Mixing For Painters


I  seem to be blogging about nothing but teaching lately - probably because I've been lucky enough to be doing a lot of it! Last weekend found me in Shreveport, Louisiana, mixing up a storm of paint, and enjoying some real storms, some serious humidity - and serious air conditioning.

This workshop, "Color Mixing for Painters," is designed for beginner/intermediate students, but I firmly believe that exercises like these can benefit painters at every stage in our development. I know I get something out of them each time. 

Grayscale value studies help us practice seeing the relationships between adjacent values.
You can watch a short video of my demo (on the left) on YouTube.

 Translating those values into color is the next step - and if you're familiar with my painting and teaching, you know how much I love using apples for studies like these! Check out this incredible student work:


 Thanks again, Shreveport. I will be back!

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Lovely Evening for a Portrait Demonstration

12x16 inches, oil on canvas

I love painting in front of an audience. I just searched my blog post history and turned up about ten instances of me painting out-and-about somewhere and gushing about it. Am I a show-off, or what?

In the last few years, I've painted for audiences at a gallery, a hotel, an art society, a conservatory, an art supply store (or two), and a church - oh and another gallery

Last week, I visited Shreveport, Louisiana, to teach for the third time. The evening before the workshop, I gave a portrait painting demonstration. The best part was that my subject was the teacher who organizes all of my workshops there. Her students loved watching her suffer under the pressure of my unflinching gaze.
...or maybe they were just enjoying the wine and good company!


Regardless, it was a blast. And check out that room! We were lucky enough to be hosted for the whole weekend by The Artist's Collective, a new gallery in Shreveport. Great spot for an art gathering, perfect place for my workshop.

 (The aforementioned unflinching gaze, in action)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Portrait Commission

"Untitled - Portrait Commission, May 2016"
18 x 24 inches, oil on canvas

It's cool how one thing leads to another, isn't it? The woman who commissioned this painting saw my portrait of a friend of hers, and decided I'd be just the artist to update a very sweet wedding-night portrait of her and her husband of 38 years! 

I really enjoyed spending time with these two, in their sunny living room surrounded by enormous house plants and blooming orchids. We had three in-person sittings, and then I completed the painting from photo reference.

I started getting to know them with a quick sketch:

Once I feel that a portrait is finished, I send an image to my clients for approval and suggestions. Here is my preliminary finish, on the left, and the final painting, including their suggested changes - which were all just right. Can you spot any of them?


 Framed and ready to deliver:

Do you have a portrait project you'd like to discuss? I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, June 3, 2016

(Another) Nude With Silver Rings

 "Nude With Silver Rings no. 2"
14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas

Number one can be seen here. Kind of a similar painting - if not a similar model!  

I'm happy with this one - and I'm not making any apologies about the mouth. This guy has a mustache. It's large. It's anachronistic. So I indicated it loosely, and I leave you with this quote from my favorite painter of all time: 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Teaching The Figure

 "Nude with a Pear"
11 x 14 inches, oil on canvas
workshop demo price: $200

My Limited Palette Figure Painting workshop happened last weekend, here in Eugene. This was kind of a trial run for me - I've taught portrait several times, but never the nude figure - and I can humbly report that it went very well!  

On Friday evening I did a demo, which was open to the public. A few students of mine from other classes and private lessons joined the workshop attendees to watch.

The next morning, we started off with 4-value paintings. Two light flesh tones, and two dark ones to model the whole form. See? It can be done! And it's a great way to start a painting by working from the general (large shapes of value) to the specific (small anatomical details).

My demo of the 4-value exercise. 9x12" oil on Arches oil paper

Here is the progression of my demo from the second day. I can hear you thinking, 'All these demos, when did the students have time to paint?' They didn't watch the whole time - I just used this piece to demonstrate certain phases of the process. 

Believe me, much painting was done by my students.... 

Incredible painting!

I have two more workshops just like this one still to come in 2016 - one in September in Malibu, CA, and one in December in Eugene. Join me!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Apricots, Fake Milk, and Art Mentorship

 "Apricots and Milk"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

A very good example of a complementary color scheme: yellow-orange and blue-violet. Limiting the range of colors within your painting is a great way to keep it simple and harmonious - and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with using a limited palette (though if you're looking for color harmony, there's no easier way to find it than to use one). 

For me, setting up a still life is an exercise in color mixing - before I even take my palette out of the freezer. (What, you don't keep your palette in the freezer? You actually have food in there?) 

Speaking of the interest of full disclosure, I admit that this is not real milk. I gave up eating dairy products four months ago, so almond milk is the model here. I never knew changing my diet would have such a profound impact on all aspects of my life! Ha.

Before I end this post, I will sneak in an announcement: I've begun offering online art mentorships, and I'm pretty excited about it! More information here. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Figuring It Out

 "Humble Prayer"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

I've been doing a lot of figures lately. I actually spent most of May working on a portrait commission, which I hope to share with you soon. Two figures in that one! I'm also teaching a figure painting workshop this weekend (a couple of spots still available - info here!), and have been drawing, painting, and thinking up a storm in preparation. 

But first, this piece. Painted over two sessions with a live model. And believe it or not....this is Zorn palette! Ok, not entirely. I added Alizarin Crimson to the mix - so the full palette is Titanium white, Yellow Ocher, Ivory Black, Cadmium Red, and Alizarin Crimson. As my painting buddy Farley said, Yeah, Zorn is turning over in his grave.

Sorry, Anders.

Left to right: first session, second session.

Want to watch me paint a live model? You can! This Friday night from 6-8 pm, at Whiteaker Printmakers, in fact. Belle will be my model.  
Here is all the info. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

La Belle Muse

12 x 24 inches, oil on canvas
Available through Brackenwood Gallery

I painted this guessed it! The Zorn palette. Which I believe I will henceforth be calling the Sedwick palette. No, just kidding. 

Cadmium red, yellow ocher, and ivory black - look how beautiful!

I'll be teaching a workshop on this method of figure painting May 28th and 29th, in Eugene. There will also be a two-hour demo on Friday evening, which is free for workshop students, but anyone can attend.  Details on that can be found here.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Busy Artist

"Three of Two Kinds"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

A busy artist is a happy artist! And between my workshops, private lessons, a portrait commission, and gallery shows, I'm overflowing with gratitude lately. 

But it's nice to get back inside the cozy confines of an 8 x 8 square, enjoying all the colors in these green and golden apples.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Primary Palette

 "Cut Apple" 
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

This weekend, I taught at two-day oil painting workshop called "The Primary Palette," painting still lives using a three-color palette. Color choice is up to each artist - any red, yellow, and blue combo they like.

I chose Cadmium red light, Azo yellow, and a new-to-me color, Maya Blue, by Rublev paint

Painting with a palette like this is a great way to get acquainted with new-to-you colors.

Above, you can see my color wheel - beautiful oranges and greens, very dull (but beautiful) violets. That's the result of a yellowish red combined with a muted blue - and my demos of the awesome "Stroke Economy" exercise. A workshop favorite!

And here is some of my students' work. Fabulous!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Portrait Painting With A Limited Palette

 "Adrian on Red"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

I spent last weekend teaching a three-day portrait painting workshop at The Conservatory for Classical Art in Edmond, OK. What a great experience it is to teach there, every time! The students are so enthusiastic - not to mention talented.

We had a lovely model, too, who sat for us for the entire weekend. That takes patience!

Here is my demo:
And here are my demos of an exercise that has students mixing flesh tones in four values, then using them to paint a head in simple shapes. Learning to see the big value shapes - painting from the general to the specific!

 Class picture! I'll be back in Edmond in October, for a three day still life workshop. More info here.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Demonstrating A Still Life

 "Poppies in a Blue Vase"
9 x 12" oil on canvas

I spent last weekend in Edmond, Oklahoma, teaching at The Conservatory for Classical Art. Although I was there for a portrait painting workshop, I started the weekend with a still life demo for a group of young students.

It was also an opportunity for the kids to pick my brain about art school - since several of them are thinking of going. I suppose I'm a good person to ask! I loved art school (I went to MICA), and will use the the things I learned there for the rest of my life.

With the urge to paint still lives - which always overtakes me the minute I set foot inside the CCA (this is my third time teaching there) - temporarily sated, I was ready to move on to the weekend's workshop!