Friday, May 29, 2015

Icy Blues

 "Icy Blues"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

As much as I love working with my favorite models over and over again, there's a thrill in capturing a brand new face. I get to approach the portrait without any old ideas of what the model looks like.

Here's a work-in-progress. You can see that I had to lower the right eye quite a bit - an issue I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't snapped a picture. Looking at a painting on a phone screen is a great way to "get back from it," and texting the picture to a friend for a quick critique doesn't hurt either!

And here's the model himself:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Detecting a Theme?

16 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

Loyal readers of this blog may be detecting a theme around here lately. I'm working on a series of paintings of plants for an upcoming show I've decided to call "Floats and Flora." If you think that's a stupid name, don't tell me! It was hard to come up with - but I give myself credit. Last time I had to name a show I went with the yawn-inducing "New and Selected Works." I call that progress.

Speaking of progress, here's a work-in:

And here's my patient model. Holding very still. 

Thanks for looking!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Grapefruit In Four, and A Bit About Underpaintings

 "Grapefruit in Four"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Here's a work-in-progress shot, including a view of the setup:

You can see a lot of my underpainting here - I start with a dull orange wet-tone on the canvas, then add darks and pull out lights, laying in my composition first with the dull orange mixture, then adding alizarin crimson and dioxazine purple for the darkest darks. 


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Two Grapefruit, and Upcoming Workshops

 "Two Grapefruit"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

I'm not doing any teaching this month, which is actually a good thing, since I have a big show coming up in August for which I'm trying to make a bunch of new work. 

June's going to be a bit busier, with a still life workshop in Hillsboro June 5-7th, and the second round of my new Mindful Mixing workshop here in Eugene the 13-14th. I miss teaching, but I'm enjoying some uninterrupted studio time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A New Zorn Palette Portrait

9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

This was one of those paintings that practically fall off the brush. I especially enjoyed painting those eyes! I love how the subtle topography of her face demanded really controlled value shifts across the flesh tones. 

You can see a photo of the model with her portrait on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I'm Kind of a Plant Lady

 "Floats and Flora"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas
click to buy

As I've shared with you before, I'm kind of a plant lady. I did actually once work as a professional plant waterer in office buildings, but my houseplant obsession was already well established by then. It's the kind of thing where, even though you know you have no where to put them, you can't resist buying more. Then they get bigger, and you have to prune them....but you can't throw those pieces away!?! Hence, lots of baby plants. Like the one in this painting. It's a Peperomia Jayde, and I bought the parent plant back in the Cleveland days, so over eight years ago now.

Here are some plant paintings of mine from years past.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Deep Blue Gaze, and I Critique my Former Self

 "Deep Blue Gaze"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

It's been a long time since I've painted this model, Dylan. In fact, I can't believe that this piece was painted over four years ago! Here's another one from the same time period. 

At the time, I remember being really proud of this one, but looking at it now, I have several critiques. There are way too many brushstrokes on the face, especially the forehead. The line where the nose meets the shadow cast by the nose is too sharp, and the ear on the shadow side of the head is far too light/saturated. I feel like all the shadows are a bit too light, too cool. So the face feels flat.

Now, if I was delivering this scathing commentary to a student of mine, I would certainly mix some positive things in with the negative. The drawing is good, I'd say, and the eyes and face have a definite expression. I actually like the way I handled the background - one side warmer, one side cooler. And I like some of the soft edges where the hair meets the background.

Anyway, back to the present! Here's a progression:
And here's a shot, on Facebook, of the model himself with his portrait.