Sunday, December 28, 2014
It was a beautiful Christmas this year with Sarah hosting the annual cookie party and cooking the traditional Christmas Eve goose, mom cooking the Christmas turkey, and everyone home for the holidays. As we come to the end of another year lets not forget to embrace the spirit of giving and keep that spirit throughout the new year.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
For my sisters birthday in January I offered a commissioned painting of her choice. Of course I could have guessed she would want a portrait of one of her dogs. And in fact she requested a portrait of both her dogs (since the commission she has adopted a third dog named Lulu Bell) with a bayou theme. She sent me a few photos to assist me in my composition but little did I know how much work is involved in a commissioned painting. Well, after much effort I completed the painting in August but it needed time to dry and I also oiled it out and applied touch up varnish to give it a nice finished look. I shipped it off yesterday and I hope she likes it. Below is the final painting along with some sketches and color studies.
Friday, December 5, 2014
Saturday, November 22, 2014
I find IMDB a good source of photos to practice portrait drawing. Here is a portrait of Anson Mount, star of Hell on Wheels. I struggled a bit with the placement of features and later realized I got the angle of the left side of his face off which tended to elongate the right side of his face and make his right eye appear too high. Well, that is why we keep practicing.
Friday, November 21, 2014
I signed up for 5 open studio sessions at BACAA to work on a long pose painting. Below is the under painting after 2 sessions. Unfortunately, I'll have to miss one session and therefore only have 2 sessions left to finish the painting. Wish me luck.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
The old Masters often used an underpainting to lock in shapes and values. One method is called a wipeout where you draw contours and and shadow shapes onto the canvas, then apply a thin layer of raw umber or burnt umber. Using cloth from an old t-shirt you wipe out the lightest values first and then the other light and mid-tones. You can add back in darks that got wiped out using a brush. Below is a quick study I did after a portrait by Rubens.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Drawing and painting hands can be challenging but the expression of a hand can be extremely powerful. They can say so many different things with a simple change in position. They can show us the way, excitement, anger, frustration, openness, and when joined with another's hand love and friendship. On the Figure Drawing and Gesture website you can find lots of pictures of hands to practice your drawing. Here is my attempt at drawing and painting a hand that to me is expressing a point of view.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
A few weeks ago I was at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with one of my daughters and had the pleasure of seeing Prometheus Bound, one of the most amazing works of Western Art by Peter Paul Rubens. Last night I felt compelled to sketch Prometheus where I could really appreciate Rubens mastery of anatomy, perspective, composition, and lighting.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Saturday, October 25, 2014
I recently purchased the Essential Muscle and Skeleton Anatomy software by 3D 4Medical to practice drawing human anatomy. It is really easy to use by zooming and selecting different anatomical parts. Here is a sketch of the lower leg.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Monday, September 29, 2014
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
I've been practicing drawing hands using a website for Figure and Gesture Drawing. Hands communicate so many expressions. This drawing expresses altruism through the gift of an apple but also in the way the hand presents the apple, as if the hand is saying "take this as a gift"
Thursday, September 11, 2014
I discovered a very moving painting last year titled "The Cycle of Terror and Tragedy" by master artist Graydon Parrish. September 11 was a very tragic day in the lives of Americans and Graydon's painting helps us to cope with our loss. He speaks very eloquently about allegory, truth, beauty, and the trans-formative power of art in a series of YouTube videos discussing this painting.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
When I was a kid I used to love watching Western movies and TV shows. I loved the freedom, wide open spaces, good-guy / bad-guy conflicts, romance, and sometimes tongue-in-cheek humor. Here is a portrait of a cowboy actor you won't recognize because it looks nothing like him. The eyes ended up a bit higher on the forehead than I intended. But the only way to learn is to keep working at it.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
When I was at Filoli last month I took several photos of flowers in full bloom. I did this oil sketch of two roses focusing on values, shadings, and shapes. After laying in the big shapes I ended up deviating from the photo to simplify and unify some of the shapes.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
In my attempt to work on portraits I found a picture of actress Taylor Schilling in Orange is the New Black on IMDB. Here is a sketch of Taylor. Some of the proportions are off and it doesn't really look like her however I think I captured some of the emotion from her expression of introspection and despair.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Sunday, August 10, 2014
I recently completed Graydon Parrish's workshop on color theory using the Munsell notation. Before taking this workshop mixing colors was random, inconsistent, and often ended with unintentional results. Now I feel more confident in mixing any color I need in terms of hue, value, and chroma. Below is a color chart we created as we learned how to match and mix colors, organize palettes, and create shading series. Thanks Graydon and BACAA for an awesome workshop!
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
A few of my artist friends got together to draw portraits and figures. We had a lot of fun drawing from life while listening to opera. Here is one of my drawings from these sessions. Each time I draw from life I learn new things and find things to fix and focus on next time.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Here is a copy of a classic Bargue plate 53 of a young woman. This drawing was done with a charcoal pencil. It's critical to get the proportions right in the beginning. This makes the rest of the drawing much easier.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Tonight I attended BACAA's open figure drawing session and below is the result. I started with an envelope around the figure then sketched some gesture lines before working out the proportions to the best of my ability. Next I worked on the contours and then moved on to the shadow shapes. Towards the end of the session I tried to unify some of the shapes and clean up some of the lines and proportions.
Monday, June 9, 2014
Friday, May 30, 2014
Friday, May 23, 2014
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon was truly a master artist and draughtsman of the 18th and 19th century. As I drew this copy of Seated Female Nude by a Fountain I really gained an appreciation of his exceptional composition, line, form, and ability to render the beauty of the human figure.
Monday, May 19, 2014
Many beginner artists such as myself have a tendency to draw ears as an afterthought. Therefore practicing drawing features like ears is crucial to good portraiture. Here is one 20 minute practice session based on the book by William Vaughan I have been working my way through.
Sunday, May 18, 2014
A few weeks ago I was at Filoli gardens in Woodside, California where I witnessed many beautiful flowers in their full Spring bloom including roses, irises, and camellias. I sketched a couple of roses and then took several reference photos for future paintings. Below is a painting I just finished along with the reference photo.
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Here is an attempt at a portrait of Heather Lind based on a photo I found on imdb. She stars in a new TV show called TURN with JJ Feild. I have not yet seen this show but it has an interesting premise about America's first spy ring that takes place during the Revolutionary War.
Friday, April 25, 2014
Monday, April 21, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Saturday, April 5, 2014
I recently discovered a free iPad app called Essential Skeleton 3. I find this app useful to practice drawing human skeletal features from different 3d perspectives. Another good free resource is George Bridgeman's Constructive Anatomy. Below are a few drawings based on Essential Skeleton 3.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Here is a drawing of a Native American and his horse out on an elk hunt based on a photo I found in the recent issue of National Geographic. I first drew a few gesture lines, established the correct proportions, and then looked for interesting lines and unified shapes.