Sep 27, 2011

Sean WIP 2

Here is the latest update of this portrait. I worked on the forehead, nose and cheek today (very productive.)

I thought I might do something a little different and post an image outlining the area that I actually worked on so that you can easily see the comparison from the previous photo to this one. Let me know if this is something that you'd like to see more of.

Sep 26, 2011

Sean WIP 1

Here is the latest update of the Sean painting. I mostly worked on the neck, beard, side of face, and hair. I also think that I need to broaden his shoulder on the left by a little bit. I think Sean would like it if I made his shoulders look a little bigger.

I'm still a little undecided about the background. It might still go through some changes, if you have any advice let me know.

Sep 25, 2011


This is a very old painting. It is a piece of ginger candy. I've also included the underpainting for this one as well.

The underpainting was a different procedure than I usually do. It was painted with burnt sienna, which came out pretty chromatic. I thought that this would help with the brightness of the candy, but it wasn't that useful because I just painted a thick layer of orange over it anyway.

Sep 24, 2011

Sean Background Choices

Ok Time to vote on your favorite background.

I've organized them a little better this time. They are in the categories Light, Medium, and Darks and Greenish, Grey, and Red.

I think these are harder for me to choose because I think they all look good and usable.

It kind of looks like a Brady Bunch portrait too.

Sean Dead Color 2

Here is the almost final version of the dead coloring. If you look at it from really far away you can see that all of the major planes of the face are represented. Now I just have to round the forms with oil paint, and get a slightly more subtle color scheme going.

I think I might try to figure out the background in this stage as well. So hopefully my next post will be a couple of different background ideas that people can vote on again.

Sep 22, 2011

Sean Dead Color 1

This is the start of the actual painting process. It is a dead coloring of just the shadow shapes, and the dark shapes like the hair.

I always start working a painting by to the darkest darks first. In this case I painted the black of the hair and the beard first. Then when that is established I can use it to help me judge the proper value and color for the next darkest patches in this case the lighter beard parts, the side of the face shadow, and the shadow on the neck.

Dead coloring is when you have a flat value or color that is kind of the start of your underpainting. It is sometimes called an ebauche.

Sean Transfer

This is the cartoon transferred onto my panel.

I scanned the drawing that I had made. Then I re-sized it in photoshop to fit the canvas that I would be working with. I then printed it out onto another piece of paper and marked up the back of that paper with charcoal. Then I dragged a knitting needle over the lines on the paper to transfer the charcoal onto the panel.

The finished result looks like this, a blank canvas with the lines from the cartoon on it. The charcoal won't be visible in the final painting.

Sep 21, 2011

Website Design Update

I've spent the last couple of weeks updating my website with new drawings, paintings and a new gallery design. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Also if you see any loop holes anywhere please inform me so that I can fix it.

Here is the link to my website, in case you missed the link at the bottom of this blog post.

Sean Poster Study

This is a small study that I did to try and figure out the basic color scheme of the portrait that I am about to paint. I try to figure out the right color scheme before I dive into the big painting. It was painted on a small piece of foam core with acrylic paint.

Sep 20, 2011

Sean Portrait

Here is the start of a new painting that I am working on. It is just the cartoon that will be transfered to my canvas, as soon as I finish making said canvas.

Sep 19, 2011

Jam Jar Final

Here is my final version of the Jam jar. I'm finding that it is much easier to paint a decent final version when the underpainting is well constructed. I'm not sure what else to say about this piece.

Let me know what you think of this painting, I like getting comments and e-mails.

It was fun to do a couple of small paintings, but now I think I'll return to making bigger paintings, and will hopefully start the drawing of a new portrait this evening.

Apple Sketch

This was a sketch I did of an apple. Painted in oils on a masonite panel. I didn't spend very much time on this one which is why I consider it a sketch. If I were to turn it into a full painting I would have worked the background that the form shadow on the apple a little more.

Sep 17, 2011


This was a painting that I did awhile ago of peppermints. It was entirely painted in acrylics, that is one reason why it less softened less smooth than one that would be painted in oils.

Sep 16, 2011

Jam Jar Underpainting

Here is a continuation of these small paintings that i'm working on.

This is the underpainting of the next small painting that I'm working on. Again the main idea of the underpainting is to get the drawing, colors, and major value shifts accurate. I probably spent as much time on the threads of the painting as I did on the rest of the painting. But everything else is pretty much a flat simple statement of color. This is often called a "Dead Color" stage.

You can also see that the colors are a little dull. The next layer will be much more vibrant with color.

Jam Jar cartoon

Here is the start of the next small painting that I'm working on. I started with a drawing, then scanned it, then I reworked the ellipses and straight lines in photoshop. I'll still probably lose the drawing when I get into the painting, but at least I'll start with straight lines and perfect ellipses.

Peppers Finished

Here is the finished version of the Peppers painting. I couldn't find a way to photograph it without getting a little bit of glare from the light. When it is totally dry I might be able to get a better image.

I might still add a little bit to the highlights but that needs to happen when it's dry so that I can make adjustments without causing more problems to the rest of the painting.

Sep 13, 2011

Peppers Underpainting

I just started working on a small painting of peppers. I will probably do a number of small still lives to kind of get the hang of this whole painting system that I am working out. Basically using acrylic paint as an underpainting and using oils on top of that.

I finished the underpainting today. The main idea of the underpainting is to get the drawing, colors, and major value shifts accurate in the painting. So for the stems I used a more planar approach with just flat colors, and for the peppers I rounded them as if they were generic cylinders. This way I have the basic color and values accurate for when I start to do my overlaying painting with oils which will make my life much easier.

I would move into working with oils now, but I should give this paint at least a day to dry.

Sep 12, 2011

Finished Portrait: Kristin

Here is an image of this portrait now that it is finished. It isn't varnished yet so it is a little duller in color than it will be once I varnish it. But otherwise this is it.

I'll repost a better image as soon as I varnish this painting. Which could be as much as 6 months from now.

Sep 7, 2011

Small Figures: Becca

This was on of the best models that we ever worked with. She could hold a pose like a statue, probably because she was a former gymnast. Anyway I tried something different with this pose by trying to work in a little background into the picture, but I think it only distracts from the image. There just aren't enough values to work with using graphite so when I added background I reduced the number of values that I could have in the figure, which in some ways flattened the image.

Becca Sketch

I have dozens of small figure drawings that I did while studying at the New School of Classical Art in Providence. The head instructor of the school was Dana Levin, whose work is pretty fantastic, check out her website if you get a chance ( I plan to highlight each of these small figures individually writing about the process involved and give people insight into the models' lives as well.

Small Figures: Peter

This great model was an off-season body builder. So he had a great deal of girth but not too exaggerated muscles. There was actually a slight disagreement after the model left over his weight. One of the students drew him to look larger, while another student drew him to be thinner. They disagreed on who had the more accurate drawing.

Which brought up an interesting question about drawing from the model. Does an artist simply draw the model as they visibly appear or do you as an artist draw a more exaggerated version of the feeling that you get from a model? In my class we had two students one who saw him skinny and drew him skinny, and the other who saw him as being fatter and drew him fatter. Can either of them be considered wrong if they were drawing the model in the size that they perceived him to be, or are they wrong because it wasn't accurately depicting the model? I won't try to answer these questions on this blog, it's just something to think about.

(By the way, I drew him in-between being too big and too thin, I took the safe road.)

Peter Sketch

I have dozens of small figure drawings that I did while studying at the New School of Classical Art in Providence. The head instructor of the school was Dana Levin, whose work is pretty fantastic, check out her website if you get a chance ( I plan to highlight each of these small figures individually writing about the process involved and give people insight into the models' lives as well.

Sep 1, 2011

Portrait Thursday

I really don't like painting ears. One day I will look back once I have perfected how to paint an ear in ten minutes and laugh at my ear painting process of today.

I worked on the neck, ear, eyebrow, and painstakingly painted the hairline around the forehead.

Now all I need to paint is the background and add some touch ups and I will be finished. I'm actually only one day behind schedule for finishing this portrait. Now if I could paint a portrait in a week instead of two weeks then I'd really be in business.

Portrait Wednesday

I spent all of Wednesday painting just the lips and a little of the chin. Oh, also I lowered the corner on the right eye, it was looking a little too Celopatra-ish. It does seem a little impressive to think that six hours of painting lead to only a few minor changes, about a two square inch range of canvas was actually painted on today.

I'm still trying to paint this portrait fairly quickly though. So hopefully i'll finish within the next day or so.