Thursday, December 03, 2009

Sketchbook: Pens And An Occasional Brush.

Stairway in Eze, France (Pen).

Vase (Pen).

Portrait (Watercolor).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sketchbook In November.

Some sketchbook work done over the last few weeks....

Palace of Fine Arts (Pen and watercolor, 8x8").

Bellydancer (Pencil and watercolor, 4x6").

Woman With Red Angel Wings (Pencil and watercolor, 4x6").

Irish Deer and Elephant Skulls (Pencil, pen, and watercolor).

Monday, November 02, 2009

Sketchbook: Triceratops Skull.

Triceratops Skull (Ballpoint pen and colored pencil in Moleskine sketchbook, 6.5x4").

Friday, October 23, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Block Prints.


Plush Chair.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Sketchbook: Morgan In Regency Costume.

Morgan in Regency Costume (pencil in Moleskine sketchbook, 5x6").

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rock Poster: Throwing Toast (September 19).

Throwing Toast - September 19, 2009 (click image for larger version).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The beginning stages of two long-pose costumed figure paintings.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I Love A Great Bust.

For some time, I've been interested in buying anatomically accurate plaster casts of the figure to use for drawing and painting studies. It is nice to work from casts because they are stationary and you can easily control the environment (i.e. lighting, position, studio set-up...). However, they can be equal parts elusive and expensive. When I found this full-size bust at an antique store for $150, I jumped at the opportunity. Hopefully she’ll be making appearances in some artwork soon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Painting.

Santee (Oil on canvas board. 9x12"). I drew the picture, filled in the background, and painted the tree while painting plein air (outdoors) in Santee. It started to rain on me so I had to finish the rocks and foreground at home.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Art: Figure Sketches.

20 minute sketches from live model.

Pam (Watercolor and pencil on paper. 5 x 6").

Pam (Pen on paper. 5.5 x 8").

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Portrait Painting Class, Week 9.

Week 9 of my portrait painting class... painted from a live model... Chris (oil on canvas, 9x12")....

The model posed for 20 minute sessions, with a short break in between. I took a photo at the end of each 20 minute period.

1st 20 minute session. I drew in the basic elements using transparent maroon paint thinned with turpentine.

2nd 20 minute session. I established a background and blocked in my darker areas.

3rd 20 minute session. I started "tiling" in the larger areas.

4th 20 minute session. My goal for this session was to get the entire canvas covered.

5th 20 minute session. Fine tuning shapes and values. Adding details and nuance.

6th 20 minute session. Added "flair" as my instructor, Meadow, dubbed the process. She helped me with this stage.

Last 20 minute session. Added final touches.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Portrait Painting Class, Week 8.

Week 8 of my portrait painting class... painted from a live model... Taysia (oil on canvas, 9x12")....

Here's my painting at the end of the drawing stage and start of the painting phase.

My instructor, Meadow, helped me fix the edges on my cheek (I had too many colors and details there) and added nuance to the eyes and nose. My drawing and shapes have been good -- I'm at the point where I need to negotiate with nuance and subtlety. It just takes some reps.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Addition.

Meet Nicole. She's 9 years old. We got her from a rescue center. She's a very sweet cat.

Painting Class, Week 7.

Week 7 of my portrait painting class... painted from a live model... Taysia (oil on canvas, 9x12")....

I used a Zorn palette (titanium white, yellow ochre, cadmium red light, and ivory black) and spent a long time on the drawing stage. My instructor, Lucas, helped me design the nose and lips better.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Portrait Painting Class, Week 6.

Week 6 of my portrait painting class... painted from a live model... Rob (oil on canvas, 9x12")....

So that you get an idea of what my head block-in stage looks like, I took a picture during class (I apologize for the quality -- I used my camera phone). Starting with a toned canvas (cadmium red light and ivory black), I drew the lines in transparent maroon thinned with mineral spirits. I usually spend the first 20 to 40 minutes of class trying to get it right. If you don't get this stage correct, it makes for a very long class. To borrow from a popular in-class idiom: You can't polish a turd. And to paraphrase from Richard Schmid's teachings: 90% of all painting problems are actually drawing problems in disguise. Point being -- the drawing part is important.

For the painting part, my instructor, Meadow, helped on the background and painting the nearest cheek and part of the forehead. Including the drawing, all the rest is me. As I paint, I'll correct some of the (hopefully) minor drawing problems, so you'll notice some changes between the original block-in and finished painting.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Portrait Painting Class, Week 5.

From week 5 of my painting class... painted from a live model... Nicole (oil on canvas, 9x12")....

Using a brush and transparent maroon paint thinned with turpentine, I began by drawing the portrait and doing a rough two value layout. I was relatively pleased with how the drawing turned out (I wish I had a photo of it). My instructor, Meadow, painted the lower left part of the face (cheek to the bridge of the nose). It is amazing to see the subtleties she brings to the portrait. All the rest is me.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Does An Artist Paint In The Woods?

Brown Bear (Oil on Masonite, 12x9"). Playing around with some different concepts... namely trying to paint loosely while still respecting shape, value, and edge. I worked from a black and white photo I took at the San Diego Zoo.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Portrait Painting Class, Week 3.

Here's the result from my third week of portrait painting class. It was painted in a three hour session from a live model.

I started with a toned canvas and then drew the big shapes in transparent maroon thinned with turpentine. My instructor, Meadow, corrected my initial sketch by raising and narrowing the bottom of the nose. After that, it was all me. I felt like I grew a lot on this painting, and was able to apply a lot of what I learned from last week. I paid special attention to edge. I've been reading Richard Schmid's indispensable book, Alla Prima. When discussing edge technique, he says that he'll place one value/color next to another, and to create a soft edge he'll make a single pass with a soft brush along their intersection. I tried to employ this technique -- turns out that I needed more than one pass and often a bit of perpendicular scumbling -- but I'll get the hang of it. If I painted thicker, one pass should be enough. Still a very long way to go, but making progress. I'm particularly fond of having captured the orange'ish reflected light underneath her jaw. Small victories.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Instructor Intervention.

I'm currently taking two painting classes at Watts Atelier of the Arts in Encinitas, California. While I've painted over the years, I've never had any formal instruction until now.

The flow of the class is that I begin painting, and when I reach a place where I need help, the instructor comes over and works on top of my painting. I then proceed to finish the painting. I really wish I had intermediate photos of the steps, because it's interesting to see the process -- the before and after phases -- the impact of each person's hand and unique approach -- the subtle and nuanced changes. Unfortunately, I only have photos of the finished works.

My drawing (placement of features and shapes) has been pretty good for both paintings -- the instructors didn't have to change much there -- instead most of the work was done on the edges (where two values or colors meet), a few of the values (how light or dark something is), and the background (which for some reason I never address).

Below are my two paintings from the first week of class.

This portrait was painted from a live model, with help from my instructor, Meadow.

This burnt-umber self-portrait was painted from a photo, with help from my instructor, Lucas.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Ray and the Aircraft Carrier.

Spotted while walking along the Embarcadero this afternoon... a ray and an aircraft carrier....

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Rock Poster: The Flowerthief (May 7)

The Flowerthief - May 7, 2009 (click image for larger version).

Monday, March 09, 2009

A Couple Of Sketchbook Drawings.

Birdwatching (Watercolor on paper. 8 x 5").

Point Loma, San Diego -- As Seen From Coronado Beach (Ball point pen and water, 8x3").

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rock Poster: The Flowerthief (March 5)

The Flowerthief - March 5 (click image for for larger version).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rock Poster: Swim Party (Feb 7, 2009)

Swim Party - February 7 (click image for for larger version).