Thursday, April 12, 2012


Lisa came in to pose for us in Open Studio last night.  I decided to keep things simple this time around, and painted her monochromatically, using only Burnt Sienna with touches of Burnt Umber for the darkest parts.  The light areas were lifted with a bit of Gamsol on paper towel or my brush.  No white was used in the creation of this painting-- the tiny reflections in her eyes were done with the tip of my brush after it was dipped in the Gamsol.

I could take the portrait at this point and add color to it on top of the monochromatic underpainting.  Color could be transparently glazed on top, allowing the underpainting to show through.  Or I could use thick paint on top, using the underpainting as a "roadmap".  I would need to be careful to match my color value (lightness vs darkness) to the values I had already established in the underpainting.

We will be exploring monochromatic painting in our next session of "The Nuts and Bolts of Portraiture" at Mainstreet later this month.  I'm looking forward to exploring this different approach with my students!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Repose, 10x8" (Sold)

I am so lucky to be part of a studio where we have models come in and pose for us.  This model came in a few weeks ago for our portrait class.  I was busy painting from another model that day, but I took a few reference photos and painted her today.  I may decide to put more detail on this one, or I may just leave it loose and impressionistic as it is now.  Do you have an opinion?

This week's challenge on Daily Paintworks is to paint someone in repose.  I think I'll send this one in!

Monday, April 2, 2012

"Carnaval", 8x6"

Hello Friends,

For the last three days, I had the great fortune to take a workshop from Dawn Emerson, a master pastelist and all-around wonderful teacher. I dove head-first into brand new media (pastel, guache, gesso, sumi ink) and new approaches to painting. I'm going to try my best to apply what I've learned in my oil painting. 

My favorite pieces from the workshop were my figures in motion, and I think I'll be exploring this theme some more in the future. The full color piece above was done with pastel over an intense wash of super black sumi ink. 

This black, white and gray piece was started with a wash of black ink, then gray and white pastel and charcoal. For the final step, I took a thin wash of gesso to give the impression of motion.

I hope that you enjoy this new direction for my art. We'll see if I apply it to my work. I'll certainly give it a try!