Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Painting in Grisaille Method followed by Glazes

 Painting Briley in Grisaille method with glazes!

Here are the photos of my recent portrait of this tiny gal. She is such a little beauty and I followed her around for an hour or so trying to catch that golden head of locks in just the right light!!  I will be teaching this method in my 2015 Winter weekly classes. Check the website for class info at Portrait Creations/Class Schedules


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Open Studio Work Summer 2014

Open Studio Sessions

I have not written since April!! Good grief, where did the time go? I think everyone switches to fast speed during this time of year. I had 2 wonderful weeks of art camp, a week with Max Ginsburg in June and have been busy with commissions, garden, family and living life in abundance! I have managed to take time for a few open studio sessions at Warehouse 521and have made some new art friends on that side of town. We can literally live all 100 years (as Max plans to live) and still not finish learning and enjoying all that is available to the artist!!!

Here are the two portraits I worked on
 in June & July at Warehouse 521 
with some commentary…

Rhian in paste
Photo with my phone

Charcoal on Canson 25 min sketch
Massing in pastel in vibrant colors
 in order to withstand all the blending later!!!
Last photo of the day, still pretty bright but
you have to remember that paintings are viewed
 from 6 to 20 feet away. if you blend it down too much,
the values and color will not carry across a room!!
She was great at gesture poses!
Charcoal on Canson, 25 minute sketch
just getting a person down,
not too worried about the likeness at this stage!
First layers of pastel color,
 modeling around the forms
Getting the paper covered so I can start comparing values
Beginning to tie it together with a middle tone.
Portrait at 2pm when the whistle blew. Will I work on it more?…I don't know,
What should I do?
Happy to take suggestions and comments!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Drawing Lessons

Drawing LESSONS...

A quick synopsis of the past 8 weeks of drawing lessons. Each week I included a packet of worksheets available on my website by clicking here.

Simple Shapes

Along with measuring and proportions of length, 
shape seeking helps with accuracy in your drawings. 
A study of the basic shapes is so important.

Mass vs Contour

We are conditioned from childhood to draw an outline
 and then color inside the lines.
 Learning to see in mass, using the side of the pencil or brush 
is an important step in thinking more in terms 
of volume and dimension.
page from Andrew Loomis book "Creative Illustration"

Patterns in Nature

Thank you Juliette Aristides for introducing me to this valuable tool!
At Alan Lequire's studio, she had us draw a slice of cucumber being mindful of the design. 
I have been so focused on creating what I see in front of me 
that I forget the design element. 
Nature provides SUCH inspiration and ideas!

Image from Mrs. Brown's art class

Siting Angles

I am not 'math minded' so when it comes to degree of tilt 
I find it easier to think of the hands on a clock as I compare angles. 
This is so important in drawing. We often misjudge angles entirely and are not even aware.
 We used tracing paper to note how many times
 the angles changed even in just the right edge of the face.
Drawing by Carl Von Marr

Line Weight & Aerial Perspective

Juliette Aristides covers this her wonderful book which also comes with a DVD. 
Using the thick or thin line to project an image closer or make one recede. 
Image is from Juliette Aristides book "Lessons in Classical Drawing' page 83

Negative Space

An exhausting exercise in Shirley Pharris class in 1990's
 helped me begin to look in a very different way. 
We also took a look at how spaces and shadows around your subject 
can play an important role in the whole composition.


Thank you Robert Genn for spurring me on with your experience
 in being a juror and the common compositional boo boo's you wrote about.
 If a viewer stands in front of your painting for 10 seconds or more, 
you have most likely been successful with your composition. 
Drawing the viewer in to visit, to stay a while!
Image taken from article on composition


Recalling Dan Gerhartz method in our lunch and video series…
for recording the lightest light and darkest dark 
at the very beginning and then comparing all values to that. 
He also recorded & made note of the sharpest edge in the beginning. 
Wonderful exercises to help us stay on track!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Portrait Commissions Can Be Rewarding!!

I know that some of you have heard my struggles with pleasing clients and the pressures that go along with painting to please someone else. I know, I know…I keep saying 'paint to please yourself'! Be true to your own instincts about this. Bottom line is that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE painting the face and the figure. I just don't get as excited about a still life or landscape!!! 

I wanted to share a recent experience with you on a portrait for a beautiful bride to be…Krista! She is such a beauty that my main concern was capturing that beauty in a way that did her justice. She was recently married and shared the video trailer with me in which my portrait of her was featured for a quick moment toward the end.
I would have loved to work from life with Krista but it was not possible so I had to use the photos she sent. At the bottom I have included a head study I did of her one evening before beginning the portrait.
It is so rewarding to be a part of something as special as this and I wanted to share the process with you!!

Above are four of the images that she sent me to choose from. 

I chose the one below

STAGE 1 Quick sketch with charcoal & blocking in color

STAGE 2  covering the canvas with my best shot at color & value, then beginning to tweak it


These were taken toward the end as I sent images to the client for input. Very minor changes were made as they made suggestions and as I continued to work

Final Comparison of a close up shot

Preliminary HEAD STUDY

Monday, January 20, 2014

Learning from Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell Exhibit!

 I visited the Frist Museum last week to see the Norman Rockwell collection! AMAZING!!!
I had no idea that his paintings...his brushwork would be such a pleasure to view! Almost as much as seeing Sargent's work in Boston some years ago!!! I did sneak a few shots with my phone! I am not promoting bad museum behavior, I just couldn't resist seeing those beautiful brushstrokes up close. 
It is there until February 9 so by all means, get over there to see it! Notice how he signed his name differently in every painting. The paint on that palette  in this first one, The Art Critic, was about an inch thick in places! It looked like sand & gravel in some of his backgrounds and the edges were not all sharp and rigid like I thought they would be. His skin tones were really amazing! I hope to get back before it leaves Nashville. 
Thank you Frist for bringing it here! CLICK on the images to see them up close!