Friday, April 29, 2011

Painting Class - April 27, 2011

I missed a few painting sessions because I was travelling (sketches to come) so this was my first class back since the April 13th class. This still life was a bit more complicated than the last one - with more colors, textures and complexity of shapes. Still working on the same issues though. I made the mistake of getting into the details before I got the overall values correct. One way to avoid that is to step back from the painting frequently. If it's "holding together" from a distance, move forward and find where it begins to "fall apart" and correct it until it comes together no matter how close or far away you are.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Painting Class - April 13, 2011

This class I started painting in black and white - a simple still life. The challenge here is translating color into a grey scale and understanding what the values are in simple terms. Meanwhile, I'm also starting to understand how the paint feels, how much to use, and how much it takes of each "color" to get what I'm after. The video critique shows the first painting I did. Then I scraped all the paint off and did the painting below.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


A couple of months ago, a friend of mine walked into my studio with an interesting idea. She was looking for a new image to better represent the column she writes for a magazine. She was familiar with my sketches and thought I might be the "perfect artist". She even wrote an article about finding what would ultimately be the subject I drew for her - the Bohemian Waxwing. And there is even a little blurb in there about me along with a couple of other sketches from my blog. If you are interested, you can find her article here. And here are a couple of my earlier waxwing sketches that didn't quite make the cut:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Oil Paint!

Friday started with Charcoal and ended with my first stab at painting with oil. The charcoal was a challenge in slowly building up the values and drawing together. I know the composition isn't that great but I was happy that I put it all where I wanted it loosely, then refined the drawing with lighter values off the neutral gound, tightened up the structure of the drawing and then got fairly close on the values. This little victory in charcoal earned me a brush and a pallette and I played with making my first grisaille. This is a monochrome underpainting - the drawing beneath the painting. I was pretty pleased with it, simple as it was. After, I completed it, I had a little extra time to mess it up so I started putting some color on it for fun and to experiment a little with this new medium.

And here is another video:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

More Charcoal Drawing

Wednesday, we started drawing more organic shapes - not just bricks. Here I sketched out a horse skull in charcoal. The values and their changes are more subtle than in the brick drawings we did the week before. My struggle in these drawings here was to let the drawing emerge in the right sequence. I found that I was trying to settle on values too quickly. I see a dark and I go for it, but later I discover I need to move that shape over a little to make the drawing work structurally. Watching Ron do it, he slowly (but quickly) builds the drawing and the values together at the same time. Here is a video from Wednesday's class where he describes how he does it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Still in the Brickyard

Still in the "brickyard" - the name the painters in the class have given to the part of the studio where the new people in the class begin. I am getting a lot out of this experience. Whereas most of my sketching and drawing so far has been identifying lines, edges, and planes (I have been doing architecture and building all my life) in these exercises I am focusing on values. Starting with a paper toned with charcoal, I am adding and subtracting to get the right values. Here is a video of Ron showing how he does it - check it out...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Boston to London

These pages are from a trip to London at the end of last year. This is how far behind I am. I figure I'll sprinkle in some journal pages from the past. It's a major snow day today in Maine.