I decided to embark on a larger, multi-day painting, but I’ll post each day’s progress as a new “daily painting.” This is me at the easel — facing a giant mirror, heh. I’m actually standing indoors, in a room with blue-green wallpaper, but I may end up situating myself outdoors, which is my most common painting pose. Obviously a lot to do, but I like the torso so far. Also, I like that paint (unlike photography) allows one to trim a few pounds from the subject…
This was the first of a two-week sitting with Harry, who often wears a funky little top hat. Hats are hard to get right, and my first effort here is too small. I’ll fix it next week. I’ve also got placeholders around the eyes and jawline, so there’s plenty of work to be done, but I feel this is a good start.
After a day off for my daughter's graduation -- woo! -- I returned to Saints Peter and Paul's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Potomac. I improved the drawing, though some verticals are still out of alignment. I hope to return at least one more time to fix those, improve the trees, add a cloud or two, paint some more windows and window trim, and -- above all -- to add the crosses to the domes.
Yesterday I started a painting of this impressive church in Potomac, Maryland. I set up in the parking lot behind the church because I liked the light here best. I arrived late, so I didn't finish. Here is my initial drawing, about 30 minutes in.
Next, here's the painting with the darks blocked in. A bit less than an hour in.
As I was getting ready to block in the lights, the sun suddenly came out. I'd been planning on an overcast-day composition, so I wasn't sure whether to change my plans. I sketched in some lights and decided to decide when I return to the scene early next week. In the meantime, here's where I left the picture. I've left empty white spaces for trees. Also, some of my verticals are so crooked they look like they were drawn by a drunk. I'll fix that next time.
Here's a look at my setup in all its glory. My traveling road show.
I usually pick bony protuberances as my landmarks when I'm drawing a portrait or figure. So the chin, or a clavicle, or a knee. Bones stay relatively still. Today, though, I struggled to get this drawing right, so the artist leading my life group suggested I try using the nose and left eyelash instead. That did help, even with the eyelash fluttering, but I ran out of time to fix the rest of the features. Fortunately, it's a two-week pose, so we'll see what next Saturday brings.
This was the first week of a two-week pose. Sometimes I think I paint better if I have only one session! I got a good start, but I need to improve the drawing, soften her features, and clean up the chin so she doesn't appear to have a beard! Plus I need more vibrant colors. Still lots to do!
It’s been almost a week since I felt well enough to dig into my oil paints, but today I finally felt better. I added a pitcher and pot to my ongoing still life. Still lots to be done, but it sure feels great to be painting again.
I haven't had much time to paint this week, but today I managed to put in an hour on the still life I started last week. I focused on the rearmost object, the candle. I like the irregular shapes around the wick. I tentatively plan to add a little statute of a king on a drum; that's his cast shadow on the candle.
Here's the whole piece; the rest is still just a sketch. I hope to fix that in the coming days!
I started this still life in summer, when I was studying with Walt Bartman, Jr. He set up all these colorful buoys, and I drew and painted them from various angles, but I didnt have time to finish. I still haven’t finished! But today I did put in some work on the piece. It’s fun!
Again it was warm enough to paint outside, so I grabbed my big wide 12x24 linen canvas and drove around looking for a spot to paint. I stumbled on these woods, off Bradley Boulevard, near Potomac, Maryland. I loved the warm afternoon light flooding the scene, so I set up and went to work.
This is only the second time I’ve painted with a large-ish canvas outdoors, and I think it suits me well. The large support forces me to use large brushes — size 10 and 12 flats and filberts. And I made myself use them for just about the entire 2-1/2 hour session. The result is a less literal, more painterly first draft. I’m pleased with it. I’m tempted to sign it and call it a day, but I’ll probably go back tomorrow to refine things and add detail.
Just for fun, here’s a photo of an earlier stage of the painting on the easel.
I've been working on this self-portrait for a few days, using a single mirror, so the image is reversed. One can cure this problem by using two mirrors, but it's very tricky to do this. Anyway, I'd like to add more color to my face, make me smile a tad more, refine the shirt and glasses, and fix other stuff.
Unfortunately, the likeness is pretty good! I should have stopped painting when I looked like Paul Newman. :-)
I started this portrait last weekend, but I forgot to post it until now; it's been a busy week. The drawing is good as far as it goes, but I hope to develop it further in the remaining two sessions.
Today I spent a couple hours on my back porch looking up. In particular, I was looking up at the dormer or eaves above the porch, and at the windows and roof and gutter. The result is still a work in progress, but I'm happy with what I have so far.
Obviously I need to add a sky. Right now the gray background is the unpainted surface of my gray-tinted panel. I'm inclined to add a sky with no trees, to keep the composition clean and simple. I also have to refine the shapes and colors of the architecture. Alas, it's going to rain this weekend, so I may not get back to this for a few days. It's a good start, though!
Giselle returned to model for the life-painting group I attend. She started with a couple of short poses, including this 10-minute pose. Normally that's enough time for me to get the basic shapes and do some shading, but in this case I focused on refining the proportions, particularly the foreshortened right leg.
Then she returned to the pose I started painting last week (see my blog post "Giselle," Sept. 24, 2017). I had hoped to finish this today, but I got preoccupied with her hair and ran out of time. The hair was fun: she had it up in a bun for the sketch but let it down for the portrait. Also, I was having so much fun with the hair that I forgot to do the really fun stuff -- highlights! I didn't even remember to highlight her nose. On top of all that, the lighting had changed a bit, and I was a little indecisive about whether to change my shadows; I'll need to fix those too. So there's lots of work left. Giselle will return sooner or later, so I should get another chance at this one.
I started this painting Saturday; it was the first of two sittings. I've got the model's features in more or less the right place, but they need refinement, and right now her expression is a bit odd. Obviously I need to pay attention to her hair, too, and add more color to everything. But it's not a bad start.