Friday, February 27, 2015

A Portrait Demo and Workshops Galore

9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas
Zorn palette

Earlier this week I headed up to Portland, to Sequoia Gallery and Studios, for a Zorn palette portrait demo. With only 90 minutes to paint, I had to work quickly, but sometimes that's a good thing! It certainly cuts down on any perfectionist tendencies I might be harboring.

Here's my painting, with the lovely model:

And here I am with my work-in-progress:

I have a TON of workshops coming up. To see a complete list, check out my Workshops page. Most recently, I've added a still life workshop in San Antonio, at the amazing Whistle Stop Corner Studio in May. Also....I'm finally going to be teaching still life right here in Eugene, at my new studio. More on that very soon....In the meantime, you can register here!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Primarily Apples

 "Apple Trio"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Here's a painting I did using only the primary colors (Cadmium red, Cadmium yellow, and Ultramarine blue), plus white. A great way to capture truly brilliant bright reds is to lighten them by adding yellow instead of white. Titanium white has a blue cast, which ever-so-slightly cools and dulls orangey Cad red. A dash of yellow lightens it, keeps it saturated, and gives it a warm kick that helps it advance towards the eye.

Here are the three stages of my painting. First, I tone the canvas with a dull orange I mix from all three colors, laying in my drawing and pulling out some highlights. Second, I firm up my drawing with a darker shade, indicating my darkest darks and noting the overall value scheme. And third: add color!

Step two-and-a-half - not shown here - is paint mixing. With a palette knife. A lot of it. :)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Coast Memory

 "A Coast Memory"
10 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

Back in the studio, feeling excited about painting! Working hard on the concept that if you nail the value, you can really use any color you like. And using contrast to reinforce my focal point. Notice how that little triangle of purple next to the bright yellow slash ever-so-subtly keeps your eye on the glass float, front and center? That's a complementary color contrast at work!

Speaking of work: I've got a portrait workshop next weekend, Feb 20-22nd, at Oregon Art Supply with two spots open. Sign up if you feel like working with me - and having fun too!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Still Life Painting: The Next Level!

 "Teacup Demo at Shreveport"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

My second workshop in Shreveport, Louisiana (read all about the first one here) was a group who'd painted with me last October. Besides being incredibly flattered that they'd come back for more, I was excited to see how their work had progressed, and try out some new ideas!

We worked on edges, paint handling, color mixing, and stroke economy....

...we took a field trip to the art supply store, and had a varnishing demonstration.

Also they plied me with King Cake!

(I got the baby!)

On the last day of the workshop, we set up a new, large still life, and used limited palettes - one of each of the primary colors, plus white. Below right you can see my demo palette: I chose Alizarin Crimson, Cerulean Blue, and Yellow Ocher.

 My painting had very muted yellows, as a result, but the color harmony was automatic. We all learned a ton about the unique properties of the three colors we chose!

"Limited Palette demo at Shreveport"
9x12" oil on canvas

Thanks, Ladies, for being such a great group! Can't wait until the next time.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Painting the Dynamic Still Shreveport!

"Green Apple Demo at Shreveport"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

I just got back from a week in sunny Shreveport, Louisiana, teaching two fabulous still life workshops! The first was a group of new (to me) students, who spent three intense days delving into values, color, and brushwork, and made some amazing paintings.

We set up three colorful, communal still life tables, and gathered around. The students got to zoom in on the subjects that appealed to them. Some painted apples, some painted turnips. All got a chance to experiment with different colors and subjects throughout the weekend.

 In one of my favorite exercises, we limited the number of brushstrokes used to make a quick painting. Here's my demo: two lemons, in 25 strokes!

 It was an enthusiastic, talented, friendly, and fun group of artists! Grateful I got to paint with you all.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Exploring the Zorn Palette Portrait

 "Maya B"
12 x 9 inches, oil on canvas

 January's session of Zorn Palette Portrait was a blast, with a new model every day, two painting demos by moi, and tons of great work by the students!

Here's the progression of my demo of Maya, which took about 2 hours:

On day 2, we had a very special guest model: my friend in art (and life), Gabriella. Here she is, posing, with the students' portraits of her at the bottom right:

Here are the students' portraits of Maya. So good!!

I'm already looking forward to the next round of this workshop - lining up some fresh model faces, too. There are a couple of spots still available for February 20-22, at Oregon Art Supply. Register here!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Specs Steal the Show

12x9 inches, oil on canvas

It's not hard to tell where the focal point of this piece is! Those thick glasses really dominate the model's face, blurring the detail of his eyes. They also catch the strongest highlight in the painting - which usually happens on the tip of the nose or on the forehead, in a portrait. 

So, I titled this one "Spectacles," because that's what it's all about.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wrapping and Rolling

"Wrapping and Rolling"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
Special Christmas Price! 

Merry Christmas! Wow, I really squeaked this one in under the wire - my one and only ornament painting for 2014! Last year there were two, in 2012 there were four...

You can see a time-lapse video of this painting being created HERE. Enjoy!

And have a great holiday.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I Expose My Reference

 "Self Portrait Sketch no. 2"
10 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I've explained it before - I always paint self portraits from photo reference. I took a slew of selfies the other day, and have been trying out a few different heads - hoping to complete a large self portrait (head and hands) before the end of the year.

It's a tall order. Good thing I'm a short person!

Here's the photo for this one:

Any other painters want to give it a shot?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sketching Selfies

 "Self Portrait Sketch no. 1"
10 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I just finished up a Christmas portrait commission, which, because it hasn't been gifted yet, is unsharable. What to do with all that leftover paint? You got it: Selfies! This kind takes a little bit longer than this kind, but it's a lot more fun.

Here's my sketch-to-finish. The pencil drawing was a quick ten-minute warmup in my studio journal.

Did someone say "Studio Journal?!" Sounds suspiciously like new year's resolution material.....

'Tis the season, after all.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Limited Palette Love

 "Triangle Pose"
14 x 11 inches, oil on canvas

For this piece, I used a palette of Cadmium Red, Viridian, Hansa Yellow, and Yellow Ocher. I think of that either as a straight up complementary Red-Green setup, with yellow thrown in because you can't do flesh tones without it - or as a three-primaries palette, with red, yellow, and Viridian green as a stand-in for blue.
Cadmium Red and Viridian mix some beautiful pinks and lavenders, which I might never have fully explored if I hadn't tried this palette combo.

There are so many reasons to try painting with a limited palette...but my number one favorite? It saves me from having to track down all 11 or 12 of my normal colors when I'm rushing out the door on Tuesday nights!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Keeping Warm

"Keeping Warm"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

Here's a little still life from last week. I painted it over a "wiper" canvas - you can see the ghost of the previous painting in the in-progress shot below:


I kept the background thin and brushy to let some of those sepia tones peek through.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Paean to Painting Public

 "Persimmon and Floats"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I painted these persimmon pieces at a fun event called the "Tools of the Trade Show," put on by the University of Oregon's college bookstore (known as "The Duck Store," because, you know, football).  It's a mega-meet-n-greet with art supply vendors, and the store invites artists to create in the middle of the mayhem. I had a great time.

 Trying not to get distracted by all the radically reduced art supplies. 25% off the entire store!
Head down. Concentrate!

Speaking of big events, (and big discounts, come to think of it), have you heard about my Holiday Open Studio Sale this Saturday? You haven't!?! Well, here ya go:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! (Plus, Plots and Plans)

"Persimmon on Purple"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Happy Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I've been TBB (too busy to blog) for weeks - ok, ok, no I haven't, I've been TLB (the L is for Lazy...)
but I shouldn't be so hard on myself! 

In fact, I've been busy plotting and planning.... First, a holiday open studio and sale, next weekend, December 6th. It's going to be at my best friend Gabriella's gorgeous studio (if you don't want to catch Studio Envy, consider staying away). We have a diverse group of artists, with ceramics, prints, paintings, handmade books, and even garden art. Snacks, drinks, deals, discounts (hint: on my table, there will be a $20 and under box). You should come. Here are the details.

I've also created - and updated - a new section of this blog: Workshops! Click the workshop tab at the top of the page, or (if you're reading this in your email - and I don't blame ya) just click here to see a list of my upcoming workshops and painting demonstrations.

2015, anyone?!?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Putting the 'Work' in Workshop!

 "Heavy Eyelids"
10 x 8 inches, oil on canvas, Zorn palette

I had a great three-day weekend, but I wasn't relaxing! Neither were the five intrepid students in my Zorn Palette Portrait workshop at Oregon Art Supply.

We painted from a different live model every day, doing 30 minute sketches, 1 hour studies, and 3+ hour paintings too. I can't say enough about the effort - and the improvement - these ladies showed. Check them (and their incredible paintings) out!

Below are my demos from the weekend. The center image was a 30-minute sketch, and the ones on either side took about two hours each.

One of my favorite things about teaching is how inspired I feel after a workshop - inspired to paint, inspired to teach more - exhausted and energized at the same time. 

The next session of Zorn Palette Portrait will be January 10-12th, 2015. Click the Workshop tab above for more info! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Figure Painting, Figure Drawing

 "Maya, Nude"
14 x 11 inches, oil on canvas

Here is my figure painting from Tuesday night - my first time painting this lovely model. She'll also be modelling for my Zorn Palette Portrait workshop, which begins tomorrow. I know the students will love her calm, serious face as much as I did.

This will be my second time teaching Zorn Palette at Oregon Art Supply. (Here's my post about September's session.) I'm hoping to do it again in January, and the workshop is limited to five students - so if you think you'd like to join me, call today to reserve a spot! 541-683-2787.

 In other news: my sketchbook got some action this week! (Must be a full moon or something). Here's a 20 minute drawing:


Sunday, November 2, 2014

One More Coastal Still Life:

 "Tea by the Sea"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

This piece ends my week of coastal still lives. I loved immersing myself in the natural light of the beautiful studio I rented in Toledo. It's so incredible to take yourself out of your natural habitat once in a while. 

Here are all of the paintings I brought home:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

I Planned on Painting Fish....

 "Louis (the Fish)"
11 x 14 inches, oil on canvas

Well, I thought it would be a no-brainer. Oregon boats everywhere....I should paint some fish, right?! Turns out, it's harder to procure a whole fish, on the coast, than I thought. 

Since I didn't arrive prepared to catch my own, there wasn't much available that wasn't filleted. I did have an interesting encounter with an enormous tuna in a walk-in freezer on highway 101 just south of Newport, but I balked at buying - mostly because that fish was large. Damn large.

I hate to tell you this, but I bought this sad little guy at Safeway. He's a Tilapia.

He gets his name from a favorite childrens book of mine, Louis the Fish

And here's a work-in-progress: