Saturday, March 31, 2012


Two posts ago, I showed a painting of one of my Sacramento City College students in progress and not quite completed. Then I painted a second more colorful study shown in the previous post. This one is that first study but with deeper, more saturated hues glazed onto the face (and with added background work). With both studies, I have discovered that I want to paint my portraits with considerably deeper, more saturated hues.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Study #2 of young man wearing cap

I painted this second version of one of my Sacramento City College students (see previous post). I'm not sure if I'm finished with this one either. I'm letting it "rest" for awhile. . . no need to rush to judgement. This is the first time I have published photos taken with my toady and ever-so-ancient 3G IPhone . . . can't believe how out of date I can be but I too am getting a tad ancient. I'm a 65G!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Foundation of Painting

This young gentleman was one of my drawing students at Sacramento City College, and these photos* show the progress of my watercolor painting of him. It's not finished yet. I shall post the finish some time in April. As you can see, I primarily worked from dark to light controlling my light, dark, and mid values VERY, VERY carefully. This comes from years of painting and lots of studies in monotone only. My favorite monotone color is Winsor and Newton's Payne's Gray. Color IS value, but if you cannot control value, I firmly believe that you cannot master representational painting. I've  just completed a one hour, fifteen minute DVD on this subject. It will be ready for purchase in April. I welcome your comments on my color portrait to date and any interest you may have concerning purchasing "Portraiture In Payne's Gray".
*photos graciously provided by one of my workshop students

Sunday, March 25, 2012

From start to finish

START - paint in the basic color masses or shapes. Paint it quickly and without a great deal of sophistication. Use as big a brush as possible. You have now laid down the foundation upon which you refine your shapes, colors, values, and edges.
FINISH - This is really the hard part! - the refining that is built upon your start foundation. Be patient and work hard!
Acrylic on stretched canvas- 8 inches by 10 inches.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Think Yolk

To all my students in the acrylic 334 class at Sacramento City College (Davis campus) - click on the yolk/shell photo and drag to your desk top and make a color print to bring to class next Friday. To my blog followers, the other two photos show the finished paintings of the coffee cup and donut by my students that meet every Thursday at University Art store in Sacramento. I teach them to start by painting simple shapes or masses of color with as large a brush as possible. At first, the resulting painting looks crude and rough but serves as a foundation upon which future refinements of value, color, contour, and edges are painted to complete the piece. My finished painting is the third in from the  right. You see one of my students working on her painting with my painting in the background. My painting at this point is well into the refinement stage but definitely not finished. I would say it is about 75% complete.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Latest portrait: a PBS personality based here in Sacramento

This is Rob Stewart, a PBS television personality. Here in Sacramento, he hosts "Rob On The Road". This watercolor painting will be added to my other PBS portraits that hang in the visitor's center at Sacramento's PBS station KVIE. He is an energetic person who has a great deal of empathy and genuine interest for whomever he interviews. I hope that I have captured his character with my color palette, cropping, brushwork, and paint scrubbing. This watercolor was painted on a 140 pound sheet of cold press Arches watercolor paper. It measures 14 by 18 inches.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Two water colors just completed

A little Americana . . .  outdoors and indoors. The coffee/donut combo represents a lot of fat and calories but we sagacious Americans, counteract this sad state of affairs with a sugar substitute!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Watercolor DVD In The Works!

Last week, my videography team completed a shoot of me talking about and painting this female subject. I spoke about my method of painting from start to finish. A wee bit scary talking . . .  and . . .  painting . . . and . . . not screwing up the portrait. . .  all in only two shots! A two week editing/production schedule, and I'm ready to promote and market my first DVD to the world!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Starting and Finishing an Acrylic Painting

I can’t emphasize enough that you NEVER attempt to render fine details at the start of a painting. The absolute OPPOSITE must occur . . . you paint basic, almost crude shapes and colors. At this stage, as tempting as it might be, do NOT get trapped into painting fine details. It is the most basic of shapes and colors that you are after. Think of them as shapes cut from pieces of colored poster paper that you are “gluing” down onto your canvas. It is this beginning stage that artist’s define as their “Start”. It is the foundation upon which your painting is built. What do you build onto this foundation? Simply a refinement of those first “glued” down shapes and colors.

                        Here’s a simple formula to remember–

                              Foundation + Refinement = Successful Painting

                         And here are two detailed formulas –

                                      Very basic shapes and colors = Start
                                          Refined shapes, colors = Finish