Thursday, January 28, 2010

Husband and wife portrait commission.

This acrylic was painted on a failed landscape painted on an 11"X14" stretched canvas that I gessoed over. Waste not, want not...and...I got a little texture from the previous landscape! After the white gesso was dry, I painted a warm, brown background. The first easel photo shows my white contour line sketch and the first lay in of skin tone. The second easel shot shows some hair, mouth, skin tone/color, clothing action. The third photo shows more refined skin tone/color action. The final easel shot shows my final refined/completed acrylic painting. I made some major changes on my skin colors as you can easily see...and... over night while I was out of my studio and not watching, the husband straightened out his bow tie!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

San Francisco Cable Car Round Two

After having painted a study (see previous post), I became more confident, and I think in this second iteration that it shows. Until the painting was about 85% complete, there was little clue as to what it was going to look like. My study #1 told me it was going to look just fine but that I needed to paint with more authority and that I wanted to punch up the vibrancy of color. Even though the populated cable car has a lot going on in it, I needed to keep the colors somewhat bright for every tiny, little detail. I was able stay focused and relaxed at this endeavor, because I knew that if I kept my value pattern the same (as in the first study), the painting was going to look just fine. Whenever you paint from life or a photo reference, you really do not want to paint in too many details. Good paintings for me are all about editing and inventing to maximize visual excitement. Notice on the front roof of the cable car, I have left out some shadow. That is a good example of how an artist veers away from reality in order to maximize visual punch. You can also see how I treated the tree differently from the first study. Notice the snap in the way the people were painted. That's the confidence I gained from doing numero uno study. In other words, I had developed a painting road map. Is this the ultimate? Could I do better? Hell yes! But for now, I will not throw it in the nearest dumpster but will put it aside to go on to other projects.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

San Francisco Cable Car Study

This is a water color study I painted on 140lb cold press Canson water color paper. It measures 10 1/2"X 14". I pulled the reference photo off of YouTube. Unlike opaque mediums, you have hardly any room for corrections with water color ( at least with the way I like it!). My good buddy Mike Bailey would reject this claim, but I believe that if you want that traditional, loose, wet, runny h2o look, your effort has to be painted right the first time out the gate. If not, hang your head down in shame and angrily toss your painting into the nearest dumpster, late at night and in the seedy part of town. Thus I do studies. I make mistakes and learn what I want and do not want to do. I present this study in hopes of posting a final SF cable car water color that I can hold high with pride as I prance around a meadow filled with fragrant spring, dew kissed blossoms. PS: I used some acrylic in this study. My final will be bereft of this element (I hope!).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter Semester Student Charcoal Portraits

Last year, I posted some of my Sacramento City College drawing student's self portraits. This year, I took photos of my winter semester drawing students and distributed them in a manner in which they had to do one of their fellow classmates. Here is a sampling of the results. Two photos in particular crack me up...totally spontaneous poses on their part!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2 man show

I will be part of a two man show at the Elliot Fouts Gallery here in Sacramento beginning February 6 and ending March 5. Here are six samples of what I will be exhibiting. All of my paintings in the show are acrylics on stretched canvas. This grouping ranges in size from 16"X20" to 18"X40". Subject matter is primarily local farms/ranches and Sacramento area urbanscapes. The top painting is sunrise on the Big Elkhorn Ranch just north of the Sacramento International Airport. The second painting I did en plein air during the early afternoon on The Big Elkhorn Ranch. The third painting is the view looking west from my old studio that I was in about three years ago. The next two paintings are sunsets on the part of the Sacramento River that runs by downtown Sacramento. They were painted from photo references from my photo library.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Calif. State Capitol Building

This acrylic on stretched canvas measures 36"X48" and is one of two paintings that I have in a "Sunrise/ Sunset" show at the Elliot Fouts Gallery here in Sacramento. I titled this one "Capitol Morning". Here are the progressive photos I took as I "built" the Capitol. Now here is the funny part. The Fouts Gallery does this show in January every year and remember that it is called the "Sunrise/Sunset Show". I figured that I'd make a big splash and enter this large "Capitol Morning" canvas, and that would be largie counts for two smallies...right?...wrong! When I delivered the canvas to the gallery, Elliot asked, "Where's your sunset painting?" Fortunately I had one that was slated for a two man show I'm in next month. I post it here. So now I have my sunrise and sunset painting...the only problem being that one measures 36"X48" and the other 6"X12". A tad extreme is size differential, but the good news is that the wee one here has already sold.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Conversion

Well maybe not a conversion. Lets call it an addition. About six years ago, I was commissioned to paint several large pieces for a newly constructed activities building at a Sun City retirement community in Lincoln, Calif. The first piece was of a 1900 era Lincoln saloon just outside of the towns opera theater. I painted the scene in water color (my main medium at the time) on a sheet of 5 foot by 7 foot water color paper! It came out just fine, but what if I add blown the painting? I needed to do the remaining pieces with an opaque medium so I could make changes. So the next painting was done in acrylic. I learned the medium on the job! It was a bird rookery scene about 5 feet by 7 feet. I painted this in acrylic on water color paper, and it was wall papered above a hallway entrance. The third commission was to show senior activities and was to be above a theater stage. Needless to say, it too was painted in acrylic. Now, most of my gallery work is in acrylic. By the way, that's my water color set up on the stage. I was invited last fall to give a water color demo and talk to the Sun City Art Club. A water color demo of all things!