Monday, March 29, 2010

Breaking News!!!

Breaking News: Artist found painting a male decapitated head! Authorities report that Sacramento adjunct art professor David Lobenberg was found in his studio with a decapitated head on a table next to his easel!!! When arrested and taken away in hand cuffs, he was heard screaming, I was only painting a plaster cast model, you idiots!!!!!! The city coroner arrived shortly thereafter to bag and take away the head for lab. analysis!

Here a tweek, there a tweek, everywhere a tweek tweek.

Yes, I've tweeked the watercolor that is on my previous post. Hint: nothing was painted but a few areas were lifted. Can you find those areas? Normally I HATE to lift, because too much can make a spontaneous and fresh watercolor stink! I hope this second iteration does not stink. I have also included my reference photo. Can you see changes I made?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Getting ready for a future watercolor workshop

I will be offering some acrylic floral and landscape workshops, a charcoal still life workshop, and watercolor animal and landscape workshops between April and July here in Sacramento, Calif. What you see here is a preparatory watercolor landscape (urbanscape) I just finished for a workshop in July. I call it "Wash Day Italiano" The trick on this one was to keep my palette fairly mono- chromatic so that it did not fight the colorful wash hanging out to dry. Some brick work was indicated with a small flat brush and some texture was applied to the walls with a tooth brush. Only thing left to do is to iron the laundry after it drys. Chao!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose And By Any Other Name Is A Rose.

My students are painting one to two flowers max. in a simple bud vase this week at Sacramento City College. We are all working on 8"X10" canvases with a limited palette of Titanium white, Napthol Red, Cad. Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, and Mars Black. This is mine, and I'll post some of my student's work next week. Compare this to my Coca-cola painting two posts back...guess I'm in my Yellow period.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Little Impasto Never Hurts

Here is the progression of my cable car painting that will be an acrylic workshop next month. I always start ALL of my paintings by blocking in color shapes and values or as nationally-known oil painter Kevin MacPhearson coins it: Valhues. Absolutely no refined detail here, only simple color/value shapes. Early on, after some blocking in, I decided that the tree "sucked". If you ever get to a "suck" stage in your painting progression, you can cry, swear, or poke a big hole in your canvas...or...maybe there might be a solution. Mine was to simplify. Sometimes going up a very steep San Francisco hill, all you see is sky. After I got in as much detail and refinement as I wanted, I completed the painting by laying in some gestural, impasto strokes of paint... this is more fun than a barrel of flats, filberts, and brights combined (I paint mostly with flats)! "Impasto in the defense of an exciting painting is no vice." You may quote me on this semi- paraphrase of Barry Goldwater's acceptance speech as a presidential candidate a million years ago: "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice". Sorry, I'm somewhat of a history buff.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Late Breaking News Bulletin!

Drinking one liter of Coca-Cola once a month during a full moon will promote hair growth!!! True! You do believe me, don't you? This is my 8"X10" acrylic painting on stretched canvas that is a mini still life assignment for my Sacramento City College acrylic painting class ( My favorite tag line for Coca-Cola is: "the Pause That Refreshes"). The point of this assignment is to paint the impression of these objects. To suggest these objects whilst not being entrapped by painting small details with a small brush. I used only flat brushes ranging from an inch to a quarter inch across. I tell my students to observe color notes or color/value shapes or valhues (a wonderful word that nationally-known oil painter Kevin MacPhearson coined) very carefully, but then squint (while looking at the still life) to help edit out too much detail and middle tones ( "values" here in America}. (Ever notice my crazed use of parenthesizes?)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stone Men

An acrylic triptych on canvas that I have on display in a figurative show at Elliot Fouts Gallery here in my hometown of Sacramento, CA. About ten artists are displaying their figurative work. Who are these weird and bulky guys? They are strong men athletes who participate events such as automobile lifting, iron pole flipping, and the "Atlas Ball" lift and placement. That's what these big boys are doing, and I find great visual delight in this particular strong man event. If these painting sell, I'll stand on my head and eat a bug (one of those grey bugs that ball up in your hand)!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.

What's the title of this post got to do with these two paintings? Not much. I just like this old and oh-so-true ancient Chinese proverb! I"m posting these two 8"X12" acrylic paintings of mine, because this is an assignment in my college acrylic painting class that I'm teaching this semester. I promised to post both paintings for my students so that they would have my example to look at as they work on theirs. We are painting from a reference photo that I found on the photo site, Flickr. Last Saturday, I showed everyone how to quickly lay in (with a big flat brush) the sky and field. Then I demoed how to "block in" the foreground trees with a dark violet/green. The trees literally looked like blocks. Then we blocked in a light yellow/green for the sunlite portions of the foliage. Finally, I painted in "sky windows" to "feather out" the trees and give them that natural tree or foliage look. My students have the option of laying in a meandering path of their own design. To finish this scene, they have to add more detail in the foreground and paint in a soft background tree line. Anyway... hereya go, my Art 334 students... something to look at while you are painting. What a pleasure teaching all of you! Every Saturday, you come to class bringing such great enthusiasm!!!