Sunday, March 28, 2010

Marion's Dad 3

This is phase three of Marion's Dad and as you can see he is starting to emerge through the layers of paint. I've added more glazes of color to his face and neck and you can still see the transparency of the skin tones. I've started to work in a little more detail by putting in some darker darks to define the features. I have started to add more value differentially to the strands of hair and made the top of his head has warm tones and the side has cool tones.

When painting a portrait I experience an intimacy with the person I am painting. I feel as if I get to know every little curve and shadow as well as all the little details of their face. Then there is the sense of the entire face coming together to present the special feeling and character that the person emits. I feel as if I've gotten to know the person even if I never met them.

The next post will show you the competed painting of Marion's Dad. I hope you are enjoying these work in progress entries.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Marion's Dad 2

Here is the next phase of the painting of Marion's Dad. As you can see I've added more layers of different colors. After applying the yellows I start applying the reds. I also put in some purple colors mostly on the right side of his face and his shirt. I also stated to put more details in his hair.

I think he is coming along at this point. The skin is starting to get the look of transparency which I feel resembles real skin. This is basically why I have found that I like glazing colors to get the skin tones as apposed to painting in flesh tones. The scary part is that the eyes have not been done yet but they will start appearing in the next phase of this painting.

I have really enjoyed painting Marion's father. He has a great face and I love his eyebrows and hair. I can't wait to show you the next phase of this painting.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Work in Progress

This is the first phase of the latest portrait that I am working on. He is the father of Marion. She was kind enough to lend me his photo to paint him by.

There are certain things that I look for in a photo to copy for a portrait. First of all I like a face that shows character and/or there is a special "feeling" about the facial expression. I look for a clear photo that shows the features well enough to copy for an accurate depiction of the individual. I also want to see highlights and shadows a gradations of value in between. This photo of Marion's dad had all of them.

I started by drawing the face, features and shirt. I copied the outline and then worked more free hand for the features. Then I added the first layers of paint. I started with aureolin yellow and cadmium yellow. I painted around the highlighted areas. Then I added more paint in the darker areas.

I feel that I started to capture Marion's Dad right from these beginning phases. It is a good feeling when that happens. Sometimes it takes a while longer to start seeing the look of the person. (And sometimes it never happens at all.)

Thank you Kim for requesting that I post the work in progress of a portrait. I will continue to post my development of Marion's Dad. Let me know if there are any other things you would like to see posted. It's always helpful to get your feedback.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I just finished this painting. It is a gift for my daughter Kim. She asked me to paint it for her about 9 months ago when she moved into her new home in La Quinta, CA. I really hope that she loves it.

This was a painting done with love. I really put my heart into the creation of it. It is not my usual style but it was so much fun painting.

It has been a long time since I have painted in oils. It reminds me of the things I like and dislike about oils. I love the creamyness of the medium. Mixing colors, blending colors, adding lights over darks and leaving texture in the paint add to the wonder of the experience. On the negative side is the time it takes to paint and then dry and the clean up. In the very back of my mind are the thoughts of toxicity.

Now I need to spend more time getting ready for the spring art shows. It is an exciting but stressful time. I need to paint a few new paintings, get prints and notecards made up, matt and frame paintings and prints, get my supplies together, and make a few purchases. This is on top of my busy teaching schedule. Sounds like fun doesn't it? Well it will be as long as I don't pull my hair out. In the meantime I'm taking a trip to sunny Californ i a. Which will relax and inspire me.