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Friday, March 9, 2012

Studying Heads at Gabriel's Studio

Another 8 weeks with Gabrielle before I bow out of class for the spring/summer when too many Fridays are already scheduled with events. Last week Gabe did a demo painting a model for the whole three hours while we sketched. I'm glad for this instruction at this time, when I am finishing Noah's Guitar and interested in doing other portraits soon.

 Gabe likes to do his sketching in purple paint.

 Gabriel Lipper and his quick portrait of Al.

My sketch, from the other side of the room. 

Today we worked with a different model and Gabe spewed information about proportions and planes of the face.

Positioning the eye ball first then wrapping the lids around the orb.

My effort for the day in conte crayon. He needs some more hair...and wider mouth and...? I do love having a model to work from.  More next week.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Noah's guitar continued

I've started another painting in my class with Gabriel Lipper so I'm not moving along with Noah's Guitar as fast as I might, but here's the latest progress:
I think this is where I left off in my last post - still trying to get the rubber out of that guitar neck...

Catching the age of a child is really tricky. Noah might look like this when he's about 13, but now he's not quite ten.

  There's something about the angle of his head that isn't right but I can't quite figure it out.

SOooo' I can muck around for hours trying to "find" him (and hone my drawing/painting skills, yes)  OR I can do what a purist would call "cheating" and I call a means to an end. I suspect this is done more than most painters will admit but I will share it with you rather than pretend I'm an ace at portraiture.
Here's what I did: I measured the head in the painting (6 1/2"). Then I opened the reference image in my computer and cropped the photo down to just the head- crown to chin. Then I printed the image choosing the size of 61/2". Now I have a photo I can lay over the painting and see where I have gone astray.  Watch the video:

Ah HA! the reason he looks older is because I've made his features too small! And, I've made my classic mistake once again of making the right eye too low. That's why the angle of the head looked off.

 Ok- I've got this photo so why not rub some charcoal on the back and transfer the position of the features right on to the painting?  Who's to know? Who cares? Not me and hopefully not you.

Now this looks more like the photo - with plenty of room for my interpretation or "style".

It's interesting that I can see bits of his sister that I had not noticed before.  I'll let this dry before I do any more, so if I muck it up I can at least go back to this and try again.

 And in the meantime there's a very interesting fretting hand to work on.

Stay tuned - there will be more. Did you like the addition of video in this post?


Delicious Distractions

You all need to know something.
We have a new dog. He's eye candy - a beautiful tri-color Assie mix with bright eyes and huge ears. He is sweet and smart and playful when it's time to play and mellow when it's not. I'm teaching him how to catch a frisbee.
He is a joy and a distraction. Here he is in my studio being Extra Good:

We named him Friday, partly because I found him at the shelter on a Friday but also because we knew he would be as loyal to us as Robinson Crusoe's Man Friday was to him.  
We only had him for two days before we hauled him off on a 5 hour trip to Portland for my grandson's 2nd birthday. I love this photo of the two of them:

They are both "distractions" from my studio work. And a huge source of joy in my life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Protest SOPA and SIPA

What if you could not access my blog because SOMEONE decided I swiped some of my content, or maybe because I've got nudes posted here.Tell Congress and President Obama TODAY that We The People will not tolerate the proposed internet censoring of SOPA and SIPA. Click here to take action.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Noah's guitar

Remember the pictures of my grandniece Sophie playing her violin and then a couple years later, her flute? Well, her little brother Noah, now nearly 10, is also a musician. This Christmas I snapped some photos of him playing his guitar and when I was trying to boot myself back to work in the studio this was the image from which I most wanted to make a painting.

 As usual, I'm not going to say a whole lot here. The photos tell the story with only a few comments:

 I'm using an old painting nullified with a couple coats of quick-dry titanium white. (Remember! never gesso or acrylics over oils)

 the tone of the picture is mostly reds, so I'm sketching in red

 I'm not using the background in the photo so here are some small value studies to figure out the composition.

 Thinner on the darks...
 heavier on the lights...

 I always think it's kind of funny when another painting jumps into these photos.

 Oooh that guitar has a rubber neck!

 better, but not right yet

 Having trouble getting this beautiful instrument lined up right!

 Trying to keep the shapes simple in the face and hands.

 Yes! I like this hand!

 Still working on getting that neck down.

Almost, but not quite.

I'm back in class with Gabriel tomorrow so I won't be working on this, but I'll share again soon.

...and the winner is...

As a promo during my show at Stonehenge we offered a drawing where anyone who came to see the exhibit could throw their name in to possibly win  a Leslie Lee print of their choice.  How lovely that the name drawn was my friend Gyllian who now lives in Canada, but still was there for me on opening night. Gyllian is a most lovely, interesting person and creator of Hope Bearers "Repairing the World". Check it out.  Given Gyllian's sensibilities I'm curious to see what image she will pick for her print.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Solo Show at Stonehenge Studios in Portland

Yesterday the first solo show I have had in a decade was hung. Tomorrow night is the opening. I am in that "what if nobody comes" phase which will heighten progressively throughout the day until 5:30 comes and I'm talking to visitors and old friends who show up.  Then for the next few days I will wonder why so and so didn't come. Didn't they get the announcements? Do I have to re-do my entire email list? Such a silly cycle. Oh well, it's all part of the game.

I wrapped these painting up two days before Thanksgiving when we drove to Portland for our annual feast with family and friends. Having not seen them for over two weeks I wondered how I would feel as they were unveiled in the gallery space; not bad as it turns out. I really do like this group of paintings, twelve of which I have completed in the last six months. And, since we have been hanging out in Portland all this time I am ready to get back in the studio and make some more as soon as we get home.   I don't have any shows booked but I got a glimpse this time of how good it feels to be able to pick and choose my best work to exhibit instead of including the not-so-greats just to fill a show.
If you are in the Portland area or know someone you think would enjoy this exhibit here's the info and a preview.
Everyone who comes Dec 9 -Jan 4 can enter to win one of my giclee prints of their choice so come on down to SW Corbett and throw your name in the hat! If you mention that you heard about it on my blog you can enter twice and double your chances.