Saturday, November 3, 2012

Figure Painting

 My first figure painting in quite a while. 18x24, from life of course.  It's the first time I've worked from a figure model outside of a classroom situation.  I had a great model, but I rushed the painting too much especially in the beginning.  I knew I would only have 30-40 work hours for this painting and ended up pressuring myself to work too quickly, skipping critical stages of my process, which ended up actually costing me more time.  Over all, I'm pleased with how the painting turned out and I'm excited to get into the next one.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Price List 2012/2013

For the past few years, I've been winging it when it comes to pricing.  I'd finish a piece, submit it to a show and when they requested a price I'd hem and haw and generally dither around trying to figure out a number value to attach to something that to me is representative of hours of concentration, creative thought and angst.  This method has led to some rather unhelpful price structures based basically on how much I liked a particular piece at the time I priced it.  So, after researching how other artists have done this, I've come up with a (somewhat) more objective way to price my work.  I say somewhat, because it's always going to have a level of subjectivity to it.  Basically I have 3 categories based on the size of the paintings small, medium and large,I thought about giving them pretentious titles using different languages to confuse people, but then thought better of it, and then a dollar range for each one. The price of the painting then becomes based on the size first, the complexity of subject and the overall finish of the piece, the time it took me to complete factors in as well (although it is pretty much related to the level of finish), and the general awesomeness of the painting. Here are the categories with some of the standard sizes that I work in

Small (8x10, 12x12, 11x14) 500-1,000 dollars
Medium (14x18, 16x20, 18x24, 20x24) 1,000-2,500 dollars
Large (22x28, 24x30, 24x36, 30x40) 2,500-5,000 dollars

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Contemplation of Beauty

8x10 Trompe l'oeil 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Allegory of Poetry

My first (somewhat) large multi- figure painting: "The Allegory of Poetry"  I had three of my cousins pose for me at my Grandma's farm this summer and am excited to start this one!  24x36, pretty good sized but not overwhelming.  I started the drawing thinking it would be 30x40, but realized a more vertical composition would emphasize the figures better, so I cropped it a bit.

 The painting is about the romantic notion of  poetry, the characters represent the muse whispering to the inspired who spends time in nature, surrounded by beauty and involving herself in the writing of others, and the act of writing, creation, the outcome of inspiration. I'm inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites, both technically with a focus on nature, vivid jewel like colors, and attention to detail, and also thematically with an emphasis on the idealism and beauty as integral pieces in the puzzle of art.  However, Often in classical or medieval paintings of both the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood and the academic artists, the figures have an element of sameness about them, I want my characters to remain unique, specific young women at a specific time, no ambiguity or generic faces and figures, which adds to the theme.
Drawing to be transfered
Full Chromatic Palette

Poster Study 8x10
Drawing inked onto Canvas
Imprimatura: Ivory Black and Transp. yellow oxide

Full color under-painting
Because color is so important in this painting, I decided to do a full color wash in for the under painting instead of the value oriented under painting in raw umber that I would normally do.
The Block in is painted with full bodied, straight tube paint.  I used a full palette for most of it, but simplified it quite a bit for the skin tones.  Because I have a tendency to use too much orange or yellow and I wanted a cool pink skin tone, I basically just used black, white, and red, using yellow ochre and raw umber sparingly.

Here's an update, you can see I'm working from the bottom right, slowly adding more detail at this point I figure I'm a little more than half way done, I've worked between 60 and 70 hours on it at this point.
I'm about at the end of the second layer, I'll start the finish next week
And finished!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Still Life and Hudson Valley Landscape

"I wist not what to wish, yet sure, thought I
If so much excellence abide below,
How excellent is He that dwells on high!
Whose power and beauty by his works we know;
Sure he is goodness, wisdom, glory, light,
That has this underworld so richly dight:
More heaven than earth was here, no winter no night."
--Ann Bradstreet excerpt from Contemplations

Thursday, July 26, 2012



Dinosaur King and Dino Dan

Ice Age
Dinosaurs: Babies and Eggs
La Brea Tar Pits documentory
Dinosaurs Alive

I'm painting Titus now, he's watching movies and shows just like Verity did while I painted her.  This one is going much faster than hers, Titus sits still a lot better than his sister, of course he's two years older, so its not a surprise.  I skipped the underpainting this time because I'm working on a panel I'd already painted on, so I just did a basic alla prima start on the drawing.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Portrait of my father


Block-in (first color layer)

Layer 2
Layer three... almost done!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Still Life with Prudhon Academie

Drawing on board


Block-in first color layer

second layer
Final Layer
Simple new still life, my ubiquitous pewter pot (this is the third or fourth painting to feature it) and a Prudhon academie. Giving credence to the adage "well begun is half done"  I'm moving quickly through this painting, which is good because I have my next still life in mind already and I need to start it before cherries are out of season.  Its 11x14, I'm starting to really enjoy working smaller, mostly because I can complete them faster, which suits my ever-present readiness for the next painting (which in my head is always better than the one I'm working on).

Friday, May 25, 2012


(Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs)

                                                                   (Dora the Explorer)

                                                                        (A Bug's Life)

(Bolt, again and Madagascar 2)
(Shrek the third)
Well, I'm starting an ambitious little project this week.  Little because it's only 12x12, ambitious because I'm painting a wiggly four year old from life.  I'm posting after each session and including the movie she's watching.  I had to change the lighting around, while I really liked the back lighting, every time she wiggled  or made a face (which she does a lot of) the shadows kept shifting making it even more difficult. I'll keep posting pictures as it progresses. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I'm doing more quick sketches lately inspired by my seven year old who draws incessantly, so I thought I should post more as well.  The top is the stump of a tree that I took out of my backyard last week.  I'd been waiting for two years to see if it was worth saving, but year after year, fewer leaves came out and more branches were dead all the way through.  It was a Harry Lauder Walking Stick, which is an awesome small tree because of it's curly branches so I was disappointed that it didn't root well.  But after I took it out, it looked interesting sitting on my grass in the fading light, and so I decided to draw it. So the upside is that I got a neat sketch and I put in a small pond where the tree was. Under it is a sketch of my daughter, taking a much needed and unfortunately exceedingly rare nap.