Monday, December 13, 2010

My own little Studio Space

 I have been working hard to get a small little area of my bedroom turned into a studio space.  I'm very happy with the results.  I mounted a spot light I bought from  a friend on top of the tube that my canvas was shipped in.  It works great.  I then stacked some boxes in the corner with a 1/4 piece of birch on top with surrounding cardboard with fabric draped for a still life platform.  Right now I am painting several blue bottles I got at a garage sale with a metal cup.  I really like the colors.  Still a little unsure about the composition.  I also am working on the flag and WWII help I posted about a while ago.  I have included the value study I did for it.  I'm excited to get working on the actual painting.  I am suppose to start a part time job tomorrow so I won't have as much time to paint, but I'll at least get a little cash flowing. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bitter Sweet

This past week was a bitter sweet.  Sweet because I've been producing some nice work and I'm happy with everything I've learned, but bitter because Tuesday was my last day at the Grand Central Academy of Art.  I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from such painters as Jacob Collins, Ted Minoff, Scott Waddell, Josh LaRock, Mason Sullivan, Che, Chris Waddell, Camie Davis, and Sam Wisneski.  All extremely talented and wonderful teachers.  We'll see what the future brings for the time being I am working on some still lifes at home and looking for a part time job to get a little cash flow going.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Apples and Still Lifes

I finally got a picture of the still life I finished up a while ago. Enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I have really enjoyed painting Still Lifes lately.  I just finished one but have not been able to get a good picture of it.  It contained a Corning Ware Bowl with a green apple and bright red cloth background.  I learned a great deal about reflective light.  I'll get it up soon.  I've started a new still life combinng a few old books my mother-in-law gave me, a candle stick I got at a garage sale and a bell my wife got some where.  You can see the thumbnail scketches I did to explorer different compositions and the progress of the final idea.  I should start painting soon.  I have some figures I've done recently too.  I'll get them up on the next post.  Life continues to be hectic. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

First Still Life

Here is my first Still Life Painting!!

Tony, my still life professor gave us almost a week to have this painted.  It was my first still life.  I'm happy how things turned out.  Although I didn't finish it it was a great exercise and helped me get warmed up for the semester.  We intend to paint, glass, metal and other objects through out the year.  I'm pretty excited.

Here is a portrait drawing I did in my night class Portrait Painting class. Our regular model didn't show up so this was  a single day pose.

Here is another portrait drawing.  Not the original model.  She's been sick.  Single day pose.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Back to School Fall 2010

School kicked off this past Tuesday.  It's exciting to be back although I don't look forward to the commute.  Life requires sacrifices though to get what you want.  Here are some things I did this summer.


This is a still life I am working on.  I'm going to crop it differently once I transfer it to my canvas.  Composition wise it is really simple.  Old American flag with a WWII helmet in front.  

This is the portrait from the color figure painting workshop I took this summer with Douglas Flynt.  He was an incredible teacher.  I learned a ton.

I tried to sketch a lot this summer, especially out doors.  My girls wanted to be outside all the time.  I enjoyed these plant studies.

I was working on a lot of studies this summer.  All of these hands were done from life, mine or my wife's.  I wanted to paint them and started to, but life got too busy.   

These were also all taken from life.  I enjoyed these quick sketches.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I'm taking a workshop on figure painting in color. I'll be done Friday and should post some pictures of my work. I'm happy with what I've been learning. For now I thought I would post some pictures of my ecorche work.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Crazy Summer!!

This summer is not turning out like I had anticipated. I had planned on working all summer and that has not happened, which might put school in jeopardy this coming school year. I have had the time to put together what I learned at school this past year. I have been doing a lot of sketching in my sketchbook and working on some paintings. A large part of my efforts have gone into trying to understand color theory and the actual application. I will be taking a color figure painting class for two weeks starting tomorrow. I hope that will help answer a lot of questions that I've encountered in my explorations. I have included some pictures of what I've been doing.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

End of Year

The school year is officially over!! That's good, but sad too. We had an end of year show and it is really inspiring to see what everyone has accomplished. This summer will be interesting. I'm hoping to get as much drawing and painting in as possible, but I also need a job or I won't be going back to school next year. I have included a picture of the cast painting I'm working on. I didn't get as far as I would have liked, but I am happy with what I accomplished. There are a few areas I need to go back over, but I feel that it is big step in the right direction. Some of the things that I believe helped were slowing down, using a smaller brush, really trying to get on the form of the cast, and using linen which is really nice to paint on, but very expensive. I also included the final figure drawing for this year.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Drawing and Anatomy

This is going to be my final Cast Painting. I really learned a lot about drawing during the block-in stage of this drawing. The copy I used for the transfer to canvas is almost double the size of the actual drawing (the painted figure will be 25" high).

Below is from from a anatomy drawing workshop at school. Andy Amerol came from California to teach it. We posed a male in the morning and a female in the afternoon with the same pose and then proceeded to draw them, followed by a layer of vellum with the skeletal structure, and then finally a layer of vellum with the muscular structure. It was a great workshop and I learned a lot about anatomy and comparative anatomy in gender.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Drawing, drawing, drawing, and more drawing

Here are the results of this months work. I have only included a few of the best. Near the end of the month I started doing 2 and 3 day block-ins. The portrait, however, was done in about an hour or two. The female was a 3 day block-in and the older gentleman was a 2 day block-in. Overall I have mixed feelings about how successful this month was. I was getting very frustrated for several weeks. I didn't see any progress and felt like I was wasting my time. Thankfully this week I felt like things were coming together. My block-ins have gotten a lot more accurate and are taking less time to complete. In that regard I feel like this month has been a success. I still see that things can develop though. There is certainly room to push the process and continue to become more comfortable with the natural progression of a drawing. Next month is the last month of the year. I plan on doing one more drawing in graphite and then hopefully I'll start painting the figure in the fall. I have also included the beginnings of the sketch of what should be my final cast painting.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Anatomy and Block-Ins

This month I have been really working hard at slowing down and tightening up on my drawing process. My hope and goal is that I'll become faster while at the same time more accurate. Instead of drawing just one drawing for the month I have been drawing a new one every day. The most important part of the drawing happens in the beginning and that is where I am trying to become more systematic. Drawing is actually a lot harder than most people think. It takes a great deal of mental work. I have been emotionally and physically drained at the end of the day because of this specific focus. The idea is to do the same thing (within reason) every time. First you establish a quick gesture of the drawing, then you find the half way point, make sure the heights are proportional to the widths and then start working from the middle of the drawing, focusing on shapes. You push your way outward and then switch over to thinking spatially. I have had to slow down and force myself to focus on not jumping ahead in that process and finding the best solution to discrepancies in my drawing. You don't just change something because it doesn't look right. There could be several changes you could make to solve that one problem, but only one of them will improve the drawing while others will fix parts while creating new ones. It is a huge puzzle that requires a very rational approach. And then you still have to balance being too rational while maintaining a very emotional and creative aesthetic. I had hoped to include some of those one day drawings, but my camera died on me yesterday before I could take a picture.

I have included pictures of my ecorche sculpture. I have really been enjoying my time studying anatomy. Some of the things that I have found helpful are, first studying the anatomy from a book. There is a need to become familiar with the names and an understanding of where the muscles attach and insert. I feel like with that information I can attempt to do a memory drawing. These usually don't turn out very accurate, but it forces me to realize what I know and what I don't. I'll usually correct these with help from my anatomy books. Hopefully I get all this accomplished before I start to sculpt. Sculpting I feel has really helped me take that understanding to the next level. I gain a greater understanding of the mass of the muscles and how they relate to the muscles around them.

I have also included my finished cast painting. I still have not been able to take a decent picture.

Friday, April 2, 2010

March Madness

March has been a crazy month. I had hoped to get some pictures up sooner, but life got in the way. I am approaching the last part of my second year in art school and I feel happy at what I've been able to accomplish. Yet, at the same time I feel unsatisfied. One of the more difficult parts of school has been learning to be patient. Although working hard and putting extra time helps ultimately it takes time and consistent practice before it all comes together. Slow and steady wins the race. I don't know how much longer I'll be able to keep going to school. Times are tough and school isn't cheap. I've committed myself to getting through at least one more year, but the fourth year is still a question. This year I have drawn the figure, painted the casts, and am still working on the ecorche or anatomy study. Next year I will paint the figure in a single color. Hopefully I'll get to do some figure sculpture and portrait and start painting in color. If I am able to stay a fourth year I would push the color painting and do some still life painting. I have included pictures of my ecorche sculpture. I am still sculpting the muscles on the right side of the body and the left side will remain the bare to show the skeleton. I've thought about maybe sculpting the deep muscles on the left side... we'll see. I have also included a picture of the bust I have painting over the last month. It isn't the best picture, but it gives you a good idea how things are going. Last of all I included a picture of the figure drawing I completed in March. Each month my figure drawings have gotten better. Slowly each one has felt more solid. I'm really happy with the portrait.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


We made it to March. That in and of itself is a huge accomplishment with all the little things that have been going on here...snow, sickness, snow, church responsibilities, snow, parenting duties, snow, and everything else...and oh yeah...did I mention the snow?

Even with all the trials we've been facing, I feel like I am making a lot of progress in my art work. I am very happy with how this particular cast painting is coming out. At the end of last year I felt like I didn't know quite enough. As we are coming to the end of this year, I am happy to feel like I now know how to paint (even though I haven't learned how to incorporate color).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter Storms

Due to a winter storm I stayed home from school today. I'm a little relieved. I've been so tired lately. Life has been overly busy lately and I needed a break. I should still be able to get some drawing and painting done today. I have included a few pictures of my human ecorche project. I have completed the skull, spine, ribs, and arms. This Thursday we will complete the skeleton and should start on the muscles soon. I have also included a picture of my cast painting. I painted an underpainting for the first time and am very happy with the results. I'll finish up the underpainting tomorrow and start the final pass. You can see it is already starting to look 3-dimensional. I also put in a picture of the portrait of my figure drawing. I finished the block-in stage last week and started to turn form.

Friday, January 29, 2010

January 2010

"Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to great places. You’re off and away." (Oh the places you'll go, Dr. Seuss, 1990, Random House, pg. 1) This has been a key focus of our night-time reading lately. It has held our girls attention, at least, as well as can be expected for their ages.

2010 is off to a good start and I feel like I'm off to great places. My studies at the Grand Central Academy of Art are progressing well. Sometimes it is discouraging to recognize how far I still have to go, but every once in awhile you get a glimpse of where you are and can see how far you've come. January has done that for me. Painting presents a lot of new and frustrating problems, but as I began my new cast painting this month (the bust) I realized, to some relief, I have learned something. I shared the drawing with you last post. Since then I painted a value study to understand the organization of the values on the cast (essentially how much light each area is receiving). The director of the school mentioned last week he wants to see us get through cast painting much quicker than we are doing currently. The whole idea behind cast painting is to learn the process of painting and how to turn form in paint (make it look 3-dimensional). After I complete this cast I will paint a sculpture (full figure) and then move on to painting the figure and probably doing a little work in figure sculpting. I have also included my wipe-out of this cast. You apply a some what even layer of paint and wipe away the lighter areas. This creates a feeling of 3-dimension that is the base or platform you paint over.

I was also excited that I finished my figure drawing for the first time. I say finished, which really is a relative term... really it seems like it is never finished, but I mean that I made an attempt at every part of the body. Some of the things that came out of my critiques this month follow: Overall the block-in is good and seems to be getting better and better every month. I need to maintain that progression. The turning of form is better, but can still be better. The half of the form that receives the majority of the light is getting too dark. Light as it falls across the form from direct light to the terminator or shadow is not a linear relationship. In other words the amount of light that falls off of the form as you move from light to shadow or absence of light is not the same. The light falls off exponentially. The areas closest to the shadows can probably drop slightly in value and the areas closes to the direct light need to lighten up. I also need to put some work into drawing hands. I'm looking forward to getting started next month.

Sorry I forgot to take pictures of the ecorche in progress. I'll get something up soon. Right now I have the skull, rib cage and pelvis sculpted. I'm happy with the results.

Thanks for Looking!