Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Jeff, 20" x 16", oil on linen

Jeff, Kristin Mount’s husband, posed as our guest model. He came to the classroom with their two children who peeked on and off while their dad was painted.

As Jeff sat down to pose, he looked very serious and intense with alert eyes and a deep gaze, which is completely contrary to his personable and easygoing personality that I know in him. I had to be careful to avoid making him look too serious or even angry.

I thought about brushing in the gray from the background drapery, but his green shirt seemed to bring out the ruddiness of his complexion well against the white of the canvas, so I decided to do without it.

Ashton, 20" x 16", oil on linen

Ashton is a high-school admissions representative at the Academy, posing as a guest model for the second time. An illustrator himself, he offered to bring a few interesting hats for the session, including an old Chicago Bears leather headgear and an Aussie hat from his prop chest.

My plan for the painting was to take advantage of the connecting dark patterns to frame the light and warmth of his face. Without drawing any lines, I painted with a large brush moving from one shape of dark to another, starting with his hat, the shadow underneath, his neck and side, and then the shirt, before tackling the subtleties of colors on the front of his face.

He turned out to look like a rough ranch hand with an intense yet calm, even melancholy expression.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rachel, 18" x 16", oil on linen

Rachel volunteered to pose for the club in the place of a member who couldn't pose as scheduled.

To paint Rachel, I chose a linen that had a medium-rough texture because I wanted to paint her with less smoothing of the painting surface. I wanted to leave brush strokes alone as they were laid with minimum manipulation on the canvas surface to give more spontaneous and expressive quality.

From the beginning of the pose I noticed Rachel would slowly tilt her head to the left. I thought that slight angle would give a subtle but interesting expression. Instead of asking her to straighten her head after each break, I just let her slowly settle her head back to her comfortable position and tried to capture the expression.

At some point during painting, it occurred to me that the way we operate with our "models" is sort of like a Ponzi scheme; as we get more new participants and the guest models, those of us who have been participating from the beginning of the club don't have to pose anymore but just keep on painting.

Dustin, 18" x 14", oil on linen

Before the session, Dustin “warned” us that he had chosen a very bright orange sweater to wear for the session. He said he was hoping to get some good color reflection onto his skin.

I didn't decide on painting the sweater until almost half way through; I was a bit hesitant about the prospect of the intense orange overwhelming the colors on his face. But if I were to include it in the painting, I knew I'd better lay some down before it was too late, so I decided to make it a part of the painting.

I used vermilion for his sweater color—a color that I don't use often. The vermilion from the tube was so similar to the sweater color that I hardly had to mix any color. On one hand, this made me almost feel like I was cheating and on the other hand, not having to mix the color myself took away the fun. Once I painted the sweater, I brushed in some warm color on his face to balance the colors.

‎Seventeen students came to today's session, the most participants ever since we started the club 3 years ago (we ran out of easels and had to put together an extra one to accommodate them). I was glad to see that so many students are willing to stay late to paint after a long day of school
–even though that meant I didn't get to go home until 8 o'clock, after everyone was done cleaning.

Friday, October 29, 2010

First session of the semester
It’s always good to see new and more participants.
With the new class schedule, holding our session from 4 to 7 instead of during later hours helped encourage more participation.

James, 18" x 16", oil on linen

James was the first model of the semester.
As usual, during the first session of the semester, with a few newcomers to help get started, I had a reduced time to paint. So I decided to paint James without much consideration for the background; just a simple and clean head study. Besides, I thought clean white background would work well against James' ruddy complexion

Monday, September 6, 2010

End-of-the-term group critique for Summer 2010

Once again, we were pleasantly surprised by how many paintings we did during the summer–and some good quality ones as well.

We started off with Joshua Gomez talking about his painting of Madelynn

followed by Marcie Paddock.

Jacob Sanders

Listening to Jacob

Nate Tuttle

Kristina Knowski

Adam Nowak

Daniel Morris

Listening to OJ


Like last summer, OJ suggested we take a group picture at the end of the Critique. Our guest models, Stacey Lemp and Madelynn Dickerson were too shy to pose with us.

Jake II, 16" x 12", oil on linen

Jacob volunteered (for the second time) to pose in the place of a scheduled model who couldn't pose.
Short of time, coming to the session late from a meeting, my initial plan was to do a simple monochromatic oil wash painting using transparent oxide red and a little mix of viridian. But just before I was about to wipe out strong lights with Turp, I changed my mind and decided to do some "play with color" and finish it with a look of a vignette illustration.

Daniel ("Big Danny"), 16" x 12", oil on linen

I used 3-color limited palette of ivory black, burnt sienna and yellow ocher to paint Daniel. It's always fun to explore the varying colors in a dark-skinned person. Also, in this painting, I wanted to convey the sense of Daniel’s presence and weight (not literally, although he is a big person). For that, I should've used a larger canvas.

Faith, 17" x 20", oil on linen

While waiting for Faith to arrive, I splattered a very thin (too thin, it turned out) mixture of cadmium red and blue black.
I didn't have many specific ideas about this. I just did it.
Her dark hair and the highlights from her make-up presented a striking contrast, but the painting itself shows her somewhat moody appearance.

Kim, 18" x 14", oil on linen

I used a lead white-primed linen canvas to paint Kim. Though the background was very dark, I decided to use the stark white of the canvas as the background of the painting.
Instead of making her head look emerging from the darkness, loosing the shadow side of her head to the background,
I wanted a clean-cut appearance of her head against the simple white.
For some reason, there wasn't a single highlight or reflected light on her glasses. I could've put in one or two specks of it to show the effect of glass, but I decided to paint the way it appeared.

Gabriela, 20" x 16", oil on canvas

To paint Gabriela, I reused a canvas on which I had painted a model at an Academy open house the previous Saturday.
The dull pink tone of the canvas was the result of the wiped-out painting.
A couple of unique things from the beginning: First, a rich color on her face that ranged from light brown to ocher to muted green. Second, her massive hair with much color and shine. (As I surveyed the pose at the beginning of the session, I commented, "That's a lot of hair, Gabriela.") 
I wanted to keep her hair simple and not have it dominate the painting, but in the end I couldn't resist the temptation to lay in some cool highlights on the curls.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Stacey, 16" x 16", oil on linen

Stacey is the Academy's Career Services Coordinator.
Painting Stacey, I used a square linen canvas I bought on sale some time ago. I chose to paint her in profile to offset the square dimensions of the canvas.
At the beginning of the painting, I started off the painting by laying down some spots of green background and cadmium red scarf as well as high key of her blond hair to let the strong colors work together in my vision.