Saturday, February 25, 2012

How to Paint Fabric

"Lazy Saturday"
oil on linen board
$500.00 incl. shipping

This is hot off the easel this week of the lovely Zhanna, a favorite model of mine.

I like  how the fabric turned out. I painted it fast and furious.  I bought this slip for a small fortune knowing I would paint it a lot. It is rather gorgeous I think and begs to be painted more.

A challenge to paint though. I had planned to paint it so much more sheer. But sometimes you just have to lay aside plans, get a big brush out and 'feel it', always remembering to turn the "form". I pushed the values in the dress darker than they appeared and made the most of the fabric "flow" remembering to carve out the body underneath with some dark, crisp notes.  Once I had something I liked, I left well alone.

So basically I have no idea how to paint fabric at all. 

Maybe you do? 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities..Two Mayoral Portraits

Ms. Cheryl Heitmann, Deputy Mayor of Ventura, as featured in The Ventura Breeze, Thanks to publisher Sheldon Brown.

Painting a portrait of a  British Mayor this week and so enjoying it.

Gosh, it's been busy this week. So much to catch up on.
A portrait delivered to a lovely client who I so enjoyed working with from Northern CA.  Another 'Face of Ventura' sitter, or maybe two or three including the charming deputy mayor Ms. Cheryl Heitmann; classes to teach at The California Art Institute and a Spring/Summer semester to plan for at the gracious invite of  The Los Angeles Academy of  Figurative Art,  just voted by American Artist Magazine as one of THE TOP TEN TEACHING SCHOOLS IN AMERICA;  new newspaper editors to meet; new portrait projects to plan for; fresh travel for rather exciting portrait events all around. See tomorrow's post for that!

English bacon butter sandwiches are helping me through this WHIZZ but not my waist line. Oh, well, who cares. This is not the first time I have relied on fried hog. Sorry to all the veggies out there.

Enjoying painting my current portrait of an English mayor. 50" x 40"-ish.  All that red robe gorgeous stuff, fluffy fur, and ancient gold ceremonial necklaces, not to mention the most amazing face. Who can complain? I was charmed by this lovely mayoral lady last September at a lunch in prep. for this portrait. No hog.

Looking forward to attending the ever so elegant National Trust For Scotland Event  Gala April in New York City at The Metropolitan Club where I will have a portrait up for grabs, so to speak.  More to follow on that. This is always such a lovely rewarding evening. 

 MOST excitedly of ALL, I am told my 'Face of Ventura' project will get its'  museum debut at The Ventura County Museum of Art thanks to my dear friends at Food Share late August this year. More on this to follow....

FOOD SHARE feeds 74,000 hungry people  each month in Ventura County. People all over the world visit this blog. Find your local food bank,   DONATE!!!! VOLUNTEER!!!

A Portrait Commission Signed Sealed And Delivered this week

Ms. Kat Merrick,  super cool lady and Founder of TLVC, and a Face of Ventura

  A Face of Ventura sitter not published yet...identity kept secret. ha ha

A Face of Ventura Sitter Not Published Yet

Lovely portrait sitter...portrait accepted.

Painting the fascinating deputy mayor  Ms. Cheryl  Heitmann

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Paint a Friend...Lose a Friend? AKA How to paint halftones.

This is hot off my easel. A portrait I did this week of an old friend of mine who hopefully will remain a friend when he sees it. The old Victorian master John Singer Sargent said you lose a friend when you paint a friend.

I was really thinking not only about the sitter here and why haven't I painted him way sooner because of such a great face????,  but also about halftones throughout this piece.

I painted it in about three hours using just three colors on a hot ground trying to mix the 'exact color value' I saw as I went along concentrating on three values for the light and two for the shadow.  Mr. Morgan Weistling here talks a lot about this value range in his excellent painting DVDs as does Mr. Everett Raymond Kinstler, my mentor, here about exact color value in his crazy good teachings. I admire both master artists very much and they have taught me
priceless gems.

Now I truly believe it to be the only way to paint. Fast results. Simplify what you see. Make the choice to render it this way. Edit what you see. Five values. Students in my class seem to have the hardest time understanding how to paint halftones. Halftones turn the form in the light away from the light and are never found in the shadow. But the halftone mix is subtle.  More subtle than you might think.  Too dark and your sitter's cheeks will have dents. Too dark and your apple will look bruised. But I guess the art eye has to first be able to SEE a halftone before it can understand how to paint it simply.

Anyho...I liked what I got. I post the progress. Hope I didn't lose a friend. I will keep you posted.

Study with me every Wednesday morning at The California Art Institute, Westlake Village CA.

And also this spring/summer semester at The Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art, Van Nuys, Ca.  Class starting Friday April 20th. Voted Top Ten teaching school in America.

Private instruction ---email me.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Be My Valentine!

HOT off the easel about two minutes ago! Happy Valentines!

Oil on Linen Panel
Shipping $5

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A lazy day in the studio...just lying around!

"Lazy Sunday"
oil on linen panel
$5 shipping

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Girl With A Pearl Ear-ring

Girl with a Pearl Ear-ing
Oil on linen panel
$5 shipping

Anytime I can paint a girl with a pearl ear-ring I will, in homage to one of my idols Vermeer.

This is my class demo at The California Art Institute yesterday from life model, Zhanna, a favorite of mine. She is not only beautiful, but smart and meditative while posing.

 I want to show some nice clean shapes like the shadow under the nose and perhaps the upper eyelid.

 I want some of the skin to be smooth, but some of it to show brushwork.

I want some areas thick with paint and some sheer like under the neck.

I want some soft edges and some really hard ones.

But most of all I want to paint a girl with a pearl ear-ring as good as Vermeer.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How to paint from life fast.

Another busy week in the studio with little time to post. This is Ms. Sandra Laby a recent sitter from my Face of Ventura Project I was looking forward to paint.

So how does one do a quick head sketch of a sitter in around two hours you don't know and talk clever repartee at the same time?  I don't know. But one is on the spot regardless.

What I do know is the same dialog runs through my head each time I paint a sitter like this in a short time wanting to get something half decent and a likeness.






THANKS especially to Ms. Laby. She is a tremendous supporter of The Arts in Ventura, a dancer, and full of fun sassy energy to boot.