Monday, May 28, 2012

Portrait of A Hero: Marine Nicholas H. Anderson

Today is Memorial Day in The United States. I wish everyone wore red paper poppies in their lapels like they do in England on this sad day.

 It seems so fitting that everyone SHOWS that they are actually thinking about the fallen through a simple red flower pin rather than throwing steaks on the BBQ. Almost everyone in England wears this pin on Remembrance Day. You are a heel if you don't. You also donate money to the veterans' cause with the purchase of this poppy.

Today I honor fallen Marine Lance Corporal Nicholas H. Anderson from Ventura County, killed in 2004 in the line of duty in Iraq. I painted him for an ongoing art project by Sherry Moore called The Portrait of The Fallen Memorial. If you are are an artist residing in California, could you paint a hero for this worthy project?

If so go here:

I have never met Nicholas's family. If anyone out there knows the family, I sure would love them to see this portrait and perhaps, if they would like, give them as many prints as they want. It is the least I can do.

Please read some of these posts about Nicholas' contribution to the services and the pain of his loss. It is very moving...and makes me hate war more than I did in the first place.

And if you are out and about today in America at a BBQ, raise a glass to this courageous young man. I will look for a poppy instead and wear it for Nicholas.

Monday, May 21, 2012

How to Paint a Gem of A Portrait

This is lovely Leah, my class demo at The California Art Institute...I don't always like my demos but I think this is a little gem.

Class Demo
Oil on Linen
$300, plus tax
Free shipping

I am working hard on demos being not only good for the students' learning but GOOD for my painting satisfaction too.

I really caught her expression that day and I knew it. It is why I paint...just for that feeling.

How about you?

Catch my class Wednesday mornings or my First Friday Atelier Day at my studio.

Email me for details

Saturday, May 12, 2012


It is not every week you get to paint two marvelous world famous talents from life. This week I painted Kevin Costner who needs no introduction and soprano singer Nicole Cabell who The London Times described as having a voice like liquid gold.

Both stars graciously were sitting for my FACE of VENTURA project which will be at The Ventura County Museum August 26th.

Both were sittings completed in under two hours on location which is never without challenges away from the comfort of your own studio and props.. Both talents inspired me and make me appreciate so much what I do and the gifts my mentor Everett Raymond Kinstler has taught me. And yes, Kevin Costner really is as handsome in person - not to mention very pleasant along with his lovely family and wife Christine.

Thank you to all three. I am full of gratitude.

Look for Kevin Costner's new production:

Look for Ms. Cabell's appearances around the world

Look at Mr. Kinstler's site.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

How To Paint Gold?

How to paint gold?...well, I have seen students,  and myself, crumble at times...this was today's effort  and  a few golden oldies from a few weeks past. Yesterday this cast wasn't looking so golden.

So how to paint gold? Concentrate very hard around subtle shifts of value. Don't paint the mid-value, base too light on the light side of the form, or you will have no place to add the ZING later. Look for green and purples in the shadow sides. Anything other than yellow. Block-in the light side with a dullish yellow like raw sienna, then start building up the gold with, say,  a bright cad. lemon yellow and white mixed with a very light clean cool green. Think GOLD very last.

The most common problem I see watching students paint gold - and myself included - is we try to paint gold too fast, and too darn yellow.

We are all students of GOLD.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How to paint hands???

Not so easy to paint a Reverend, his holy hands and face in just two short hours from life.

This was my thought process. Squint. Just paint the shapes/structure. No sausages.  Forget you are painting hands, really fast. Pray for a miracle.

 I was pretty happy with what I got for my 'Face Of Ventura' series, appearing in each edition of The Ventura Breeze and on The Lyn Fairly and Friends Radio Rev. Luther McCurtis, a wonderful guy with a soulful mission. And dare I say, great hands.  It was important to me I got his hands in. Glad I had a go. So give me a hand, why don't ya?