Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Sketchy LIfe - Sketchbook Closeups

I don't often post details from my sketch book as I feel it's a bit too personal. Like visitors at your house going through your drawers when you're not looking.

But I'm feeling brave today so here goes. These sketches are watercolor with pen but I use other techniques too, like gouache with watercolor on a toned sketch paper.

I consider my sketch books like keeping a journal of my life. The books are also filled with notes of things that were going on at the time, as the books were  in my purse usually and useful for noting things quickly.

My daughter once said my sketchbooks are what she wants after I leave this planet, not my paintings. I took it as a compliment. Hope you enjoy.

"Rush Hour - Carnival Cruise" NFS

"Well Heeled - W Hotel, Los Angeles" NFS

"Old Boys' Club, New Boys' Club" NFS

"Purple Vinyl - W Hotel" NFS

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Figure Painting With A Palette Knife

I try to paint with the palette knife as often as I can now. It frees me up a ton. It is a much slower process for me than with the brush and one has to be willing to' let go' a little. It is not every artist's cup of tea, that's for sure.

People seem to really like blending that body/face/figure to an inch of its' life so the skin looks more lifeless than at a morgue on a cold Monday morning. Certainly classical figure painting is at an all time high in popularity right now. Just look at the art magazines and competition results. Pages of smoothed skin. Nothing wrong with that at all and I truly admire the artists that do classical realism so well. Jeremy Lipking would be a prime example of this

He is a real master.

I am still finding I want a somewhat polished look in my palette knife figure will be interesting to see where this journey goes.

Off my easel to day...figure study.

Figure Study
By Johanna Spinks
Palette Knife

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Face of Malibu, Sitter #17


Thanks to Malibu horse whisperer Talley Hutcherson for sitting for my Face of Malibu portrait series appearing in this week's Malibu Times. Single life sitting.

Read her life story here:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Palette Knife Portraits

Posting the finished palette knife sketch from my teaching class start at The California Art Institute last week. It's come quite a long way in one more go at it with a fresh eye. I had to finish Mather's likeness from my head but I like doing that sometimes.

The staggeringly wonderful Robert Henri (author of the art bible The Art Spirit) suggested artists go into a life painting room, look at the model and the pose, and then go into a completely different room to paint what you could remember from your time observing the model.

I find I can usually remember more than I think and I think Henri was onto something!
The Art Spirit
12 x 16"
oil on linen via palette knife
copyright Johanna Spinks


Friday, March 14, 2014

Palette Knife Portrait From Life

Chomping at the bit to get this palette knife portrait done. Started from life yesterday at my teaching class at The California Art Institute with the lovely Mather Louth.

New semester about to begin at CAI. Join us. It is a fun, lively class...and I am demoing palette knife, plus a ton of other stuff.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Painting Flowers with a Palette Knife

Everything I paint is a portrait, be it a flower, face or leaf. So said Lucian Freud the great British painter. I love his work oodles much.

I painted this portrait of pansies with a palette knife this week, begun as a demo for my recent guest workshop for The Malibu Art Association.

Compliments of yellow and purple were used. It feels like Spring is coming.

Pansy Perfect
20 x 16
Oil on Linen
Available for purchase