Sunday, December 10, 2017


Forest - oil on canvas, 12x24 inches

This painting is unusual for me.  I don't paint landscapes very often, since my usual preference is for figurative images.  But lately I find myself playing around with drawings of trees, fields, and water.  Maybe the weather has something to do with it - since I'm not outside as much as I was in the summer and fall.

I fell into a strange rhythm while painting this one.  One day I would like what I had, though still knowing that I wanted to work on the composition, or the range of values, or the simplification of the image.  The next day I'd work, and really dislike the change.  The following day I'd be happier with the changes I made, and the day after that I'd be ready to toss the whole thing out the window.  But eventually, after about a week or a bit more, I liked it well enough.  So I quit.

I think what I need to do now is wire the painting and live with it hanging on a nail in the studio for a while.  Then I'll know better if it's really finished or not.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Amy for JKPP

Amy, for Julia Kay's Portrait Party
colored pencil on toned paper

This is my most recent portrait for the online group, Julia Kay's Portrait Party.  I find using colored pencil to be very engaging, and really soothing to do.  Lately, with the health problems I have been facing, working on a drawing like this takes time, and focuses my mind on something positive.  It's not obvious in this photo of the drawing, but the darkest areas are built up with browns, Tuscan red, indigo, and black colored pencil.  In the skin tones I also add a light warm brown, so there is some tonal variation and complexity.

I enjoyed working on this portrait because of her warm smile, and because there was a wide range of values, something I look for in a source photo.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fiona, JKPP

Fiona, Ebony Pencil and White Colored Pencil
for Julia Kay's Portrait Party

This is my most recent sketch for the online group, Julia Kay's Portrait Party.  The group started on Flickr, but more recently has an offshoot on Facebook.  I've tried all sorts of styles using the photos pf Portrait Party members worldwide - blind contour drawings, watercolors, realistic and very stylized paintings, monoprints, all sorts of things.  Over the past year or so I have labored over detailed colored pencil drawings, many with added background textures, drawings that took days.  

This time time I decided that what I got done in two hours was it.  No long drawn out laboring for me this time.  So here is Fiona, with just some simple cross-hatching and white highlights.  

And I like her fine.