This painting was done for a client a while ago and finally got the approval to post it. It was a lot of fun creating this painting from beginning to end. This painting is completely opposite to what I usually paint but I like being challenged and I feel this was a great challenge.
I started with a sketch with what I thought the client was looking for.
After sending the original picture to the client, I made revisions to the hair and thorns.
Then made more revisions to the thorns, in the other picture she started appearing more like the statue of liberty.
Once the drawing phase is approved I went straight to the portrait and started carving out the forms.
I continued all the way to the arms and chest area, sending pictures of each stage to the client making sure they approve.
Then I added the shirt and blood to the figure which were the finishing touches.
Thanks for stopping and viewing, hope you enjoyed!
This New Years celebration was such a great time, ending a great year and looking forward to this special year. After posting last I was inspired to keep painting and that's what I did, every moment I was able to I was trying to paint the people around me. For the most part they were resting on the couch, usually that's the only time they were willing to pose (At times they were not aware I was painting them).
These paintings are executed in a very quick manner, just capturing the essence and gesture of the subject. I stopped myself from spending a long time rendering these paintings, I wanted to only treat them as a sketch and capture the gesture of the pose. The longest I spent on one painting was about 45 mins.
We are at the cabin for New Years to celebrate with friends and family. It's about a two hour drive north from Minneapolis in a small town named Alexandria, when you arrive it's pure beauty from every direction. Growing up in Florida I never knew about having a cabin, since moving to Minnesota I've learned what it is and appreciate it. Every time we come to the cabin I never paint as much as I want to, this time I feel l I'm finally producing the amount I should be doing. These paintings I am doing are on the spot and completed within the hour, more or less. I am able to treat these paintings as drawings in my sketchbook. The first painting is of Greg playing the guitar, he was practicing the whole time and I don't think he even realized I was painting him. It was fun listening to him play great music and see the passion he has for it. The second painting I did is the view from the cabin looking out to the lake. When I was painting I was fortunate to see our friends playing on the ice and digging some ice fishing holes. I tried capturing those moments in the painting. I hope to produce more of these little guys while I'm up here, they're great visual memories to look back at. Happy New Years!
I hope everyone had a great holiday season, I cannot believe the year is almost over. This Christmas I had a great time with family and friends. I was happy to also paint and enjoy the time with everyone, I would sneak in a couple sessions when the ladies were in the kitchen cooking. I always seem to go back to Kramskoy whenever I need to practice, his portraits are captivating and his technique is breathtaking. I never regret doing these little studies I learn from them with each session. I will post other studies I did from Kramskoy in later post.
I did not take any process pictures other than this one. This a good description how I develop a portrait.
I wanted to discuss tonights blog about painting what you feel and not exactly what you see. I was going through an old sketchbook I had in college and just loved the gestures I was producing at that time. I would always draw everywhere I went (I still do the same today), just concentrating on line quality and capturing the story to the figure along with its gesture. When I went to Italy I started just concentrating on the technical aspect of drawing and painting, not exaggerating the pose anymore or giving it life. One can easily get distracted by painting exactly what he or she sees instead of breathing life into the subject, there's a big difference between the two. I think it is good to learn how to observe and practice your skills in capturing the correct measurement and so on, but giving the drawing or painting a life feel is completely different. Once you go through training and venture on your own you have to understand what makes a drawing or a painting sing, what makes it moving, what makes it speak to you, of course depending on the particular style your into. As for me my favorite artist always have the ability to make you feel your in the scene and moves you emotionally, and it's not because they painted or drew something photo realistic. When you pick up the pencil or paint brush always remember what you put down is what you feel, if you'r not feeling what you'r drawing or painting then how is the viewer suppose to.
I plan to start a separate blog with just sketches that I have produced through out the years and what I am still producing. Sketching is everything to me and I believe it deserves its own arena.
I start out with a thin application of raw umber for the drawing stage. I went further this time wanting to have a more concrete drawing before starting to paint. After the drawing is complete I filled in the background, the reason I did this is to create an overall tone of which the palette will be effected with chroma and value.
This process is a bit different than my previous paintings, its more painting within the lines and conforming to the drawing. I started painting the pumpkin by just adding the overall value of the shadows and not worried about the details.Then I added the lighter values to compliment the shadows and see how much I have to push the tones.
I then went back to the darker values and added its details and did the same with the lights. I push things here and there until it felt right. I repeated the process with the second pumpkin, this time adding the big cast shadow.
Once I was done with the main part of the pumpkin I moved onto the stem and just repeated the process.
With the base I painted a general color, this is to give the overall impression of its value. Then I painted in the darks and proceeded to do the same with the lights.
The same applies to this painting as what I mentioned in the opening paragraph. I am only taking the painting to the stage of what I feel is right, where it starts singing to me. I don't care about every grain or indentation in the pumpkin, I do care about getting its correct proportions to a point. I want to put down just enough information where I feel the particular texture or mood I am going for.
If I don't blog before then, I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
The weather is definitely getting cooler as October draws to an end. Halloween is right around the corner and day light seems to be leaving quicker. With this painting I wanted to capture the feel of colors that seem to be transitioning from fall to winter. White roses are beautiful in any color setting, it can get tricky due to its nature of absorbing it's surrounding colors. With any subject you paint it radiates its surrounding colors, its even more with white roses in comparison to a regular object. Learning to control its hues and temperature is key in order to make white roses believable. You can argue that is true with any object your paint, with right roses one has to be even more careful with these observations.
I hope you enjoyed this painting, thank you for stopping by.
I have a confession, I really do miss creating these daily paintings! I know I have stated that I will not paint them anymore due to the new direction I want to go with my body of work, but they are great practice. I wanted to miss them which will hopefully force me to do more, but for now I feel I got my fix.
I wanted to create a small painting to rein in the change of season. Here in Minneapolis the leaves are changing and the weather is becoming cooler. Other than hot chocolate I really enjoy drinking apple cider when the weather starts to become cooler. Being raised in Florida we are only used to one season, summer, but here in Minneapolis I have come to enjoy and appreciate the change of seasons. All the people here really take advantage of each season, it can be below zero and they'll find something to do. I have never had apple cider until moving here and I am addicted. I can easily have a gallon in one night and not think twice about it. We went to an apple orchard the weekend before and got the idea to create this painting. My fiancee puts an orange in the pot when the cider is cooking, doing this gives a nice taste to the cider when its done. I hope with this small painting it can give you the warmth and excitement that I feel for fall.
I also miss doing a step by step demo, glad to finally get back and show how I create these little guys. I start with a light drawing of raw umber of the compositional setup that I am going for. I like to keep this stage fairly light with the lines, it'll be easier to paint over once I get thicker paint onto the canvas. Keeping the lines light also makes it easier to erase. As you can see in the first picture with the drawing I shifted the composition to the left, if the lines were darker it would of been difficult to make that easy change. Once the composition is complete I start with one section of the painting to give it my full attention. I know some people like to work through the whole painting all at once, for me I find it easier to work with one section at a time and move on to the next. It's really depends on your own work ethic. I like to work this way but I also keep in mind when the painting is almost complete I look at the overall picture and make subtle changes. When working in one section at a time the colors do change when you add a different element to a different section or a different value. That's why in the end of the painting I like to go around the painting and just push thing's here and there to make the painting look like it was painted all at once. I start with the orange by just adding the middle values and not adding the high and low keys. At this stage I am thinking of making the form turn, not so much about the details but more about the form.
Once the form is turning I start with the middle to darker forms, I start dabbing them where they need to be placed at. While dabbing them in there areas I am conscious of the big form modeling I painted in the beginning stage, alway's keeping in mind that the little shapes I am painting has to work with the overall form. In this stage I am also keeping the paints fairly thin not going to thick. Once that middle to darker forms are complete I move onto the middle to lighter shapes. When working in the lighter shapes I go thicker with the paints, this gives the texture I am going for and allows me to sculpt the paint. Remember as well once you put more information down some areas will change in value and chroma, expect that and just go into that section and adjust it accordingly so. Once the lighter forms and highlights are complete I move on to the apple. With the apple it gets a little trickier when working with big form modeling due tot he colors all in one area. You have to simplify the beginning stage and not get carried away with their details. I then start to add the middle to darker values.
Then I start to add the lighter values and tie in the whole apple together. Once the apple is close to completion I move onto the cinnamon sticks. With the cinnamon sticks I approached it a bit different by just putting in all the information all at once rather than doing big form modeling and moving in from there. I do like painting this way as well, I would recommend doing this once you understand how light wraps around the form and how light effects the form as well. Painting in this manner can get really muddy quicker than you would expect it to, that's why its tricky painting this way. In this stage I laid down all the colors and values, then I started to sculpt them where they needed to be. It gives it a nice sculptural look that I do enjoy, I'll keep playing around with this approach. I didn't take the cinnamon sticks to a complete finish because I needed the wooden base to be filled in since the overall value of the base effects the chroma and value of the cinnamon sticks.
I laid down a thin application of the base colors, then I was able to complete the cinnamon sticks. Once the cinnamon sticks where complete I was able to go in the darker sections of the wooden base. Adding the smaller darker shapes to the base brought it closer to a finish.
After adding the lighter shapes to the base doing this changes the surround chroma and values. I shift things here and there to make it look like a whole. Then I move onto the background and this really brings the painting together, I am able to add any finishing details that pull everything together. That's one of the reason's I like to take each section to a close finish, this allows me to tie everything together in the end.
My partner in crime when I paint, well he tries to be, it's hard to hold him when I'm standing and painting.
I hope you enjoyed this demo and appreciate you stopping by. Cheers!
This past weekend their was a huge art opening that I had the honor to be a part of. A couple years ago Minneapolis artist Peter Geyen reached out to me to be a part of this huge art show that he orchestrates with his ideas and execution. He combines many artist to come together to make his vision come to life, he of course has the main touch of all the pieces. Peter's art is completely opposite than my own, that's what drew me to work with Peter and see how we can push the envelope. I definitely went out of my own comfort zone when collaborating with these art pieces, at the same time I grew so much and gained a deeper respect with this type of art. One of the way's this pushed me out of my comfort zone is painting on fiber glass.
The surface is extremely slippery to paint on, using medium does nothing to help you paint on this surface. You have to paint extremely thin to gain control of the oils, if you start to thick it can get uncontrollable really quick. I learned a lot about painting when painting this piece, it's true what they say you have to go out of your comfort zone in order to gain and push yourself.
This is the beginning of the night, there was a band playing and food and drinks were outside.
Artists who contributed.
Peter and Jed's great pieces.
There were a lot more pieces that I unfortunately did not take photos of. Most of these shots were the works of my fiancee, I was away talking with people and completely forgot to take photos. This is the second year participating in this event, I truly look forward to this event every year and hope to keep participating for many years to come. To see the complete collection you can go to the IDS building in downtown Minneapolis on October 26 to November 10.
I have been away for such a long time doing other works and have not really worked on any daily paintings. I have been also doing copies to try to keep my eye sharp, copies are always beneficial when trying to learn the particular artist technique your copying from. At the Angel Atelier that's what we did for the first half of the program is copy master drawings and try to duplicate it to an exact match. The hardest part though is not just settling for it to look almost like it, you have to push pass that barrier and make it look exactly like it (If that's what you want).
Rubens has always been one of my heroes and it seemed fitting to try to duplicate his self portrait. Seeing his paintings in person can be overwhelming, I remember thinking to myself one guy made all this happen, what the hell am I doing with my life. In this modern day and age I still have not seen art taken to the magnitude that the masters took it, I am guilty from not taking it to that level either. I do think we are getting closer but to say we have surpassed them and carrying the torch, we are far from it. It's inspiring to see where we can go and how far we can take it, to see the masters especially Rubens take this medium to a realm where we believe whats happening on a piece of cloth is incredible.
I can go on and on about how much they inspire me and what I have to do with my art, the important part is recognizing and doing it. I know I have much to say with my art, the exciting part is deciphering this language of painting like the masters did and presenting it. I have moved away from the daily paintings for this sole purpose, to know more of my personal voice in art, to know what I am trying to convey to you guys and not just paint a simple alla prima but to have meaning of what I am painting far beyond what the surface holds. It's a journey and not a simple one but one that satisfies me the most for when I look back at my career I would be satisfied with the choices I have made. Alla prima paintings I still believe are beneficial in training and learning your craft, but it cannot end there. One has to go beyond that craft of training and imply it to your personal work, learn of what you practiced and transform it to your language. I know I will never let go of the alla prima paintings, but I do know that my own body of work for the long run needs more attention. I hope to find a happy medium for both of them, as for now my personal work has and always will be my passion.
"An artist must breathe life into those ancient works he depicts in his art, and if necessary 'adjust' the source to achieve the desired image." Peter Paul Rubens.
Hi everyone I've started my online Alla Prima painting course! I show how I make my alla prima paintings in such short period of time by breaking it down in easy steps. This method of painting can be applied to still lifes, portraits, and plein air paintings. The first lesson will be an introduction to learning how to handle the brush and paints, after the first lesson the subjects get a bit more intricate in composition, color and shapes. The second lesson I offer is how to paint "Pink Roses" in an alla prima manner.
If you're interested please email me to receive more information about this course at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The concept of this blog is to showcase the passion I have for drawing and painting. I like to mainly work in oils and ball point pen. I love drawing in my sketchbook every second I can, and I look forward to spending long hours in front of a canvas. The more I practice the more I come closer to understanding the world of drawing and painting. I hope this blog shows the dedication and love I have for making art.