Monday, October 29, 2012


9 x 12 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

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.     

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Apple Cider

"Apple Cider"
8 x 10 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

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!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Art Preview Party

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.