Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"White Ranunculus"

"White Ranunculus"
10  x 8 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

Hi everyone, it has been a long time since I posted especially an alla prima painting. This year has been a whirl wind for me, an amazing year to say the least. After the wedding this summer I dived into several commission projects, one of them I was able to share on the previous post.  A long with working on those projects we have become new home owners! I still cannot wrap my mind around it. A little scary but amazing to own our own home. I know thanksgiving is long passed but I have many things to be thankful. I could not have dreamed for such an amazing year and what it's still surprising us with. I wanted to thank you guys as well for still reading my blog, even though this passed year I have been very limited on how much I have posted. I swear when I say I'm trying to get better in posting regularly, it's hard to post about painting walls when all I want to do is paint on canvas. 

I've stated in previous post I was not going to paint alla prima paintings for a long time, well, long time has definitely passed. I really do miss doing these little guys. They are equivalent to sketching in your sketchbook when practicing. I have not painted in a while do to the move and we are still getting situated in our new home.  Painting this alla prima gets the blood flowing again, gets my routine going with painting. I will never stop doing these alls prima's for that reason a lone, it allows me to always practice fine tuning my craft, which I think we should always keep doing as artist. This painting is the first painting to be done in my new studio, fitting to say the least. I did not want to just post the finishing painting, I miss explaining my process. It's always beneficial to share your process no matter what your style is, there's always going to be someone out there that will benefit from it. 

I started with a dry brush and raw umber for the drawing stage. In this stage I like to keep the drawing simple and clear. Not worried about details, just concerned with placement and proportions.  

I then fill in the basic colors for all the sections of the painting, this is the only stage I work everything at the same time. I do this to get the overall tone of the painting from the get go. I work with big form modeling at this stage as well. The point of big form modeling is to state how the lights and basic color note wraps around the form. The colors I use is naples yellow, raw umber, viridian, cerulean blue, cadmium yellow. 

I know all my shapes are not final when I move on, I like to have the freedom to be able to move things if I need to. Now I start concentrating one section at a time. After big form modeling is complete I start with small for modeling in the darks. I start with the left side of the flowers, first by stating the middle to darker tones. I do not like to state the darkest darks first, I like to slowly move into them by starting with a middle tone. I am using the same colors as I did in the previous step. The good thing about this method is that you'r painting wet into wet, the tricky part is to not get to muddy or thick quickly. 

Once the smaller forms for the darks are complete I move onto the lights. I like to jump between those two stages to get to the right look I'm going for.

I repeat the same process with the right half of the flowers. First by stating the darker smaller forms. An important thing to understand with smaller forms, they can only exist if the big form modeling is done correctly. Small form modeling is the icing on the cake, all your work is mostly done with big form modeling. A lot of people like to jump straight into small form modeling or the "details" instead of concentrating on big form modeling. Big form modeling stage is extremely important to get right, it's the stage where you have to make the lights believable. 

After I worked with smaller form modeling of the lights I moved onto the vase and vines. I apologize for not showing more process from that point. I essentially repeated the same process what I did with the flowers. I changed the vase to fit better with the overall composition. After the vase was established I went back into the flowers and brought out the lights and darks more.  I keep tweaking sections that have changed by values I established in other areas. I constantly walk back forth from the painting, especially towards the end. The painting looks much different when standing back, I never judge my values and chromas from up close, always by standing back. I could keep working on this painting, but I have to stop, especially when I feel it served its purpose. 

Thank you again everyone for tuning in and interested in seeing my paintings. I appreciate all the support. I hope you guys enjoyed this one, see you guys soon!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Collaboration Artshow

For the past two years I've collaborated with local artist Peter Geyen.  This is not only a collaboration with him but with a whole group of artist as well. There is so much that goes into making just one piece of art. The only contribution I have obviously are the paintings.  I have two large paintings as well as five smaller ones.  All paintings are landscapes and have their own theme.  

These paintings are completely different than what I usually do and I enjoy that the most.  To be taken out of my comfort zone and try a different direction is always beneficial.  I always learn something new when I do these type of paintings. They also can be extremely stressful. 

All these pieces can be seen at the IDS building in downtown Minneapolis from October 25 to November 10, 2013.

Oil on Fiber Glass
7 x 5 ft

Oil on Fiber Glass
6 x 5 ft

Oil on Canvases

The rest of the pieces are spectacular in their own right. The imagination with beautiful design is worth seeing in person.  I'm proud to collaborate with these guys and excited to see what the future brings.  Hope everyone can see these wonderful pieces of art in person.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Labor Day Weekend

Morning lake view from the cabin.


Last weekend we went to our family friends cabin for Labor Day weekend and the timing couldn't be any better.  To sit back and just relax was exactly what I needed.

Greg doing the one thing the cabin is known for.

Greg and Miles the best co-captains around.

 I was working on a couple commissions up there but in my "down time" I was messing more with Caseins. Caseins are milk based paints that are water soluble, drying time is super quick with these guys.  I bought them before our wedding trip to Europe and messed around with them a little.  I felt last weekend Casein and I became good friends.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Minnesota State Fair

"Evening Tea"
14 x 18 in
Oil on Linen

I'm very proud to announce my painting "Evening Tea" will be on display at the Minnesota State Fair! It's such an honor to be showing at a great venue and with so many talented artist. The Fair opens today August 22 until September 2. Stop by and check a lot of great art on display while eating cheese curds or a bucket of cookies. 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Rupert Brooke

"Rupert Brooke"
9 x 11 in
Ball Point Pen 

I wanted to thank you all for your nice comments from my last post, I really did not expect all your responses. Especially being gone for so long, thank you again everyone!

I did this Ball Point Pen drawing of Rupert Brooke, a famous English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War. Rupert Brooke was not photographed often and there are rare photos of him. He was an amazing poet for his time and even till today. I can't imagine if he would of lived beyond the age of 27 what other masterpieces he would of produced. I usually do ball point pen drawings in a really small format, but this was way out of the ordinary. I wanted to try something different by going bigger. I'm glad I did but it was a lot of work. When building up layers with ball point pen you have to be very careful by not pressing to hard with the pen or you'll get blobs of ink. It was a challenge to build up these subtle layers in such a large format.  I had a lot of fun with this one, not sure if I wanna go this big again but won't turn it down if it came my way.

Drawing and painting are relative, if you know how to draw then you can paint. I approach a painting the same way I do with a ball point pen. Always think about form, and how light wraps around the form.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Im back!

Hello everyone! Sorry for the long delay in posting. This spring and summer have been one of the most memorable times in my life. The reason I have been away from posting is because I just got MARRIED! My dream finally came true marrying the love of my life. We first met almost seven years ago in Florence, Italy. I moved to Minneapolis for her after studying there and has been the best decision I ever made. From the first moment I laid eyes on her I knew she was the one. We got married in Pistoia, Italy which is 30 minutes outside of Florence. The villa we got married was just spectacular.

To have family and friends with us was even more special. It was all such a surreal experience. An experience I will never forget. We also had another event here in Minneapolis to celebrate with everyone that could not make it to Italy, and one prior leaving to Italy. To say we have been busy is an understatement, but have enjoyed every minute of it. 

Aside from getting married I have been busy finishing commissions. I'll post the older work in a couple days. I did however create three small 4 x 4 inch paintings for a local show here in Minneapolis. I really liked painting that small and seeing how far I can take it.  Here are the paintings I had in the show.

"The Butcher"
4 x 4 inches
Oil on Masonite

This is a familiar face that I have painted and drawn before. This guy is the local butcher at our grocery store. Although I haven't seen him lately, so I can totally be sure he's still our butcher. But he has a great face to paint and have always wanted to paint him. Excited he agreed to pose for me, always unsure what the reaction might be when asking someone to pose for you.

4 x4 inches
Oil on Masonite

This is a very interesting individual I know. He's intelligent and extremely funny. Again it's a portrait I wanted to paint for a long time and finally had the chance to do so.

Contact me if interested in purchasing
"Mustache Jim"
4 x 4 inches
Oil on Masonite

This individual is somewhat of a local celebrity here in Minneapolis. He's a musician, and a barber. Another individual I would see from time to time and wanted to paint but never had the courage to ask him. One day I ran into him at the mall and took advantage of the chance. He was extremely nice and was very welcoming of me painting him. His hair and mustache are obvious reasons why I wanted to paint him. A very unique individual and a pleasure to paint.

Thank you again everyone for tuning in. I hope to post more shortly. Its hard getting back in the routine of things after such an amazing time. 


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Navajo boy

"Navajo boy"
Copied from photo reference by Carl Moon.
7 x 5 in.
Ball Point Pen on Canson Paper.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Commissioned Painting

16 x 20 in
Oil on Canvas 

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! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Figure Drawing Demonstration

Figure Study
8 x 11 in
Graphite on Tracing Paper

I have renovated my blog to show more of my drawings along with paintings other than alla prima's.  I recently did a demo for my figure drawing class, I copied one of Anthony Ryder's figures from his book "The Artist's Complete Guide to Figure Drawing: A Contemporary Perspective On the Classical Tradition".  I did the drawing on tracing paper with just using 6b lead from the beginning to end.