Wednesday, October 29, 2014


9 x 12 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

I came across this awesome skull with horns. As soon as I saw it I knew I needed to paint it. I really like the design within the skull and how the horns wrap out from the skull. Keeping the background white gives it a stronger design. Keeping the values compressed was a challenge especially for a painting done in one session.

I started with a dry brush approach with the drawing stage. I make sure the drawing is complete with the proportion working right, I am not drawing every single detail in just the general shapes. Then I painted in the skull by applying its local colors in a thin manner and also applying big form modeling. At this stage all I am worried about is how the light wraps around the form, no details are put in, I like to keep everything soft with each edge. I also do not put my darkest darks or my lightest lights in this stage, I keep it in the middle value stage for the most part.

Once big form modeling is complete I start painting middle to darker value forms. Still keeping the edges soft where they need to be. I do the same with middle to lighter value forms. These two value forms were not as difficult to paint in because the big form modeling stage was worked out from the beginning. If the big form modeling stage is worked out from the beginning then the smaller forms become easier to paint in (theoretically).

Once the skull was complete I then painted the horns in. For the base I applied a thin coat of raw umber. Then I painted in middle to darker values.

After the middle to darker value forms were painted I then applied middle to lighter value forms. Applying this brought the painting to a finish. I really enjoyed painting something different and at a different angle as well. As mentioned before keeping the values compressed was a challenge, but I learned a lot how to try to get a handle on it. 

Thank you for stopping by, cheers!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin & Gourd

"Pumpkin & Gourd"
4 x 6 in 
Oil on Canvas Panel

I wanted to stay on the theme of gourds and include a pumpkin. I couldn't just leave the gourd by itself, included the pumpkin as a central focus with a dominating presence. The story can go many ways when reading into the painting, its definitely behold of the viewer.

I started with a dry brush approach by just using raw umber and no mediums. In this stage I want to get the drawing as close as I can get it. When I start painting I want to make sure the drawing is as close to it as possible.

Once the drawing is complete I painted in the background and wooden base with its local colors. Once I painted the local colors in I painted the lighter values in the wooden base to give it more form. I want to take the wooden board to a close finish this will allow me to concentrate on the pumpkin and gourd and now worry about coming back and finishing it.

Once the wooden board is complete, I started to lay in local colors on the pumpkin and gourd. I apply a thin coat of paint trying not to go thick, remember fat over lean. In this stage I also paint big form modeling with the local colors. This allows me to concentrate how light wraps around the form. I am not worried about the smaller forms or "details" just how light wraps around the form. I am also keeping the values in a middle tone, not going to light or to dark. I'll apply the dark's and lights in the smaller form stages. I like to spend a lot of time in this stage getting it right, if it works well in this stage then the subsequent stages will go by smoother.

Once the local colors are working with the big form modeling, I then start to paint the darker smaller forms. I start to apply the darkest tones as well in this stage which will make certain sections look brighter.

Once the darker smaller forms are complete I then paint the lighter smaller forms . I repeat the same process as I did with the darker forms by putting in the lightest values. 

Hope you enjoyed this one, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


6 x 6 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

My wonderful wife loves decorating around the house according to the seasons. She put these gourds on the dinning table a while ago and of course it caught my interest. This painting was done quicker than normal, it took me 2 and a half hours to complete. 

The first image, top left, is drawn with a dry brush approach just using raw umber. The second image, top right, I filled in the whole painting with local colors of each area. I filled in the gourds with its local colors and started with big form modeling. This is my area of focus which is the reason I went a little further in the initial stage.  The third image, bottom left, I worked with smaller forms after big form modeling was complete. The fourth image, bottom right, I approached painting the wooden board the same way I did with the gourds, first painting in the darks then the lights. 

Thank you for viewing, hope you enjoyed. Cheers!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Portrait Sketch

8 x 10 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

I painted this portrait at my Thursday evening figure drawing class. The portrait was completed in 4 hours. I love teaching and when I am able to draw/paint next to my students it's just a dream come true. I remember being in class at Ringling College of Art and Design and my favorite figure drawing teacher, Fiore Custode, used to teach us and draw next to us. Really enjoy when I am able to do the same. 

I am teaching at the Bloomington Art Center on Thursday evenings from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. If anyone is interested click here to get more information.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Still LIfe Paintings on my Etsy Store

"Cheese Board"
16 x 20 in
Oil on Canvas

"Evening Tea"
14 x 18 in
Oil on Linen

I have created a section to sell my still life paintings at my Etsy store. The prices are a little different than my alla prima paintings, of course these take more time to complete with many levels of paint. 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Kat" Figure Study

8 x 10 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

I have not painted from the figure in a while, so when the opportunity came up, I jumped on it. I have been doing most paintings from imagination lately.  It was nice to have a break from that, and paint from the figure. This painting was completed in 3 hours in a smaller size than my usual figure paintings. I enjoyed painting this figure in a smaller size since it allows you see the values as a whole. First, I drew the figure with a dry brush articulating each shape as simple as I can. Then I applied a middle base color for the shadows and the lights.  I attempted to paint in the middle tones and not get too light or too dark.  This allowed me to go in either direction when adding smaller and subtle forms without getting too muddy. Instead of starting with the darks after laying the middle values, I painted smaller forms into the lights. This allowed me to shape the form and address textures along the figure. I did the same with the shadows once the lights were complete. What I enjoyed most about this piece was playing with different skin textures on such a small scale. 

Thank you for stopping by, cheers!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Etsy Shop

4 x 6 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

Hi everyone, I am back and wanted to let everyone know I have posted new paintings at my Etsy shop. There are a couple landscapes as well. I hope to start producing more alls prima paintings when I am done getting ready for a show in a couple weeks. I will share more information of my first curated show in the next post!