Category Archives: Figure

Painting Demonstration

After a great plein air painting trip, I’m back to the studio and focusing on the figure.  I took snapshots of my progress on this painting so you’ll be able to view as a demo on YouTube.

I know this is an unusual composition, but I like that.  This was a great study in warm colors (hence the title, “Warmth”).  One of the key objectives I had was to represent warm/cool warm colors, and find a way to have the figure stand out from the rocks behind.  It’s a figure, so of course it will always stand out visually, but I also wanted to use color to accomplish the same objective.  I typically do that through “color separation” (which I first wrote about on this blog in 2007). The basic idea is to use completely different colors from my palette to represent a color of the same hue family and value.  For example, to separate the color of grass in shade and light, each of those two mixtures will have different blue and yellow mixtures (eg, green in shade might be Ultramarine Blue + Yellow Ochre, while in light it might by Cerulean Blue + Cad Yellow).  Both make green, but the fact that different base colors are used to mix each helps further separate light from shadow.

In this painting, I kept his flesh in shadow based on Mars Violet, while the base for the rocks was Alizarin Crimson.  This was also a fun study to do in terms of brushwork. I was able to get the contrast I wanted by keeping the rocks loose and free-form, while the draftsmanship of the figure is tighter (too tight, actually, I’d love to be able to paint a figure as loose as Dan MacCaw.  Someday!  The other challenge in this painting was representing the direction of color of light.  There’s a cool reflection from the sky in his hair and chest for exmaple, and a very warm reflect light coming from the ground to his chest and parts of his face.  That’s always fun to paint!

You may see a larger studio version of this painting as it’s one of those studies that resonates with me.  What do you think?

"Warmth", Oil on Canvas, 9x12"
"Warmth", Oil on Canvas, 9x12"

Here’s the YouTube video demonstration:

 

Timberfield 10 Reception

Last year, Christopher Forbes and Stephen Doherty invited a group of 10 artists to paint at the Forbes family estate in New Jersey. We had inspirational landscapes, interiors and models to work from. Those artists have been invited to share work done that week, or later work inspired by the trip. The artists attending included Camie Davis, John Patrick Campbell, Rob Clarke, Bryan Le Boeuf, George Towne, Wendy Walworth, Timothy Jahn, Ed Terpening, Patricia Watwood and John Dowd. Tonight was really special, my first group show in New York, and an opportunity to reconnect with this exceptional group!

20110630-110506.jpg

To view my work on display in the show, click here.

UPDATE: Here’s a slide show:

Cincopa WordPress plugin

Random sketches

Thanks for your recent comments about my sketches.  Here’s a few more.  I’m also testing out various ways to include photo slide shows into my blog.  This is using Cinopa.  Hope it works!

Cincopa WordPress plugin

Some figure work

Last year I posted a video collage of some some figure work, but thought it would be nice to post full images.  You can view these at a higher resolution.  I’m working more so lately on the figure, and may have some new work to post soon. I’m incredibly inspired by the latest work by Dan MacCaw.  This blog post, which describes how he takes a landscape and sort of “deconstructs” it through a series of paintings into something else, is intriguing, and something I’m going to attempt myself this weekend.  I’ve struggled with loosening up my work, and trying to drive more and more towards abstraction.  His recent studies are a fascinating example of how to achieve that.

Hiking Swimsuit, Oil on Linen, 5 7/8 x 6 1/2
Hiking Swimsuit, Oil on Linen, 5 7/8 x 6 1/2

Attitude, Oil on Linen, 6 1/2 x 6 /12
Attitude, Oil on Linen, 6 1/2 x 6 /12

Sleeper, Oil on Linen, 7 1/14 x 5 1/2
Sleeper, Oil on Linen, 7 1/14 x 5 1/2

Boy, Oil on Canvas, 3 3/4 x 6 1/2

Boy, Oil on Canvas, 3 3/4 x 6 1/2

Chase

This painting of Timberfield model Chase sat in my studio for a while, unfinished (I thought). I like to work “ala prima”, wet into wet. I wasn’t able to finish this one that way, so it sat a few weeks. But it grew on me as is, so here it is.

Chase

This painting is an exploration. Art is a viable pursuit for me as long as I have the opportunity to push myself through experimentation and growth. Having just finished Door County Plein Air, I was reminded that I need to avoid creating works that veer on “trite”. Yes, I like to capture beauty, but I want to create works that are more intellectually stimulating. That’s how music evolved from Bach to Portishead :-).

Pushing the viewer by capturing images that are beautiful (in an abstract way), yet have mystery–and maybe confusion–is a direction I’m exploring. This is one example. When you see this image, what do you think?

What you don’t see, is that Chase is jumping out of a tree, so his body is contorted in an unusual way, you don’t see the tree, but you probably get some sense of movement. This is similar to Robert Longo’s “Men in the city” series, who I recall used to photograph his models while throwing rubber balls or rocks at them.  Their contorted bodies made for an interesting subject, and without the balls for needed context, the viewer wonders what instigated the movement.  Mystery in art…it’s a good thing.

Door County Plein Air, Day 4-5

Busy couple days, but finally ready for the show tomorrow night! It rained all day today, but I was able to finish a painting of a Venus-like statue at Edgewood Orchard Galleries. Last night, finished two paintings for the “Evening with the Artists” sunset reception. I did both a late afternoon/pre-sunset work and a really fun nocturne, both of which I hope to post tomorrow. My second Cavepoint painting below was painted yesterday, which was really productive!

Painting at Forbes’ Timberfield

I was honored to be asked to join a wonderful group of artists to paint at Timberfield, the Forbes family estate in New Jersey.  Christopher “Kip” Forbes was an unbelievably gracious, open host with a wonderful dry sense of humor, and M. Stephen Doherty (Editor, American Artist) facilitated great discussion among the artists and selected a group that complemented each other well. The artists included: Camie Davis, John Patrick Campbell, Rob Clarke, Bryan Le Boeuf, George Towne, Wendy Walworth, Timothy Jahn, Ed Terpening, Patricia Watwood and John Dowd.

Artist's Dinner at TImberfield
Artist's Dinner at TImberfield
Ed Terpening at Timberfield
Ed Terpening at Timberfield

Stephen writes about the weekend in American Artist Workshop magazine (Summer edition, on news stands now). That’s Camie Davis on the cover, who’s also featured in the magazine. She did a wonderful job of capturing the four days on her blog (day 1, 2, 3, and 4).

American Artist Workshop Magazine (Summer)
American Artist Workshop Magazine (Summer)

Here’s one of the paintings from the trip.  The artists are to be featured in a show at The Forbes Galleries in Manhattan next year.  This will be my first show in the “Big Apple”!  I’m thrilled (and a bit nervous…this is an incredibly talented group!).

Timberfield, Oil on Linen, 10x12
Timberfield, Oil on Linen, 10x12

UPDATE (7/26/2010): Kip was kindly sent some photos of the trip.  Here are a couple:

Rob Clarke, Ed Terpening, Chase, Timothy Jahn, John Patrick Campbell
Rob Clarke, Ed Terpening, Chase, Timothy Jahn, John Patrick Campbell
Timothy Jahn and Ed-Terpening
Timothy Jahn and Ed-Terpening