I enjoy alternating between painting the figure and landscape. Painting the figure hones my drawing skills, and landscapes allow me to play a bit more with form, color and brushwork. I’d love to bring that same fluidity to my figure work (and I have achieved that occasionally), but I have trouble being too loose in the figure, because I loose form too quickly. There are some artists that do this extraordinarily well, and they inspire me (eg, Dan McCaw). I’m working on a series of figure paintings for a possible show in San Francisco this year. Cheers!
Painting in watercolor is SO different from oil. It’s a real challenge, but I’m enjoying it. I decided to take a short break from oil painting to learn a new medium. I’m sure I’ll return to oil soon, but enjoying the immediacy and delicacy required to paint watercolor. Enjoy!
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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?
Here’s the YouTube video demonstration:
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!
To view my work on display in the show, click here.
UPDATE: Here’s a slide show:
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!
Here’s another recent figure study. Again, I’m focusing on simply stating plains in the figure and pushing color (especially temperature) and texture. This isn’t nearly the texture I want, but I’m building this up. I need to study with Ken Auster again! If you like this, click the Facebook Like button below to share with your friends. Thanks!
I’ve set up a web page with work-in-progress paintings for my next group show at The Forbes Gallery (for Timberfield artists). Would love to hear from you! View images, and just click the Facebook “Like” button to let me know which paintings you like. Thanks for your help!
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.
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.
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.
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!