Portrait of John in Color - A La Prima

I've done a few portraits of John Irvine in different styles - this one is an A La Prima color portrait from Rob Liberace's class after his color demo. He's a wonderful model with interesting features - a pleasure to paint.


After Sargent's Fume de Ambre Gris

Well, copying Sargent's Fume de Ambre Gris (Select this link to see original) turned out to be a great exercise. I hope to find time to do more copies because they are an excellent way to learn from prior artists


Sketches from Rob Liberace's Class

Friday was my last day in Rob Liberace's class until Spring semester. Rob taught me a lot about drawing and and tonal painting ... here is one of my last paintings from class.


Lunch Bag Daily Artist

Here's a guy who makes a new lunch bag every day for his kids. It's great - he just found something artistic to do every day. Click through the pages and you can see how he's improved as an illustrator since the beginning of the school year.


David Leffel Quote on Learning

As I've been reading a bunch of books and watching videos of David Leffel's technique, I felt an intense desire to put down the books and get back to the easel. But I'm dedicated to absorbing this material as soon as possible. So, I felt a sweet relief when I read the following quote at the conclusion of "Oil Painting Secrets From a Master." Leffel beautifully sums up one of my core beliefs about learning:

"Talent is the willingness to figure it out. It's not a mystical or metaphysical thing. It's the ability to relinquish al of your assumptions and conceits in order to learn."


Teaching Private Art Lessons

After much encouragement from peers - I've been teaching private (and very small group) art lessons and love it! The students are all doing so well and I enjoy the peaceful time in the studio. It's most satisfying to see them making such dramatic progress in a short period of time. The transformation in their work is often so surprising that I've decided to start taking pictures at the end of their first lesson day so students can see how far they advance.

I understand as a life-long learner myself that looking at how quickly they've advanced gives students the courage to take another leap. So, I encourage them to keep that first drawing/painting as their best inspiration to keep growing.


Mini Still Life: Cheese Board and Juicy, Sweet Red Bell Pepper

I love the way red bell peppers make a kind of "flower" when you cut them in half. They are perfectly sweet with crackers and cheese which resulted in this quick sketch 8"x8" painting on gallery wrapped linen.

I'm beginning to understand why there are so many "daily painter" blogs out there. It's so much fun to create these little, mini paintings and blog them right away. Instant gratification for the artist.


Transmitted light through transluscent globe

Today, I was just researching something I heard on David Laffel's video about painting the translucent objects not by painting their color but by painting the "transmitted light" on the other side of the grape. Robert Liberace just mentioned a similar principle about painting the iris of the eye in class the other day. (At least I think it's the same/similar principle). Rob explained that we can see the color of the Iris best on the opposite side of the highlight. (You know that little round dot of light that often reflects off a model's eye because we set them up in a spot and the shape of the light is round with a flash of color on the iris - that's the one I'm referring to).

Well, I'm teaching students to draw and paint glass right now ... So, here is a painting that illustrates this point. The paintings by Carol Thompson of grapes with the lemons below (or grapes and peaches above) emphasize the color of the light on the right (from the viewer's perspective) side of each grape and the highlight on the left.


David A. Leffel Video(s)

Some friends have taken David Leffel's workshop in 2008 (two of them took it at Andreeva Academy in Santa Fe New Mexico if you're wondering where to take it) and were very pleased because he spends a lot of time teaching even advanced students "To Paint". So, I borrowed these videos to find out exactly what my friends meant by that.


I really enjoyed the video demos and learned from them. The videos also gave me a lot of confidence to recapture some of the paint handling I've been avoiding in classes. You might want to take my recommendation with a grain of salt because I haven't watched a lot of painting demo videos but tend to learn in person. For what it's worth - I enjoyed the video even though the video quality and sound were not great. But frankly - even in person it can be hard to hear and see a live demo. This way you can rewind and take notes at your own pace.


Oil Sketch

This oil sketch sold the other day before I had a chance to put it on the website ... but I would like to share it with you here.


Rob Liberace's Class

Last Friday, in Rob's class - he did a few demos of features. Here is the "eye" and the ear. I could try to describe everything he reviewed but I think it would lose something in the translation. Instead ... I'll just remark that his detailed knowledge of anatomy is remarkably useful!


Fearless about the use of white

Copying one of his early paintings has given me a lot of respect for Sargent's use of whites together. This is a another nice example.

In addition to this post, go to http://www.30dayartist.com - where I'm the 30 day artist for November.


Decorating the House - John Singer Sargent's "Fume de Ambre Gris"

One of our recent guests pointed out that we have *a lot* of empty wallspace. I guess we've been enjoying the minimalist lifestyle so much that I stopped noticing how empty our "just moved in" look might feel for our guests.

So, that kind of inspired me to start working on something for the parlor which is totally empty now that my studio has been moved to the basement. For months, I had been hoping to take a little time to learn by copying the work of prior artists ... enter John singer Sargent's "Fume de Ambre Gris". Here's the reference photo I'm using. I hope to follow with photos of my copy ... which I'm pretty confident won't hold a candle to his work ... but hey, this project more about learning than having fun ... if I get a painting that has any redeeming qualities for the parlor, I'll be happy.