Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Sunday, January 19, 2014
This portrait felt like a landmark in my growth as an artist because the paint went down without a struggle anywhere. In the past, it’s been typical in a more finished work like this one for me to get a little “lost” for a while trying to reconcile my “vision” with a good likeness. But all the color sketches I’ve done lately have really helped me come up with something of a formula that works for me. My favorite part of this painting is her simple mouth and chin. I just love getting away with rosebuds of paint for baby mouths!
Sunday, December 22, 2013
In My Arms
Here’s the latest commissioned work I’ve been privileged to paint! I’m tremendously thankful to see improvement in my work with the frequent practice I’ve been getting fulfilling custom art orders in the last several months. I made the little girl’s eyes my main center of interest with the kiss coming in a close second. I love the glowing qualities in the skin of the woman’s arm and how I took liberties with that edge as well as the back of her neck! I am also very pleased with how well simplifying the woman’s face went for me this time around. I would have liked to have lost the edge of the girl’s cheek in shadow more, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It felt like it would sacrifice her likeness too much. Maybe next time!
Saturday, November 30, 2013
On My Shoulders
This is my most recent commissioned color sketch! I’m really starting to figure out a formula that works for me when I get to paint smaller, simpler works like this one. Getting details like eye brows, lash lines, the corners of the eyes, and nostrils correct is extremely important; the individuality of your subject is in these details. And if you paint those details correctly, the basic planes of the face can often be simplified more than you’d previously thought and sometimes also the lips. I usually do my best to soften or omit creases under the eyes and around the nose because painting those too strongly is frequently unflattering. Getting the character of the hair correct is also important, but one can usually manage to do that and be playful with the brush strokes at the same time because there is more room for interpretation. The background should be developed along with the hair, and there is always opportunity to have fun here. And if getting everything else right turned out to be a little tedious; you’ll feel more than ready to have some fun with the background. Fortunately for me, this painting felt like it painted itself, making the whole thing fun from start to finish. That doesn’t always happen, and I never take it for granted when it does!
Saturday, October 19, 2013
This is my most recent, commissioned painting! A trio of siblings approached me through etsy to create this piece for their father’s 70th birthday gift, and I was thrilled to work with the sunlit photo they sent me. I love painting sunlit figures! The fun colors in the central figure’s fair skin and hair with her bright outfit are my favorite part of the painting. Combining cool light purples with warm peaches is becoming standard to my outdoor figure paintings. This color combination choice also helped to contrast the range of skin tones these cousins have.
To help unify this painting with so many figures and points of interest, I simplified the background to another of my favorite color combinations-yellow green grass and light blue sky. I also tried to keep the brushwork and value pattern simple. Both the parents and I feel the painting came together very well, and I’m looking forward to painting more works with this aesthetic soon!
Saturday, September 7, 2013
I’m returning to subject matter I haven’t painted in years-small cityscapes from downtown Pensacola, and I’m liking it so much I can’t believe it took me so long to get back to it! This subject matter is far less demanding than figurative work in terms of accuracy and gives me more room to select and paint the details I find most beautiful. I’m famous among my friends for cherishing brevity and minimalism! Painting this piece also helped me realize how much more I enjoy painting smaller, simpler works that take less time to complete. It also helped me see how much I prefer strong contrasting sunlight and shadow and the corresponding changes in color temperature. Learning to be the artist I want to be is a consuming, lifelong journey!