Sunday, January 20, 2019


LIFE DRAWING 1/18/19 #4

This was my favorite of the 3 hours of drawing.  I loved the fluid lines of the body and the beautiful shapes.  I was also happy that the digital marks were working in my favor.  It is still an experimental process, trying to select different tools and seeing what happens.  I deleted a lot of my efforts this time.  No sense in using up valuable space on my iPad.   I am already at maximum capacity.  Next time, I will purchase the largest amount of memory available.  It is amazing how quickly it seems to get filled up!

LIFE DRAWING 1/18/19 #3

This one seems off in proportion but right in the gesture.  The forward leg should be slightly longer and the head slightly smaller.  The length of the pose doesn't allow for making these corrections but it is all just practice, anyway.  Part of the experience is learning to judge these things as accurately and quickly as possible.

LIFE DRAWING 1/18/19 #2

I am fascinated with the vector drawing tool. Still trying to master it.  I think I am getting closer to controlling the shapes and creating lines.

LIFE DRAWING 1/18/19 #1

I find feet the most difficult.  I was happy with the foot on this one.
These drawing sessions are a wonderful opportunity to draw different body shapes.  Last week the model was compact, very muscular and had very round shapes.  This model was long in the torso, more angular and elongated lines.  Next week I think we will have a male model.  We have room for more artists to join us, so I hope some of you will drop in and give it a try. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019



I remembered that I had done this pastel a long time ago when Robert Mueller was the FBI Director but not very recognizable by most people, myself included.  I just saw this image and loved the interesting face and intricate finger pattern.  When someone told me who it was, I put it away because I wasn't interested in doing known people.  It has been buried in my stash of paintings.  I finally reorganized that storage area and unearthed the painting.   I wonder what he is thinking?

Friday, January 11, 2019


2 Minute pose using digital app SKETCH CLUB.  I found the Pencil stylus zoomed over the glass and was not pleased with the out-of-control feeling so I changed the drawing tool for the next one to the vector setting and played with that for the quick gesture drawings shown below.
Vector drawings are fun but different strategies have to be employed.  I was working very quickly and didn't take the time to correct and change lines and shapes I didn't like.  I will be practicing a lot with this tool until I can control it.  It has lots of potential.
This vector drawing is better but not there yet!

This one turned out interesting but more a lucky accident than intentional.

Total Mess!

Getting better at producing a line quickly!

Someday I will get the feet in!

I am not sure these are in order.  Mixed bag of control and poor shapes.

Once we got to 5 and 10-minute poses, I switched to brush mode and pen line.  

I sometimes think it is easier to quickly get the gesture and general placement by sketching the large shapes and coming back in with a correcting contour line,  

I am not sure, but this looks like I started with line and filled in with value.

Definitely, volume then line.  I am fairly pleased with this drawing.

Explored color with a longer pose.  Decided to reinforce some lines with a dark line but ran out of time!

Tried to express cool shadows but it was challenging as the model had quite a bit of tattooing and it was difficult to determine what was shadow and what was merely ink.  Fortunately, her skin tone and the ink were not so contrasting as to lose the form of the muscles.  Light skinned models with lots of tattoos are almost impossible to draw as the imagery hides the subtle shifts in tone,  If I had my way, I wouldn't hire a tattooed model.  One model at a session I attended had an entire peacock in color over her entire back!  Ridiculous from a drawing perspective.

A 20-minute pose gave me the opportunity to try and do a portrait.   I tried some different brush modes.  This one was like a pencil.  Too far away to get a good likeness but fun to play with.  I did some negative painting to establish the outer contours of her turban.

This one appears out of order of drawing.  Working on volume shading.  

This was the last pose of the day.  Starting to feel I was in control a little more.  Like most of this one. 

The session had 7 people attending the first week.  This week we had 10!  Even had a young mother with a two month old baby snuggled up in a device carried in the front.  When you are determined to keep up with things, there is always a way,   Looks like it should be a big hit and very popular once the word gets out.  

Monday, January 7, 2019


Last Friday we had our first life drawing session at the Peninsula Museum of Art!!  It has been a long time since I have had the opportunity to draw from a live model and it was a treat!!  I am excited that we will be having a 3-hour session every Friday for 10 weeks (to start) and I hope it is popular enough to continue on after that.  We had seven artists for the first session.  Most have studios in the building but it is open to anyone who would like to participate.  You can purchase the entire set of sessions or buy a punch card for a few dollars more per session or just pay a drop in fee each week you come with no obligation for any additional sessions.  If you live in the area and are interested, contact me.  It will be every Friday from 11 AM to 2 PM.  You will need to be there a little earlier to set up.  

This time I decided to work with charcoal on newsprint.  Next time, I am thinking I will try working smaller with ink in a sketchbook and I definitely want to try one session using my iPad Pro and work digitally.  Having the drawing sessions each week gives me the opportunity to try lots of approaches and different materials.  

Here are some of the other drawings from Friday.  We started out with 2 minute poses which tend to be about gesture and progressed to the last 3 poses that were 20 minutes each.  

Sunday, December 16, 2018


You know the old saying, "if you keep on doing what you are doing, you will keep on getting what you get".  Many people would like to break away from the same old same old but don't know what to do.  I have developed a fun workshop where I share some interesting ideas for making changes that result in new directions for artists to grow in their pursuit of personal expression.  One of the easiest changes is surface.  Here I have changed the surface and the media from the last set of paintings I shared using this image.  I have included all three together for comparison.  I enjoy the challenges of changing media.  If I paint this image again, I will change the scale to huge which will create its own challenges!

Monday, December 10, 2018



If you take Mike Bailey's 10-week class through Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society's workshop offering, "Watercolor Beyond the Obvious" he will have you go through your sketchbook and write on a number of pages in big, bold letters "WHAT MOOD DO YOU WANT?"   Why?  Because mood contributes significantly to content and content is what a painting is all about.  If you take the same image (one of the important concepts of the class) and change the mood, you have a very different response, a different message, a different content.  I have painted this same panorama from a scene my son photographed while on a boating excursion up in Washington State near the Canadian border.  By changing the color palette and the intensity, I created two different moods.  The composition and scale also contribute to the mood, but the color is the dominant contributor to the mood in these pieces.
These are small studies on Tyvek paper, in preparation for a larger painting.  

If you are curious about taking the workshop, it starts in January.  Just follow the link and check it out.  I have taken the class four times and it has been the most significant educational influence on my work.   Beginners to advanced painters gain significant value from this workshop. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Inbetween getting ready for Open Studios, I was doing some experimental tests with some new paints that I purchased.   They have metal particles suspended in a mixture of binding and pigment.  When sprayed with an oxidizing chemical, they rust or create a verdigris.  I wanted to incorporate some of this into my paintings but needed to have a better idea of what I might expect on different surfaces, letting the paint dry first or adding the chemical spritz while still wet, using two coats, putting one metal pigment over another, etc.   I tried to create as many variables as I could think of.  The above image has tissue paper, Tyvek, watercolor paper, etc. with iron pigment, copper pigment, and bronze pigment.  I used some stencils and a bunch of various sized gears as a resist.  Now that all my holiday company has gone home, I can concentrate on doing some serious painting in the studio.  
This is a piece of Tyvek that I had printed previously with some abstract acrylic.   I wanted to see what adding to the surface with the metallic paints, oxidized, would look like. This piece will either get more layers of something or get torn up and incorporated into another work.  Saving paintings that are "dogs" allows you to work uninhibitedly in an experimental fashion without the fear of ruining something. Learning what not to do is often more valuable than learning what works.

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