Friday, September 27, 2013


 I am working on a new workshop which will be all texture in portraiture.  I am developing examples to accompany the lessons.  This is the finished result of my first exercise.  Of course it is nothing like what I had originally intended, so it will probably work for a different example or I may change my idea of how the course will start out.  Interesting how that brilliant idea you have in your head doesn't want to cooperate when you try to execute it.  

The painting started out as a string drawing on fresh watercolor paper.  I used permanent ink as I didn't want the lines to run.


I scraped gel medium onto the paper making sure to leave some of the original paper exposed.  I then stamped various textures into the gel.  I knew the gel would dry clear , leaving my original drawing visible.  I was happy enough with the drawing.  I practiced two or three times to make sure I would have something I wanted to work with.

When the gel dried, I painted the image with the new Golden High Flow liquid acrylics.  They are very transparent and look like glazes.  


Now the problems started.  I liked some of the textures, especially the lace in the face and hands but way too much texture and the color was to high key.  I was trying to avoid gluing any collage papers down but that was what I decided to do.  Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph the stage with the collage on top.  I used a commercial patterned tissue for the garment and solid colored tissue for the other areas.  It was commercially dyed which meant not light safe, but I figured I would be covering over it enough that it would be okay.  I like tissue because of it's transparent qualities.  After that dried, I glazed over the tissue to unify the piece and then scraped white full bodied white acrylic to re-establish my light pattern.  I was trying to use credit cards and coffee stirrers  along with a plastic palette knife to apply the paint because I like broken color and irregular marks rather than smooth blended passages.



Monday, September 23, 2013


I was able to attend a live model session at the Palo Alto Art Center for the first time in a very long time.  I usually go for the entire day,  but only managed to get to the afternoon session this time.  I lucked out because both of the models were great.  This sketch of Christina was my favorite for the day.  It was a 10 minute pose, the longest of the afternoon.  They started with one minute poses, then two minutes, five minutes, 10 minutes for a few then back down the scale.  Christina is my favorite model.  She has a tiny waist and very full hips which are easy to exaggerate, plus a charming face that reminds of the woman in the painting Madame X.  She creates very graceful, interestingly poses and can hold them without shifting.  Being a good model is a true talent in itself.  The other model had a longer, leaner body but also very graceful and immobile during the pose.  She reminded me of a Renaissance painting, or perhaps straight off the canvas of an Andrew Wyeth masterpiece.  

I took only a pad of newsprint and a new drawing material, the Art Graf tailor's chalk shape  black carbon.  You can dip it in water for even richer darker marks.  I know I could get more beautiful results with better paper, but I wanted to just try it out to see how it handled.  The beauty of this drawing tool is how you can get fine lines using the edge and wide marks by turning it in your hand plus a range of values.  It didn't take long to loose the sharp edge.  I will have to experiment to see how to get that back.  

Here is one of the one minute drawings when the carbon chalk still had the sharp edge.
1 minute study

The rest of the drawings are 5 and 10 minute studies.  I didn't feel the portraits captured them very well.  It was difficult to draw small precise shapes with the carbon.
10 minute study 

10 minute study

5 minute study

5 minute study

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Art comes in many forms.  Cake decorating at it's highest level is an unbelievable sculptural marvel!  One of my favorite websites is called Cake Wrecks.  During the week they expose in a hilarious way, the professional wreckage of inept cake decorators but on Sunday they showcase stunning masterpieces of edible sculpture.  I had to share today's entries because they are all based on famous paintings.  This creativity and artistic talent needs to be seen by as wide an audience as possible.   These creations were meant to be eaten but I can't imagine cutting into one.  It would feel like a desecration! Go to the link below to see some of the best.  It takes the Cake!

Related Posts with Thumbnails