Sunday, May 22, 2011


Well, I am finished with this painting.  I wish I could make the figures larger and still have them all on the same page.  I may try some different compositions.  Perhaps a different background.  I think I have been looking at it too long.  All perspective is gone. 

Friday, May 20, 2011


I have been ruminating on these images for years.  I couldn't quite figure out how I wanted to combine the multiple images of this restless young man.  I have been drawing him over and over and was never satisfied with the results.  I think I am finally ready to have a go at it.  I decided I needed to get at least one painting done and then I could do another, if needed.  Drawing on tracing paper allowed me to keep the size of each image relatively close and I could move each figure around, reverse some, until I had a satisfactory arrangement.  I am working on a smooth gesso surface, which is very liftable.  The top piece is my practice one.  I applied the acrylic ink  with a fine brush, oiler boiler needle bottle, and a dip pen with a fine nib.  Boy, am I glad I experimented on the practice piece.  I discovered that I like the detail and control of the dip pen.  I also played around with lifting color with a sponge and a stencil.  Interesting results.  Color bleeds easily on this surface, so I have to be careful if I don't want that to happen.  I also realized I needed to ink from left to right because I am right handed and accidentally smeared some of the ink on the practice piece.  I wanted to have the feeling of a warm, very bright day, so I changed the shirt color from blue to red.  Time will tell if that was a good move on my part.  I should be able to finish this painting over the weekend.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I was looking at my collection of Splash Books in anticipation of a new one coming out.  Splash 2 had breakthroughs, and I came across the idea of working on a very smooth surface of sanded gesso.  I realized I always textured the hell out of the gesso and never made it super smooth.  I decided I wanted to try working on that surface, for a change.  My first effort resulted in an overworked image.  It was fun to lift out and repaint over and over but eventually it just looked tired and overworked.  I decided to start again and I was determined to keep the reworking to a minimum.  I am happy with this result.  I used a large squirrel brush with my favorite, Dr. Ph Martin's Hydrus liquid watercolor.  I always wanted to be able to paint steam or smoke like Mary Whyte.  This surface worked very well .  I don't know how Mary does it, but this comes pretty close, visually.

Now for the "Lose Some".  So far I have made a mess of my correction on the previous posted painting.....but I haven't given up.  I still hope to pull it out of the fire.  I will post my ultimate solution, good or bad, when I am satisfied or just give up!  Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


This is a painting that was half painted for over a year.  I decided to finish it up.  I think it needs some major adjustment.  I won't tell you what it is until after I make it.  Can you find the problem?  I will post the original and resolved photos side by side when I get it done.  In the meantime, you can e-mail me your answer at  The first person who sees the same problem as I do will win a calendar page from my 365 days of self portraits.  I realize there may be more than one problem but I am only addressing the one that bothers me.  It is always risky to ask people to find an error.  Every part will be disected when it is over!  Hence an e-mail response rather than public comments.  

Here is the slide show for the profile paintings done in the Oklahoma workshop.  We only had one day to draw and paint so some of these images are not finished but I wanted to share all the fine work being done. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


This was the Tyvek demo I did today.  Everyone finished up their painting today.  Some had a chance to do more than one.  For some, this was the first portrait they had ever done, for others this is a continuation of their exploration of portraiture.  As always, a wide range of experience, but everyone tried something new and worked on stretching their skills.  Here is a slide show of their efforts.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Here in the Tulsa, Oklahoma suburb of Broken Arrow, the weather is running hot and cold, wet and dry but the workshop is HOT HOT HOT!  Everyone is really into the work and progressing nicely.  Tomorrow I should be able to create a slide show of the first paintings.  This is the first demo.  I always like to start with a forward facing older face.  I put a textured gesso surface on the paper and used Dr. Martin's Hydrus watercolors.  

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