Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Hey everyone,
It's been a while, but I'm but from vacation and finally had a some time before work to paint the other day. This weekend though I'm going to a painting-a-day workshop by Carol Marine: Check out her work, she is one of my favorite daily painters. So hopefully this will get me re-energized! I'm so excited!!
I've also got another small good news. I got a portrait commission! I had an artist day where I painted all day at the Starbucks I work at, and one women wanted a portrait of her sister, who passed away. She hasn't decided if she is going to get just a flat painting, or a shadow-box style one yet. We're going to do it kind of Renaissance style, very spiritual, with the gold halo and such. I'm really excited about the chance to work on it! I keep you updated!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lukas Rossi Painting

I went to this musician's show on Saturday night. If you want to hear some of his music you can go to Let me know what you think!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

second posting... second sitting

thanks a lot everyone for the comments. i am glad that maybe everyone is getting something from this. it certainly helps me to talk about what i am doing as it allows me to approach the painting process analytically.

cat- that self portrait was a 20 minute digital. i appreciate the kind words.
sarah- i wish that i was a smarter man and had a disposable palette. that would make my life easier but alas i am an idiot ;)
matt and ty - thanks for the comments on the painting and the figure drawings. the encouragement is definitely welcome.

i had a lot of fun painting today. i feel that having instruction on wednesday and being left to myself to try the things that i have learned on another painting is extremely helpful. starting today i was able to see that i had over rendered this model in the initial sitting and today, approaching it with a fresh eye, i decided to get some paint on there and simplify the shapes a bit.
unfortunately, because the model is live, i am unable to use the camera to take process photos of this step. by knocking things back and concentrating on the big shapes I was able to obtain a better likeness of the model. more on this later.
after fixing the shapes on the model, i took a cue from my session yesterday and immediately knocked in some of my darkest values. doing this allowed me to spend the rest of the session refining some of the values in the models face and also try using more color.
when i felt like i was warmed up, i really started concentrating on the colors in the face of the model. as i am not very good with color picking, mixing and theory, this part was exceptionally difficult. after i while i found that i was not thinking as hard and trusting my instinct. im sure whether or not this was a good thing. i feel like i may have given way to some of my bad habits. i am pretty sure that i got ahead of myself and mucked up the process. i think perhaps that this is a good thing. this will give me a chance to go into my next class and see how what i did today compares to the next step my teacher has me take on my first painting. i am sure that this will be a positive learning experience.
below you can see the painting as it is and the black and white shows that today my values were a bit better than yesterday. i actually left the session a bit early today as i felt that the painting was getting away from me. i can see now in the photos that the nose is a bit skewed and perhaps a bit long. now, im not making excuses for myself but the model has a nose on her. anyway, i felt that rather than push the paint around and screw it up, it would be best to call it a night and come at it from another angle next week. i have one session left with this model and i hope to resolve the couple issues that i am having with the painting.

Academy - Week Seven

Mark English's assignment (bad photo). I'm pooped.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

first painting...second sitting

had my second portrait class with joe today. i have been waiting a whole week to continue with this model and learn more about the process that i am working with. because i am an idiot, i did not bother to clean my palette. i made this mistake for two reasons: 1- I thought that my paint would still be wet 2- I needed to remember what colors i had mixed the week before. joe made sure that i payed for my insolence and demanded that i clean my palette before i started to paint. sweet. well turns out that i did not have a razor blade for my scraper. sweet again. i did not expect to be having to spend 30 minutes cleaning my palette with a palette knife. this sucked. afterwards, i decided to rework some of the features, now with a fresh eye. coming at it with a new head on my shoulders allowed me to step back and discover the things that i missed last class.

so to discuss the pics below, again, bad pics. tonight i was learning how to build on the structure that i had previously established. this proved to be very hard but i learned a lot. i still have a long way to go, obviously. the smartest and best thing i did was establish my darkest darks. i did this by roughing the hair in. this allowed me to frame the shape of the head and as i mentioned, gave me a dark value to relate to. unfortunately, i did this just before cleaning up and i noticed that once i had a value i knew was correct, how washed out everything else it. ( see b and w below)

any hoo, im gonna cut the jibba jabba.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

my lovely lady lumps

here is a quick study of my ugly mug for a painting that i intend to do. getting back in the groove of things. trying to learn and be productive. i wish halo 2 with my roommate was not so seductive.

thought i might share a link with you guys. a good resource for those of us who hope to be freelancing sooner or later.

special thanks to TY for hooking me up with the academy assignments. be on the look out for my work. i will try to remain faithful to the specs as they were given but i do plan on changing them slightly. i.e. slice of northern virginia as opposed to sarasota.

Carnegie Hall finished

let me know what you think!

Monday, July 16, 2007

figures, BORING!

another day, another session. i thought it would be a good opportunity to try things a bit differently today. i decided to work on toned paper with colored pencils, something i am not very used to. being to a couple of these sessions now, i kinda had an idea of what to expect from the model. i was rather unlucky tonight in the fact that it was crowded in the room and i was stuck facing the model head on, and she was not a very exciting model. these negative aspects aside, i had a lot of fun drawing today. as far as the drawings go, they are not great but they are personally informative.



Hey guys,

I am working on a piece and here are some rough sketches for composition. I want to put some layers of collage ( fabric) as parts of the hot air balloon and around it... I also want to use some pen and ink along with paint/ colored pencil/ watercolor in places too.

Which is the most interesting composition so far?

Oh and the bird painting is the one that is a finalist in the jjill contest. Go to under "nature of compasstion" to vote if you get the chance! Funny thing to note- When I submitted the bird I wasn't happy with where it was so since then - on the original piece- painted over the bird, (keeping the shape) collaged in more fabric and painted in the top left corner...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

more crappy pictures

had a sustained figure drawing class today. this session is an un-instructed meeting and the model takes a pose for three hours. we have this model for the next three weeks, so i will be able to finish this painting without being in a rush. the greatest part about this thursday class is that i am able to practice, on a new pose and model, with the techniques that joe and i discuss the day before.
so, today we had a pretty cool model. she holds a pose fairly well. i was not too keen on my position in the room but i was having a lot of fun painting regardless.
as another side note, i will be buying a new camera because mine sucks ass. again, you will have to wait for good pictures.


please excuse the poor image quality, and the fact that this is far from done... I am entering a playbill cover contest for Carnegie Hall. The theme is "musical journeys". I'm doing the piece in black and white, but I want to digitally color it. How do I do that?? Is it possible in photoshop to lock the black part and color underneath it? I don't want to have to individually color each cell. Please let me know, thanks for the help :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

portrait painting, first sitting

i have recently enrolled in a portrait painting class at the loudon academy of the arts with joseph trigiani (sp?). i was really excited to get working today. after talking and discussing and taking advice from the teacher, i would say that i got in almost a solid hour and a half of painting today, this is of course accounting for breaks for the model as well. i am also very excited to continue my studies, i often enjoy new approaches and Joe gave me some really great things to think about. The painting as it is now can be seen below. I will apologize in advance for the quality of the picture. I will replace it tomorrow when a picture can be taken in the daylight.

on a side note: i feel that i am finally beginning to adjust to life outside of richmond. i must admit, i am still not crazy about the area that i am now residing in but i find myself thinking about it less. i believe that this is in part due to the classes that i have been attending as of late. i am currently going to figure drawing on monday, an instructed portrait painting class on wednesdays and un-instructed figure painting on thursday. it is helping me to get out of the "funk" that i have found myself in for the last several months. any-hoo, im le tired and i need to be up early, check for more updates soon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

i am indeed alive.

went figure drawing today, boy was I in a mood. i was not too thrilled to have the same model as last week. i did not feel that she was very exciting but i kept it to myself and was amped about drawing anyway. because i knew that this model was going to do sustained boring poses i decided to go into the session completely care free and just attack the drawings. i had fun and learned a lot and out of the thirty or so drawings that i did, the only legible drawings are the 6 that i am posting. if she looks like she is smiling in any of the drawings, she is. i think this was because she was getting $20 an hour to lay on her side for three hours. i imagine this is what she does at home, just add a television. she has a scam going on. can't believe each session is $15.

Academy - Week Six

Pinocchio - UNFINISHED. This was my roughest week at the Academy...ever, including last year. I didn't get to the drawing until Saturday and didn't start painting until Sunday night around 6pm. My first and only all-nighter of the summer followed. It's washes of acrylic, an oil wash, and I just started painting back into it with acrylic after I fixed it. I have a long way to go on it.

Thank all that is good and holy that we're on to Mark's assignment now.... and the last assignment of the Academy. It's almost identical to last year's but this time we have to have at least two figures in it and it has to be at some sort of eatery. We can use a second value but it can't be more than 20% darker than the local color.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Academy - Week Five

Anita Kunz gave us our assignment: Conceptual Portrait.

I chose to do a conceptual portrait of Hillary Clinton. I focused on her outrageous accent/manner of speaking and statements recently when speaking to primarily black audiences. She comes across sounding like a racist depiction of blacks from the 19th century. It's her own fault.... she even said that "Congress is run like a plantation.... and you know what I mean." It think that's ridiculous. So this is Hillary in blackface. And that's why I put her in front of the capitol building.

The instructors loved the idea and thought it showed the power of illustration.... but the only way I could pull it off would be to do it in the style of 19th-century political illustration. I referenced Thomas Nast. Jon Foster was also here to provide direction. I explored a lot of different techniques to get that engraving or etching quality but ended up doing it in pen and ink on watercolor paper. I learned that a razor blade makes a great eraser on ragpaper. (Thomas Nast image below).

The critique went very well. Lots of kind words. The only negative thing seemed to be that I overdid it on the speckles. But speckles were too fun to do.

WEEK SIX: Alumni instructor week. Doug Chayka and Jenny Kostecki are the instructors. Our assignment is do a double-page spread (11"x17") for chapter three of Pinocchio.