Saturday, December 29, 2012

done with self-portrait

i worked about 30 minutes on the self-portrait yesterday before deciding i wasn't making anything better. so, i stopped and signed it.

basically, i finished off the pattern on the shirt leaving the bottom right hand corner on the painting a lighter value as i wanted to sign it there. this is the first time that i can remember that i planned ahead for the signature spot. hmmmm, not sure what that means. i put a couple of glazes on the background to bring it up to the value that seemed right.  i painted a fairly bright warm quinacridone gold starting from the shoulders on both sides and graded up into the rest. then, after that dried a light layer of permanent rose to tone down the quin gold. lastly, a glaze of mineral violet. c'est tout.

i put some dilute washes of cerulean blue on my upper lip, lower cheeks, and chin to sort of explain the beard which was a little worse than stubble in the photo. just to add a manly edginess to the whole thing!

i tried scratching in some "gray" hairs on my thinning mane with a utility knife after failing to get the effect i was looking for with lifting color. it seemed to be quickly turning disastrous so i decided to leave it well enough alone.

i don't think there was anything else this time around.

"that ragged old shirt...and friend"  11"X15"
just a word on the title. i have had that patterned shirt, which is heavy woven flannel, for almost twenty years. it is my favorite shirt. needless to say, it is getting a little (okay, a lot) worn and thin. it has been banished to the studio with the rest of our place designated a ragged shirt-free zone. i got it from territory ahead during their (an my) younger days. an inquiry to them garnered a reply indicating that they no longer carried that particular shirt but perhaps i would be interested in another one of their fine shirt products. please. nothing can replace that shirt. so this painting is a much a memorial to that soon to be deceased shirt as much as a self-portrait. hence "that ragged old shirt....and friend".

Thursday, December 27, 2012

getting close to the finish line

as it stands
i just did dribs and drabs on the self-portrait over the christmas holiday and didn't bother to get any photos after each 15 minute session. none-the-less, some progress was made. i fear i may have gone one glaze too many on the face and probably won't do too much more. i did correct some glaring (at least to me) anatomical problems along the way by some gentle lifting and re-painting around my *left* nasolabial fold and mouth and the *left* ear needed lowering. the remaining work will be on the shirt (i should have worn one without a pattern!) and the background.

Monday, December 24, 2012

"you really should do it, all artists should"

original photo
i have either received or read the advice in the title of this posting more times than i can count. to what are they referring? a self portrait. i cannot verify the truth of these statements, but when a local magazine editor suggested she wanted a self portrait for an article about our local art show, i decided i probably should heed the wisdom. so here goes.

photo cropped and changed to b+w

i started by putting my "el cheapo" camera on a taller than normal table, setting the timer for 10 seconds, and striking the provocative pose you see here. from that i cropped the photo down to the size and composition that i could work from, and made a black and white copy. i like to work from b+w photos as this gives me a better view of the values and leaves some license to use a color scheme that i like and not be slave to the photo colors. after drawing my somewhat scruffy mug on a piece of 11"X15", 300#, hot press fabriano artistico paper using a modified contour technique, i put down an initial wash using a #26 round and dilute solutions of scarlet lake, raw sienna, cadmium yellow orange (holbein), and cerulean blue.

detail of eye and socket
initial wash and first features
this needed to be absolutely dry as tested by having no residiual coolness to touch before proceding with the features. switching to a #16 round that pointed well i started with the features. i usually start with the eyes or nose, and this was no exception. throughout these steps i used combinations of the same colors as mentioned in the initial wash. i included a close up of my *right* eye for those interested in the detail. these small detail shots should look like an abstract painting in the style of the whole painting if done "right."

from there i moved back and forth from face to background to shirt. i also noticed some drawing errors that i corrected before i got too much paint on the paper surface. the most glaring was my *left* ear was too high (and too long). at this point i decided to stop for a rest and to let the paper dry thoroughly.

a few more features added

this is where i left it tday

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

the end of a long dry spell: landscapes

i have finally finished the work on mounting, matting, and framing the paintings for the show that will be hung january 2, 2013. the hanging wire was the last thing needing to be attached. i may write a blurb about each painting to put in a pedestal book, but we'll see how the time goes.

house near the woods
i have been diddling around with some quick landscape sketches over the last few days. i felt some of my landscape chops needed some work. there were a set of exercises i found in sterling edwards book "creating luminous watercolor landscapes," that i worked through. here are the results. they are not meant to be finished paintings but studies and practice. to this end i think they were very useful. all are about 10"X14"

barn in the field near the woods

adobe in the desert (not near any woods)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

african girl finish

i didn't do too much more on this painting since the last posting. i basically finished off her braids. the only decision was to go with a more realistic portrayal or more impressionistic. the realistic won out. so i observed where the shadows and highlights were, made a few pencil marks for a guide, and over painted with some modeling. the amorphous shape next to her face needed some darkening. i wet the perimeter with clear water to control the wash and with the board almost vertical put in pretty much pure color at the top and let it run down. the colors were cerulean blue, raw sienna, and alizarin crimson permanent. i  messed around with the shadows on her face a bit but that was really going no where so i decided i was finished.
again i must give credit to steve evans for use of his wonderful photo as a model for this painting.

"she will melt your heart" 11"X14"

Sunday, December 2, 2012

a post of few words but lotsa pictures: new painting

i finished the mounting and matting of the paintings that i am going to use for the show. the printing and most of the punching on the hholiday calendars is done. i needed something to occupy my time while i waited for my frames to arrive and the energy to finish the calendars.

image #1
image #2
detail of eyes
i found a photo by steve evans (babasteve: flickr) of an african girl irresistible and decided to have  go at it while i waited for my frames to arrive. i am not going to go into any detail with respect to the process, but let the photos of the various stages tell their own story. everything is wet on dry and i, again, was determined not to use a tube brown. the subtle coloration of her skin was done with multiple layers of scarlet lake, raw sienna, mineral violet, cerulean blue, hooker's green, and even some ultramarine blue. i am enjoying working through this project. i don't think i am going to do a series of african children as this has already been done so admirably by stephie butler, but this certainly can serve to give me foundation for painting the skin of non-caucasian peoples. so enjoy the photos....a sort of pre-holiday present, if you will.

progress so far, "she'll melt your heart" 11"X15"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

painting from live long-pose session

i have been working on two projects this last week none of which involve placing paint on paper. the first is the calendar that i make each year for gifts to friends and relatives. this year i decided to use the theme of my show at the pumphouse which starts the first of the year, namely, "these are people i'll remember."

the second is actually getting ready for the show by mounting, matting, and framing the paintings that i will hang. i chose 17 from which i will have to choose somewhere from 12-15 to actually hang in the gallery. i have all of the one's that i am going to do mounted and matted. i ordered the frames yesterday and they should arrive by the end of the week. the last bit will be obtaining the glazing. i am going to use acrylic to save weight and cost.

2 1/2 hour pose
so, the only painting i have done recently was at the long pose session at the vitamin studio a week or so ago. here is the effort from that 2.5 hour stint. i didn't like it at the time, but it has grown on me. i'm not sure it is, nor ever will be,  a finished painting but a pretty decent job for a live model session.

Monday, November 19, 2012

finishing up and preparing for show

penultimate step
"a bitter northerly howls across the bog" 15"X20"
i finally was able to finish up the painting of a woman working out in the weather. her face was just about done and only a few little touches remained. none of these worth talking about. i picked up a habit of adding some dabs of warm around the eyes from charles reid and did that here on the medial canthae and along upper lids. i think it was cadmium red light. other than that it was really just finishing the coat, her hair, and the background. the coat was ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson permanent, burnt sienna applied with my largest round (#26). i wanted some lost edges near the bottom and kept the value lighter in areas where it met the background. the background i wanted to read cold. i chose cerulean blue, raw sienna, and the alizarin crimson permanent but in most areas tending to the cool gray. this, too, painted with the #26 round cosmotop. the hair blowing around is the really only thing in the painting that reads, "windy". so i made it flow out to the left.  i tried painting in the darker strands and shadow areas, but this was just too tedious for me so i did resort to my scratching into damp paint technique. i put down a darker wash of raw sienna and mineral violet and let it dry until the sheen came off the surface and then scraped in some lighter strand and areas mainly moving out to the left. i think that worked okay. here is the final product and one intermediary step.

i also attended the long pose session at the vitamin studio last thursday and painted a draped figure in a relaxed pose. i had a devil of a time getting her eyes as dadrk as they actually were. i finally decided that wasn't going to ahppen without making a mess so i stopped where you see it. i also had some trouble with the drawing trying to get the foreshortening of her legs correct. all in all these are learning experiences and i don't even try to get something finished. sometimes i fall into it, but these times are few and far between.

"dark-eyed girl with rosy cheeks" 16"X17"

there will be a bit of a hiatus in the painting as i must get ready for my first solo show at the pumphouse regional arts center in january and february. i have picked out about 20 paintings that i will now mount, mat, and frame. from those i will have to pick 12-15 to show as the space will allow about that many. i will share the final contenders when i have them ready for hanging. have a great thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

two to go

"let me count the ways"  14"X16"
i finished (or close enough that anything else would be superfluous overworking) two paintings this morning. the first was, "let me count the ways" and the second the portrait of my oldest and probably best friend, "bookman dan." here they are. no commentary as i have to run but please enjoy.
"bookman dan" 11"X14"

the last painting in this series is the heavily clad working woman out at the bogs in a howling northerly wind. i will get some done on this this afternoon after i get from our strength class (i am getting, like, so totally buff.........sort of).

Monday, November 5, 2012

too many irons in the fire

i did finish the couple painting by adding some texture on the bench and decided on the lower edge of the painting and "ripped" the painting off just below the guy's forward knee. i won't re-post it as there will not be any really observable differences from the last post a week or so ago.

anyone folowing this blog will know that i started a painting of my friend dan's ever smiling face and have almost finished it. i ahven't sone anything on it in the last week but i do have it hung on the wall of the studio and i think that i ahve decided on the rest of the background, and the minimal tweeks to his face. hopefully i will get to this before this week is over.

the painting of the lovely smiling face of my wife joan is likewise put up for daily perusal, and i vow to complete it before next weekend as well. i usually have trouble with portrait type of paintings of people i know and i am working very slowly and carefully considering each brush stroke at this point to avoid the dreaded overworking.

"a biting wind howls in from the north"
to make all this worse is that i went ahead and started a painting of a cranberry bog worker having a miserably cold day. we were out at the nearby cranberry bogs watching some of the harvesting a few weekends ago. it was bitterly cold for that time of year and considering it had been 80 degrees the day before. the temperature hovered in the high 30's and the 30 mph north wind was filling the air with a mist coming off the roiled water surfaces. the workers were not having a good time, and the observers were mainly huddled in the warming hut drinking hot cider. none-the-less i did get some shots of the process and the bogs. when i got home i found i had a great shot of one of the workers all  bundled up in several layers of hoodies, and parkas and looking entirely miserable. i cropped the original and decided on a painting. i just had to start it this week after i found the image. here is the result so far. sorry, no intermediary steps. the whole thing was a bit spontaneous and i worked right through for about 3 hours with out a break. so, one more thing to finish.

at some point i will have to stop making art and start mounting, matting and framing for the show that is to hang the first of january 2013.

Friday, November 2, 2012

long pose life drawing/painting session and just a little more

this will be a brief post. i didn't do much in the studio yesterday as i know that i was going to try getting to the vitamin studio at night for the bimonthly 3-hour posing session with a draped model.

version 1.0
version 1.1
so on the painting "let me count the ways" i picked out some midtones and darks to start defining the hair and augmented the background colors. this background consists of a window that reflects the clear blue sky, some window frames elements, a post supporting the porch roof around which the figure is peeking, and the bottom end of the sign directing one to "boothill". here are two photos of different stages of the work today. all was done either with a #16 or #26 round brush. i also started to define some of the hair. namely, some strands along her *left* front wave and the darker areas around her ears where it curls under. just a word here about this. as the majority of the hair will be a light yellowish cast i elected to darken these areas and cool them off with a wash of mineral violet and a little raw sienna. darkening a yellow is hard for me (and i suspect a lot of painters in watercolor) so this is a bit of an experiment. i think its going to work out.

after working for about an hour i packed things up and headed out to the vitamin studio for the life session. we had a great model with a dark blouse. she assumed a relaxed pose leaning against her hand supported by a pedestal. the only fly in the ointment was that seemed to compromise her median nerve at the wrist and gave her a temporary "carpal tunnel" syndrome. it shook out after a minute's rest.

earlier in the day i had been looking at some paintings by richard schmid and i think this one from yesterday emulated his style somewhat. if you wish, looking over his paintings on his website ( or just using a search engine to obtain some images of his will give you an idea of what i mean. it was unintentional but shows how we (read, i) can be influenced by our observations. i like his style and i sort of unconsciously copied it here. i need to carve out some bulk on her *left* arm as it is too wide but otherwise i think that i will leave this alone.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

carrying on with more of "dan", a new painting, and life painting session

the penultimate "bookman dan"
i have done just  a little more on the portrait of dan and i think i am going to let it sit for a while. i believe i'm on the road to over doing it and i may already have given it a wash or two too many. so i'm close to finishing it and will revisit in a week or so. here we are at present:

i warmed up the shadows on the light side of his face and cooled off the ones on the shadow side. some scarlet lake heavy with cadmium orange for the former and ultramarine for the later. some details on hsi shirt such as shadows and stitching were painted with a gray made from cerulean blue, alizarin crimson permanent, and raw sienna .  all this painted with a #16 cosmotop round. i will probably darken his sweater and the inferior rim of his *right* glasses frame (while still letting it fade into the shadow beside his nose). but as i said week.....maybe.

for this next project i have picked out this photo that i took in santa fe a couple of years ago. this first has been cropped to about what i want the painting to include and to manage the composition. the second is a black and white enlarged to be about the size of the head on the actual painting. this was done to facilitate the drawing which can now be done sort of "sight-sized".

i drew the figure and most of the background elements on a piece of  16"X20", 140#, fabriano artistico hot press paper. i started the painting process with a light wash of cerulean blue, scarlet lake, and cadmium yellow-orange(holbein) applied with a #26 cosmotop round brush.

drawing and initial wash
first features
after this was bone dry, i started on the features with mixtures of the same colors used for the starting light wash and switching to a #16 round. i usually start with the nose or eyes. in this case i started with her *left* eye and then moved on to the nose and finally up to the *right*eye. i wasn't so concerned with getting the value right immediately but with getting the shapes correct and connected to each other. in pursuit of this i tried to make each area look like a miniature painting when viewed up close. this was a point made by ted nuttall in a recent workshop. i have included a detail view of her *left* eye. some darker areas within the hairline, around the earrings, and some modeling of her cheeks and chin finished work today on the figure. i also started putting some of the background predominantly cerulean blue at the lower right corner of the painting and again to the left of the hair

detail #1 of features

detail #2 of *left* eye

a few more features and modeling on the face in "let me count the ways"
35-minute pose; 13"X10"

and lastly today one of the offerings from the life drawing/painting session at the vitamin studio from last week. one was terrible and is deposited in the circular file, another the model liked and so i gave it to her (it just felt like the right thing to do at the time and she was thrilled....or so it seemed). that left me with this last sketch that was of her head and upper torso and done over the course of a 35 minute pose.

Friday, October 26, 2012

returning to dan

i am going to let the last two paintings sit a little more. i will say that the more i leave them alone the moe i feel tht they are done. i can't think of anything on either one that would be more than just fussing.

digitally warmed up
returning to the portrait of dan, i think the changes are fairly obvious. i finished his glasses over his *right*eye. the rest of the time was mostly spent further defining the shadows, mainly darkening them with glazes of warm color (scarlet lake and cadmium yellow-orange). i have been working under indoor lights and see in daylight this morning that it has taken on a bit of a coolish tint. you don't see that here as i "corrected" it on photoshop before posting. i wanted to see how it would look warmer and i think some overwashes of the orange will bring it around. i will probably use some glazing of a blue soon, so it will be tricky with the push-pull of color temperature. i darkened the background in pretty much all places. specifically i added serial washes of quinacridone gold, permanent rose, and ultramarine blue(X2) to the upper areas. the lower were just layers o cerulean blue. i started on his hair with a darker value of ultramarine blue and burnt umber/sienna. i want his sweater to be a dark green so i started painting a bit of this on both sides the a combination of ultramarine blue and cadmium yellow pale.
more or less the real tints

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

getting close....i think

i had a few hours to work on the current two paintings yesterday but ran out of time for posting the progress.

"?"  18"X30"
regarding the couple painting (for which i don't have a title yet) i needed to finish the woman's shirt which i did with a #16 round brush and predominantly mineral violet paint. i also charged some ultramarine blue and raw sienna in random places to break up the color and add some richness to the area. after that i tried to lose a few edges along the stripes. i put a little more detail on the bench and tried to leave a little more to the imagination with less detail. i decided that the background needed little but i did darken it at the top and along the sides with a glaze of ultramarine blue. the limbs needed a little more modeling. this was done with a layer of scarlet lake and cadmium yellow-orange (holbein) followed by ultramarine blue. i think that is about it for right now. i will put this up where i can see it several times a day and decide if more needs to be done in a week or so. if anyone is reading this and has an opinion i would love to hear it. any ideas for a title?

"toward the future"  16"X18"
in respect to the painting started at our life session, i mainly worked on the background. i framed in the upper right of the painting with  stripes of cerulean blue/cadmium yellow pale and darkened the enclosed rectangle around his head with successive layers of warm alternating with cool colors until it was about as dark as you see here. the colors were ultramarine blue, permanent rose, raw sienna, burnt sienna, mineral violet, cerulean blue (or really just an iteration of the colors used in his face) applied with a #26 round brush. i went with a stripe of mineral violet along the bottom of the horizontal bluish-green stripe to represent a shadow on the sort of lavender wall. for no other reason than i wanted to i added some splotches of mineral violet up top outside the "rectangle and down below inside. seems kind of silly at this point, but i do like an unexpected splash of arbitrary color here and there for interest and to do.....well....the unexpected. not sure this is valid but it was fun. i so hope there is a "rule" against doing this as that would even make it more fun, "oh, yea?"

Saturday, October 20, 2012

continuing couple's painting and first long-pose figure session

i have continued to paint on the large painting of the couple. i have been working the hands and modeling the arms and hands of the woman. additionally i have started the stripes on her blouse. the interesting thing i have noticed is that as i get further into refining the figures the value of the background is starting to seem more correct to me. we'll have to see when i finish the figures but i suspect very little more will need to be done relative to the background. here is a photo of where we are right now.

this last week also marks the first time in quite a while that i have painted from life. we had a 3-hour session with a great young model  at the vitamin studio this last wednesday. there were only three of us painting plus the model (and one guy shucking tomatillos....don't ask). i was interested in seeing how some of the newer techniques were going to work in this setting with limited time. it actually went quite well. the drawing gave me the most trouble as i hadn't done live drawing for several months, but eventually i got one that i thought would work. then i had to figure out what colors. dean mitchell, a noted african-american painter has said (hearsay, though i have been told by a reliable source) one can paint the skin of people of color that is believable if you don't use brown out of the tube. keeping that in mind i used scarlet lake, raw sienna, cerulean blue, winsor blue, ultramarine blue, and even some permanent rose. all put one over the other with thin glazes. i am going to have the majority of the background dark around his head and started working toward this end with a layer of cerulean blue, followed by raw sienna, and finishing with permanent rose. this has left us with a warm rosy undertone from which to darken with layers of blue. i put  a stripe of viridian and cerulean blue across the image at shoulder level just for a splash of color that isn't anywhere else in the painting and may be a window frame in the end product. his hoodie and cap are combos of cadmium red light and alizarin crimson. by two and a half hours thing were definitely needing time to dry as the whole painting was pretty damp and really not paintable with any modicum of control. so i packed up watched the others finish work on their oil paintings and then headed home after asking the model if i could take a photo from which to finish the piece. he obliged.  all of this was painted with a #16 round cosmotop brush.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

just a little more

i did not have much time last week to paint due to an illness, but earlier this week i was able to get a couple of hours in on the couple painting.

almost all the time was spent finishing the pattern on the man's shirt. i used a #16 round, ultramarine blue tempered with raw sienna and then charged with a dash of either alizarin crimson permanent or raw sienna here and there. i also tried to lose a few edges on the multitude of small "squares". additionally, i darkened the gaps in between the bench slats by putting on a wash of winsor blue and quinacridione gold. after lifting some color from the near slats on the bench i started dry brushing burnt sienna, cobalt blue and a little mineral violet to add some texture. i also put in some cracks near the ends of the boards and within the body of the slats. i decided to have them secured with some nails and added the heads near the end of the slats. these usually cause some splitting so those were added. all this was done with a generic "dark", like mixing two complements.  i indicated some light reflecting off of some of the surface of the nail heads and edges of the cracks by scratching off some paint with the point of a single-edge razor blade.

another wash of darker color was added to the shadow side of the man's trousers and an initial darkening wash to the woman's slacks as well. i think that was all that was done.

we are into rather typical fall weather with some really nice warm, sunny days punctuated with a couple of cold, damp, rainy gray days. on the former i will probably go out and play and eschew painting, which will have to await the "indoor-weather" days.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

continuing on with current projects

i am going to try shifting into a little bit more steady posting as i found, looking back over the last few months, that i have had more voluminous posts less frequently. by posting more frequently, the offerings should be shorter, more easily digested , and in more real time as to how the work is actually progressing.

so, on the couple painting, the only thing done since last time was work on the plaid pattern on his *right* sleeve. of note here is that i tried to make sure about several things as i progressed. the first was to get he paint in the right place and more or less in the correct shape. second, was to get a darker value as the pattern turned into the form shadow of the sleeve. third, i wanted to get some change in hue within each square by charging a bit of either alizarin crimson permanent or raw sienna into random swatches. the last was to lose some of the edges on the squares, usually, on what would be the shadow side.

regarding the portrait on "dan," much more was accomplished. i guess i found that more interesting to pursue. the first thing was to get the *right* eye painted and the steps were the same as its partner on his *left*. i added more of the shadows on his face which are giving the form. so far all was painted using my trusty #16 cosmotop round and some combination of scarlet lake, cadmium yellow-orange (holbein), and cerulean blue (very little of the latter). i felt some of the background needed bringing up to speed and put down the first wash of quinacridone gold from the top and faded it out as we moved down on the paper. this will eventually be quite a dark grayish area, probably darker than his hair so that this background will act as negative shape describing the hair shape. this hopefully will contrast with his shoulders and sweater at the bottom which i am planning on depicting as a positive shape. at this point the *right*eye seems like it may be tilted somewhat inward and i will keep an eye (no pun intended) on this area as we move forward. it may need changing. at some point i drew in the shape of his teeth which i had neglected to do when i did the initial drawing. these shapes are critical as each person's tooth "landscape" is unique. get this off and you will lose some of the likeness. this i learned from ted nuttall. additionally, when painting the teeth i believe one needs to remain subtle, slowly bringing definition to the area. otherwise the whole thing will look "toothy" and "dorky", to use a common currently used  vernacular. i'll take credit for this latter notion, just in case it is wrong! in painting the shadow on the far *right* side of his face, i started by adding a stripe of color right in front of the ear that was hooker's green to try to suggest some reflected light from his sweater (which right now i envision as being dark green.) immediately after painting this strip i added the usual flesh colors to finish the shadow. when it dried i added another layer of the flesh color to darken it. this also was an attempt to add some arbitrary color that i find interesting in so many really good watercolor (or oil for that matter) portraits. in the past i overdid this in my zeal. again subtlety is the intent.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

continuing on with the "center-piece" and new painting start

over the last few days i have worked quite a bit on this painting but not a lot of it is very obvious. i did a lot of fussing with the faces. doing some subtle modeling on the guys face in shadow that shows on the photo, and correcting some drawing (or painting, not sure which) problems around her nose, eye, and far cheek. one of these days i will take stock of the drawing a little more before plunging into the painting to avoid this picky stuf that probably in the long run means little. i also put down some serial glazes on the back ground to bring it up to value and hue that i want. basically i'd like some glow that is still somewhat greenish around the heads and darker in the upper corners and edges. i think that the overall value is about what i am aiming for but i need to get the greenish coloration down. i think some winsor blue/ultramarine blue/cobalt blue or even cerulean over this predominantly yellowish hue we see here would work. these glazes are put down with my #26 round cosmotop brush and about 15% solution of color to water. there is a coating of permanent rose, quinacridone yellow, and winsor blue already on it. i 
decided to make the bench a greyish color to emulate weathered wood, which is departure from the metal that it actually is, and started this process by putting a burnt sienna and ultramarine blue wash over much of its surface. a little more of the modeling of the shadows and folds on the shirts and woman's hat and a few of the "squares" of color on the guy's shirt finished out where we are to date. i am probably at the point where i am going to have to put in the rest of the pattern on both of their shirts. i will need a good night's rest to tackle this (and maybe even a break of a couple of days). so far i have managed not to screw this up....hopefully my luck will continue.

to get a little bit of a break before attempting the shirt patterns above i decided to start another smaller painting of my oldest and, arguably, dearest friend. he is always smiling and i have a photo of him from his blog . he is currently a volunteer for the peace corps in njala, sierra leonne, teaching english teaching to classes of university students learning to be teachers. i just can't say enough about this endeavor and am very proud to know him.

i started out by deciding on the composition where i wanted to get his head high on the paper and almost centered. i imported his blog photo to photoshop and cropped it and enlarged it so that it was "real" sized and composed as above. with that out of the way i drew the image on a piece of 300# hot press arches paper measuring 15"X11".

using my #16 cosmotop round (this has become my go to workshorse lately) brush i put sown a wash of varied colors including scarlet lake, cadmium yellow orange (holbein doesn't make a pure cad. orange), and  cerulean blue. i tried and was mostly successful in avoiding the highlights in his eyes and t-shirt. when this ws slightly dry i put in a darker value hair shape using burnt umber and cobalt blue.

this needed complete drying before moving on to the features. using the same colors and brush, i started the features on the *left* eye. switching to cobalt blue i painted the iris after finishing most of the surrounding structures. i then moved on to the nose. as i continue it will be challenge to stick with what is actually seen in the dark shadow to the *right* of his nose, i.e. nothing, as opposed to what i know is there. the modeling of the face, start of the mouth, and some of the background were also painted at this sitting. i want to keep the whole thing moving along at more or less the same stages in all aspects of the painting. i think i will stop at this point today.