Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Reclining Nude in Bed - sold

Oil on canvasboard, 5"x7"

This figure study captures the direction and movement of morning light on a reclining nude. I don't normally crop figures this way but I like how it emphasizes the angles and shapes. I also enjoyed observing the light and shadows both on the figure and in the light and dark areas of the bed and background. I like how it turned out. I think the closer focus on the figure allows for more detail at the same time it creates bolder shapes which gives this small painting great presence.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Portrait of a French Girl - sold

Oil on hardboard panel, 8"x6"

This is another of my portraits of imaginary people from the past. Don't ask me why she's French, that just seemed to come to mind as I was painting her. She was a difficult girl to paint, elusive, challenging, different. The paint didn't want to stay where I put it on the board but it created some interesting effects. She was painted in one very long session and the slippery quality of the paint made the brushwork rather distinct. It's an unusual look but I decided to go with it. The colors didn't blend quite like I'm used to but it retained a fresh, wet appearance even after drying.

As she emerged from the chaos of the painting she brought to mind smokey Parisian cafes, red wine and existentialist conversations. Mysterious, with a hint of deep passions, I could imagine a girl like this holding the attention of the Lost Generation.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Young Man - sold

Oil on canvas, 12"x9"

This is a portrait study of a dark haired man with dramatic features and an intense expression. I focused on loose brushwork and keeping the edges soft. While I often do paintings of my friends, this guy is based on various sources that I mashed up with my imagination. So he's entirely my creation, and just as with the women I paint, I enjoy a vintage look in men. Therefore, I wanted to concoct a man who looked like he could have posed for a painter a hundred years ago. I like inventing people and I think I got him pretty lifelike.

As I have mentioned before a few times, I love painting faces. Actually, I love painting the entire figure but a whole figure can become a big project for me so I often to stick to faces as that seems to be where I focus even when painting a figure. I'm not sure what it is about the face that gets me so involved. I guess because it's amazingly intricate. The eyes alone have such a delicate architecture. While it can be aggravating, I enjoy painting flesh so a shirtless man is a good compromise between painting a face and a whole figure. Getting the skin tones believable is difficult, it's so easy to veer off into a chalky mess if you add white too heavily. Even a very pale person has far less white in their skin tone than you'd think. Women's faces are easier for me to paint than men because the look of makeup can go a long way to highlight features and inject color and visual interest that would look odd on the average man. All this effort is required simply to produce a passable looking human being, to convey something of the human spirit and emotion is an even higher mountain to scale but one I never tire of tackling.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Portrait of a Glamour Girl - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

Some things never go out of style. A certain sleek elegance was achieved in the the early 20th century that's simply timeless. She is not any particular person, but my evocation of the glamour girl of that era, beautiful, classic and charming.