Session #288, Work #284

I have been doing a lot of thinking about my paintings lately. I’m having trouble with focus as well as longevity and I think its directly related to my motivation with the subject i’m choosing.


Session #287, Work #283

I continued with this painting trying to improve the drawing still working monochromatically.


Session #286, Work #283

Focus on drawing and paint manipulation using only white and burnt umber.


Session #285, Work #282

So I’m having some drawing trouble with oils lately. I figured that if I drew the same subject in charcoal and payed close attention to how I use charcoal and figure out why I can draw so much better with charcoal rather than oil paint then I could apply the same methods from charcoal to oils with similar results.


Session #284, Work #281

I took my time here and tried to focus hard on getting the drawing correct, I even removed color and went for a monochromatic approach.


Session #283, Work #280

I’m not sure what is going on with me lately but my drawing accuracy has declined and I’m finding session that I’m struggling. I think it may have to do with a lack of focus. After tonight I’m going to try and slow down a bit and really focus.


Session #282, Work #279

Third painting of this same trinket and this is the second attempt at the front side. My drawing is getting worse.


Session #281, Work #278

I’m having a lot of drawing issues with paint so I figured I would start today with the beginning of several paintings of the same subject working directly on manipulating the paint for better drawing.


Session #280, Work #277

Not much to say about this session. I’m happy with the painting and I used a new gray Gesso ground that really absorbed the oil. I’m not sure how much I like the Gesso absorption but it did cut down on the glare quite a bit.


Session #279, Work #276

I really pushed myself tonight to put the paint on thick and tried to be as expressive with the strokes as possible while keeping the drawing fairly accurate. It turned out very messy.


Session #278, Work #275

While setting up a still life tonight was getting a bit disgusted with how contrived it was. I shouldn’t have to setup a pretty still life to paint. There are wonderful still life paintings all over anyone’s home, all I have to do is point my gaze towards them and see. So that is exactly what I did, and there is nothing contrived about a well used desk.

Session #277, Work #274

For Halloween night we traveled with some friends down to the Benaroya Theatre in Seattle to see the movie Psycho which was accompanied by a live orchestra. It has been so long since I had seen Psycho that I had forgotten most of it, but it was nice to see the movie on a large screen with an artists eye.

Session #276, Work #273

I don’t have much to show for the drawing class today. I had done a few drawings before the painting today but the painting took up most of the class so I didn’t bother taking photos of the drawings.

Session #275, Work #272

This was a fun painting. There was so much randomness in the shapes, values and colors that I could do nothing but look hard and try to see everything. I even like how the painting turned out to be almost abstract. After doing this one I have an urge to paint flowers for a while.

Session #274, Work #271

I didn’t worry too much with detail here, I just wanted to capture the general shape of the angle and its values.

Session #273, Work #270

The best part about this still life was the blue towel that I sat the winter squash upon. It reflected a nice blue into the shadows of the squash and it was a nice challenge to get an intense blue in the shadows yet keep them the correct value.

Session #272, Work #269

Jamie had asked for input on the lighting and pose for this model and usually I don’t give my opinion much but for today’s spooky class I wanted some very dramatic lighting, something with emotion and even a bit cheesy. So, I proceeded to light the model myself, and Jamie and the whole class seemed to like it. Well, everyone said it was adequate, I hope I didn’t annoy anyone.

Session #271, Work #267

After having a lot of fun last night with trying to achieve an intense purple I thought tonight would have been great to try and achieve the other secondary color. This pumpkin was very orange, and its surface was very reflective.

Session #270, Work #266

I was really amazed how intense the purple was on this cabbage. I had to pull out a few other colors hidden away in my taboret to come only close to its intensity. I finally ended up toning down the colors on most of the cabbage so that the more intense areas of color would stand out more.

Session #269, Work #265

Tonight Jamie had us working on angles and the ability to re-produce angles as accurate as you see them in nature. He even showed us his amazing invention, the “Bollenbach Angelamometer”. ┬áIt was basically two clear thin rulers attached to one another by a center point on one end allowing each clear ruler to rotate easily at any angle. The artist could then use this “Angelamometer” by holding it up in front of them, looking through the clear material of the ruler and matching the angle of the subject they see beyond the ruler by rotating it. Once the artist has matched the angle with the “Angelamometer” they could then compare that same angle with their paper. I hope to one day become a master “Angleamometer-er”.


Session #268, Work #264

White on white is basically a lesson in values. The lesson tonight was made a bit more difficult with the subtle curves of this tea cup and the design on its outside. I think I could have drawn the cup much better, but I’m happy with how the values turned out.

Session #267, Work #263

I had so much fun with the last painting, dealing with duality of light and shadow on the same subject, that I wanted to try something similar but with colors that were very unnatural. Basically I wanted to see if my current palette could capture the intensity of this lemon yellow in direct light and shadow. Also the green parts of the lemon squeezers were super intense unnatural colors also, I think the intensity of those colors were the hardest to capture.

Session #266, Work #262

I liked the idea of having two items very similar next to each other but one in shadow and one in direct light. This way I could see directly the change in color and value on two items with matching surfaces.

Session #265, Work #261

I really liked this elephant candle holder keepsake. The wood is a very deep red and I wanted to try and capture the color well. I think I was able to capture the color, but you could never tell because of the glare off the painting. That is the trouble will oil paint, if you paint dark you ultimately get a ton of glare when you take a picture of your work.

Session #264, Work #260

The more random and unknown the pattern is the more you have to look to understand it and you can’t get more random than a pile of leaves. I always find it very interesting that no matter how random nature is, it never seems to make a mistake, it’s sort of a perfect chaos.

Session #263, Work #259

I needed to deal with some foliage, It’s one of my weak points. The art of drawing a big mass of leaves or grass without painting every single leaf or blade of grass is very difficult. It forces you to see form in these fluffy, wispy like jumbles of confusing mess. I think I did pretty well on the fluffy wispy like jumble of mess tonight.

Session #262, Work #258

There was a point during tonight’s drawing session that I felt lost. I really didn’t know what I was doing. I was drawing the figure, but none of the drawings were looking good. I felt I was just moving the charcoal about without any direction, I didn’t know what I wanted. Should I measure and work on getting the proportion just right, or should I work on form through value, or should I work on my line quality, crosshatching, gesture, composition, value, emotion or abstraction.


Session #261, Work #257

I know that if I really wanted to capture the true intensity of the red fabric that I should have utilized some dryer in my oils and prepared for multiple layers of glazing. But I dislike glazing, especially the waiting part between each glazing layers. So this is what I tried to achieve with impasto.

Session #260, Work #256

I have always had trouble with masses of random foliage, its so hard to discern any structure from it. Unfortunately tonight’s painting wasn’t much different, the foliage pouring from the pot looks very messy.

Session #259, Work #255

My wife an I argued about this one. I asked her what I should paint the other day and she suggested the peacock feather. I was so afraid of all the strands that I said no, and she indicated that if I wasn’t going to take her suggestions then I shouldn’t ask her.

Session #258, Work #254

I don’t like to paint from photos so I choose not to paint a scene in a photo but the photo itself, or rather a book of them.

Session #257, Work #253

The texture and color of this winter squash was a lot of fun to paint. I most enjoyed how the bright yellow orange of the squash turned into the shadow yet kept some of its intensity. It was an interesting problem of color and value to puzzle out.

Session #256, Work #252

I have been thinking for a long while about our connection with our earth. Usually before I start a painting I ask myself, “here in this place, what is my connection with the earth, how an I effecting it and it what way?”.

Session #255, Work #251

Kaylyn was the model tonight, I don’t think she has been modeling for a while, but she is really great at it. I always find her a joy to draw and paint.


Session #254, Work #250

I love asking my wife to pick something for me to paint because I know she will pick something random that I would never pick, and almost always end in me being challenged by the subject matter.Tonight was no different, she picked a wonderful gift given to her by a friend in Washington D.C. If I felt like spending longer on this painting I would have dove deep into describing the texture of the stocking, but I settled for focus on drawing, value and color.

Session #252, Work #248

I setup a scaled photo of the eyes of a Rembrandt self portrait next to my painting. Mainly to keep the scale of my self portrait the same as Rembrandt would, and to also try and emulate the painting style a bit. Originally I would have painted my face much smaller and after struggling with detail due to size on my last portrait painting I decided to look at the scale a master portrait painter used. It was definitely much easier to get correct detail in the eyes with this scale and I found that the new and very expensive paints I purchased worked really well in keeping the paint thick and full of brush strokes.

Session #251, Work #247

I found it difficult to achieve the intensity of the yellow in the bananas for this painting. So today I took a trip to my favorite art store and purchased some of the best colors I could get my hands on.

Session #250, Work #246

The best way to get into the mind of a master is to copy their work. I have only copied a few master images in the past and most of those were quick and simplistic, much like this painting. One day I may pick out a piece that I’m very interested in an try and reproduce it to the best of my ability.

Session #249, Work #245

Lots of leg room, a great dinner, as many drinks as I want, desert, coffee… as much comfort on a commercial plane that you could ask for. After being delayed at the airport for an hour our mantra was “I’m so glad we are not sitting in coach”, we repeated that several times throughout this flight. Sigh…. goodbye first class, I hope to see you again in the future.

Session #248, Work #244

At the beginning of this painting the cat Smoky decided that he wanted to lay behind the horse on top of the black t-shirt. He was so funny that my mother in-law was laughing hysterically for a while. It was great, and if he would have stayed there still for a while I would have added him to the painting, maybe it would have turned out better.

Session #247, Work #243

I’m getting much more accustom to painting loosely. After the last few weeks of paintings I have begun to notice how much a viewers brain will fill in without need for the artist to describe exactly. I was also inspired by the painting I viewed at the national gallery. The masters really knew how to describe in minute detail the most important bits of a subject while leaving the rest a flurry of brushstrokes. Here is a great example called Repose by John Singer Sargent.

Session #246, Work #242

Not much to say about this painting, its a wine bottle on a white counter, and I was tired.

Session #245, Work #241

This night we rented a couple bikes and rode to the Jefferson Monument, then walked to the F.D.R Memorial. This was by far the most naturalistic an beautiful memorial we have seen. It was full of waterfalls, foliage, and very natural looking stones. The entire memorial never reached more than about 30 feet tall but sprawled over a large amount of land and seemed to go on and on with waterfalls, natural stone, and amazing quotes from F.D.R that most of our current officials in office would do well to read.

Session #244, Work #240

Even at 10 o’clock at night there was a large crown around the Lincoln Monument. We realized later that it was Saturday and that it seemed obvious that there were so many people. So this drawing turned out terrible,.my excuses are; the minimal light on my sketchbook, the limited time I had and my major mistake of starting out the drawing with charcoal and continuing in graphite. But, I don’t really care, I observed as best I could, and I completed a drawing, plus we had a great night at our nations capitol.

Session #243, Work #239

This was basically a study in value. None of the colors had much intensity and the sun was high in the sky which further enforced a graying of colors. I wish I would have compressed the values a bit more because the floor of the deck is almost straight white from the tube. Although I do like the painting and I’m happy with the drawing.

Session #242, Work #238

Not until after painting these sunflowers and driving to Washington DC did I pick up a book on Van Gogh two days later did I realize that Van Gogh had actually painted a very similar still life of sunflowers with a background color almost exactly the same as the color of the walls here.

Session #241, Work #237

There are countless objects in our household that we don’t even see anymore. These objects are so ingrained into our life that they don’t need inspection or even a second glance.

Session #240, Work #236

The beautiful blue ball of glass that is the focus of this painting is such an intense blue that I had to pull out my tube of pthalo blue in order to capture it. Ellie informed me that the glass ball was from Italy and handmade.

Session #239, Work #235

I picked this subject tonight because I liked the light on the kitchen table in contrast to the dark windows at night and the TV behind. Its quite a familiar place but you never know nothing as well as when you paint it.

Session #238, Work #234

After this simple and short attempt at color within a landscape I really have a new found awe for Monet, I really have no idea how he achieved the perfection of color in his paintings. I’m sure he started with a multitude of hours per painting though. I have seen so many amazing things in my life and in many cases I have overlooked their monumental achievement, its nice to be reminded from time to time about things that are truly great, wonderous items that have unfortunately become commonplace

Session #237, Work #233

The sky was overcast and there were not many extreme values throughout the subject but after looking at the painting again I can see that I missed some opportunities to achieve better accuracy with these values. The drawing and color is very un-observed also. I think I was more interested in the conversations we were having on the deck rather than the painting. The whole thing looks as if it lacks focus, also I only spent an hour on the painting which is hardly enough time to resolve many issues.

Session #236, Work #232

So what do you draw while your sitting on a plane? Whatever is right in front of you!

Session #235, Work #231

I had drawn this keepsake once before and it proved to be much easier. At some point I need to focus on masses of leaves, trees, and grasses so I can get better at rendering masses of random shapes accurately.

Session #234, Work #230

It has been a very long time since I took up a brush full of oil paint and attempt to render the figure accurately, and the task tonight was not made easier by time. I only had about an hour and a half to paint this wonderful pose. I was grateful to have warmed up with an hour of sketches before the painting even though most turned out stunted and grotesque looking. Again I will say that I need to work on my gesture drawings more, I should hit one of the many session around Seattle that have short poses.

Session #233, Work #229

I just realized that a lot of my previous posts have a heading of “The Drawing” instead of “The Painting” like it is below.

A simple and easy painting tonight, I didn’t know what to paint so I picked an apple and a lemon out of the fridge. Then I figured all I needed was a blue item and I would have the primary colors, so I found a blue box, put them all in a line and painted.

Session #232, Work #228

After Pattie picked out two mundane items from around the apartment she arranged them wonderfully in my shadow box. I like having her pick out items for me to paint because I would normally pick out something that was simple to paint and would not challenge me. I remember once she picked out a black and white stuffed animal, I would have never picked that out because I knew that trying to paint something black and fuzzy would be super difficult. But, I painted it anyway, and I learned a lot from it.

Session #231, Work #227

I am becoming less concerned with absolute detail and I’m mainly focusing on getting the shapes correct for drawing the values as close as possible and the color similar. One day I will have enough time throughout the week or I will get the motivation on the weekend to begin a larger painting but for now I will just stick to daily small works. Besides I haven’t really focused in on my main subject matter yet, but I’m thinking about it every day.

Session #230, Work #226

I follow a lot of blogs with wonderful artists that are great at their craft, but I get tired of pretty paintings of flowers, dishes, sunsets and the multitudes of cliche items that tend to sell the most paintings to the public. So in response here is a really bad photo of a not so good painting of garbage. No, you can’t buy it and yes I will be painting over it in the future.