27 March 2015

Kelly Borsheim, Artist and Traveller, Needs Your Help

I have followed Kelly Borsheim for a while through her blog.  She is a commited artist, originally from Texas, USA, but now living and working in Florence, Italy.  She's experienced in many media, and her spark and enthusiasm for the arts is contagious.  She's kind of scrappy and finds ways to make her lifestyle work.  I like that.  That's her on the left below (hope you don't mind me posting this, Kelly).  Her blog is about art, but she also posts lots of good stuff on the places she travels (from an artist's perspective), and she travels a lots.

I'm posting about her today, because she is trying to raise funds for a bronze casting project through KickStarter.  If anyone deserves a donation, this woman does.  And she is offering rewards for some of the larger donations (such as the small bronze below).  She's got a ways to go, and only 5 more days to hit her goal.  So if you interested, and you are reading this before April 2, 2015, click on over to her blog
and help her out.  That is all.


20 March 2015

Panel 3 of the Amanda Triptych

I'm finally finishing this little series with the 3rd panel of the Amanda Triptych.  This panel took a while to finish because of those downcast eyes...very challenging.  The perspective is complicated.  For guidance, I looked to works by Michael Borremans and Jordan Sokol.  They both seem to favor downcast eyes.

Amanda Triptych (panel 3) 11x14", oil on board

For context, here are all 3 panels together, as they will eventually hang.

Amanda (triptych) 14" x 33" oil on board

...and a brief progression.  As you can see, a fair amount of adjusting was required to reach that final likeness.


As I painted the 3rd panel, I was thinking about this portrait of Rembrandt from the National Gallery of Art, attributed to an artist in his workshop.  I did a master copy of this several years back and that experience came back when I needed it.  Beautiful image.

Portrait of Rembrandt, Rembrandt workshop artist, 1650

13 March 2015

Panel 2 of the Amanda Triptych

Here is the second panel of the triptych portrait of my daughter, Amanda.  First panel was posted last week.  I'm trying not to screw things up by getting too tight here. So sad to have a beautiful expressive passage ruined by that last unnecessary brushstroke.  It's about knowing when to leave well-enough alone, which I am gradually learning to do.

Amanda Triptych (panel 2) 11x14", oil on board

Here is a progression.  I struggled to get a good likeness, as you can see by comparing the first and third panels.  The challenge of portrait art...it needs to look like a particular person. This painting still needs work, but I need to move on to other things.  I'm finishing up the third panel which I will post soon.


And on a related topic, I love this video about Slomo, a San Diego resident who gave up conventional success to follow his passion.  Something most artists can relate to.  I found the video over on Bryce Liston's blog.  Worth a few minutes of your time.  It's uplifting with some serious good advice.

21 February 2015

Triptych Portrait in Progress

I'm working on a triptych portrait of my daughter.  This is the first of the 3 panels, based on preliminary sketches I posted a few weeks ago.  I like the looseness and abstraction of the hair/body contrasting with the facial rendering.

Amanda Triptych (panel 1) 11x14", oil on board

Using the color study method described a while back, I created a small painting on vellum to work out flesh tones and hair and background colors.  I also painted a portrait of Amanda from life to establish the values and get her hair color right.  I did all my homework.

Color study for Amanda Triptych, 5.5x7", oil on mylar

Amanda, study from life, 10x12" oil on linen

In addition, I'm trying something new...starting my paintings with a looser underpainting/first color lay-in than I'm used to.  I like the change.  I came across this approach in "Norman Rockwell Illustrator".  Rockwell said he always did the first color lay-in very quickly "to generate some accidents to play with".  I like those accidents.  It's a more subconscious way to paint.

17 January 2015

Portrait in Progress

I'm working on a triptych portrait of my daughter Amanda.  The drawings below are value studies for the final painting, which will be composed of 3 11x14" panels.   This piece is part of a series for a show later this year focusing on contemporary portraiture.  I've been thinking a lot lately about the nature of contemporary portraiture, and what differentiates it from traditional fine art portraiture and from photographic portraits. 

Three Amandas 8x18", willow charcoal on Strathmore 500 toned paper

By comparison, here is my first drawing of Amanda done in 2008.  She was 15 and full of teen angst. Can you tell?  I remember thinking this drawing looked pretty good at the time. 

Amanda 2008, Vine charcoal on bristol board