20 March 2012

3-Hour Portraits in Oil


For figurative artists, painting portraits and figures from life is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.  If you can paint (or draw) a portrait from life in a 3-hour class environment, you can probably do it much better in the quiet, unhurried serenity of your studio.  And these timed sessions teach you to see form, edge, temperature, and color much more clearly, too.  Very valuable, fundamental classes. 

The paintings below are from life classes at the Watts Atelier.  I'm gearing up to start again in April.  It's seat-of-the-pants painting...very fun.  Highly recommended.


Sabrina, 12 x 9" Oil on linen


E and his portrait.  E is a student at Watts who substituted for an absent model. I didn't get a good shot of the painting, but you get the idea.  Thank you, E.  12 x 9" Oil on linen


JJ, 12 x 9" Oil on linen


Brianna, 9 x 12" Oil on linen


Male model in orange and blue, 12 x 9" Oil on linen


Iggy, 12 x 9", Oil on linen

Added Note:  My painting "King of the Road" was voted into the final round of Brain Neher's online contest, You Be The Judge.  Thanks to everyone who voted for The King and I.  I'll be asking for more votes when the final round comes up in a few weeks.  Don't let me down.


14 March 2012

You be the judge...


I normally don't ask for favors on this blog, but today I make an exception.

My painting, "King of the Road", was included in the current round of Brian Neher's online art contest, You Be The Judge.  Fifteen paintings are displayed in each of the 5 rounds.  Three are chosen as finalists.

King of the Road, 16 x 12", oil on linen

A unique aspect of this competition is that visitors to the contest website decide on the finalists from each round by voting for a favorite.  Another unique aspect is the lack of an entry fee.  It's free to enter and you can submit up to 2 pieces.  Brian's goals for this contest are to educate, inspire, and equip emerging artists...and those goals are reflected in the grand prize package he has constructed through donations.

Please visit the contest website now and vote for your favorite entry.  There are 15 paintings in the 3rd round, including mine which is #3 from the top.  All the paintings are worthy.  You will find the voting menu at the bottom of the post.

There are 2 more rounds yet to come, so if you are an artist, you still have time to enter your work.  All entries must be representational paintings using a wet medium.  Good luck.


03 March 2012

On Portrait Vignette #7 and Pietro Annigoni


Today's portrait subject is Ryan, younger brother of Taylor.  Both portraits were painted from photos.  A cool aspect of these portraits is that the brothers photographed each other.  They look at you, the viewer, but also at each other.  I hope, in years to come, they look at these portraits and remember that moment.  Unlike the reference photos, these paintings will endure.


Ryan in Suspension, 16 x 12", Oil on linen


Below is the progression, click to enlarge.  If you follow this blog, you've seen enough of these to know how it goes.  If you are new here, see earlier progressions with step-by-step explanations here, here, and here.


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Regarding artistic inspiration...

I'm always interested to know about artist's inspirations.  Referral to favorite artworks is a time-honored method of learning and artistic problem-solving.  Standing on the shoulders of giants.  I always have images clipped on my easel for inspiration.  A year ago, they were often by Zorn, Sargent, Sorolla, or Rembrandt.  At the moment, they tend towards Serov, Repin, Velasquez, and Annigoni.

For "Ryan in Suspension", inspiration came from "Mr. Rydy" by the Florentine artist, Pietro Annigoni.  My work pales by comparison, but that's motivating.  I intend to paint some upcoming portraits in this general direction.


Mr. Rydy, size unknown, oil on canvas, circa 1950.

Annigoni nurtured the traditions of classical realism in Italy during a time when realism was considered passé.  Of course, many appreciated his gifts, and he produced numerous and powerful portraits, as part of his very extensive body of work.

Below is another of his distinct, psychological portraits.  Beautiful draftsmanship. There is a surprising lack of printed material on Annigoni's work.  The painting below is from a large-format Chinese book on his portraits, which I purchased from Gallery Nucleus.  The print quality in this book is good, and it's reasonably priced. To view more of Annigoni's works, visit ArtRenewal.com, MuseumSyndicate.com or Gandy Gallery.  Enjoy.


Portrait of a Woman, oil on canvas, 20x16", 1951