Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I forgot how important sketching was. For example...this is a study sketch for the face of a portrait I haven't started. This angle looked easy to me...and yet...lots of eraser. That being said, erasing is much easier in pencil than paint.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

1 More Done!

I made this goal for myself starting in February when I moved in to my new place. Application deadlines for MFA programs are in January and February and all need 20 finished pieces. For the first few months I didn't sweat it...I had all the time in the world. And now it's almost December...and I have 8 done. 8. So I realized the painful realization this weekend that I'm most likely not going to make my deadline. I know, I know, grad school isn't going anywhere, and it's fine to go a year later or a year after that or in 10 years. It's just a disappointing realization...that not only am I not going to make my goal but that I have another year of working jobs that I don't care about and am one more year further from my goal.

BUT - it feels good to have another one completed. So I'll focus on that feeling for now.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wooohooo almost done!

Well here's some progress! I'm almost done - just a few more details and we'll be good to go. I'm feeling good about this and figuring out how to paint freckles is challenging but fun :)
And a close up:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#10 The Athlete

Based on a few concepts of art history...mostly ancient Greek art and Degas' ballerina paintings. I wanted to convey the athleticism and grace of these famous paintings but in a contemporary setting and pose. Thinking about sports, skills and endurance, nothing really trains the body like yoga. Also, yoga is a hugely popular and is able to be accessible and elitist at the same time. So this ideal frame in an elegant yet strong pose is my interpretation of today's elite athlete. Here are a few progress shots:

It's so easy to get discouraged

I'm not perfect (in many more ways than as a painter, but let's focus on that imperfection for now). I've always been pretty good at relating semi-realistically what I see in front of me on paper with pencil or paint. But it's never come easily. I measure, I draw, I erase, draw again, etc etc. I'm sure this is the case with the most artists....but there are sometimes when I just can't get it 100% right. And until that point, I'm frustrated beyond belief. The painting I last blogged about, I caught the first mistake pretty soon on and fixed it. Then there was just something wrong with the eyes...and I ended up pretty much trashing the left side of the face and starting over. Much has changed (well, I can tell...can you?) and it's still imperfect and I'm still frustrated. So here's what I have now -- and a previous stage to prove it's changed :)

This is the first draft I was happy with until I realized the axis of her face was totally off. And one eye was way off...although I did like the treatment and finished look of the eyes at this point.
And now. A better likeness to Ellen, but still completely unfinished and hopefully it'll all come together with a tad more detail. I couldn't be happier with the hair - the one constant (and for once, easiest part) positive of this process.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

#9 The Portrait of the Model

I was thinking...since I'm using the same model for all my paintings, perhaps it would be interesting to have a portrait of her...as herself. And who knows, as I finish it, she may fit a stereotype that I'll want to use the portrait for. But for now, this is Ellen. She is my beautiful friend and I'm excited to finally paint her with the pink hair she had when she first started posing for me:
And because it's always fun to see the progress and mistakes that have been corrected, here she is with a nose that is much too long:

7 Done! (13 to go...)

Party girl is finally done. Feels really stinking good.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010